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Husch Blackwell Partner Avi Meyerstein Receives Fulbright Global Scholar Award to Grow Israeli-Palestinian Peacebuilding

 

Published:

March 23, 2021

Related Area:

Pro Bono
 
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Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce that partner Avi Meyerstein has received a Fulbright Global Scholar Program award to Israel and Ireland. His focus will be to help lay the groundwork for substantially scaling up Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people peacebuilding work.

The project is one of over 800 to receive a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, the flagship international exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government. Fulbright awards have recognized and supported thousands of esteemed scholars and practitioners, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Fulbright alumni include 60 Nobel Prize laureates, 88 Pulitzer Prize recipients, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government. The program funded through the U.S. Department of State and operates in more than 160 countries.

Based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, Meyerstein began organizing dozens of organizations into the ALLMEP coalition in 2003 as a pro bono project. Shortly thereafter, he developed a proposal to create a multi-billion-dollar International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, inspired by the very successful International Fund for Ireland (IFI).

After leading a 12-year pro bono advocacy effort to create such a fund, in January Meyerstein and ALLMEP celebrated the passage and signing into law of the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership Fund for Peace Act (MEPPA), which provided an initial 5-year, $250 million commitment to dramatically expand this work. ALLMEP is now advocating in Washington and around the world to make MEPPA the cornerstone of an independent international fund.

After nearly 19 years practicing law, Meyerstein will now embark on the Fulbright project to help lay the groundwork for this significant and rapid scaling up an entire field of peacebuilding work that includes everything from shared Israeli-Palestinian schools to youth sports leagues, interfaith groups, environmental projects, medical relief efforts, job training, and high-tech investments. In Ireland, Meyerstein will work with the International Fund for Ireland to learn key lessons from its successful 30-year, $2.4 billion peacebuilding campaign. He will then work in Israel with ALLMEP and leading Israeli think tank Mitvim to develop a strategy for major growth in Israeli-Palestinian cooperation.

“We are very proud of Avi’s pro bono commitment to ALLMEP,” said Margaret Richards, Husch Blackwell’s Director of Pro Bono Services. “Avi provides a great example to our attorneys of the firm’s commitment to pro bono. His work with ALLMEP clearly demonstrates that no value can be placed on the painstaking efforts it takes to untangle all the complex barriers involved with seeking peace in the Middle East.”

 

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