Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs


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A Conversation with La Follette School Alumnus Bill Schmitt

Friday, November 17, 2017, 12:30PM - 1:30PM
Location:  La Follette School Conference Room

For La Follette School students, faculty, and staff only.

Bill Schmitt (MIPA '05) – Catholic Relief Services’ (CRS) representative in Turkey and Afghanistan – oversees the Turkey-based team as part of the broader CRS response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Syria and across the region, particularly in neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

After graduating from the La Follette School, Schmitt joined CRS in Nicaragua, working primarily with cooperatives of small coffee farmers. He then worked in Sudan and Afghanistan, where he set up a field office and oversaw implementation of agricultural and watershed restoration activities and women’s small-help groups in one of the poorest and historically most marginalized regions of the country.

Following a short-term assignment as the emergency team leader for the 2009–10 West Sumatra earthquake response, Schmitt served as the regional technical advisor for emergencies in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2010–12. During this time, he supported CRS’ large-scale response to the catastrophic earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. 

From 2012-2015, Schmitt was the country representative for CRS in Afghanistan, where he was responsible for overseeing more than 360 staff members in five provinces. In Afghanistan, CRS partners with other organizations to implement community-based education, agricultural, and natural resource management programs.

Pizza will be served; RSVPs required by Wednesday, November 15 to Marjorie Matthews via email or by calling 608-262-3581.