Foreign Policy Blogs

Remembering Raufa Hassan

Raufa Hassan was a fearless, focused and inspirational Yemeni political activist, journalist and thinker.  She died last week at 53.   These tributes below capture her well.   I first met Raufa in Sanaa, Yemen, in 1997 when I travelled to Yemen on my first ever trip to work with non-American women running for office (in this case, parliament), and I kept up with her on my various trips there.  She was totally dedicated to the equality of women in Yemen and globally, and because of working with her, I realized how important international commitments to women’s rights are in this work.  She pushed the boundaries in Yemen, and at one point left the country because of a fatwa issued against her.  But she went back and kept working, pushing, cajoling and arguing for what she held dear.  I will miss her, her intelligence, her laugh.  And, I am sorry that I never got to tell her that because of knowing her I worked harder, thought more strategically and worked harder to live a committed life.

Yemen Observer:

Yemen Peace Project:



Stephenie Foster
Stephenie Foster

With over 25 years of experience in domestic and international policy Stephenie’s consulting practice advises clients on issues ranging from public/private partnerships, global networking, political strategy and lobbying. Her international work has taken her to more than 20 countries. Previously she served as Chief of Staff to two United States Senators (Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher Dodd (D-CT)), held senior positions at Legacy and Planned Parenthood and was appointed by President Clinton as General Counsel for the U.S. General Services Administration. Stephenie was a former law partner in California and is currently a Professorial Lecturer at American University, where she teaches classes on Women & the UN and Women World Leaders. She is an author and blogger and you can follow her work at