ACC hosts Admiral McRaven & Ambassador Crocker for “Preventing Conflict”

Austin Community College (ACC) hosts retired Admiral William McRaven and Ambassador Ryan Crocker for “Preventing Conflict: The Role of Diplomacy and Development in Reducing Insecurity,” a conversation about lessons learned from the frontlines of conflict zones. The event is 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 20, at Eastview Campus, Building 8000, Room 8500 (3101 Webberville Rd.).

“The world is experiencing a 25-year peak in violent conflict,” says Dr. Shirin Khosropour, ACC psychology professor. “We’re going to explore solutions with national leaders and examine landmark bipartisan legislation that would create for the first time a U.S. government-wide strategy to prevent and reduce violent conflict in some of the world’s most fragile environments..”

Panelists will share reflections from their experiences working on the frontlines of conflict zones to prevent and resolve deadly violence through diplomacy, defense, and humanitarian and development work and offer ideas for preventing violent conflict globally.

Panelists include:

Ambassador Ryan Crocker who served 37 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, including as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Kuwait and Lebanon. Crocker received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America's highest civilian award, in 2009, and he was elected to the Mercy Corps Board of Directors in 2013.

Admiral William McRaven a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, who served as the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command where he led a force of 69,000 men and women and was responsible for conducting counter-terrorism operations worldwide. McRaven is a recognized national authority on U.S. foreign policy and has advised presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama and other U.S. leaders on defense issues.

Dafna H. Rand leads Mercy Corps' policy and advocacy and research teams, manages the organization’s research agenda, and oversees Mercy Corps’ engagement with global institutions. Prior to joining Mercy Corps, Dr. Rand held a number of leadership positions in government and academia, most recently as the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State.

Ghilda Chrabieh serves as Mercy Corps’ Middle East Deputy Regional Director providing strategic direction and support to programs and initiatives in the region. She has more than 20 years of experience in international aid and the private sector with experience in financial management, operational and organizational management and program management.

Hosted by ACC’s Center for Peace & Conflict Studies in partnership with Mercy Corps and World Affairs Council of Austin, the event is free and open to the public.

Registration is not required, but is encouraged. Registration is available online at

For more information, contact Khosropour at 512-223-3282 or email


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