Happy Birthday, America

A short, sweltering week in Washington, DC. Monday was the Fourth of July, so I celebrated by enjoying the Parade on Constitution Ave. and watching fireworks over the Reflecting Pool. Although the city was crowded, I’m glad I stayed -- for America’s birthday, there was no better place to be.

On Tuesday, we jumped back into operations at USIP. I am working on a new memorandum. First, I build a stockpile of research from across the country and across the world. The research incluldes statutes, law journal articles, constiutions, and interviews. I enjoy reading about these fascinating topics and reporting my findings. Although it’s demanding, I love the work. 

Still, it is a bit disheartening to witness spikes in terror like have seen in these past weeks. Everyone at USIP is monitoring the events in Turkey, in Bangladesh, and especially in Iraq, where our NIF friends just returned. Our staff and others work to open channels of communication for a peaceful dialogue, but that does not prevent all acts of violence.

With the increasing depravity of ISIS, the global aid community has prioritized Countering Violent Extremism (CVE). This area of practice pools knowledge from other programs (such as Rule of Law and Gender) to stem serious violence. USIP has hosted many seminars and meetings about CVE, bringing this new field into the light.