By Caryn Lavernia
Vice President for Engagement Saif Y. Ishoof has been selected to be a member of The Aspen Institute Civil Society Fellowship Class of 2021.
The Civil Society Fellowship was created by the Anti-Defamation League and The Aspen Institute. The fellowship, part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, aims to prepare and engage the next generation of community and civic leaders, activists and problem-solvers from across the political spectrum.
“I am very proud to have a representative of our FIU family selected as a member of this impactful and highly selective fellowship,’’ said President Mark B. Rosenberg. “This designation is a testament to the work Saif and the Office of Engagement have done to build meaningful and deep connections in our community and will help FIU further our mission as a learner-centered university.
In a time of unprecedented divisions across political and ideological lines, the Civil Society Fellowship is committed to bringing the nation’s future leaders together to hone their leadership skills and build relationships across the ideological spectrum in an effort to build productive civil discourse and generate solutions.
“The strength of our democracy rests on the strength of our civic leaders, connectors, influencers, institutions and stakeholders,” said City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “Saif Ishoof has been a trusted leader in Miami to build the common good, and I am thrilled to know he will help our community expand our reach and partnerships through his participation in the Aspen Civil Society Fellowship.” Mayor Suarez is a member of the Aspen Institute - Rodel Fellowship Class of 2019.
Ishoof leads FIU’s Office of Engagement in incubating transformational partnerships. In this role, he builds win-win-win partnerships that create sustainable change for the university and its students; public and private sector partners; and the global community. Ishoof's team led a university-wide effort for FIU to secure the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification in 2020.
Ishoof is also a Green Fellow at the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. Previously, Ishoof served as founding executive director at City Year Miami, which provides young people with an opportunity to serve one year in high-need schools as tutors, mentors and role models to address the opportunity gap. Under his leadership, the organization more than doubled in size and scope with an expansion from eight to 18 schools.
“The fellowship is an honor, and I am humbled to be able to represent FIU and our South Florida community,” said Ishoof. “I intend to channel my time in this fellowship toward learning and growing with an esteemed cohort of leaders who share a sense of urgency and purpose in refreshing and reimagining our public square to meet the challenges of the second half of the 21st century.”
The new class of Civil Society Fellows is hosting a town hall on Friday, Nov. 20 at noon to engage in a national conversation about the state of the United States.