The Vital Voices Global Partnership awarded their annual Global Leadership and Global Trailblazer prizes to Yemeni activist and journalist Shatha Al-Harazi. Al-Harazi came to Syracuse under the auspices of the prestigious Leaders for Democracy Fellowship (LDF) program, adminis- tered by the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) of the U.S. Department of State and man- aged by Maxwell School’s Executive Education Program. During this fellowship, she engaged in a month-long training program at Maxwell to explore issues of political change and democracy in the Middle East as well as build practical skills in leadership and communications.

These accolades gave recognition to Al-Harazi’s important endeavors supporting human rights. During the upheavals of the Arab Spring in Yemen, Al-Harazi wrote for international news channels, describing with bold, unfiltered language the thoughts and feelings of activists fighting against oppression. She participated directly in activism in support of the Yemeni revolution, repre- senting and advocating for change in negotiation meetings with President Saleh. Vital Voices seeks to specifically honor women who exhibit such leadership around the world and to encourage and promote their continued resilience.

Al-Harazi currently covers political and human rights issues as a freelance journalist and reporter for the English-language Yemen Times. She continues to work with ADWARNA, an orga- nization she co-founded in order to advance youth empowerment in Yemen. Additionally, Al-Harazi serves on the board of the International Press Institute, a network of leading figures in media work- ing to protect freedom of speech and open the flow of news and information worldwide. We are eager to see what further ventures this LDF fellow will pursue.