Summer Interns receive Exclusive White House Invitation to Panel on Sub-Saharan Africa

Summer Interns receive Exclusive White House Invitation to Panel on Sub-Saharan Africa

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Maha Neouchy
July 30, 2012

Summer 2012 interns were given the exclusive opportunity to attend a White House panel, hosted by the White House Office of Public Engagement, that discussed policy and other initiatives regarding President Obama's Presidential Policy Directive (PPD) on sub-Saharan Africa.


The event took place at the Eisenhower Executive Office building and was attended by over one hundred activists, academics, students and business leaders; including 12 of TWC's own students. The participants were chosen based on their interest in the region or the volunteer work they completed during their TWC-guided civic engagement projects on Torture and Abolition or Immigration. The participants included:


  1. Deanna Karras-Arizona State University
  2. Josie Sauveur-Concordia University
  3. Glory Okwori-Florida State University
  4. Michael Williams-Grand Valley State University
  5. Benedetta Khoury-University of Cincinnati
  6. Rachel Wolfe-University of Montevallo
  7. Daniel Bishop-University of New Hampshire
  8. Emily Snow-Wake Forest University
  9. Jasmine Harris-Wake Forest University
  10. DaQuan Cook-Westfield State University
  11. Vimbai Manzira-Worcester State University
  12. Katherine Perry-Wright State University

During the discussion, a number of employees at the White House provided a background on Obama's PPD policies such as strengthening democratic institutions, advancing peace and security and promoting opportunity and development in the region. In addition, they answered questions from both audience members and online Twitter users who submitted their questions using #WHChat and #AfricaPolicy. Experts on the region included:


  1. Florizelle B. Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative
  2. Earl Gast, Assistant Administrator for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development
  3. Joseph McMillan, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, U.S. Department of Defense
  4. Ambassador Johnnie Carson,  Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. State Department
  5. Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, National Security Staff, White House
  6. Grant Harris, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs, National Security Staff, White House
  7. Michael Strautmanis, Counselor to the Senior Advisor for Strategic Engagement, White House Office of Public Engagement
  8. Jon Carson, Director, White House Office of Public Engagement

[Watch a broadcast of the event]

[Read the fully story on the Office of Public Engagement's Blog]

[View photos of the event on our Flickr channel]

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