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Oral history interview with Hillary S. Wiesner, 2012.

Creator: Wiesner, Hillary Suzanne
Project: Carnegie Corporation project. Pt. 3.
(see all project interviews)
Phys. Desc. :transcript: 78 pages. + index.
Location: Columbia Center for Oral History
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Biographical Note

Director, Islam Initiative, Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Scope and Contents

Undergraduate studies: 1985 B.A. in religion from Harvard University, participation in Sardis Expedition in western Turkey; Ph.D in religion and discussion of historical conversation and commonalities between religions; discussion of work for UNESCO in France beginning 1993: departure from academic roots, dissatisfaction with work environment; meeting with Vartan Gregorian in 2006; critique of "clash of civilizations" concept; influence of family's mixed religious background on studies; study of classical languages; hiring and transition to UNESCO; experience living in Jerusalem in early 1990s; transition to Carnegie Corporation as director of Islam Initiative: intellectual stimulus, busy social atmosphere, development of program to support young Muslim Americans in the arts; first year of grantmaking: need for expanded knowledge of Islam in America, memorable funded and unfunded projects; discussion of "Islamophobia": complications for Carnegie Corporation; influence of Iraq and Afghan wars: experience at UNESCO, current Carnegie grants, scholarship of Vartan Gregorian; expansion of Islam Initiative focus from domestic issues to international affairs; impressions of Vartan Gregorian; relationship between Carnegie Corporation and Library of Alexandria: grants and projects, effects of 2011 Egyptian revolution; discussion of funding decisions and projects funded; involvement with Carnegie Scholars program; reminiscences of high points in philanthropy career; public presence of Carnegie grantees; discussion of 2011 Arab Awakening: personal impressions, resulting developments in Carnegie programming; predictions for future Carnegie initiatives; sense of accomplishment through Islam Initiative.

Subjects

Access Conditions

Copyright by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2013.

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