Alumni in the News

Diplomatic Leadership Alumnus, Ambassador Suleymanov, Discusses Iran, the Nuclear Deal, and More with

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

Upon the conclusion of his AJC Project Interchange seminar in Israel, Azerbaijan Ambassador to the U.S. Elin Suleymanov spoke with about his experience in Israel, his thoughts on the Iran nuclear deal and Azerbaijan’s international relationships. Ambassador Suleymanov stated that he has been enlightened about issues ranging from Judea and Samaria’s Jewish communities, to the Palestinians, to religion and rhetoric. Full article here.

Stonly Baptiste, Co-Founder of Urban.US and PI Alumnus, Featured in CNN Money’s Upstart 30

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Stonly Baptiste, Co-Founder of Urban.US and PI alumnus from the 2015 Miami Entrepreneur delegation, has been featured in CNN Money’s Upstart 30 list, which highlights the top 30 innovators and entrepreneurs from a wide variety of industries who are gaining significant traction and “disrupting” their fields. The feature article about Stonly and Urban.US can be found here.

Lori Bettison-Varga, Project Interchange Alumna, Named as New President of LA’s Natural History Museum

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Lori Bettison-Varga, President of Scripps College in Claremont, California, has been named President of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Read the LA Times announcement and see a photo of Bettison-Varga at Tel Aviv University during her 2013 Project Interchange University Presidents seminar.

Project Interchange Alumnus, Jeffrey Herbst, Outgoing President of Colgate University, Tapped as CEO of Newseum

Friday, July 10th, 2015

Jeffrey Herbst, outgoing Colgate University president, has been selected as CEO and President of the Newseum. The Newseum, located in Washington DC, features exhibits about journalism and the First Amendment and is ranked as a top 10 U.S. museum destination according to Trip Advisor. Here’s Jeffrey meeting with then-Israeli President Shimon Peres on his 2011 Project Interchange seminar.

PI Alumna, Felecia Hatcher, To Receive Leadership Award by The Miami Foundation

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Miami Foundation named Felecia Hatcher, co-founder of Code Fever and Black Tech Week and PI alumna of the Project Interchange delegation of Miami entrepreneurs and tech innovators, as the recipient of the 2015 Ruth Shack Leadership Award. This exceptional award recognizes individuals under age 40 who reflect ethical leadership, dedication and service to Greater Miami, qualities embodied by president emeritus of The Miami Foundation, Ruth Shack. Another PI alumnus from the Miami entrepreneurs and tech innovators delegation, Jaret Davis of Greenberg Trauig LLP, was the 2011 recipient of the Ruth Shack Leadership Award.

Donna Shalala, Project Interchange alumna, University of Miami President and Former U.S. Cabinet Official Selected to Lead Clinton Foundation

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Donna Shalala, President of the University of Miami, and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, has been tapped to run the Clinton Foundation. Former President Bill Clinton selected Shalala, describing her “combination of policy knowledge and concern, political skills, personal touch with people, [and] a sense of innate fairness.” In 2010, as University of Miami President, Shalala participated in a Project Interchange delegation to Israel of US university presidents. Read more about her Israel experience: 2010 article from The Jerusalem Post and check out the below picture of Donna Shalala meeting with then-Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Emmy AwardTM for PI Alumna Soledad Cedro Series on Israel

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Congratulations to PI alumna Soledad Cedro for winning a Suncoast EmmyTM Award for a news series as a result of her PI Israel trip last year!

The 5-part Spanish-language news series, “Israel: Mucho Más Que Una Guerra” (Israel: Much More than a War) was aired during primetime news in Florida.

Each series installment featured a different aspect of Israel:

  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Part IV
  • Part V
  • Aycan Demirel (’06) featured in Ha’aretz: “Fighting ‘the same old anti-Semitism’ among German Muslims”

    Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

    BERLIN – Working with youths in his largely Turkish and Arab neighborhood of Berlin, Aycan Demirel was shocked by the anti-Semitic sentiments he heard mixed with criticism of Israel.

    Some 10 years ago Demirel, of Turkish background, co-founded the Kreuzberg Initiative Against Anti-Semitism. It was around the time of the second intifada.

    Since then, out of offices on Oranienstrasse, a main drag in the hip Kreuzberg neighborhood, the organization has run pedagogical projects with youths from Turkish and Arab backgrounds, but also with adults. In 2012, the group even took Turkish and Arab teenagers to Israel and the West Bank. The aim was to challenge anti-Semitic attitudes. (Read full article here)

    Emmanuel Karagiannis (’11) writes: “Transnational Islamist Networks - Western Fighters in Afghanistan”

    Thursday, January 16th, 2014

    In the era of globalisation, transnational networks have become increasingly influential actors in world politics.1 While the sovereign state still commands significant authority and legitimacy, overt and illicit transnational networks (for example, environmentalists, cyberactivists) have managed to attract support and mobilise resources. In this regard, religion-based networks are particularly active. Due to their spirituality and worldviews, they are better suited to extend over national borders and function universally. (Read full publication here)

    İpek Yezdani (’09) writes in Hürriyet: “Israeli minister offers olive branch in first visit to Turkey in three years”

    Thursday, December 12th, 2013

    Israeli Environment Minister Amir Peretz yesterday offered an olive branch to Turkey during his visit to Istanbul, saying the people of both nations were expecting “reconciliation” from their governments very soon.

    Peretz arrived in Istanbul late on Dec. 4, launching the first visit from an Israeli government official since the Mavi Marmara raid back in May 2010, which badly damaged relations between the former allies. (Read full article here)