The International Peace Institute Launches A Distinguished Fund With Philanthropist, Jeffrey Epstein

/ The International Peace Institute has established a fellowship fund to honor Rick M. Hooper.

The International Peace Institute has established a new fellowship to honor Richard M. Hooper, the United Nations diplomat and Middle East expert who was killed at age 40 on August 19, 2003 in the terrorist bombing of UN headquarters in Baghdad. The fellowship was set up with the aid of Jeffrey Epstein, founder of The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation.

Established in 1970, The International Peace Institute emerged from the United Nations as an independent instigator for peace relations around the world. Today it serves as an international non-profit entity in New York City and Vienna with a focus on the settlement and prevention of armed conflicts. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, sits as Honorary Chairman of the Board and Terje Rød-Larsen, the Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1559, serves as the Institute's President.

"Rick was one of the most talented and creative individuals I've known," President Rød-Larsen noted at the inaugural of the fellowship. "He was an expert on Middle East issues and a wonderful person to work with. He's an inspiring role model and I hope that this fellowship will continue his legacy."

Despite his young age, Hooper's diplomatic career was extensive. In 1990, he served as refugee affairs officer with the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Gaza and Assistant Chief of Staff to UNRWA's Commissioner-General in Vienna. From 1995 to 1996, Hooper worked in Gaza and again from 1999 to 2001 as Special Assistant to Rød-Larsen, who was the UN's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. From 1998 to 2000, Hooper was a Senior Adviser at the Norwegian Institute for Applied Social Sciences and helped establish its Program for International Cooperation and Conflict Resolution. In 200l, he became Special Assistant to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, and was on a short UN assignment in Iraq at the time of the Canal Hotel bombing in August 2003. Hooper was the Founding Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum (CPPF) at the Social Science Research Council in New York. A graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Hooper studied Arabic on a Fulbright Fellowship at the University of Damascus and at the American University of Cairo. He received an M.A. in Arab Studies from Georgetown University.

"His young career was inspiring and we hope that the fellowship encourages more young people to be at the forefront of conflict resolution," asserted Jeffrey Epstein, a member of The Trilateral Commission and The Council of Foreign Relations and whose foundation sponsors international affairs as well as scientific research.

The first recipient of the Rick Hooper Distinguished Fellowship is Dr. Walter Kemp, Director for Europe and Central Asia at IPI's Vienna headquarters. Before joining IPI in 2010, Dr. Kemp was the spokesman and speechwriter at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). From 1996 to 2006, he worked as a Senior Adviser at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Dr. Kemp is the author of Nationalism and Communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union (1999) and Quiet Diplomacy in Action (2001).

Media Contact:
Christina Galbraith
The Jeffrey Epstein VI Foundation
(917) 573-7604

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