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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Greg Van Kirk

The 11th International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education, with the theme “Tools for Preparing the Change Leaders of the Future: Social Enterprise, Innovation and Education,” will take place Thursday, March 16, 2017, through Sunday, March 19, 2017, at the Ohio Union, 1739 N. High St. Presentations will focus on innovations in the field of conflict resolution that are making broad impacts of social entrepreneurship and peacebuilding in the local to global community.

Greg Van Kirk, leader of Ashoka Foundation's Start Empathy Initiative and co-founder of Social Entrepreneur Corps, will join his colleague Valentina Raman, co-founder of IMPACT Magazine and JournalUp, to present the first keynote address on "Shifting Minds and Hearts: How Ashoka is building a culture of empathy to create a world of changemakers." Both are fellows with Ashoka Foundation, which helps social entrepreneurs pursue system-changing solutions that help correct entrenched global problems.

Achaleke Christian Leke

Achaleke Christian Leke, member of the Global Advocacy Team of the United Network of Young Peace Builders, will give the second keynote on "UN Security Resolution 2250: The Role of Youth in Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention and the Role of Youth Entrepreneurship." Leke is a youth civil society activist and peace advocate who has worked with more than 1 million young people on over 100 youth development and peace-building projects. He was named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year in 2016.

Conference workshops on March 16-17 will run along three main tracks:

  • Social enterprise, which applies methods and ideas from the business world to solve human problems such as poverty, lack of access to education, and environmental degradation.
  • Education, including workshops, training programs, and continuing education for all age groups in informal and community education settings, led by leaders in conflict resolution, peacebuilding and social enterprise.
  • Innovation, which will provide an opportunity for participants to showcase their own work, learn from others, and discuss unmet challenges by examining both new programs and effective evaluation.

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The Office of International Affairs is committed to supporting and assisting the university community with international related-concerns. In light of the recent Executive Order and its implications for our university community, we want to provide additional information and resources for those students, faculty and staff who are affected or who may have concerns.

The Executive Order has suspended entry into the United States for non-immigrants and immigrants who are nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The period of suspension is 90 days from the date of signing of the executive order on January 27, 2017. The Department of Homeland Security has indicated that it will generally permit permanent residents ("green card" holders) from these countries to enter the United States. However, permanent residents from these countries may be subject to additional scrutiny and questioning upon entry to the United States.

It is important to affirm Ohio State's commitment to protecting the information of all of its students, regardless of immigration status. The university's established and consistently applied policies hold that it does not release personal data, including immigration status to third parties except as required by law.

If members of the Ohio State community have any questions or concerns about their imigration status, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Support resources are available through Student Life's Counseling and Consultation Service and the Employee Assistance Program.

As his term ends, Sec. Eric Fanning speaks about his role leading Army

Eric Fanning

Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning is days away from leaving his post as head of the U.S. Army, but he believes others should answer the call to public service.

Fanning spoke Wednesday to a full theater at the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. He was a featured speaker for the Mershon Center for International Security Studies.

Fanning’s career path has led him to jobs in and out of Washington, D.C., and to leadership roles in three branches of the military.

“Do whatever you are asked to do as well as you can do it,” Fanning said.

His message to the audience: if you are too focused on following a career path, you may miss opportunities along the way.

“Seize opportunities as they come so you can learn that next thing,” Fanning said. “Work with someone you admire and it will lead to something else.”

Fanning, the first openly gay Secretary of the Army, spoke about the need for and value of diversity. He said he has worked to conscientiously pick diverse teams to get all points of view in his decision-making. Fanning said it is critical to have an Army that reflects the country it serves.

Fanning is a graduate of Dartmouth College but is no stranger to the Buckeye state. He went to Centerville High School, just outside of Dayton.

Zachary Mears, assistant vice president for national security and research programs at Ohio State, moderated the conversation. Mears and Fanning served in the Department of Defense together.

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