PR for People Monthly MAY 2017 - Page 11

In Jordan, the hotel where I stayed had been bombed two days before I arrived, much of the interior boarded up, the smell of explosives and blood was still strong. In Iraq, the transport vehicle I was traveling in broke down, and people began to gather while we waited for another vehicle. While it’s tense at the time, it’s only in retrospect that you realize how bad the outcome could have been.

Ron Schiffman: As it turned out later, we learned that Pat was infamous for being in the wrong place the wrong time.

PR4P: What are the rewards you’ve experienced in helping people to become self-governing and to experience democracy?

Pat Noonan: This work is all about the people. I have worked with law students who were committed to ending corruption and were able to successfully expose corrupt activities which resulted in government actors being removed from their positions and prosecuted. Many law students, young lawyers, judges and teachers with whom I worked have gone on to assume government leadership positions.

A personal success was my involvement in a science and math education project in Swaziland designed to encourage high school girls to go on to college. All of the girls graduated from the program and some did in fact go on to college. One unanticipated outcome of that program was that because we provided bus transport to and from the program, the girls were safe from sexual predators. Occasionally, girls were raped walking to and from school – there was a superstition that sex with a virgin would cure AIDS, making the girls targets.

PR4P: Will your future working in international law reform be supported or thwarted by the Trump administration?

Pat Noonan: I think our work is over. (At the time of this writing) The current administration is proposing major reductions in democracy and governance programs in favor of the military security.

In the past, the United States has supported the empowerment of people who are smart and dedicated to having a better country for their citizens. Now we are throwing these people off the bus. Many leaders in developing countries, or countries in transition, tolerated citizen activism because the United States supported these activities. The United States is now no longer seen as a moral compass.

*“Let’s kill all the lawyers?” is one of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes from his play Henry VI. Rebel Jack Cade thought if he created social chaos and disrupted the political order, then he could become King, thus kill all the lawyers.