Chairwoman Boxer, Chairman Casey and members of the two subcommittees, it is an honor to appear before you today to present my views on the role of women in the Arab Spring, specifically in Libya. The views I express today are my own and not necessarily those of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), which does not take policy positions.
I currently direct USIP’s programs on Iraq, Iran and North Africa. My views are informed by my work at USIP which conducts training and field operations and provides tools to help prevent, manage and end violent international conflicts. USIP has been working on the ground in Libya since early this spring, engaging with the burgeoning civil society sector and serving in an advisory role to the Libya Stabilization Team formed by the National Transitional Council (NTC). USIP is also training Libyan civil society leaders in conflict management skills to build local capacity to manage the transition out of conflict and the difficult task of national reconciliation. USIP knows that this is an essential activity following conflict.