Johns Hopkins SAIS to host “Cultural Diplomacy: To Tackle Today’s Global Challenges,” with panel including violinist Midori, on Monday, May 8, 2017

“Cultural Diplomacy: To Tackle Today’s Global Challenges,” will be hosted at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
The panel including world–renowned violinist and UN Messenger of Peace Midori will reflect on how cultural diplomacy can help better address today’s most pressing global challenges.
The event is presented by Johns Hopkins SAIS and the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University.

Violinist and humanitarian
Jeffrey Brez
Chief of NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events in the Department of Public Information, United Nations
Ashlee George
Executive Director of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP)
Evan Ryan
Executive Vice President, Axios
Dr. Kent E. Calder,
Director of Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies and Director of Asia Programs, Johns Hopkins SAIS
Time and Date
4:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Monday, May 8, 2017
Johns Hopkins SAIS

Kenney Herter Auditorium
1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036
The event is open to the public and media, with registration. Members of the working press can request to cover the event by selecting a Media ticket on the online registration form. Final media access will be confirmed at least one day prior to the event. Pre-authorized camera setup will only be permitted from 4:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Media Contact
Stacy A. Anderson
Communications Manager
Johns Hopkins SAIS 
202.663.5620 office
202.853.7983 mobile
About the Speakers
Midori is one of the most admired violinists of her generation. She is also recognized as a dedicated and gifted educator and an innovative community engagement activist throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and the developing world. She was named a Messenger of Peace by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and received the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos. In 1992, she founded Midori & Friends, a non-profit organization in New York City that brings music education programs to underserved schoolchildren. Two other organizations – Music Sharing, based in Japan, and Partners in Performance, based in the U.S. – also bring music closer to people who may not otherwise have involvement with the arts. Midori’s commitment to community collaboration and outreach is further realized in her Orchestra Residencies Program, which involves week-long residencies with American youth orchestras.
Midori serves as Distinguished Professor of Violin and holds the Jascha Heifetz Chair at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. She is also a Distinguished Visiting Artist at the Peabody Institute, Guest Professor at Japan’s Soai University and at Shanghai Conservatory and an Honorary Professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Jeffrey Brez is the Chief of NGO Relations, Advocacy and Special Events in the Department of Public Information for the United Nations. In his current role, Brez oversees relations with non-governmental organizations, the Messengers of Peace Programme, the Creative Community Outreach Initiative and Special Events. His work in international humanitarian aid and development assistance has spanned more than a decade and covered a range of issues including children’s and women’s rights, refugee assistance, child soldiers, health, education, sustainable agriculture and food security, environmental sustainability, anticorruption, and climate change. His experience includes all aspects of strategic communications and campaign planning, social media, video and photography, development of knowledge products and events as well as global, multi-stakeholder policy consultation processes, and relations with civil society.
Brez has worked for four United Nations entities (IFAD, OCHA, UNICEF, and UNDP) and the World Bank Group, with posts in Albania and Côte d’Ivoire.  Previously, he spent a decade working in television production, both in front of and behind the camera, on live and taped events, including numerous satellite broadcasts. He has lived on four continents and speaks English, French, Italian, and Japanese fluently. He holds a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins SAIS, where he studied international economics and development.
Ashlee George is the Executive Director of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), a U.S.-based foundation committed to investing in African youth to keep themselves safe from HIV/AIDS. Through an integrated strategy of responsive grant making and global advocacy, over 250,000 adolescents have received direct services through CTAOP-supported programs. George is responsible for the organization’s strategic, programmatic, fundraising, and fiscal operations. In the eight years that George has lead CTAOP, she has overseen dramatic growth including increasing the foundation’s grant making, a number of grantees funded, communities served and youth engagement in a shared vision of achieving an HIV-free generation. 
Her career has focused on merging the entertainment industry with strategic philanthropy, working at both a global and grassroots level. George has been a part of Ms. Theron’s team for 12 years, and currently oversees all aspects of her philanthropic activities, including partnerships with UNAIDS and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, as well as engagements through Ms. Theron’s position as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. George received her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and has an undergraduate degree from UCLA in European studies with minors in Women’s Studies and LGBT Studies.
Evan Ryan is the Executive Vice President of Axios, a new media company delivering news and insights in politics, business, media, and tech. She previously served under U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, overseeing a wide range of exchange programs to increase mutual understanding and promote peaceful relations between the United States and other countries.
From 2009 to 2013, she worked in the White House as assistant to Vice President Joe Biden and special assistant to President Barack Obama for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement. In this role, she served as the vice president’s liaison to elected officials and constituency groups. She has worked with NGOs including Peace Players International, the Clinton Global Initiative, and the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict. Ryan started her career in the office of then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. She graduated from Boston College, and has a Masters in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins SAIS.
About Johns Hopkins SAIS
A division of Johns Hopkins University, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is a global institution that offers students an international perspective on today’s critical issues. For nearly 75 years, Johns Hopkins SAIS has produced great leaders, thinkers, and practitioners of international relations. Public leaders and private sector executives alike seek the counsel of the faculty, whose ideas and research inform and shape policy. Johns Hopkins SAIS offers a global perspective across three campus locations: Bologna, Italy; Nanjing, China; and Washington, D.C. The school’s interdisciplinary curriculum is strongly rooted in the study of international economics, international relations, and regional studies, preparing students to address multifaceted challenges in the world today.
About the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University
Located in the heart of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District, the Peabody Institute was founded in 1857 as “the first major intellectual and arts center in an American city” by philanthropist George Peabody. Now a division of Johns Hopkins University, the Peabody Institute trains musicians and dancers of every age and at every level, stages nearly 1,000 concerts and events each year, and extends music and musical training throughout the community. Building on its rich history of professional music training at the highest level and focused on the four pillars of excellence, interdisciplinary experiences, innovation, and community connectivity, Peabody is taking on the challenge of what it means to prepare artists for a world that is constantly changing yet still deeply in need of what music brings to the human experience.
For more information, visit or @SAISHopkins

Tuesday, May 2, 2017