Michael Newman

Dr. Michael Newman will deliver the keynote address for Ohio University's International Education Week at 7 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Baker University Center Ballroom.

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IEW keynote speaker to discuss experiences with Doctors Without Borders

Ohio University will host Dr. Michael Newman, a field worker and former Doctors Without Borders board member, as the keynote speaker for this year’s International Education Week (IEW), being held Nov. 15-19.

During his speech, which will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 18, in the Baker University Center Ballroom, he will discuss Doctors Without Borders humanitarian work in conflict zones. Newman has worked on field missions in Liberia, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Syria and South Sudan, and has also held positions with the Doctors Without Borders Board of Directors. 

Doctors Without Borders, internationally known as Medecines Sans Frontiers (MSF), is a non-governmental humanitarian aid organization. Founded in 1971, MSF is known for its projects in developing countries and regions devastated by war. Today, more than 30,000 MSF doctors, nurses and medical professionals volunteer in 70 countries. The organization provides vaccine campaigns, maternal and pediatric care, care of neglected and infectious diseases, as well as intricate surgeries. MSF workers treat diseases every day that have been nearly, if not completely, eradicated in the U.S.

The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999 for its intercontinental humanitarian efforts. The actions of MSF are guided by medical ethics only, with an emphasis on neutrality and impartiality. MSF works in countries facing crises such as armed conflict, natural disasters, malnutrition, epidemics, or exclusion from healthcare have occurred or are occurring.

During his remarks, Newman will give the audience an insider’s look on what is like to work on the frontlines of a humanitarian organization. Newman will also lead a series of workshops for OHIO faculty, staff, students and area residents on Wednesday afternoon beginning at noon.

“Doctors Without Borders is one of the world’s leading NGOs striving to support peace through health and development,” said Lorna Jean Edmonds, vice provost for global affairs and international studies at OHIO. “The organization’s front-line experience and insights bring a unique lens to the realities of world conflict, including sustaining commitment and hope for a better world.”

“It is a highly valued opportunity to have a representative from Doctors Without Borders on our campus. Our students will learn a great deal about providing health care to people caught in crisis by attending these interesting and informative events during International Education Week,” Edmonds said.

Catherine Cutcher, assistant director for the global studies programs at OHIO, added that she is very pleased that OHIO students will be able to learn from Newman.

“The theme of IEW this year is ‘Global Health and Wellness.’ We want to provide students with an opportunity to view health care from a global perspective,” Cutcher said.

International Education Week will begin on Sunday, Nov. 15, with an International Dinner and will conclude on Thursday, Nov. 19, with an awards gala. For more information, please visit https://www.ohio.edu/iew/.