September 2, 2014

Kasturi Puntambekar – Marketing and Fundraising Fellow

Kasturi is a senior at American University in Washington, D. C. and is majoring in History with a minor in Psychology. Originally from a rural town in Massachusetts, she has worked in the development sector of non-profit organizations around the Capital and has enjoyed learning new and innovative ways of communicating with donors and foundations. She is looking forward to exploring new methods of promoting the cause of Americans for Informed Democracy and reaching out to the greater D. C. community in the process. As a student of a highly politically engaged university in the nation’s capital, she believes that students must be heard and can contribute greatly to the country’s endeavors on the international scale. In her free time, she enjoys Indian classical dance and cooking.

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Seeking Network Fellows Fall 2014!


Are you ready to learn about the biggest global challenges facing our generation, while building useful leadership and communications skills? Then we need you! AIDemocracy is currently seeking summer 2014 Fellows. We are a national youth network amplifying the story, voice and power of global youth. We believe that our generation has tremendous power and potential to build a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. Through providing cutting-edge leadership training programs, sparking conversations around the power of youth online, capturing the stories … [Read more...]

JOIN one of our volunteer teams! Now seeking analysts, social media team, communications, campaigns and more!


Are you passionate about global issues? Do you believe our generation has the power to build a more peaceful, just and sustainable world? And are you eager to build the leadership and communications skills to make change happen? Then WE NEED YOU! Americans for Informed Democracy is a national youth network amplifying the story, voice and power of global youth. Through cutting-edge leadership training programs, sparking conversations around the power of youth online, capturing the stories of youth global leaders and supporting events on campuses, we’re … [Read more...]

Introduction to BRICS

By Alex Tuai. In the world of international relations, economics, and finance, one of the most common acronyms used is BRICS. Originally born as BRIC by former Goldman Sachs economics Jim O’Neill in 2001, it stood for the four fastest emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Then in 2010, South Africa gained entry into the group thus transforming it the current BRICS. While not openly stated, one of the major goals of the BRICS countries is to create an alternate dominating power to the primarily Western- dominated (primarily the … [Read more...]

US-Iran Relations: Part IV

By Alen A. This week, we will conclude our examination of modern Iranian history. We will recount the previous two-and-a-half decades, investigating the presidency of one of the most moderate modern Iranian leaders, dramatically followed by the reign of one of the most divisive, provocative demagogues in modern history, and the effects of both on modern Middle Eastern and global geo-politics. In June of 1989, shortly after a cease-fire with Iraq following a bloody eight-year conflict, the architect of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Ayatollah … [Read more...]

Profile of BRICS from Below

By Alex Tuai. Background of BRICS from Below (BFB) BRICS from Below is an alliance of civil society groups that was formed in March 2013 at the BRICS conference in Durban, South Africa and where it is still based. The idea was to mobilize an international alliance to address the social and economic inequities that lay in the five countries through the already existing civil society organizations. Its founding members were organizations from all five countries including: South Africa’s South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) and Centre … [Read more...]

Child Marriage: Women are the Voice for Women

By Lauren Shin. This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to step foot in the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. Having been mesmerized by National Geographic magazines and their breathtaking photographs for years, I couldn’t help but jump up and down as I entered the building. I wandered into the gift shop where I found myself buying a 30 dollar book within minutes. I took home Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, a book composed of the fantastic work and thoughts of female photojournalists-aka, my … [Read more...]

When Will Congress Realize Our Border Crisis Is A Refugee Crisis?


By Alex Beck.   We’ve all heard by now of the surge of Central American and Mexican children moving across the US-Mexico Border and the subsequent political debate. But with the issue’s seemingly abrupt emergence into the national spotlight, it is important to see that there is much broader context to the flood of “illegal immigrants.” Instead, it’s clear that this is a severe and complex refugee crisis, rooted in a history of rogue US policies. Approximately 52,000 children—originating from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico—have … [Read more...]

Strategic Goal 3: Promote the Transition to a Low-Emission, Climate- Resilient World while Expanding Global Access to Sustainable Energy

By Virginia Cady. In March the U.S. State Department and USAID released a joint Strategic Plan for 2014-2017. This article is the third in a series of five on each of the main strategic goals outlined in the 2014-2017 plan. Strategic Goal 3: Promote the Transition to a Low-Emission, Climate- Resilient World while Expanding Global Access to Sustainable Energy It is evident that one of the biggest challenges the State Department will face in terms of achieving this goal is inertia. As the plan notes, “this requires a fundamental shift in the way … [Read more...]

Interview with BFB Social Media Director Vee Govender

By Alex Tuai. Vee Govender is the Social Media Director of the BRICS from Below (BFB) network alliance. Based in Durban, South Africa BFB strives to network and mobilize grassroots organizations from the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries through social media. With approximately 1000 followers on Twitter and approximately 50 followers on Facebook, BFB is a leading example of new international alliances growing through the use of social media. What is your background with social media and outreach/mobilization? While … [Read more...]

Is a Second Soviet Union in the Making?

By Ani Hakobyan.   “Putin’s Soviet Union” “The Second Soviet Union Is Upon Us” “Putin-The Next Stalin?”   If headlines like these sound familiar, it’s because since the announcement on May 29 that Russia, along with Kazakhstan and Belarus was going to form the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), newspapers, governments, and people went into panic mode. It seems that Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev, and Leonid Brezhnev appeared in front of everyone’s eyes and convinced them that authoritarian rule and Communism … [Read more...]