About the Organizers:
The Leadership Team and Staff:
Ammar Abdulhamid, President
Ammar Abdulhamid is a Syrian human rights activist who in 2003 founded the Tharwa Foundation, a grassroots organization that enlists local activists and citizen journalists to document conditions in Syria. In response to his activities, the Syrian government subjected Abdulhamid to repeat interrogation and threats. In September 2005, he and his family were forced into exile in the U.S. From his home in Maryland, Abdulhamid remains one of the leading commentators on events in Syria through the Syrian Revolution Digest. See a short video interview with him from the Freedom Collection describing why Syria matters and what the price of our silence actually is.
Melody LeBeau (Osterstuck) is the Program Director for I Am Syria, where she plays a key role administering its webpage and Social Media outreach, including its Seven Days for Syria, Twitter Campaign, and partnerships with film companies to help feature Syrian documentaries in the US. A graduate of Oswego State University with a double major in Mass Communications and Global and International Studies, Melody also serves as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies of Buffalo.
Katelyn Kerker is the Social Media Director of I Am Syria, helping to create and coordinate its digital outrach, including its Seven Days for Syria and Twitter Campaigns. A graduate of Oswego State University with a BA in Global and International Relations and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies, Katie also serves in the same position at the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies, playing a crucial role with its social media, community outreach, and program development.
Professor David Crane, Vice-President
Professor David Crane
Professor David Crane was appointed a professor of practice at Syracuse University College of Law in the summer of 2006. Prior to that time he was a distinguished visiting professor for the 2005 academic year. From 2002-2005 he was the founding Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court for Sierra Leone, an international war crimes tribunal, appointed to that position by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. Professor Crane served over 30 years in the federal government of the United States. Appointed to the Senior Executive Service of the United States in 1997, Mr. Crane has held numerous key managerial positions during his three decades of public service, to include a, and Waldemar A. Solf Professor of International Law at the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s School. Professor Crane teaches international criminal law, international humanitarian law, and national security law at the College of Law. Additionally, he is a member of the faculty of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism, a joint venture with the Maxwell School of Public Citizenship at Syracuse University. Professor Crane is on the leadership council of the American Bar Association’s International Law Section and currently serves as a co-chair on the sections International Criminal Court Task Force. In 2006/7, he founded Impunity Watch (www.impunitywatch.com) a law review and public service blog.
Joseph Karb and Andrew Beiter are the Education Directors of I Am Syria.
In addition to being selected the 2011 National Middle School Social Studies Teacher of the Year, Karb is the founder and Co-Director of the NYSUT/Robert F. Kennedy Speak Truth to Power Human Rights Video Contest.
Beiter is the Director of the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies in Buffalo, and is a Regional Education Coordinator for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. In September 2013, he interviewed Secretary of State John Kerry about the U.S. response to chemical weapons attacks in Syria through a Google Hangout with journalists Nicholas Kristof and Lara Setrakian.
Hala El Solh is a Research Assistant with I Am Syria and is currently a sophomore at Yale University, studying political science. She was a student of the Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies for four years, during which she won the Impunity Watch essay contest. She recently completed her first year as an intern for the program, playing a large role in the creation of the UN Security Council simulation regarding the Syrian civil war. This past summer, she was a Summer Course Fellow at the Hertog Foundation in Washington D.C., studying constitutional law. At Yale, she serves on the board of the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association and works with the New Haven Legal Aid Association.
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