August 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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Climate Change and Security

As usual, there’s some great foreign affairs commentary over at, one of my favorite websites. They’re running a great debate called “The Politics of Climate Change” (click on this link) with a very helpful backgrounder on the topic at this link that goes into key aspects such as the science of climate change, creative energy options and climate politics. One of the many insightful threads that runs through this series is the idea that climate change is not just important in and of itself but also because of the impact that it can have … [Read more...]

Speaker dissects U.S.-Muslim world relationship: Islam not a monolith, presenter says at event to ‘raise understanding’

by Chantelle Wallace The Daily Texan November 8, 2005 U.S. relations with the Muslim world were the subject of a Wednesday evening meeting in the McCombs School of Business. Michael Kraig, director of policy analysis and dialogue for The Stanley Foundation, discussed the diversity within the Muslim world, noting that Islam in Southeast Asia is different from Islam in the Middle East. "The U.S. needs to stop treating Islam as a monolith," he said. There are significant differences between the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam, as well as various … [Read more...]

U.S. policy isn’t optimal for a stable Iraq, UT speaker says

by Mark R. Muecke Capstone (University of Texas at Austin) November 8, 2005 AUSTIN - Foreign policy expert Michael Kraig says there will be a growing Islamic rift between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims if Iraq is not stabilized. Kraig, director of policy analysis and dialogue for the Stanley Foundation, spoke to a crowd of about 50 at the McCombs School of Business Wednesday night. “One common interest of all of Iraq’s neighbors is that they want Iraq to exist,” Kraig said. The event was sponsored by the student group Americans for Informed … [Read more...]

Defending Secularism

Philippe Nassif The recent terrorist attacks in London and Egypt were a chilling reminder that extremism continues to plague our society unabated, adding London to a growing list of western cities that have come under attack in recent years. Amidst the charred wreckage of London’s transportation system arise many questions as to how to prevent and deal with terrorism in Europe and around the world. President Bush has called for further expansion and support of the U.S government’s war on terror, backed by Russia’s Putin and several other world leaders, … [Read more...]

DePaul University Report on UN NGO-DPI Workshop featuring AID

by Staff Writer DePaul Univ. School of Learning November 6, 2005 58th Annual NGO/DPI Conference NGO Mid-Day Workshop: 7 September 2005 Achieving Collective Security: Partnerships to Prevent Fear, Violence, Genocide and Terrorism Through Targeting the MDG Goals Panelists in this workshop discussed the assault on human rights through acts of violence, genocide, exclusion, discrimination and gender inequality. It was their collective consensus that we, civil society and world governments, must adopt a horizontal decision making style to address … [Read more...]

Students Bring Fresh Ideas to WorldFuture 2005

by Cynthia G Wagner Futurist November/December 2005 Students at this year's conference not only attended sessions as listeners and learners, but also actively participated in several sessions devoted to showcasing their work and ideas. The Future Problem Solving Program, which has sent teams of students to Society conferences for a number of years, brought four high schoolers-Kyle O'Herron, Jacque Quinn, Traci Sanford, and Paul Marks-from Genoa, Illinois, to describe a six-step problem-solving methodology and its use in solving a specific problem … [Read more...]

Mall Patriotism

Americans have had a lot on their mind lately. Soldiers are battling insurgents in Iraq, a resurrection of violence has erupted in Afghanistan, not to mention the recent domestic tragedies of Hurricane Katrina and Rita, which displaced millions and killed thousands of Americans.No, these aren’t tranquil times at all. How have we possibly weathered the last few years so punctuated by violence, scandal, and tragedy of mammoth proportion? We shop. Just as easily as the evening news transitions from reporting another soldier’s death to a commercial for … [Read more...]

Town halls’ meet to discuss global issues, honor Sept. 11

by Staff Writer The Shorthorn (University of Texas at Arlington) November 02, 2005 Americans for Informed Democracy is sponsoring a Dallas-Fort Worth Town Hall meeting at noon today in the University Center Rio Grande Ballroom. According to the organization’s press release, the event is “part of a global initiative to commemorate Sept. 11 with citizen dialogue in the U.S., Europe and Islamic world on how to improve Western-Muslim relations.” The event is part of the national organization’s “Hope not Hate” series, and this is the second … [Read more...]

Town Hall meeting eyes Muslims and the West

by Staff Writer San Antonio Express-News November 02, 2005 A town hall meeting on "The Future of Western-Muslim World Relations" is scheduled for 7:30 tonight in St. Mary's SBC Technology Center Room 108. The meeting will feature an expert on Islam and the Muslim world, Michael Kraig, who is the director of policy analysis at the Stanley Foundation in Muscatine, Iowa. The event is aimed at improving Western-Muslim relations through an initiative called "Hope not Hate." "The goal of this unprecedented series is two-fold," said Ambassador … [Read more...]

Film Offers Inside Look At United Nations Mission

by Staff Writer The Ponka City News November 2005 STILLWATER — The Americans for Informed Democracy chapter and the Eurasian Student Association at Oklahoma State University are hosting a public screening of "The Peacekeepers," a new documentary about the United Nations Peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The documentary, not yet released to the public, documents the struggle to save "a failed state," taking the viewer back and forth between the United Nations headquarters in New York and events on the ground in the … [Read more...]