Webinar: Building Bridges through Virtual Exchange: Celebrating the Legacy of Ambassador Chris Stevens

Event Details
  • Date

    September 12, 2022

  • Time

    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
    U.S. Eastern Time

  • Location


In his life and career, Ambassador Stevens believed in promoting global peace through friendships that enhanced cultural understanding among people. Ten years after his death, his legacy continues in the lives of thousands of young people from around the world connected through virtual exchange programs. Dr. Anne Stevens, sister of the ambassador, will speak with virtual exchange alumni about their experiences, stories of friendship, and their visions for a world that does not fear, but rather embraces, people from unfamiliar cultures and places.

On May 12, 2021, the Department of State announced the appointment of Ambassador Richard B. Norland as the United States Special Envoy for Libya to serve concurrently as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. Ambassador Norland was confirmed by the Senate to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Libya on August 1, 2019.  A career diplomat, Ambassador Norland most recently served as the Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford.  Previously, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Georgia, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Deputy Chief of Mission in Afghanistan, and Deputy Chief of Mission in Latvia.  He has also served as the International Affairs Advisor/Deputy Commandant at the National War College, as a Director for European Affairs at the National Security Council, and as a Senior Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. He is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, with Master’s Degrees from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and the National War College. Ambassador Norland is a recipient of the 2010 Presidential Distinguished Service Award, the Distinguished Civilian Service Award presented by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and numerous Superior Honor and Senior Performance awards. Ambassador Norland was born in Morocco, his parents’ first diplomatic assignment.  He speaks Russian, French, and Norwegian, and has studied introductory Arabic and Latvian. He and his wife Mary Hartnett have two children and five grandchildren. You can read more about the ambassador here.

Christine Shiau is Director of the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute. She drives vision and performance, leading strategy and program development, cultivating international and philanthropic partnerships, and ensuring effective management and oversight of the program. She blends strategic insight with creativity to establish virtual exchange as a cutting-edge field that builds global competencies and career readiness skills in youth and propels the internationalization of education.  Christine sits on the board of the Alliance for International Exchange and AMP Global Youth. She joined the Initiative following a career in the public and private sectors. Christine graduated from the University of Illinois-Chicago with a BS in accounting and a minor in marketing. She received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.

Dr. Anne Stevens is a younger sister of Ambassador Chris Stevens. As a pediatrician and a scientist, she is dedicated to data-driven approaches to improving the health and welfare of children and families. She is a Senior Director in Immunology Research and Development in the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. She also serves as an Affiliate Clinical Professor in the Division of Rheumatology in the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics and as a pediatric rheumatologist.   She cares for children with arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, and other chronic inflammatory diseases at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and at the Native American Medical Center and Providence Hospital in Alaska. Intercultural understanding and relationship-building is essential to her work as it was central to the work of Ambassador Stevens. Anne is a champion for the Stevens Initiative.

Amal El Haddadi is a Master of Arts student of English Literature and History of Ideas at Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Morocco and a virtual exchange facilitator at Soliya. She is interested in youth and community development and has managed several social projects and programs on the local, regional, and national level, such as English Exchange, Tetouan Public Speaking Competition, and RHRN2. Amal is an alumna of Erasmus+ Mobility program, Morocco Future Leaders, Soliya, and a 2022 Stevens Initiative Alumni Fellow. She believes that life is a journey of giving and receiving, and she is always on the look out for opportunities to grow together with her peers.

Joe Ochoa is a senior at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, United States. He is studying Construction Management and hopes to someday be a superintendent on a construction site.  Beyond school, his main interests are rebuilding cars, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors. He recently participated in the Institute of International Education’s HIVER, in which he collaborated with peers from the Middle East and North Africa during a Highway Design course. He is excited to be joining the Stevens Initiative once again to be a part of this webinar. He cannot wait to share about his experiences and all that he has learned from virtual exchange.

Nouha Ziade is an elementary educator at the American Creativity Academy in Kuwait. She is a 2022 Stevens Initiative Alumni Fellow. Previously, Nouha worked as a student ambassador for Localized World in Lebanon and was part of the Alumni Review Committee for the 2020 Stevens Initiative Virtual Exchange Grant Competition. Ziade has a dual degree in Business Administration and Elementary Education with a Teaching Diploma from the American University of Beirut, and is currently seeking another degree in Data Science at the Lebanese University. She is an alumna of William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan’s Business & Culture: A Virtual Practicum, a virtual exchange program that made her discover her passion in cross-cultural studies.