LISA SHANNON is a writer and women’s security activist. In 2005, she founded Run for Congo Women (RfCW), the first national grassroots campaign in the US to raise awareness for the forgotten humanitarian crisis in DR Congo. RfCW and Shannon’s associated media appearances have raised more than 15 million dollars and directly aided more than 90,000 Congolese women and children. Shannon’s first book A Thousand Sisters details her journeys into war affected eastern Congo and has been translated into five languages. The book won the Independent Publishing Association’s Gold Award for Best Current Events/ Foreign Affairs book of the year. Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker wrote about A Thousand Sisters, “I can’t imagine a more perfect book for arousing the power of American women (or women and men everywhere) to rush to the defense of our Congolese sisters.”
Shannon’s opeds and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including the International Herald Tribune, The Guardian Online, and The New York Times Online. In July 2011, Shannon cofounded Sister Somalia, the first sexual violence crisis center in Mogadishu. She has spearheaded multiple successful media campaigns related to Congo, Somalia and conflict minerals legislation. Shannon is a fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights and a former fellow with the Center for Public Leadership. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Georgetown University. Shannon’s next book is Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen (Public Affairs Fall 2014).