Nesreen Barwari, an adviser to the Minister of Education in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, is slated to visit Kimberton Waldorf School on Friday, October 4 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. She is in the process of introducing Waldorf Education to the Kurdistan region, and has chosen to visit Kimberton Waldorf School to learn more about this unique educational opportunity.
Nesreen Barwari works across the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors to promote conflict management and coexistence through education in Iraqi Kurdistan. She currently serves on the Kurdistan Minister of Education’s consultative forum, where she advises on his reform agenda to promote active learning and increase the quality of teaching. Additionally, this year Ms. Barwari became the CEO of KSW, an education company that plans to open a private education facility that builds co-existence, promotes environmental sustainability, and celebrates local heritage. In 2006, she founded the organization Breeze of Hope, which focuses on women’s and youth development in Iraq. She currently serves as the president and has been focused on providing humanitarian assistance to the influx of Syrian refugees into Iraqi Kurdistan. Previously, Ms. Barwari served as minister of public works under Iraq’s interim government, the Iraqi Governing Council, and the Coalition Provisional Authority. Following the 1991 Persian Gulf War, she worked with the International Organization for Migration to assist in the repatriation of refugees; she also worked with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and UN Iraq Relief Coordination Unit at the Department of Humanitarian Affairs to coordinate relief services among UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations. Prior to April 2003, Ms. Barwari was minister of reconstruction and development in the Kurdistan Regional Government and a member of the economy and infrastructure working group at the US State Department’s Future of Iraq project. She was honored by the United Nations in 2003 for her “outstanding commitment to the welfare of displaced and vulnerable persons in Northern Iraq.”
Ms. Barwari holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering and urban planning from the University of Baghdad, a master’s degree in public policy and management from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and is currently completing her Ph.D. on community and regional planning with a focus on postwar reconstruction and development at the University of British Columbia. During 2005 and 2006, she was a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School, where she taught the course “Reinventing Iraq: Deconstructing and Constructing a Nation.” She currently lectures on strategic planning and urban planning at Dohuk University in Kurdistan.