Dec 17, 2019
Mohamed Abdel-Kader (@MAKtweeter) is Executive Director of the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute. He previously served in the administration of President Barack Obama as Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Foreign Language Education at the US Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education. In that role, Mohamed was responsible for encouraging and promoting the study of foreign languages and the study of the cultures of other countries at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in the United States. He led his division’s work in administering grants for overseas studies and research programs funded through the Fulbright-Hays Act as well as Title VI grants to support language and area studies programs in the United States.
Before joining the US Department of Education, Mohamed served as the Director of Development for the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and managed the university’s advancement strategy in the Middle East, where he focused on major gifts and strategic engagement. Previously, he developed international partnerships and led donor development efforts at George Mason University. He has advised a variety of clients on organizational strategy, doing business in emerging markets, intercultural communication, and cultural competency in international philanthropy.
He speaks fluent Arabic and basic Spanish, is a Truman National Security Fellow and is the author of a children’s book about stereotypes. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Clemson University, a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Mohamed is a trustee of the Longview Foundation for International Education & World Affairs.
Virtual Exchange Impact and Learning Report (Stevens Initiative, 2019)
Two Texas men admitted to using gay dating app Grindr to target gay men for hate crimes. The 24 and 18-year-old pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime, conspiracy to commit a hate crime, car jacking and use of a firearm, according to the Justice Department. The defendants used Grindr to lure gay men to a vacant apartment where they allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted them, forcing them to withdraw money from ATMs at gunpoint. They face between 15 and 30 years for their crimes.
Several tech companies and advocacy groups, including Mozilla, Etsy, Vimeo, Free Press, and Public Knowledge, among others, filed an appeal in the D.C. Circuit asking the full panel of judges to reconsider the three-judge panel’s October decision to uphold the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of the Obama-era net neutrality rules. If the court grants the appeal petition, the full court will rehear the matter.
Senators Cory Booker and Ron Wyden sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma calling for action to address racial and ethnic biases in healthcare. The Senators specifically cited recent research published in Science magazine showing that doctors were more likely not to refer black patients for additional care since their healthcare costs are typically lower than those of white patients. The Senators also cited a 2016 study showing that medical students and residents thought that black patients have a higher threshold for pain than white patients, affecting treatment recommendations offered to black patients. The Senators requested answers to several questions as to how CMMS is addressing algorithmic bias in healthcare. The answers to those questions are due by December 31st.
ProPublica reported last week that Facebook still allows advertisers to to discriminate based on age and gender even though the company made changes to its platform to prevent advertisers from explicit targeting discrimination. But a new report by Northeastern and Upturn found that advertisers can still discriminate based on proxies for age and gender. Targeting audiences based on software engineering as an occupation, for example, can yield a larger percentage of male applicants. Facebook is adamant that it has done more than any other company to address advertising bias.
A new report from Hiya, a company that tracks robocalls, released a report Monday showing that some 54.6 million robocalls were placed between January and November of this year—a 108 percent increase compared to last year. Congress is expected to pass legislation that will require phone carriers to block robocalls as well as verify that the phone numbers from which calls originate are legit.