2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

"Open Source" Foreign Policy in the Digital Age

#sxsw #DigitalFP

“No one person, no one alliance, no one nation, no one of us is as smart as all of us thinking together.” - former Supreme Allied Commander at NATO Admiral James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School

How are governments, NGOs, and international business leaders leveraging social/digital tools to build partnerships across boundaries, cultures, disciplines, and sectors? This panel organized by The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy brings together multidisciplinary expert experience from NATO, USAID and the US Department of State to examine the opportunities and challenges of “Open Source” problem solving in this turbulent 21st century.



Farah Pandith

Special Rep to Muslim Communities

Kennedy School Of Government - Harvard

Farah Pandith was appointed Special Representative to Muslim Communities in June 2009. Her office is responsible for executing Secretary Clinton’s vision for engagement with Muslims around the world on a people-to-people and organizational level. She reports directly to the Secretary of State.

Prior to this appointment, she was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. In this role she was focused on Muslim communities in Europe where she was responsible for policy oversight for integration, democracy, and Islam in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs. She also worked on issues relating to countering violent Islamic extremism.

Before joining the Department of State, she served as the Director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council. She was responsible for coordinating U.S. policy on “Muslim World” Outreach and the Broader Middle East North Africa initiative. She reported directly to the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy. Special Representative Pandith served on the staff of the National Security Council from December 2004 to February 2007.

Prior to joining the NSC, Special Representative Pandith was Chief of Staff for the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). She worked directly for the Assistant Administrator for the bureau responsible for more than $4 billion in programs throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and Asia -- including Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza/West Bank. In 2004, she spent two months in Kabul, Afghanistan.

From 1997 to 2003 Special Representative Pandith was Vice President of International Business for ML Strategies in Boston, Massachusetts. She received a Master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where she specialized in International Security Studies, Islamic Civilizations and Southwest Asia, and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. She concentrated on the insurgency in Kashmir and has spoken on the subject in international and domestic forums.

Prior to graduate school, Special Representative Pandith worked at USAID as the Special Assistant to the Director of Policy. She has been a consultant in both the public and non-profit sectors. Special Representative Pandith has served on several boards with a focus on international affairs including the World Affairs Council of Boston, the Council for Emerging National Security Affairs, and the British-American Project. She was a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Special Representative Pandith received an A.B. in Government and Psychology from Smith College, where she was president of the student body. She has served as a Trustee of alma maters Smith College and Milton Academy. She is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

She was born in Srinagar, Kashmir, India.


James Stavridis

Dean, The Fletcher School

The Fletcher School at Tufts University

James Stavridis is Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, the oldest graduate only school of international affairs in the United States. A retired four star Admiral in the U.S. Navy, he led the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013 as Supreme Allied Commander. He also served as Commander of U.S. Southern Command, with responsibility for all military operations in Latin America from 2006-2009.

He has published five books and over one hundred articles. His focus is on innovation, strategic communication and planning, and creating security through international, interagency, and public/private partnerships in this turbulent 21st century.


Joshua Haynes

Sr Dev Technologist & Media Adviser


Joshua Haynes is a Senior Development Technologist + Media Adviser at USAID, where he focuses on the nexus of technology, media, civil society, Internet freedom, information security and democracy, human rights and governance. Previously, he was involved in the private sector, working in analytics and technology consulting across Europe, as well as on international development-focused technology projects in Sub-Saharan and North Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South Asia, in the areas of media, new media, civil society, stability, democracy, apps, the mobile gender gap and financial inclusion. Joshua received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Boston University and a Master's of International Business from The Fletcher School, Tufts University and attended the Arabic Language School at Middlebury College. Joshua speaks a number of languages including Arabic (Modern Standard and Maghrebi), French, German and Spanish.


Spencer Ackerman

US Natl Security Editor

The Guardian

Spencer Ackerman is the US national security editor for the Guardian, and is one of the paper's reporters on the NSA surveillance disclosures provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Before that, Ackerman was a senior writer for WIRED, where he won the 2012 National Magazine Award for digital reporting on FBI counterterrorism training.

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