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Liberty and Leadership Forum Graduate: Maw Day Myar's Vision for Burma
Twenty Burmese Young Leaders in the Bush Institute’s Liberty and Leadership Forum graduated from the program in May. Over the past year, they’ve applied the skills and concepts from the program to help advance Burma’s historic democratic transition. We’re proud of everything our Young Leaders have accomplished and want to share their stories. We talked with May Day Myar about her work in Burma, their time in the Forum, and things to come.
1. Describe the work you are doing in Burma. What inspired you to do this kind of work and why is it important?
I work with Myanmar’s various institutions, such as the parliament, the election commission, government ministries, political parties, media and civil society organizations, to advance our country’s democracy and development.
As Myanmar transitions to democracy it is critical for young people to take leadership roles in the democratization process. We have a huge knowledge gap in working towards this goal as many in our country have only known dictatorship. I am inspired to work on this issue because I want to expand my skills, knowledge, and capacity so that I can contribute effectively to the successful democratization process and be part of this historic moment for my country
2. How did the Liberty and Leadership Forum inspire you?
The Liberty and Leadership Forum inspired me because I had valuable experiences in the United States with such a diverse group. I have learned so many new things on economic freedom, management and leadership, and democratic transitions.
3. As you think about the future, what is your vision for Burma and how will you help make it a reality?
My vision for Myanmar is for a peaceful, democratic society. That can only be achieved by working together, and understanding and respecting the values of all individuals.
It’s great that I’ll have a chance to engage with my fellow Young Leaders across the country as an alumna of the Liberty and Leadership Forum. I will maintain these relationships and continue the sense of team spirit we built to collaborate on issues of importance. I also want to keep learning from each another and find ways to better our country.
Christopher Walsh serves as a Manager for the Human Freedom Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Christopher manages communications, evaluation, and public policy research projects that advance freedom and democracy in the world. He also develops and implements efforts to make the Bush Institute a welcoming place for today’s generation of dissidents and democracy advocates, overseeing visits for training, inspiration, and insight.
Prior to joining the Bush Institute, Christopher worked with the International Republican Institute in Washington, D.C. As IRI’s program officer for Central and Eastern Europe, he coordinated political party building and civic advocacy programs in the Balkans and Turkey.
A native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Christopher is a graduate of American University with a B.A. in International Studies. He currently lives in Dallas with his wife and three young children.Full Bio
ICYMI: Bush Institute Young Leader Discusses the Rohingya Crisis on Nightline
Bush Institute Liberty and Leadership Forum young leader Nickey Diamond (Ye Myint Win), of Yangon, Burma, recently spoke to ABC’s Bob Woodruff about the Burmese government’s brutal persecution of the Rohingya people. During the interview, Diamond explained how one-sided messages from the Burmese government and Buddhist leaders manipulate the general public into hating the Rohingya and believing they are terrorists. The segment also enabled Diamond to share his human rights work, which documents Burmese military officers’ crimes against humanity. Diamond has been threatened and often worries for his family’s safety. Still, he told Woodruff, “They’ll never stop what I’m doing.” Watch the full story on ABC Nightline.
Global Leadership: A Look Back At 2017
As we celebrate 2017, we reflect on some of the top moments from the Bush Institute's Global Leadership Impact Center, home to the Human Freedom initiative, Women's Initiative, and Global Health initiative.
Religion and Democracy
Matthew Wilson discusses the role of religion in countries seeking democracy and/or experiencing a human rights movement.
Burmese Young Leaders Have Message for Washington: Sai One Leng Kham
A select group of Burmese Young Leader graduates from the Liberty and Leadership Forum were in Washington meeting with policy makers. In a series of articles, they have outlined Burma’s greatest challenges and the need for U.S. leadership in Asia.