UCI News

Olive Tree Initiative rep takes part in White House roundtable on Middle East peace process

Corey Feinstein, assistant director of UC Irvine's Olive Tree Initiative, recently participated in a private roundtable gathering (pictured) at the White House to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process with senior White House and State Department officials and other organizations representing diverse constituencies.

March 4, 2014

OTI2Corey Feinstein, assistant director of UC Irvine’s Olive Tree Initiative, recently participated in a private roundtable gathering (pictured) at the White House to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian negotiation process with senior White House and State Department officials and other organizations representing diverse constituencies. Feinstein offered his thoughts on public diplomacy efforts targeting “global youth” populations and encouraged the use of innovative technologies to engage the two societies. He also highlighted how the OTI and the University of California can be partners in efforts to create a productive and inclusive space for conversations about the conflict. The roundtable convened leading U.S.-based stakeholders to share current efforts and campaigns and explore possibilities for further collaboration with other youth organizations and governments in the weeks ahead. Feinstein represented OTI and the University of California as the only group present without an explicit policy agenda or special interest. “The Olive Tree Initiative’s  expertise in diplomacy and work with university student leaders is recognized by the State Department and the White House,” said Daniel Wehrenfennig, executive director of the OTI and director of UC Irvine’s Program in Conflict Analysis & Resolution. The organization will be working with UC administrators to host senior White House and State Department officials on UC campuses to spark conversations around the peace process and receive feedback from engaged citizens. Wehrenfennig has also been invited to meet with key global leaders in April to develop strategies in support of U.S. peace efforts and to build U.S. constituencies supporting those efforts. The Olive Tree Initiative was founded at UC Irvine in 2007 to provide a forum for open, respectful discourse on conflict in the Middle East among students of diverse religious, political and cultural backgrounds.