Karen Abuzayd Joins the Board of Directors of the International Orchestra of Refugees
CHICAGO, August 10th, 2019 — On Saturday, August 10th, 2019, the Board of Directors of the International Orchestra of Refugees convened in Chicago, Illinois. Constituting a full quorum, with Karen Abuzayd present, the Board unanimously approved a motion to elect Ms. Abuzayd to the Board of Directors.
Karen Koning AbuZayd currently serves as a Commissioner of the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, informing the United Nations on the refugee problems arising out the current conflict in the Middle East. She began her humanitarian career in Sudan in 1981, dealing with Ugandan, Chadian and Ethiopian refugees fleeing from war and famine in their own countries. From 1991 to 1993, Ms. AbuZayd directed the South African repatriation operation and the Kenyan-Somali cross-border operation. She was Chief of Mission for two years during the Bosnian war, where four million war-affected people were kept alive by UN’s airlift and convoy activities. From 2005 until 2010, she was under the Secretary General as UNRWA Commissioner General. Based in Gaza, she helped to oversee the education, health, social services and microenterprise programs for four million Palestinian refugees. Ms. Abuzayd was appointed U.N. Special Adviser on the Summit Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants held on September 19, 2016. The Summit resulted in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which later led to the Global Compact for Refugees and Migrants ratified in 2018.
Before joining the UNHCR, Ms. AbuZayd lectured in political science and Islamic studies at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and at Juba University in southern Sudan. She earned her B.Sc. at DePauw University in Indiana and her M.A. in Islamic Studies at McGill University in Canada.
Welcome to the team, Karen.
Written by Sebastian Agignoae, International Orchestra of Refugees
About International Orchestra of Refugees
IOR’s mission is empowering displaced musicians to become musical ambassadors of peace, through orchestral opportunities and collaborative community.
“The International Orchestra of Refugees gives these people who are displaced the opportunity to prosper, not just survive.”
-Sebastian V. Agignoae, Founder & Director of IOR
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