A conversation with Gayle Brandeis and Elpida Rouka.
Gayle Brandeis is the author, most recently, of the memoir “The Art of Misdiagnosis: Surviving My Mother’s Suicide.” Her poetry, essays, and short fiction have been widely published and have received numerous honors, including a Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award and a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2016. She teaches at Sierra Nevada College and in the low residency MFA program at Antioch University Los Angeles.
Elpida Rouka has most recently served as Chief of Staff a.i. to the UN Special Envoy on Syria whom she joined in September 2014. She remains part of his core good offices team to date. Previously, she was in Jerusalem where she led the political team for the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, an office which was set up after the Oslo Accords. She has worked for the United Nations for over 15 years and has most recently served as Principal Political Adviser for the UN’s Special Political Missions both in Iraq (2007-2009) and in Afghanistan (2010-2012) where she has dealt with aspects of facilitating peace and political processes, advancing regional dialogue, promoting human rights and assisting with the framework of electoral preparations.