8:30 am – 12:15 pm
The National Endowment for Democracy
1025 F Street NW, Suite 800
The Future of Reform in the Gulf
The Crisis in Bahrain: Is a Negotiated Solution Possible?
Jalila Al-Salman is a Bahraini teacher and Vice President of the Bahrain Teachers’ Association (BTA). She was arrested in March and April 2011 in connection with the BTA’s calls for strikes amid the protests at that time demanding reforms in Bahrain’s educational system and protesting the killing and suppression of protesters, a large percentage of which were students. She was imprisoned for 149 days, allegedly tortured, and sentenced to three years in prison by a military court. She was released five months later after she was forced to sign false confessions.
Jafar Alshayeb is a writer, human rights advocate, and member of the Qatif Municipal Council in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. He is a regular commentator and analyst of local politics and reform issues in many press and media channels and is a columnist for Alsharq newspaper.
Carl Gershman is President of the National Endowment for Democracy. In addition to presiding over the NED’s grants program in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, and Latin America, he has overseen the creation of the quarterly Journal of Democracy, International Forum for Democratic Studies, and the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program. He also took the lead in launching the World Movement for Democracy, a global network of democracy practitioners and scholars, in New Delhi in 1999.
Tom Malinowski is the Washington Director for Human Rights Watch, where he is responsible for the organization’s overall advocacy efforts with the U.S. government. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Mr. Malinowski was Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton and senior director for foreign policy speechwriting at the National Security Council.
Congressman James McGovern is a Democrat who has represented Massachusetts in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1996. Congressman McGovern has been widely recognized as a tenacious advocate for his district, a tireless crusader for change, and an unrivaled supporter for social justice and fundamental human rights. Mr. McGovern serves as the second ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee and is co-chair of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Stephen McInerney is Executive Director of the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), where he previously served as its Director of Advocacy. His writing on Middle Eastern politics and U.S. foreign policy has been published by the Arab Reform Bulletin, The Daily Star, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, and The Washington Post. He has spoken on Middle East affairs with numerous media outlets including BBC, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and CBS News.
Jean-Francois Seznec is Visiting Associate Professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He is also a scholar at the Middle East Institute. His academic focus is on the growth of the energy-based industries in the Gulf.
Tamara Cofman Wittes is a senior fellow and Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Ms. Wittes served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from November of 2009 to January 2012, coordinating U.S. policy on democracy and human rights in the Middle East for the State Department. She also oversaw the Middle East Partnership Initiative and served as Deputy Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions. She was central to organizing the U.S. government’s response to the Arab awakening.
For a summary of the event’s proceedings, click here (pdf).