Following the first round of general elections, and three years after the beginning of a hopeful transition to a democratic Ethiopia, the country is at a critical juncture. Civil war in Tigray is expanding as insecurity threatens other parts of the country, ethnic and political polarization is increasing, respect for freedom of expression is decreasing, and opposition party leaders and members remain detained. Within this environment, the Ethiopian government is considering holding a national dialogue and discussions of constitutional arrangements. The government’s actions and positions related to each of these challenges will determine the stability and democratic trajectory of the country for years to come. 

In a panel discussion organized by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), speakers will examine opportunities for dialogue and resolution of political tensions; resolution of conflict; protection of civil and political rights; and democratic reforms. 


William Davison is the Senior Analyst for Ethiopia with the International Crisis Group. He was Bloomberg’s Ethiopia correspondent from 2010 until 2017 and has also published in The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Al Jazeera, Christian Science Monitor, and other international media. In 2018 he founded Ethiopia Insight, from which he is editorially detached.

Befekadu Hailu is an award-winning writer, blogger, and pro-democracy activist in Ethiopia. He is the co-founder and executive director of NED grantee Center for Advancement of Rights and Democracy (CARD). He was also a co-founder of the Zone 9 Blogging and Activism Collective, a winner of CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award in 2015 and four other prestigious awards and recognitions, and worked for different media outlets as an editor and is a weekly opinion columnist for Deutsche Welle (Amharic Service). He received PEN Pinter Prize for International Writer of Courage in 2019 and Burt Award for African Literature in Ethiopia in 2012.

Meskerem Geset is an Ethiopian and international human rights expert, women’s rights advocate, co-founder and board member of Lawyers for Human Rights and TIMRAN, and a former leader of the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association. She was recently appointed to serve as the Commissioner for Women and Children’s Rights on the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission and serves as a member of the UN Human Rights Council Working Group on Discrimination Against Women and Girls. She previously held positions as a High Court Judge in Ethiopia and Deputy Director of the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (IHRDA). She has received awards from the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and DefendDefenders for her human rights work.

Scott Taylor is a Professor in the School of Foreign Service (SFS) at Georgetown University. In 2020, he was appointed Vice Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in SFS. He is the former Director of Georgetown’s African Studies Program, which he led from 2007-2020. Prior to joining the faculty at Georgetown, he held the Gwendolen M. Carter Lectureship in African Politics at Smith College.

Ambassador Reuben Brigety is the Vice Chancellor and President of the University of the South, Sewanee. He is also an adjunct senior fellow for African peace and security issues at the Council on Foreign Relations.  From 2015 to 2020, he was dean of the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. From 2013-15, Amb. Brigety served as the United States Ambassador to the African Union and Permanent Representative of the United States to the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Prior to these appointments, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs with responsibility for southern Africa and regional security affairs. 

August 5, 2021 | 3:00 - 4:30 PM CEST



US officials are struggling to respond to the number of displaced people arriving at the southern U.S. border. The challenges at the border are exacerbating perceptions inside the United States of immigrants and immigration as being a threat, which is fueling resentment, animosity, and polarization. According to the Anti-Defamation League, this perception “has galvanized the anti-immigrant movement and made life substantially more difficult for all immigrants and the communities that welcome them”.

This session will explore the complex issue of immigration, starting with what is happening at the border and why, how the issue is being weaponized and turned into a wedge issue that is fueling divisions in the country, and what immigrant rights groups are doing to change the narrative and address these divisions while ensuring that immigrant communities in the United States can live in safety and peace. This event is part of a series of weekly webinars on 'Preventing and Reducing Conflict and Instability in the United States: Shaping What Comes Next' organized by the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the U.S. Peace, Justice, and Democracy Working Group.


  • Saurav Upadhyay (Moderator), Research Manager - Learning & Evaluation, Alliance for Peacebuilding

  • Josh Leach, Public Policy and Communications Strategist for The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee 

  • Diego Aranda-Teixeira, Supervising Attorney, Litigation at Al Otro Lado Tijuana

  • Oscar Hernandez Ortiz, Dreamer and Activist. 

Time and date: August 4, 2021 | 2:00PM - 3:30PM EDT. 



Despite civil society calls for more diverse judiciary and increased understanding of prosecuting gender-based crimes, the International Criminal Court remains slow in making meaningful gains in equitable representation and gender justice.

Join the NYC Chapter of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS-NY) for this discussion, featuring international justice experts, about the challenges and recommendations of sustaining and increasing the representation of women of color from diverse geographies within the international justice system.

Time and date: Aug 4, 2021 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)



Education can be a driver of conflict that fuels grievances, xenophobia, and misinformation, or it can address conflict dynamics in the United States and contribute to peacebuilding. Join the Alliance for Peacebuilding on July 28th in a discussion about working with educators and state and city governments to align the U.S. history curriculum with a peacebuilding approach. We will present Kate English and Patricia Shafer whose organizations provide peace education to young people, including training, mentoring, and teaching conflict history and prevention. 

We will also engage in a discussion of the recent bill introduced by Senators Chris Coons and John Cornyn, the “Civics Secures Democracy Act”, which aims to restore the importance placed on civics education in American classrooms and expand access to civics and history education. This event is part of a series of weekly webinars on 'Preventing and Reducing Conflict and Instability in the United States: Shaping What Comes Next' organized by the Alliance for Peacebuilding and the U.S. Peace, Justice, and Democracy Working Group.


  • Liz Hume (Moderator), Acting President and CEO, Alliance for Peacebuilding

  • Patricia Shafer, Executive Director, NewGen Peacebuilders

  • Kate English, Executive Director, Educators’ Institute for Human Rights

Time and date: July 28, 2021 | 2:00PM - 3:30PM EDT. 



Dialogue Solutions will deliver a new « 101 course » on Transitional Justice Fundamentals on 27 July at 8:30 AST. The trainer Ms. Salma Yusuf will introduce participants to the fundamental concept and framework of Transitional Justice, an emerging and recent approach to peacemaking and conflict resolution. Thanks to this course, participants will learn to make the case for transitional justice in their societies and countries, and will be able to contribute to the designing and implementation of transitional justice processes.

To register, write to or fill out the online form.