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March 6, 2016

Leadership fellowship at Harvard honouring Benazir Bhutto initiated


March 6, 2016

Boston: The late Benazir Bhutto’s classmates from the Harvard-Radcliffe class of 1973 have formed a non-profit organization through which they plan to establish the Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program at Harvard University to honor the assassinated former prime minister of Pakistan.

The Harvard-Radcliffe ‘73 non-profit ClassACT (Class—Achieving Change Together) aims to provide service, build relationships, and facilitate classmate collaboration towards creating positive change.

ClassACT Co-Chair Marion Dry (music faculty at Wellesley College) and member Holly Weeks (Public Policy lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School) held a small initial meeting at the Harvard Kennedy School on Saturday to discuss the proposed Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program.

They explained that their members include attorneys, journalists, professors, policy makers and other professionals from around the world, aged around 64 years old, now at the peak of their careers. They include luminaries like former diplomat Peter Galbraith who was a personal friend of Benazir Bhutto’s.

“We realise that we have limited time left and we want to create a program that will continue in perpetuity and outlive us,” said Marion Dry.

ClassACT members will raise funds from their own resources and other donors for the Benazir Bhutto Leadership Program. They aim to identify, educate and support promising Fellows with a proven and on-going commitment to the principles Bhutto espoused: democracy, equality for women, reconciliation of religious and cultural differences, and education for all.

The Program, currently in its initial stages, will seek women applicants from Muslim-majority countries from Lebanon to Bangladesh. The Program would also facilitate greater understanding in America of the issues these countries face —  “We realise that America and Americans have been part of the problem,” said Marion Dry.

The aim is to create a significant network of Fellows who will, over time, support each other, enhancing the likelihood of their success.

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