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News Release

May 15, 2007


Lisa Trei, News Service: (650) 725-0224,

2007 Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development announced

Twenty-six civic, political and economic leaders from 23 countries have been selected from more than 500 applicants for the third annual Stanford Summer Fellows on Democracy and Development Program. The program, organized and sponsored by the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law (CDDRL) at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, will bring members of parliament, representatives of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, journalists, academics, and human rights and democracy activists to campus from July 30 to Aug. 17 to exchange ideas and share insight into how reform efforts have fared in their countries.

Fellows from countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia and Russia will participate in morning seminars with Stanford faculty, including CDDRL Director Michael McFaul, CDDRL Associate Director of Research Kathryn Stoner-Weiss, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow Larry Diamond, economics Professor Avner Greif, law Lecturer Erik Jensen and President Emeritus Gerhard Casper. In the afternoons, fellows will attend talks by invited speakers and lead class sessions themselves.

2007 Fellows

David Abesadze, Republic of Georgia, is head of the policy analysis division in the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an assistant professor at Tbilisi State University.

Huda Ahmed, Iraq, is the 2006-07 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow at U.S. National Public Radio and a reporter for Knight Ridder in Baghdad.

Jafar Alshayeb, Saudi Arabia, is chairman of the Qatif Municipal Council and a political commentator and founding member of human rights and nongovernmental organizations.

Abduljalil Al Singace, Bahrain, is the media director of the Bahrain Academics Society and an associate professor at the University of Bahrain.

Donya Aziz, Pakistan, is a member of Pakistan's National Assembly and joint secretary of the country's majority party, the Pakistan Muslim League.

Mohammed Azizi, Afghanistan, is the economic adviser to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo and chairman of the Center for Policy Priorities in Afghanistan.

Kingsley N. T. Bangwell, Nigeria, is founder of the Youngstars Foundation, an organization mobilizing youth participation in democracy and development in Nigeria and Ghana.

Alina Belskaya, Belarus, was forced to flee her country for demonstrating against the regime of President. In Belgium, she works for the German Marshall Fund on issues related to the Euro-Atlantic integration of Belarus.

Jay P. Chaudhary, Nepal, known as Jay Nishaant, produces and hosts the country's most popular weekly current affairs talk show on its largest private sector channel.

Garrett J. Cummeh III, Liberia, is director of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia, a research-based nongovernmental organization.

Maria Eismont, Russia, heads the independent print media program of the New Eurasia Foundation, which supports independent regional newspapers in Russia.

Rabih El Chaer, Lebanon, is a human rights activist and adviser to the minister of public works and transportation.

Safinaz El Tarouty, Egypt, is an assistant lecturer at the British University in Egypt and a researcher at the think tank Partners in Development.

Iulian Fruntasu, Moldova, a former diplomat involved in arms-control issues, is a director of the Soros Foundation-Moldova.

Giao N. Hoang, Vietnam, is a senior lecturer at Vietnam National University Law School and chairman of the Center for Research and Consulting on Policy, Law and Development.

Franck Kamunga Cibangu, Democratic Republic of Congo, is a human rights activist based in Kenya, director of the Droits Humains Sans Frontières and coordinator of the Africa Democracy Forum.

Maina Kiai, Kenya, is the first chairman of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, an independent state institution.

Hasmik Minasyan, Armenia, coordinates the Civil Society Partnership Network of 26 nongovernmental institutions fighting poverty in Armenia.

Yang Peng, China, is general secretary of the China Center for Public Policy in Beijing and director of the China Beijing Enterprise Culture Institute.

Aasiya Riaz, Pakistan, is joint director of the independent Pakistan Institute for Legislative Development and Transparency, which supports democratic governance.

Kate Sam-Ngbor, Nigeria, a journalist, helped design the "Democracy and Good Governance" pilot program, which played an influential role in the return of democracy to Nigeria.

Zvisinei Sandi, Zimbabwe, a journalist, is a lecturer at Masvingo State University and founder and secretary general of the Senior Society for Gender Justice.

Taras Shevchenko, Ukraine, director of the Kyiv Media Law Institute and a lecturer at Kyiv National University, has helped to draft important laws.

Majid Tavallaei, Iran, heads the pro-democracy Nameh Research and Information Institute, is editor-in-chief of the banned monthly journal Nameh and is a founding member of the Iranian People's Liberation Party.

Vera Tkachenko, Kazakhstan, is studying for a master's degree in criminal justice policy at the London School of Economics and has been a regional director of the nongovernmental organization Penal Reform International.

Roya Toloui, Iran, is a clinical pathologist, feminist, journalist and human rights activist from the Iranian province of Kurdistan.



Laura Cosovanu, Center for Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law: (650) 723-9959,

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