Retired U.S. ambassador is featured speaker at SIT commencement

Publication Date: August 2, 2023
Publication Location: Brattleboro, Vermont
Contact: Kate Casa  |  [email protected]

The Honorable Bisa Williams

School for International Training's 57th commencement ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. (Eastern U.S.) on August 12, 2023, on the SIT campus, 1 Kipling Road, in Brattleboro, Vermont.

Thirty-nine students are slated to participate, either in person or online, to mark completion of their graduate-level programs in one certificate and 11 degree areas.

The keynote speaker at this year's event is U.S. Ambassador (retired) and World Learning Trustee Bisa Williams. Williams is a senior fellow at Yale University’s Jackson School of Global Affairs and a distinguished visiting professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Program in Peace, War, and Defense. She served with the U.S. Foreign Service in Africa, Central America, Europe, and the United States, and led the U.S. delegation to talks in Havana, Cuba. Appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, she served for three years as ambassador to Niger.

Student speaker Jana Scislowicz

Jana Scislowicz will deliver the student address. Scislowicz, who will receive her MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership and Management, has more than 19 years of experience in international development. As deputy chief of party for the USAID/Cambodia Inclusive Primary Education Activity for RTI International, she works to improve early-grade reading skills of children in primary schools in Cambodia. She has also served in the home office and as deputy chief of party for the USAID/Tanzania Tusome Pamoja Program. Scislowicz returned to SIT to complete her master’s degree after having studied abroad with SIT in Madagascar more than 20 years ago.

Dr. Azim Khan

The faculty speaker is Dr. Azim Khan, co-chair of SIT's MA in Global Health program. Khan also serves as program director and faculty for SIT’s undergraduate International Honors Program in human rights. He has taught law, human rights, public health, and sustainable development at universities in the U.S. and India, and is a recipient of the Ford Foundation International Fellowship for Human Rights and a Scholar of Peace Fellowship by the Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Khan is also the founder of a K-12 school in his rural community, which was ranked as one of the most educationally and economically challenged areas in India.

Weather permitting, the commencement ceremony will take place on the lawn in front of the Boyce administration building on the SIT campus. In case of rain, it will be held in the Lowey International Center. The event will allso be live-streamed on SIT Graduate Institute’s Facebook page.