Women in international leadership positions will discuss cross-cultural challenges during a forum Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the University of Central Florida.
Organized by the UCF Global Perspectives Office in a partnership with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jay Garner, the forum will take place in the Pegasus Ballroom of the Student Union from 3 to 5 p.m. The event, which is free and open to the public, is part of the office’s annual focus on “Women and Leadership: A Global Perspective.”
Presentations will be given by actress Sarah Culberson, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Zhala Sabir and the U.S. Institute of Peace’s Jacqueline H. Wilson. The forum will be moderated by Ambassador Harriet Elam-Thomas, director of UCF’s Diplomacy Program.
Culberson appeared in television shows such as “Strong Medicine,” “All of Us,” “Boston Legal” and “The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and in the film “American Dreamz.” She learned later in life that she was from a royal family in Sierra Leone. After learning of the difficulties a brutal 11-year civil war inflicted on Sierra Leone’s people, she co-founded the Los Angeles-based Kposowa Foundation to help educate young people in Sierra Leone.
Sabir serves as the director of congressional and academic affairs for the Kurdistan Regional Government’s office in the United States. She oversees the office’s congressional and think tank outreach, following legislation, polices and reports relevant to Iraq and the Kurdistan Region. She is also the office’s point person on strengthening relations with U.S.-based research and academic institutions. Sabir previously worked for the Department of Foreign Relations of the Kurdistan Regional Government in its capital, Erbil. She also has served as a member of Iraq’s foreign service, with assignments in Baghdad and Ottawa, Canada.
Wilson is a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace’s Education and Training Center/International. Previously, she spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves. Her military career included assignments in analysis, training and counterterrorism. She served overseas in the Middle East and Africa, and she was a Middle East foreign area officer. After Sept. 11, 2001, she was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, serving in the defense attaché and Kenya-U.S. liaison offices. She hosted Sudanese peace talks and was an international observer for Kenya’s elections in 2002.
In addition to the Global Perspectives Office and Gen. Garner, sponsors of this forum include Lawrence J. Chastang and the Chastang Foundation, the UCF Diplomacy Program, the Sibille H. Pritchard Global Peace Fellowship program, the UCF Global Peace and Security Studies Program, UCF LIFE, the UCF Political Science Department, the UCF Women’s Research Center, the UCF Women’s Studies Program and the Global Connections Foundation.