Class 5

Crisostomo “Jun” Bas, Philippines

Masters in International Development Policy, Duke University

As an officer in the Philippine Armed Forces, Jun realized that the military has always been involved in the crises and conflict situations in the Philippines, and felt compelled to labor toward successful resolutions. While working early in his career with outlying communities as part of a nationwide counterinsurgency operation, he was able to see that sustainable development is crucial for long-term peace. He became deeply involved in the development of doctrine manuals for the Army, designed to prescribe the conduct of military operations, and his master’s work in business management has provided him with a matured outlook on how internal crisis and conflicts can directly and indirectly affect a nation’s economy. He hopes to return to his home country prepared to influence policies and programs toward sustainable conflict resolution.


Gohar Gyulumyan, Armenia

Masters in International Development Policy, Duke University

As a young economist during a tumultuous time in Armenia, Gohar experienced the need to mobilize all her abilities as she began her career in the Ministry of Economy and Finance. She had the opportunity to work on economic analysis and forecasting which involved negotiations with the IMF and World Bank, and was involved in developing legislation related to the country’s new treasury system. Prior to her studies at the Duke-UNC Rotary Center, Gohar was an economist in The World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit in Armenia, which enabled her to pursue her devotion to Armenia’s painful issues of transition and development. After receiving her degree from the Rotary Center program, Gohar returned to The World Bank where she is now a Senior Economist in the Yerevan Office in Armenia.


Mayer Ngomesia, Cameroon

Masters in International Development Policy, Duke University

Living and working in Africa, the Middle East and Europe has deepened Mayer’s commitment to peace and development. After studying for his law degree at the University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon, he worked for TAMNLO Group, a grassroots NGO involved in facilitating conflict resolution by promoting cultural values. Thereafter, he worked in Israel as a volunteer at the international administrative center of the Bahai Faith, helping administer the organization’s records management program and undertaking business systems analysis across departments such as the Office of Social and Economic Development. He subsequently worked as a social researcher in Manchester, England, collaborating on research projects for public agencies, while also working in the area of social housing with the Manchester City Council. Mayer is an unpublished writer on interracial issues among the worldwide African race and plans to work in policy analysis/development after his fellowship, helping devise sustainable policy options that incorporate cultural and moral values, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.


Isabelle Michaud-Letourneau, Canada

School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Isabelle received a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, a certificate in Latin American Studies, and a diploma in the Portuguese language from Laval University in Quebec, Canada. Her diverse interests culminated in her passion for international nutrition. She has undertaken international cooperation projects in several countries, including Cuba, Bolivia, Brazil and Senegal. In Brazil, she was responsible for a pilot project which assisted families with malnourished children, in partnership with the organization IPREDE. Isabelle believes that access to food must be universal and is often compromised during conflicts. In order to further broaden her expertise into the domain of Public Health, Isabelle recently completed a post-graduate certificate in Aging, Health and Society from the University of Montreal. She hopes to use her fellowship to better understand the multidimensional links between conflicts and food insecurity, thereby dedicating herself towards ensuring food security without restriction.


Anna Schurmann, Australia

School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anna Schurmann most recently worked with a Karnataka-based NGO called ‘Concerned for Working Children,’ doing research and project documentation around issues of distressed migration and participatory local government in India . Prior to that, Anna was with UNICEF in Dhaka with the Planning section. Anna’s first degree was a Bachelor of Arts (honors) in Social Theory and Cultural Studies at the University of Melbourne. She also holds a Masters in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development at Australian National University. Anna is keen to work in the area of behavior change communication within the international development sector, with a commitment to rights-based and child-focused approaches.


Shai Tamari, Israel

Department of History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Shai Tamari is the Director of the Conflict Management Initiative at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) and specializes in conflict management training. As a Professor of the Practice, he teaches both undergraduate- and graduate-level skill-based courses in negotiation and mediation under the Department of Public Policy, Department of Political Science, and the Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense. His previous courses included: “Challenges to Peace-Making in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” “Palestinian Nationalism, Politics, and Diplomacy,” and “U.S.-Israel Relations.”

Shai is also the Associate Director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at UNC, where he administers a federal grant in support of Middle East studies on campus. Prior to his UNC appointments, between 2008 and 2010, Shai was the foreign policy adviser for Congressman James P. Moran (D-VA) at the U.S. House of Representatives and focused on issues such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, human rights in Iran, and parental child abduction to Japan.

Born and raised in Jerusalem, Shai served in the Israeli military between 1994 and 1997. He earned a B.A. in Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and a Master’s degree in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London in the UK. In 2006, Shai was awarded a Rotary Peace Fellowship and studied for a second Master’s in Global History, along with Arabic and Conflict Resolution at UNC. While a Rotary Peace Fellow, Shai worked in the summer of 2007 with the Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF) International in Amman, Jordan. Shai is a native speaker of Hebrew, a volunteer mediator at the District Court in Durham, NC, and sits on the Advisory Council of American Near East Refugee Aid.

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