Humanitarian Zainab Salbi to Give 2012 Scripps College Commencement Address

CLAREMONT, Calif. (December 13, 2011) — Zainab Salbi will be the 2012 Scripps College commencement speaker on Saturday, May 12. She is the founder of Women for Women International and served as the organization’s CEO from 1993 to 2011. Women for Women International is a grassroots humanitarian and development organization helping women survivors of wars rebuild their lives.

In its 18-year history, the organization has distributed more than $103 million in direct aid and micro credit loans, and it has impacted more than 1.7 million family members. For its work “alleviating human suffering,” Women for Women International was awarded the 2006 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, becoming the first women’s organization to receive this honor.

Salbi has been honored by former President Bill Clinton for her work in Bosnia and is the recipient of the 2010 David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award. She was named one of 22 members of the Clinton Global Initiative Lead program, which brings together a select group of accomplished young leaders to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. In 2011, she was named by Newsweek and The Daily Beast as one of the 100 Extraordinary Women Who Shake the World. She also is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Civil Society Advisory Group focusing on the UN Security Council Resolution 1325. She has a master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a bachelor’s degree from George Mason University.

Salbi is the author of two books; a national bestseller, Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam (with Laurie Becklund), which documents her life under Saddam Hussein’s rule, and The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope. Her work has been featured in major media outlets, including eight appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.

About Scripps College

Scripps College was founded in 1926 by Ellen Browning Scripps, a pioneering philanthropist and influential figure in the worlds of education, publishing, and women’s rights. Today, Scripps is a nationally top-ranked liberal arts college and women’s college with approximately 950 students, and is a member of The Claremont Colleges in southern California. The mission of Scripps College is to educate women to develop their intellects and talents through active participation in a community of scholars, so that as graduates they may contribute to society through public and private lives of leadership, service, integrity, and creativity.


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