The partners of the Great Lakes Policy Forum cordially invite you to attend the:



Andrea Lari Advocate, Refugees International

Rick Neal Advocate, Refugees International

Michael Neuman, Programme Officer, Medecins Sans Frontieres

The forum will be facilitated by

Tony Gambino, Consultant, Open Society Institute and Former Mission Director, USAID-DRC

Refreshments will be served. All are welcome at the meeting. If you think of anyone else who should be invited, please pass his or her name along to us. Journalists may participate, but discussion is not for attribution.

This event will be held in the Kenney Auditorium of the Nitze Building at The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), 1740 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC.

If you have any questions or feedback about the forum, please contact Marco Konings or Graham Couturier at Search for Common Ground: 202-265-4300. Kindly RSVP by following the link above or by fax to: 202-232-6718.


Please note the date of the next Great Lakes Policy Forum:
May 4, 2006


Michael Neuman is a Program Officer at Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the United States. Since 1999 Mr. Neuman has led or participated in MSF emergency and refugee operations in the Balkans, Sudan, West and Central Africa, and the North Caucasus. Since he joined the New York office of Doctors Without Borders in early 2004, his work has focused on advocacy related to the MSF programs in the Middle East and Central Asia, West and Central Africa, and Sudan. Last year, Mr. Neuman headed a project in Niger, where he was coordinating MSF nutritional emergency operations in the region of Zinder. His most recent MSF field mission was in Darfur, Sudan, where he was head of mission from February to early March of this year.

Mr. Neuman holds a MA in Political Science and a MA in History from the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Rick Neal has twelve years of international experience in community development and humanitarian relief, including more than six years working directly with communities affected by violent conflict, managing humanitarian assistance programs and advocating for better protection of refugees, returnees, and internally displaced persons. He managed field offices for Oxfam and the International Rescue Committee in the D.R. Congo and Burundi, ensuring access to public health services, contributing to advocacy on a range of issues, and mainstreaming IDP protection. Between 1997 and 2003, he also implemented public health projects in Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, and Jordan as well as in the Great Lakes. Before joining Refugees International as an Advocate in 2006, Rick served as Senior Advisor with Search for Common Ground in Burundi. He has a master's degree in public health and recently completed a mid-career master's program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Andrea Lari, Advocate, joined Refugees International in January 2004. He grew up in Italy, where he volunteered as a student in hospitals and in projects assisting refugees in Croatia and Albania. Andrea's career in humanitarian work started as a volunteer with Jesuit Refugee Service in Angola, where he was project director in Moxico province; he then served as Country Director for JRS in Angola from 1998 to 2000. From 2001 to 2003 he was a researcher for Human Rights Watch, focusing on Angola and forced displacement. Andrea has a degree in Political Science from the University of Bologna, where his final thesis was on Guatemalan Refugees in Mexico. He has also completed the International Summer School of Oxford. He has also completed the International Summer School at the Refugee Studies Center in Oxford.

Tony Gambino was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the then-Zaire from 1979-1982. He has served on the staff of the Select Committee of Hunger of the House of Representatives and as Public Policy Director for InterAction. During most of the 1980s and early 1990s worked on Central Africa as a volunteer for Amnesty International. In 1994, he joined the State Department, working in the office of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs and later in the Bureau of Public Affairs. From 1997 to 2004, Tony worked for USAID, first as Congo Coordinator, then as Great Lakes Coordinator, and finally as USAID Mission Director for the Congo (2001-2004). He has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is now a self-employed consultant.