Twice a year as part of the Professional Fellows Program the Department of State selects alumni from around the world to honor as Alumni Impact Award winners. Legacy is pleased to announce that one of the spring 2017 Alumni Impact Award (AIA) recipients is Legacy International Professional Fellows alumna, Ines Amri from Tunisia.
Ines Amri credits her Fellowship at the U.S. Congress in the fall of 2013 with widening her knowledge about how governments function. During her one-month fellowship at the U.S. Congress, she says her perception of the relationship between governments and civil society organizations (CSOs) completely changed. There, she learned about the effectiveness and importance of policy analysis, policy-making, advice and recommendations developed and introduced by think tanks, universities and CSOs. Today she bridges her previous activism with engagement with decision makers as the Deputy Secretary General/ Director of the Maghreb Economic Forum, an independent Think-Do-Tank, which works on economic, cultural and political issues in the Maghreb region.
Ines is an activist, teacher, and expert in founding and establishing socially-minded start-ups. Currently based in Tunis, she originally hails from Gabes in Tunisia’s southern region, and became a respected community organizer and advocate through her work with local activist networks during the 2011 revolution. In May 2012, Ines founded and served as President of Organisation Volonté et Citoyenneté (Will and Citizenship Organization), a youth-led, post-Revolution NGO formed to promote the importance of civil society, social entrepreneurship and human rights in shaping Tunisia’s future.
Ines is a perfect example of a fellow who came to our program with a lot of unformed passion and experience in activism and used the Professional Fellows Program as a jumping off point to refine her professional skills and focus her efforts on the development of her country’s policy-development structures.
Ines writes, “I evolved thanks to this specific program. I was introduced to a different approach to activism and change: advocacy with decision-makers [rather than fighting against them]. I saw this on every level [in the U.S], from law-making and policy proposals to grassroots activism (micro-level impact) to trying to influence and change policies (macro-level impact).”
During her time with us in the Professional Fellows Program, Ines stood out as an exceptional individual and visionary for her country. She is passionate, articulate, and committed to promoting constructive change. Many of the discussions during the program focused on the challenge of how to learn from and work with the past while also planning for and envisioning a “youth-led” future. This is core challenge for the people of Tunisia (and much of North Africa) right now as they strive to bring the voice and participation of youth into the process of governmental and societal reform.
Legacy International has no doubt that Ines will continue to rise in her career and successfully contribute to the field of policy development in Tunisia. We are very proud of her and honored that she continues to point to Legacy International’s Professional Fellows Program as the catalyst of her career development.
Her outstanding achievements will be acknowledged at the upcoming Spring Professional Fellows Congress in Washington, D.C., June 1st, 2017, where she will discuss her work and have the chance to connect with over 270 Professional Fellows from 44 countries.
The Professional Fellows Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and administered by Legacy International.