John Prendergast is a human rights activist whose work focuses on peace in Africa. Mr. Prendergast has worked for the Clinton White House, the State Department, the National Intelligence Council, two members of Congress, UNICEF, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, and the U.S. Institute for Peace. John is most recently co-founder of the Enough Project. This project was conceived by policymakers and activists focused on building a constituency to try and end genocide and crimes against humanity. He is also co-founder with George Clooney of the Satellite Sentinel Project, which aims to document and deter human rights abuses through the use of satellite imagery and field research.
John visited Duke in November 2013 as part of the Nicholas School of the Environment’s Fall 2013 Seminar Series focusing on leading experts discussing pressing environmentally focused topics. He also gave a talk with the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute on November 11, 2013, entitled “Ten Lessons for Making a Difference Globally and Locally.” Learn more about John Prendergast’s residency at Duke from DukeToday and watch a video about his work at the Enough Project.
Kelly Carroll (’16) conducted an interview with Mr. Prendergast before he arrived on campus. Here is an excerpt from their conversation.
KC: Where did you go to college?
JP: Actually I went to five different undergraduate schools. My first one was Georgetown and my last one was Temple. And I went to two graduate schools, Penn and American U. So basically, I graduated from Temple so that’s my undergrad and American U is my graduate.
KC: Were you an activist or did these interests develop after college?
JP: I was obsessed in my late teens and early twenties with injustice in the United States and particularly how it played out when young people dropped out of the school system at an early age. How does our system respond to school dropouts, kids who are in the juvenile justice system, the first time, second time, what do we do to try to address that? So I was diving into all of that stuff. My undergraduate years were mostly focused on these kinds of things, education reform and employment policy and domestic stuff. There is a whole other sort of thing that happened that made me interested in international affairs. READ MORE.
Meet John Prendergast