Former Rotary Peace Fellow encourages clubs to promote the program
Zewdineh Haile emphasizes the importance of the Rotary Peace Centers program to incoming district leaders during Rotary's annual training event in January. Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International
Zewdineh Haile heard about Rotary’s Peace Centers program while participating at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo. A diplomat for the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Haile was committed to the pursuit of peace -- which led him to apply for the first class of Rotary Peace Fellows in 2002.
“I have realized that our world needs well-prepared professionals who are capable of addressing conflicts in a pragmatic way,” Haile says. “I was then convinced that this cannot be done without having an exposure to the world of academia, where well-crafted courses on conflict resolution and international peace studies are provided.”
Haile, who spoke last month during Rotary’s annual training event for incoming district leaders, emphasized how important it is for both Rotarians and non-Rotarians to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the fellowship program. He encouraged Rotary clubs to promote the program and to seek qualified applicants.
“Peace is one of the core pillars for holistic development of any nation,” he says. “It is so crucial to produce well-educated peace cadres capable of designing effective intervention tools for conflicts.”
Today, Haile works as a researcher, trainer, and certified mediator in the field of diplomacy. He is a co-founder and managing director of Emahizee Global Consulting PLC, an international management consulting firm based in Africa, and president of the African Institute for Arbitration, Mediation, Conciliation and Research. Haile says his peace fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley, played a pivotal role in his career.
“The rich backgrounds of other fellows were a source of empirical knowledge that strengthened the courses prepared for the program,” he says. “The university’s community and the extensive resources made available through the program were extraordinary in deepening my understanding of durable and lasting peace and the mechanisms of its timely achievement.”
Haile advises anyone interested in becoming a peace fellow to take advantage of the material available on rotary.org and to contact his or her local Rotary club or district to find out about the application deadline. He also suggests getting in touch with program alumni for further advice and guidance.
“This fellowship is one of the most prestigious programs in the field made available to any capable and passionate individual who is eager to contribute to peace through knowledge,” Haile says. “I encourage those who have a passion for world peace to apply.”