Prof. Al Santoli will bring extensive experience in cultural diplomacy and socio-economic strategies to the classroom this spring when he teaches his course on Counterterrorism through Cultural Engagement and Development (IWP 670).
Specifically, Prof. Santoli will share some of his recent, practical experience in cultural and medical diplomacy. He will also explain how his models of public-private partnerships are being utilized in troubled Washington, D.C. communities.
Through his nonprofit Asia America Initiative (AAI), Prof. Santoli has been funding cancer treatment and emergency surgeries for children in the Philippines. His organization has also been working to coordinate art programs for impoverished children who are receiving cancer treatment, as well as holiday parties and toys. Prof. Santoli is assisting psychology students to provide stress relief to Muslim and Christian children affected by pandemic isolation. In addition, AAI is organizing school-based nutrition and clean water for rural schools, while conducting relief missions for victims of massive typhoons and man-made disasters.
Prof. Santoli has received awards from Philippine Presidents for mediation with guerillas in the mountains of Mindanao, where Prof. Santoli and his teams have helped to hold the peace for 20 years.
His course this spring will focus on developing proactive security solutions in the post-pandemic world by taking into account the history, culture, and local societal structures of a given region. These forward-thinking solutions are based on historical models and decades of success that Prof. Santoli has had in using cultural engagement diplomacy and socio-economic development practices in Southeast Asia.
“This course is an example of IWP’s full-spectrum approach to international challenges and the school’s focus on ‘Winning Without War,’” said Prof. Santoli.