Monday, December 16, 2013

Introducing CIVICUS Cambodia’s New Project Development Manager, Ms. Laura Engshuber

Introducing CIVICUS Cambodia’s New

Project Development Manager, Ms. Laura Engshuber



Phnom Penh, 16 Dec. 2013

CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education (“CIVICUS Cambodia”) is proud to announce that Ms. Laura Engshuber will be joining our team as Project Development Manager for at least one year, beginning this January 2014. 

Ms. Engshuber comes to us as a gift of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, of which CIVICUS Cambodia is the partner of its Speak Truth To Power (“STTP”) project, and highly recommended and qualified for this new position.  Her main task will focus on the STTP which is translated into Khmer as Courage Without Borders.

Ms. Engshuber graduated from Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.) where she majored in government, focusing on international relations, and history; her senior thesis on Turkish integration and voting politics in Germany won the prize for best thesis in the program.   She pursued her Masters and LLM in international law, with the main focus on human rights law and international criminal law from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland).

Ms. Engshuber’s interests in human rights during post-conflict reconstruction and the work of international courts (particularly the Khmer Rouge Tribunal), her impressive experience with journalism and online media, and her multi-lingual skills (in addition to English and German, her native tongues, French, Italian, Russian and soon, Khmer) will be great assets to CIVICUS Cambodia.

In addition to talent and experience, Ms. Engshuber possesses the spirit and personality that greatly complement the ethos of CIVICUS Cambodia.  She exclaims: “I love traveling and adapting to new cultures.  I was born in Germany and moved to the U.S. when I was eight, so I grew up mostly in America.  I'm generally a very low maintenance person who can easily adapt to new living situations, and moving to Cambodia will be incredibly exciting.”

CIVICUS Cambodia’s founding president, Ms. Theary C. Seng, enthuses: “As an organization, we have been praying for someone who could help us develop CIVICUS Cambodia, in particular, the second phase of the Speak Truth To Power project.  In Laura, not only have we found that person, but one with qualifications and personality beyond what we could have imagined or asked for.  Moreover, she is a fellow Hoya!”  Ms. Seng adds with a laugh, “Albeit, of a younger generation.”

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CIVICUS: Center for Cambodian Civic Education ("CIVICUS Cambodia") is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational, non-governmental organization, registered with the Cambodian Ministry of Interior, dedicated to promoting an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy and reconciliation in Cambodia and the larger, globalized world.

Up to now, Cambodia has had only a society of "subjects" and “survivors”, not of “representatives” nor “citizens”.   We have been "subjects" of French colonialism, Japanese/Vietnamese occupation, neo-colonialism, the monarchy, and now fascism/anarchy under the guise of liberal democracy; the Khmer Rouge made us "survivors".  A Cambodian as a survivor is either a “survivor-authoritarian” if the person is in a position of power or a “survivor-subject” if  the common person.  

CIVICUS Cambodia defines a "citizen" as a Cambodian who possesses both rights and responsibilities, and our focus starts with young children in educating them not only of their inherent rights but of their civic responsibilities to each other.  We also engage with the rest of the population to inform about and encourage them on exercising meaningful citizenship.

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