Prominent Diplomats And Experts To Examine Gender In Foreign Policy At Georgetown Qatar’s Hiwaraat Conference 

Intiqab Rawoof

March 19, 2024

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“Gender in Foreign Policy,” Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q)’s Hiwaraat conference on April 18 on campus, is timely and topical. The conference will consider how to improve foreign policy and practice by gender-informed approaches across a multiplicity of contexts including in the use of AI, and examine the specifics of gender in conflict situations with a focus on Afghanistan, Gaza, and Ukraine. 

The groundbreaking conference will convene seasoned diplomats and distinguished foreign policy leaders, including public officials both from the Global North and South, academics, policy experts, and students. 

The conference will open with remarks by Ambassador Androulla Kaminara, GU-Q Distinguished-Diplomat-in-Residence, and by Dr. Safwan Masri, dean of GU-Q. 

H.E. Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations (UN) in New York, will deliver a message to the conference.  

Four thematic sessions will highlight mutually related topics at the intersection of gender and diplomacy. In the first session, moderated by Ambassador Kaminara, H.E. Dalia Grybauskaitė, former President of Lithuania, and H.E. Ghulam Hoosein Asmal, Ambassador of South Africa to Qatar, will address why gender still matters in foreign policy.

The second session, moderated by GU-Q Professor Mehran Kamrava, will focus on diplomatic practice, featuring distinguished Georgetown University professor and former Ambassador of the US to the Netherlands, Dr. Cynthia Schneider, Wendy Gilmour, Assistant Secretary General at NATO and former High Commissioner to Pakistan, and H.E. Dr. Cristian Tudor, European Union (EU) Resident Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to the State of Qatar.

The role and risks of AI in foreign policy and diplomacy will be discussed in the third session, informed by the expertise of Dr. Nathaniel Raymond, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Research Lab at Yale School of Public Health; Dr. Michail Bletsas, Director of Harvard University Media Labs; Dr. Jamie Olsen, professor of philosophy and Manager of Instructional Design and Educational Continuity at GU-Q; and Col. Simon Maina, Director of Cybersecurity, AI, and Emerging Technologies in the office of the National Security Advisor to the President of Kenya.

The final session introduced by Natalie A. Baker, Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Qatar, and moderated by Dean Masri will reflect on gender in conflict situations, with a focus on Afghanistan, Gaza, and Ukraine. Speakers will include: H.E. Kuzmenko Andrii, Ambassador of Ukraine to Qatar; Raffaella Iodice, EU Chargée d’Affaires, EU Delegation to Afghanistan; Nada Tarbush, Counselor and Permanent Palestinian Observer Mission to the UN in Geneva; and Dr. Sultan Barakat, Professor of Public Policy at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. 

“Gender in Foreign Policy” is the seventh event in GU-Q’s signature Hiwaraat series, launched in the fall of 2023. The conferences have connected diverse voices from the Global South and the Global North to tackle timely, cross-cutting topics through a multidisciplinary lens, including the invasion of Iraq, Islamophobia, the political stalemate in Afghanistan, water security in the Gulf, the role of energy in our everyday lives, and the future of Palestine. As an open, inclusive, and engaged space for innovative problem-solving, the conferences also featured forums to engage students and the broader community.

Full information on the speakers, the program, and registration details are available on the Hiwaraat Conference Series website at https://hiwaraat.qatar.georgetown.edu/gender-in-foreign-policy/.