This semester has been an exciting one for HLS Armed Forces Association (AFA)! We have hosted three incredibly accomplished speakers, and we played a major role in the International Women’s Day display at HLS. Following is a recap of AFA’s spring semester 2014.
On February 18, John Bellinger, former Legal Advisor to State Department and current partner at Arnold & Porter, discussed the current legal challenges to the Administration related to evolving national security threats and international relations. The event was generously sponsored by Arnold & Porter’s Washington, D.C. office. By inviting Mr. Bellinger, AFA, in partnership with NSJ, NSLA, and LIDS, aimed to highlight the complexity and consequences of international relations and national security issues to how the law is best written and implemented in response to rapidly changing international dynamics.
On February 27, AFA was proud to host Shabana Basij-Rasikh for her lecture on School of Leadership Afghanistan (SOLA), Afghanistan’s first all-girls boarding school. Shabana discussed how she plans to use SOLA to instill civic duty in her students and prevent brain drain in Afghanistan. She also discussed the real and complex challenges of waging war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda by waging peace on behalf of Afghan women and civil society. This event was made possible by WLA Women’s Venture Fund, LIDS, and Darren Gardner, who is an AFA member (JD Class 2014) and Shabana’s friend and colleague.
On March 3, 2014, Allyson Robinson, who formerly served as head of OutServe-SLDN and as an Army Captain, spoke to students and community members about the “three futures” of transgender Americans and military service at the first joint event at HLS sponsored by Lambda and AFA. Ms. Robinson discussed trans people’s experiences in the military and described her work with trans members of our armed forces and veterans. She also informed the audience of the considerable but surmountable obstacles to ensuring full and safe participation for transgender individuals in the U.S. armed forces. This event was sponsored by the HLS Milbank Tweed Fund.
On March 8, AFA was featured in The Harvard Gazette in a piece on the HLS International Women’s Day exhibit, which was organized by WLA and LIDS. The piece features Maria Parra-Orlandoni, AFA’s co-President and LIDS co-Vice President of Communications, who nominated Dana H. Born, a lecturer at the Kennedy School and retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, for the exhibit.
[Photo by Stephanie Mitchell, Harvard Staff Photographer.]