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In Case You Missed It: LLF Alumna Wai Wai Nu Named a Next Generation Leader
Wai Wai Nu, a leader in Burma’s ethnic minority Rohingya population, has endured more than her share of hardship, including seven years as a political prisoner due to her father’s pro-democratic politics.
Today, Wai Wai Nu is a force for change and a voice of leadership amidst reports of systematic violence against her Rohingya people. In an interview with the Bush Institute, Wai Wai said such abuses, “are real, very, very critical conditions [that] our people are under threat [for] their very existence.”
She believes the Myanmar government’s immediate response must be transparency on the issue. She calls on the government “to allow free media access, media access [for] all international and local [outlets] to Rakhine state” and “to allow humanitarian [groups] to be able to support the affected people.”
Given her dedication to advancing human rights, particularly for marginalized communities such as women and minorities, it’s no surprise Wai Wai has become a globally-recognized champion for freedom in Burma. Having witnessed Wai Wai’s strength of character during her time in the Liberty and Leadership Forum, we’re proud she was named one of Time’s 2017 Next Generation Leaders.
Watch this video to see Wai Wai Nu in action -
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.