The Brookings-Bern Project hosted a seminar with the Secretary-General of the South Sudan Law Society to discuss the current challenges faced by internally displaced persons in South Sudan, including the return process, the security situation, and actions that are needed to ensure that the returns are sustained.
Dong Samuel Luak is the Secretary General of the South Sudan Law Society, a position he has held since 2002. The South Sudan Law Society is based in Rumbek. Previously, he served as the Legal Counsel for the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General Chamber in Sudan. He has also worked as a consultant to UNICEF, the New Sudan Women Federation, and the New Sudan Council of Churches and was a member of the Interim National Constitutional Commission, the Interim Southern Sudan Drafting Committee, and the Interim Model Constitution for the Southern Sudan States. Mr. Luak has a degree in public law from the El-Neelain University in Khartoum.
Shannon Meehan is the International Rescue Committee’s Director for Advocacy, responsible for covering the IRC’s policy priorities for the continent of Africa. She has spent more than 17 years working in conflict zones around the world. A former Peace Corp volunteer in Senegal from 1989 – 1991, Shannon went on to represent the American Refugee Committee International (ARC) in Guinea and later Kosovo, where she served as Country Director, designing and implementing a multi-sector program that reached more than 100,000 beneficiaries. When she was a consultant for Refugees International and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Shannon conducted missions in Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Sudan, the DRC Rwanda and in the Middle East: Kuwait, Jordan and Iraq. She is an expert on the humanitarian and protection needs of displaced populations and refugees. Her humanitarian work was highlighted in the book, Those Who Dare, by Katherine Martin (2004). She is a graduate of the University of Oregon, 1998 BSc in History and Economics.
I think it's unusual for the chief of staff to go on a trip, particularly on a trip this long. The chief of staff is usually more of a chief operating officer in the White House itself, and normally when your principal—whether it's the president himself or the head of Cabinet agency—goes abroad, you have his deputy and those folks staying behind to help manage operations in his absence.