International students at the Certificate Program will be part of EOPA’s Energy Security Marshall Plan for Ukraine

August 8, 2023

From August 11 to August 13, Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) will be hosting the third Certificate in Public Leadership course in partnership with University of San Francisco. The in-person instruction will take place at the USF campus in Washington D.C. After a weekend of experiential learning the seven-week course will continue with online instruction for two hours each week for the remaining six weeks.

“It was a challenge for EOPA to select 42 outstanding participants from across the United States and internationally, including veterans who are elected officials. The international students herald from the Ukraine, Mexico,  the UK, and Australia. EOPA is honored to have enrolled the youngest member of the Mexican Congress, lawmakers from Hawaii to Maine, a Ukrainian war hero, an Afghanistan war hero, impact investors, and international journalists,”  said  Alex Cornell du Houx, USF Adjunct Professor, former Maine state Representative, Marine combat veteran, President of the Elected Officials to Protect America, and Co-Founder. “The Ukrainian contingent taking part are developing and supporting a Ukraine Energy Security Marshall Plan to help ensure clean energy is powering hospitals and command centers as it is much more resilient against missile and drone attacks.”

Before Putin’s invasion, during the evacuation of Afghanistan, a Ukrainian, working with EOPA and supporters, flew into Kabulto help extract over 400 Afghan allies who were going to be left behind. The first person she evacuated was a Afghan female journalist working for USA Today who risked her life to support gender equality. Both courageous women are a part of the certificate program. Overall, Ukraine evacuated 4000 Afghan refugees. 

When Putin attacked Ukraine, participants in the Certificate Program took action. Now they are working to take their country back and to rebuild it with clean energy systems, as a matter of national security and climate crisis mitigation. To do so, they are working with EOPA to launch the Energy Security Marshall Plan for Ukraine. Not all those involved in assisting Ukraine are Ukrainian. Imogen Payter, an elected official in the UK, has been to Ukraine on several aid convoys she organized since the invasion and continues to raise aid locally.

There are many firsts in the class as well, including: The first African American elected to the New Mexico Senate, the first Asian-American woman elected to the Ohio State Senate, the first woman to be elected to Rhode Island’s District 15 House of Representatives, the first African American woman elected as Council President for the City of Jersey City, and the first openly LGBTQ Muslim to be elected in the nation.

“I’m excited and inspired by the participants in this cohort. They are courageous, dedicated individuals making the world a more secure place through their individual missions and unwavering commitment to environmental justice. It’s an honor to have them take part,” said Christian Brock, instructor, CEO Elected Officials to Protect America, US Air Force Veteran. “We hope they’ll continue to work with us after the course with our various programs, like those who will work on our Energy Security Marshall Plan for Ukraine.” 

On August 14, at 11am, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., three participants from the 2023 EOPA/USF Certificate Program and their instructor, Alex Cornell du Houx, will take part in a live press conference for the anniversary of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). They will use what they have learned in the course to highlight  how the IRA is fighting the climate crisis with tangible solutions, and how environmental justice communities will be uplifted by IRA programs. 

Elected Officials to Protect America is a network of current and former elected officials who care deeply about protecting the planet and people. EOPA is committed to solving the climate crisis, ensuring environmental justice, and protecting our lands and waters. EOPA educates through value-based storytelling, training lawmakers, and connecting elected officials to inspire strong environmental leadership.