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  • July 26, 2018 5:30 PM | Anonymous

    Natasha Jehangir Khan and Roohi Abdullah have just matriculated at the Kennedy School’s Mason Program, under the auspices of BBLP.  We are delighted with the outcome of our efforts: both are Pakistani women with substantive experience. After years of policy making, for Natasha in Pakistani government and for Roohi, in many countries for the World Bank, they can use the year in Cambridge at the Mason Program to prepare for return to Pakistan to transition into formal roles of authority. 


    Holly Weeks, Roohi Abdullah, Natasha Jehangir Khan, and Marion Dry.

    Natasha Jehangir Khan has 15 years of experience in constitutional, administrative and regulatory work. Having received an LLM at University College London in 2001, she began her career in the office of the Attorney General of Pakistan, and later went on to join the Securities and Exchange Commission, the regulator of the corporate and financial sector of the country except banking, where she eventually served as the Head of Legislation and General Counsel Department. A licensed Advocate of the High Courts of Pakistan, she has worked creating performance manuals, structures and systems to contribute strength to the institutions employing her, a necessity in a developing country where power so often resides in individuals instead of institutions. Natasha has worked as a consultant with several Asian-based development organizations advising the Government of Pakistan on regulatory reforms and enhancement of the investment climate in the country, and was instrumental in developing legislation for transitioning Pakistan’s electricity sector from a single buyer to a competitive market structure. 

    Natasha plans to use the year at the Mason Program to acquire the connections and skills to facilitate her transition to a role of authority. 

    Roohi Abdullah graduated from MIT In 1999, where she learned how “the creativity of an architect and the social thinking of a planner” can converge. With over 15 years of experience in international development within the larger scope of infrastructure—ranging from finance, poverty, institutional reforms, water utility management, housing, environment, and carbon finance—she has worked in Iran, Egypt, Jordan, West Bank and Gaza, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Yemen, Albania, Romania, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Nigeria, among other countries. “Today I am a long way from Karachi but working in a sector that is largely male dominated, I am reminded that geography aside, women are constantly struggling to attain some level of legitimacy. I am proud to say, that currently I am working with a team developing water investment lending projects in Pakistan. Life has finally come full circle—my thesis work at MIT was on the water sector in Karachi.”

    Both Fellows wrote to say that receiving a fellowship with Benazir Bhutto's name on it inspires them to the core. Roohi wrote in her essay, “As the first female prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto remains enshrined in our collective global consciousness as someone who forged a new trail for the daughters of Pakistan.”

  • July 10, 2018 4:30 PM | Anonymous

    Co-Chairs Jonathan Sprague and Marion Dry traveled to Chicago for the first ever ClassACT Midwest regional weekend, April 21-22. The weekend's work agenda was to introduce ClassACT and the ways classmates and their spouses/partners can engage for work and fun. The weekend was the brainchild of Chicagoans, Gina and Roger Myerson, who have been keen advocates for ClassACT. 


    Left: ClassACT Co-Chairs Marion Dry and Jonathan Sprague. Right: Chicagoan hosts Roger and Gina Myerson. Image Credits: Rick Weil

    With invitations going out to classmates from four states, we wanted to make sure that we had a weekend of fun, so Andrea Kirsh, Craig Coit, Gina Myerson, Rick Weil and Marion Dry all worked to put it together. Though this was a Midwest event, when all was said and done, we had attendees from 7 states: Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. There were numerous classmates from the greater Chicago area who could not attend due to previous commitments. 


    Karen Peterson, Arunus Paliulis, Patty Potter, Roger Myerson, Andrea Kirsh, Diane Lauderdale. Image Credits: Rick Weil

    The group met Saturday afternoon at the Bridgehouse Museum operated by the Friends of the Chicago River. Craig Coit, the former chair of their board, arranged to have the museum opened especially for us (it is seasonal) and for Director Josh Coles to lead us on a private tour. Both Josh and Craig told us about how effective the work of the Friends has been cleaning up and beautifying the river.  Craig then guided us down the river via water taxi, telling us, in docent fashion, about the river and the architecture surrounding it as we went. Pictured Right: Craig Coit. Image Credit: Rick Weil.

    We all gathered at the beautiful party room of the Myersons’ building for cocktails and a presentation about ClassACT by Marion and Jonathan. The Myersons were the ultimate gracious hosts, in a setting that gave us views looking north to the Loop and to the east, of Lake Michigan.


    Left: Deborah Davidson and Ken Bolyard. Right: Karen Peterson, Arunus Paliulis, Andrea Kirsh, and Sandy Weissent. Image Credits: Rick Weil

    From there, the late “night crowd” headed to Buddy Guy’s for some blues. 

    Sunday morning, we met up near the University of Chicago for brunch at The Promontory and then headed to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where Andrea Kirsh gave us insights into the extraordinary collection of ancient artifacts and art from the Middle East. 

    We had a weekend of community and fun. We shared our time, broke bread and advanced the work of ClassACT. The wonders of Chicago—its recovering river, its artistic resources, and its musical backbone—enriched our time together.  

    The group gathers and smiles for the camera during their tour.Arunus Paliulis, Jonathan Sprague, Bill Komaiko, Patty Potter, Roger Myerson, Craig Coit, Sandy Weissent, Marion Dry, Rick Weil, Karen Peterson, Andrea Kirsh,  Diane Lauderdale, Vance Lauderdale, Mel Furman, Boris Furman. Image Credit: Rick Weil

    Attendees: Ken Bolyard and Deborah Davidson, Craig Coit, Marion Dry, Ellen Fireman and Michael Weissman, Boris and Mel Furman, Andrea Kirsh, Bill Komaiko, Vance and Diane Lauderdale, Thomas Mustoe and Katie Stallcup, Roger and Gina Myerson, Arunas Paliulis, Karen Peterson, Patty Potter, Jonathan Sprague, Rick Weil, Sandy Weissent

  • May 21, 2018 6:34 PM | Anonymous

    JusticeAid’s double feature in Washington, D.C. around the 2018 theme The Criminalization of Poverty: 21st Century Debtors Prison was the best yet. On April 17 classmate Seth Waxman hosted a discussion at WilmerHale, featuring the Executive Directors/ Founders of the two beneficiaries: Alec Karakatsanis of the Civil Rights Corp and Gina Clayton of the Essie Justice Group. The panel highlighted the human and civil rights issues around “human caging” and the 70% of prisoners who are in jail because they don’t have the resources to afford bail; and then the incredible toll on those left behind—primarily women, who have to pick up the pieces to support their families emotionally and financially. The panel was live streamed over Facebook.

    The April 24 sold-out concert at The Hamilton in Washington, D.C. featuring Cécile McLorin Salvant, Paula Cole, Dom Flemons, Marshall Crenshaw and Kandace Springs raised over $120,000 for the two beneficiaries. Charles Bush and Jim Rowe served on the Host Committee for the concert. Jim Rowe underwrote a ClassACT table, hosting Seth Waxman and his wife Debra Goldberg, George Haywood, Holly Weeks and JusticeAid (and ClassACT) Board member Therese Steiner; and Charles Bush brought his daughter. Left Image Credit: Therese Steiner


    Left: Jim Rowe, George Haywood, Debra Goldberg. Right: Holly Weeks, Seth Waxman, Therese Steiner, Charles Bush. Image Credits: Katie Sundstrom

    ClassACT's own assistant Katie Sundstrom was working double time, helping JusticeAid with its social media posts and platforms, as well as overseeing the Facebook Live post of the panel.  She’s been nothing short of amazing. Katie also shot more #WhatJusticeMeansToMe videos with all the artists—in the bathroom off the Green Room, our makeshift recording studio. Thank you Katie!


    Jim Rowe, Therese Steiner, George Haywood. Image Credit: Katie Sundstrom

    The panel and the concert included short films on JusticeAid's mission and purpose, Civil Rights Corps, and Essie Justice Group. These set the stage for both events, and were great for positioning all initiatives. 


    Gina Clayton (Founder/Executive Director, Essie Justice Group), Alec Karakatsanis (Founder/Executive Director, Civil Rights Corps), Therese Steiner (Board Member, ClassACT and JusticeAid), Steve Milliken (Founder/Executive Director, JusticeAid). Image Credit: Katie Sundstrom

  • May 21, 2018 5:43 PM | Anonymous

    Update from classmate sponsor Rick Weil: "I went to Sue Press’s annual Nu and Old Fellas Social Club ball a few weeks ago.” Sue’s social club embodies a form of social work that Rick calls “retail mentoring,” hands-on work with children in the Treme neighborhood which ClassACT has supported previously. “At a panel on tikun olam, the Jewish concept of service, at seminars on Jewish learning, two presenters who run the service program at Tulane were interested in the idea of helping coordinate the neighborhood mentor network I’ve been talking with Sue about developing.” 

    Rick also called our attention to a lead story in the New York Times in March 2018 about a new study about race and inequality out of Stanford & Harvard by Raj Chetty. “It was one of the best-done studies yet, and they concluded that mentoring might be one of the only things that works. Pretty cool from my perspective.”

  • April 22, 2018 6:51 PM | Anonymous

    Don't forget to send in your Class Report submission for Reunion Red Book. You should have received an email and snail mail about this recently. Although the deadline of April 27 may be a bit soft, timely submission will be important if you do not want to be left out! Also be sure to mark your calendars for Reunion October 11-14, 2018.


  • April 22, 2018 11:48 AM | Anonymous

    Erum Sattar, BBLP Associate, authored a book review of Indus Waters Treaty: Political and Legal Dimensions by Ijaz Hussain, Oxford University Press. The review was published on Dawn.com; don't miss it! 

    View of the River Indus near Skardu

    "All those who desire a more peaceful and prosperous future for the region must undertake some clear-headed study of the long history of water-sharing and development in the Indus basin. To that end, this book is a critical contribution." - Erum Sattar

  • April 21, 2018 6:32 PM | Anonymous

    ClassACT Bridge Project JusticeAid Presents:
    Songs for Lady Day, The Music of Billie Holiday

    Songs for Lady Day: The Music of Billie Holiday celebrates jazz and blues legend Billie Holiday during her birthday month of April with performances by Grammy Award-winning artists Cecile McLorin SalvantPaula Cole, and Dom Flemons, along with legendary singer-songwriter Marshall Crenshaw and contemporary star and repeat JusticeAid performer Kandace Springs

    Concert Poster

    100% of ticket sales will benefit JusticeAid’s 2018 beneficiaries, the Civil Rights Corps and Essie Justice Group. Both of these organizations are fighting inequality in our legal system.  

    Suzan E. Jenkins, Chief Executive Officer of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, will be the emcee for the evening. Susan Shaffer and the Honorable Truman A. Morrison III will be recognized for their heroic efforts to end financial barriers to justice.

    Check out JusticeAid's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for clips, photos and updates on the concert!

  • April 17, 2018 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    The Criminalization of Poverty: 21st Century Debtors' Prison


    ClassACT bridge project JusticeAid, with Seth Waxman and WilmerHale, hosted a panel discussion on the criminalization of poverty. The panel was moderated by Vanita Gupta, President and CEO on the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.  Ms. Gupta was joined by panelists Alec Karakatsanis of Civil Rights Corps and Gina Clayton of Essie Justice Group

    Missed the panel? You can watch the entire thing on ClassACT's Facebook page

  • March 15, 2018 7:49 PM | Anonymous

    "I adore Chicago. It is the pulse of America." Sara Bernhardt

    ClassACT agrees! We are coming to Chicago April 21 and 22, and we want to get together with YOU!

    Get ready for a weekend of learning and fun.

    What's up?

    The Main Event: 
    Roger and Gina Myerson will host us on Saturday, April 21 from 6-8, at their home with a gorgeous view of Lake Michigan. Come and bring your spouse/partner/family member for an evening of fun and a chance to learn about ClassACT

    What Else?

    FUN exploring together with a bit of learning thrown in.

    We are working on organizing the rest of the weekend and would love your input.

    Our ideas so far:

    • An exhibition tour at the Art Institute with classmate Andrea Kirsh as our guide
    • Grooving to the blues at Buddy Guy's Legends (a quick walk from the Myersons')
    • Sunday brunch at the Currency Exchange Café of the Rebuild Foundation 
    • A tour and taproom visit at Metropolitan Brewing (housed in the tannery formerly owned by classmate Rick Weil's family)
    • A visit to the Field Museum to look at their anthropological collections, which offer a chance to see changing museum practice over the past century
    • Taking the Chicago River architectural tour
    Have preferences and/or an idea you want to add to the mix? Send it asap, as we are going to try to nail this down soon.

    Want to attend? Email us at classacthr73@gmail.com.

    We have held regional events in DC, NYC, NOLA, Bay Area, and Boston and we are excited to add the Midwest to the list. Know someone you think might like to attend? Share this message and let us know so we can put them on the mailing list.


    Save the date and join us for the fun.

  • February 28, 2018 5:38 PM | Anonymous

    Tickets are now on sale for JusticeAid's April 24 concert, Songs for Lady Day. The concert will celebrate jazz and blues legend Billie Holiday, while honoring and supporting the work of its beneficiaries, Civil Rights Corps and Essie Justice Group. You don't want to miss this! Click here to learn more about the event and to purchase tickets. 

    Songs for Lady Day Concert Poster

ClassACT HR ‘73
Classacthr73@gmail.com

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