Global Commitment Drives International Education and Change

Hybrid Learning

Left to right: Marlene Johnson, NAFSA, John LaBrie, Dean, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies, Tawakkol Karman, Nobel laureate, Fanta Aw, NAFSA, Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota of Brazil, and  Patrick Plunkett, senior associate dean, Global Engagement and Executive Director, Northeastern University Global

When international educators gathered from around the globe in Boston this spring for the international higher education meeting known as NAFSA, Northeastern played an active role appropriate to its ranking as the 7th most popular university destination for international students as noted in the Institute of International Education Open Doors Report.

As part of its participation in the meeting, Northeastern hosted a two-day post-conference seminar, NAFSA Ron Moffatt Seminar on Peace and the Global Civil Society – The Role of International Education in Peacebuilding.

Northeastern welcomed the following distinguished guests to the seminar:

NAFSA-Karman Tawakkol Karman is a Yemeni journalist, politician, human rights activist, founder of Women Journalists without Chains and 2011Nobel Peace Prize laureate. As one of the youngest Nobel Peace laureates to date, Karman advocates for the safety of women and women’s rights in Yemen. Upon winning the prize, Karman became the first Yemeni, the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim to win the award. Karman has been imprisoned for her pro-human rights protests, and continues to lead protests to support women journalists and challenge government corruption.

NAFSA-Patriota Ambassador Antonio de Aguiar Patriota, the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations, was a keynote speaker at the seminar. He was Minister of External Relations of Brazil from 2011-2013, Deputy Foreign Minister from 2009-2010, Ambassador of Brazil to the United States from 2007-2009 among a number of other government and diplomatic posts. His international postings include Washington, D.C., Geneva, New York, Caracas and Beijing. He currently serves as Chair of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The Commission fulfills its mission by promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women.

NAFSA Fanta Aw Fanta Aw, PhD,  has served as president and chair of the Board of Directors of NAFSA since 2013. Aw, originally from Mali, is the assistant vice president of campus life at American University in Washington, DC. Aw advises university senior leadership on campus internationalization, and on matters of diversity and inclusion.  She received her MA in public administration and her PhD in sociology from American University.  Her areas of specialization include transnational migration, international education, and intercultural communication.  In an article on the NAFSA website, she describes herself as “…a global nomad that is very much the product of international education.”

NAFSA Johnson Marlene Johnson has served as executive director and chief executive officer of NAFSA: Association of International Educators since 1998.  Johnson was lieutenant governor of Minnesota for eight years, strengthening the state’s international ties in trade, tourism, education and the arts.  She served in the Clinton administration working on management services and human resources for the General Services Administration and currently serves on a number of boards and commissions including the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, appointed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council and currently co-chairs the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council Subcommittee on International Students. In her role for NAFSA, Johnson leads the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education. NAFSA's nearly 10,000 members worldwide are the professionals that make international education opportunities possible for thousands of students each year.

In addition to leading and hosting sessions, Northeastern shared its perspective on the global university in this video.  


Northeastern University is a top-tier research university that offers high-demand graduate programs aligned with the needs of industries around the globe. With a combination of online, hybrid, and on-campus degree programs in BostonSeattle, and Charlotte, Northeastern gives you the best of classroom and online experience while providing you the freedom and flexibility to learn on your schedule.  

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