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Peace Panel Discussion to feature Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the UNHCR

09/16/2016 12:53 pm

Media Contact: Director of Communications, Rita Elliott, 815-226-3374

Rockford, Ill., – Rockford University will be hosting Melissa Fleming, head of communications and chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on campus as part of the fall 2016 Forum series. She will be participating in an International Day of Peace panel discussion facilitated by Rockford University President Eric W. Fulcomer, Ph.D. The event will be held Wednesday, September 21, 7 p.m., in Maddox Theatre, Clark Arts Center, 5050 E. State St., Rockford.

MelissaFlemingPhoto-150x127Melissa Fleming leads communications efforts around the globe for UNHCR. Operating in 120 countries, UNHCR provides shelter and help for over 30 million people who have fled wars and persecution. She has introduced strategic communication planning designed to have more impact on varied audiences, which include media, donors, governments and refugees themselves. She also directs global advocacy campaigns with a strong emphasis on social media.

She joined UNHCR from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she served for eight years as spokesperson and head of public information. During this period the organization made headlines for its inspection work in Iraq, Iran and North Korea and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Prior to IAEA, she headed the press and information team at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and was a public affairs specialist at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

The International Day of Peace, established by United Nations resolution in 1981, provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of Peace on a shared date (September 21). Around the world, the International Day of Peace is used to highlight the U.N. Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

The panel discussion is open and free to the public, however, tickets are required. Please contact the Rockford University Box Office at 815-226-4100 or boxoffice@rockford.edu to reserve your tickets or for more information. Clark Arts Center is accessible. To see the entire fall 2016 Forum series line-up visit: http://www.rockford.edu/artslectures/forum/.