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February 27, 2008

Panel: Perspectives on the Darfur Genocide

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. - Internationally recognized Sudan analyst and Smith College Professor C. Eric Reeves will moderate a panel discussion about the humanitarian crisis in that African nation at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 6, in Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall.

The discussion, "Perspectives on the Darfur Genocide," will follow a ceremony during which the college will award an honorary degree to Reeves, professor of English Language and Literature, in recognition of his tireless efforts during the past decade to end the human suffering in Sudan.  International Criminal Court representative Rebecca Hamilton will also offer a tribute to Reeves as part of the event.

The following experts will participate in the panel, which is free and open to the public:

Theodros Dagne, Congressional Research Service

After earning a master’s in international relations at Howard University, Theodros “Ted” Dagne began his career in the Congressional Research Service. Nearly two decades later he continues to work in the office, currently serving in the post of specialist in international relations, foreign affairs, defense and trade. His area of expertise is African affairs. At various points throughout recent years, Dagne has also served as a professional staff member to the House Foreign Affairs Committee and as U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and to the assistant secretary of state.

Omer Ismail, Darfur Peace and Development Organization

Omer Ismail was born in the Darfur region of Sudan and fled the country in 1989 as a result of his political views. For the past 20 years, Ismail has worked both independently and with international organizations on relief efforts. He co-founded the Sudan Democratic Forum, a think tank of Sudanese intellectuals working for the advancement of democracy in Sudan, and the Darfur Peace and Development Organization. Ismail is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.

Jennifer A. Sharp, Public Radio International

Jennifer “Jeb” Sharp is a journalist for the public radio program The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, Public Radio International and WGBH public television, Boston. She covers U.S. foreign policy and human rights issues and has reported for the program from Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Sharp studied history at Cornell University and earned a master's degree from the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard from 2005 to 2006.

Susannah Sirkin, Physicians for Human Rights

Since 1987, Susannah Sirkin has served as deputy director for international policy and advocacy on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). She has organized health and human rights investigations to dozens of countries, including Sudan, Rwanda and Afghanistan. Sirkin co-developed and directed the first post-graduate course in medicine and human rights at Harvard Medical School in 1992 and served as a member of the coordination committee of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, which received the 1997 Nobel Prize for Peace. Sirkin earned her bachelor’s degree at Mount Holyoke College and her master’s at Boston University.


Rebecca Hamilton, International Criminal Court

A recent graduate of Harvard Law School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Rebecca Hamilton currently serves as special assistant to the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Before attending law school she assisted displaced populations in Sudan and co-founded the Harvard Darfur Action Group, which was critical in prompting the university to divest from companies supporting the Sudanese government. Since then, she has worked for the Genocide Intervention Network and has lectured widely about Darfur.

Smith College educates women of promise for lives of distinction. By linking the power of the liberal arts to excellence in research and scholarship, Smith is developing leaders for society’s challenges. Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country, enrolling 2,800 students from nearly every state and 61 other countries.

For information about disability access or to request accommodations, please call (413) 585-2407. To request a sign language interpreter specifically, call (413) 585-2071 (voice or TTY) or e-mail All requests must be made at least 10 days prior to the event.


Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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