Rebuilding Lives, Systems and Confidence After the Arab Spring
A Discussion with Baroness Emma Nicholson and General Peter Chiarelli
About This Event

Post-Event Summary
Monday at AEI, Baroness Emma Nicholson and General Peter W. Chiarelli joined AEI's Paul Wolfowitz to discuss how successful public health and education interventions can help rebuild civil society and local institutions in post-dictatorship states. Using her humanitarian experience in Iraq, Baroness Nicholson outlined the three pillars the AMAR Foundation followed to create reliable, cost-effective health clinics in the nation. The AMAR Foundation insists on total accountability and transparency, including consistent, independent audits. It relies on recruiting and training national staff, providing job skills and fostering a culture of professionalism. Finally, it keeps costs to an absolute minimum to ensure that the systems it develops are built for the long term. She stressed the importance of recognizing people's universal desire to take part in their country’s decision-making process. Identifying and tapping into this desire, she said, enables charitable foundations to help build the democratic institutions post-dictatorship states badly need. General Chiarelli discussed the lessons this model affords for future U.S. military interventions, emphasizing the importance of coordinating between the goals and actions of the military, government and private nonprofit actors. He highlighted AMAR's success in minimizing costs by finding, training and employing local talent and working on a shoestring budget. He also reiterated the importance of fostering leaders within civilian and military groups who are sensitive to local concerns. All speakers agreed that the U.S. government and military must recognize the strengths this model provides and cut the bureaucratic tape which restricts the government from funding organizations that successfully employ it.

--Victoria Finn

Event Description
As the people of the Middle East throw off their dictators, how should the U.S. government promote  freedom and democracy in post-conflict zones? What role should government agencies, aid organizations and private corporations play in reconstruction? At this AEI event, Baroness Emma Nicholson of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation will discuss the role of public-private partnerships in delivering essential services after a regime change. In particular, she will address why supporting early local development such as  health care systems can be a powerful reconstruction tool in post-conflict zones.

Joining Baroness Nicholson will be General Peter W. Chiarelli, vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army who served as commanding general of the Multi-National Corps—Iraq, and AEI aid expert Roger Bate. AEI's Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy secretary of defense, will moderate.


9:00 AM

9:30 AM
Panel Discussion

BARONESS EMMA NICHOLSON, AMAR International Charitable Foundation
GENERAL PETER CHIARELLI, Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army

11:00 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Julissa Milligan at [email protected], 202.862.5905.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact Véronique Rodman at [email protected], 202.862.4871.

Baroness Emma Nicholson of Winterbourne is a life peer in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords, where she is both chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Business Development in Iraq and the Regions and the vice chair of the APPG for Iran. She has extensive experience and expertise in the Middle East and North Africa, where she has been working in a variety of capacities for more than 20 years, including as executive chair of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation, which provides health care and education in fragile states in the region; executive chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council; president of the Council of the Caine Prize for African Writing; prize committee member of the Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organisations; board member of the Foundation for Dialogue between Civilisations; and honorary adviser to Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki in the field of health. From 1999-2009, Baroness Nicholson represented the South East region of the United Kingdom in the European Parliament, where she served for seven and a half years as the vice chairman of its Foreign Affairs Committee. Baroness Nicholson was also chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq. She led the European Union’s Election Observation Mission to Yemen in 2006 as chief observer and has observed elections in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Iraq, Armenia, Moldova and Palestine. Prior to her time in the European Parliament, she was a member of the British House of Commons from 1987 to 1997.

General Peter W. Chiarelli has served as the 32nd vice chief of staff of the United States Army since August 2008. In his previous assignment, he was the senior military assistant to the secretary of defense from March 2007 to August 2008.  General Chiarelli was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of Armor in September 1972. Throughout his career he has served in Army units in the United States, Germany, and Belgium. He has commanded at every level from platoon to corps. His principal staff assignments were the Operations Officer, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas; Executive Assistant and later Executive Officer to the Supreme Allied Commander, Commander United States European Command at SHAPE Headquarters, Mons, Belgium; as the Director of Operations, Readiness and Mobilization, at Headquarters, Department of the Army. He commanded a motorized infantry battalion at Fort Lewis, Washington and an armor brigade at Fort Lewis, Washington; served as the Assistant Division Commander for Support in the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas; commanded the 1st Cavalry division at Fort Hood, Texas and in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom II; and commanded Multi-National Corps-Iraq. General Chiarelli holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Seattle University as a Distinguished Military Graduate, a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington, and a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategy from Salve Regina University.

Paul Wolfowitz is a visiting scholar in foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, where he studies development issues. He has spent more than three decades in public service and higher education. Most recently, Mr. Wolfowitz was president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense. Before that, he was dean and professor of international relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He has also served as undersecretary of defense for policy (1989–93) and U.S. ambassador to Indonesia (1986–89). Mr. Wolfowitz was the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs (1982–86) and director of policy planning at the Department of State. He worked as deputy assistant secretary of defense for regional programs at the Department of Defense and as special assistant to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1973–77).

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