Press Page


Here you can find articles, events, guest speaking roles, and more of Bryan around the web.

Bryan’s Profile and Bio on the Fellowship Program of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations website.

UNAOC Fellows Profile

Bryan’s Bio on the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C. webpage

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington, D.C.

“Bryan Schaaf, a former Peace Corps worker, said he ran into all kinds of missionaries when he was living in Haiti from 2000 to 2002. He recalled one American missionary man living in his village who quietly visited rural areas and helped Haitians build wells.

“They built this large network of wells that wouldn’t otherwise have been there,” said Schaaf. “It was a missionary family that was well accepted by the community, and using sound development principles.””

Kari Huus

Haiti awash in Christian aid, evangelism, NBC News

“In an effort to promote the integration of mental health services in low-resource communities affected by humanitarian emergencies  Dr. Inka Weissbecker, International Medical Corps’ Global Mental Health and Psychosocial Advisor, will be part of a panel discussion entitled: Mental Health in Emergencies: Filling the Gap in Global Humanitarian Response.  Dr. Weissbecker will be joined by Bryan Schaaf, Policy Analyst for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration at the US Department of State.

International Medical Corps to Highlight on Capitol Hill the Need for Integrated Mental Health Services in Humanitarian Emergencies, International Medical Corps

“In  Bryan Schaaf’s article “Don’t Send Food to Haiti,” he explains why cash contributions are a better choice when humanitarians wish to assist a developing country’s food security situation. Money is easy to transport and, unlike food or other donated items, it doesn’t have to clear customs. More often than not, items sent to Haiti sit in warehouses waiting for inspection and approval.

Jennifer Browning

Food security in Haiti needs more than a band-aid approach, Project Medishare

“Science Diplomacy and Refugee Crises: Health & Education Auditorium. Speaker Bryan Schaaf, Policy Officer, Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration, U.S. Department of State: Access to Health, Education and Livelihoods for Syrian Refugees

The Role of Science Diplomacy in International Crises: Syria as a Case Study, American Association for the Advancement of Science

“Students passionate about public health are invited to participate in a panel discussion with Professor Jody Gan from the Department of Public Health, students from the Public Health program, and professionals currently working in the field of public health. Receive career-related tips and advice from professionals who have launched diverse and rewarding careers.

Guest Panelists Include:
Bryan Schaaf, M.P.H.- U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration

Public Health Career Night , College of Arts and Sciences

“So I welcome … Mr. Bryan Schaaf of the State Department’s Office of Initiatives in Africa.
Our diplomatic friends have traveled far to give us their thoughts on the health challenges – and
opportunities – we face in this important area of the world, and how – together – we can build a
bridge to peace and stability through health. We look forward to all of today’s presentations.

Ellen P. Embrey

Building a Bridge to Peace and Stability Through Health, Force Health Protection and Readiness

“There is also a belief in the resilience of the Haitian people. Schaaf is one of the founders of Haiti Innovation, an organization created by RPCVs to bring attention to the many positive initiatives and developments in Haiti.  Saddened because the earthquake is a massive setback after a year of positive economic and social development, Schaaf noted there is tremendous suffering.  But, he added, “I worry that the (media) footage makes Haitians look helpless. They are not.”  As is the case with citizens elsewhere, “It is the local communities and local people that are first in responding to the crisis.”

Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in Washington Raise $1,000 for Haiti, Peace Corps Connect

“Introduction to Humanitarian Assistance” – Bryan Schaaf’s PowerPoint presentation from the 2011 University of Chicago Summer Teacher Institute, Migration: Causes and Consequences.

What is Needed for Survival in a Refugee Camp?, University of Chicago Summer Institute Lesson Syllabus

“USAID Announces Haitian Diaspora Marketplace Initiative (Courtesy of Bryan Schaaf)

Ethnos Project Social Media, University of Chicago Summer Institute Lesson Syllabus

“CWS would like to thank Bryan Schaaf (PRM) for his support, encouragement and feedback on earlier drafts.


“In Secretary Mike Carmichael’s absence, his predecessor in the position Haleh Vaziri welcomed the following guests and Rotarians joining us from other clubs: Bryan Schaaf – Policy Officer at the U.S. Department of State, President of the Dupont Circle Rotary Club, also Jennifer Hara’s guest.

DC Rotary Club Meeting in Review, DC Rotary Club

“Many thanks to all our volunteers – Club President Polly Binns, Barbara Carter and husband Vernell, Matt Vines, Bryan Schaaf, Jimmy Thompson. and Kathy Beckman. The Orr Elementary staff was easy to work with and appreciated our efforts this morning. We would like to find out what other needs they may have during their school year where we might partner.”

Volunteer Day at Orr Elementary School, Capitol Hill Rotary Club

FY 2012 Funding Opportunity Announcement For Research Projects To Strengthen Evidence-Based Humanitarian Decision Making By PRM And Its Partners Worldwide, DevEx

Profile for Bryan on the The Communication Initiative Network website.

The Market Place for International Development Profile, The Communication Initiative Network



Here you can find blogs, articles, and other things that Bryan has written online.

World travel through conversation. A blog documenting conversations and experiences with rideshare drivers and riders.

Bryan Schaaf

The Rideshare Diaries

The purpose of this blog is to write about the people, the places, and the issues that make Old Town Alexandria, VA what it is and what it could be.

Bryan Schaaf

What's New in Old Town?

Haiti Innovation is an all-volunteer, non profit consultancy. Created by former Peace Corps Volunteers, the Haiti Innovation team offers technical expertise and in depth knowledge of Haitian developmental challenges and solutions.

Bryan Schaaf

Haiti Innovation

“Due to conflict and famine, over 235,000 refugees fled Somalia from January to June of this year alone. Over half have come to Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, which was already the largest in the world, situated in the arid northeast, about 80 kilometers from the Somali border.”


Read More:


Bryan Schaaf

U.S., Kenya and UNHCR Work Together To Assist Refugees, DipNote: The U.S. Department of State Official Blog

“The conflict in Libya continues to cause both significant internal displacement as well as outflows of refugees and third country nationals into Tunisia, Egypt, and other neighboring countries. Given the scale of humanitarian need, a coordinated U.S. government humanitarian response remains critical. In early March, colleagues from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and I were deployed as members of what became the Tunisia Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART). This was the first time I had served on a DART and I was impressed both by the speed with which we were deployed as well as the skills and expertise of my OFDA team-mates.”


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Bryan Schaaf

Coordinating U.S. Government Assistance to Migrants Fleeing Libya, DipNote: The U.S. Department of State Official Blog

“World AIDS Day reminds us that millions of people around the world live every day with the reality of HIV or AIDS. Providing comprehensive health care and services to HIV-infected populations can be challenging in any setting, but for people displaced from their homes and communities by war, violence, or persecution, the need for HIV/AIDS services — and the challenges of providing it — are often even greater. Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the United States government has significantly expanded access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care programs for conflict-affected populations.”


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Bryan Schaaf

Expanding HIV/AIDS Prevention, Treatment, and Care Programs for Refugees, DipNote: The U.S. Department of State Official Blog

Contributor Page for DipNote: The U.S. Department of State Official Blog.


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Bryan Schaaf

Contributor Page, DipNote: The U.S. Department of State Official Blog

“Haiti is the country most affected by HIV/AIDS in the Western Hemisphere. That having been said, Haiti is also one of only a handfull of countries to have halted and reversed a generalized epidemic. This is something to be proud of. Credit mainly goes to Haitian civil society but also to national and international non-governmental organizations as well as commited government officials. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have, in different ways, both helped accelerate progress.”


Read More:


Bryan Schaaf

Fighting AIDS in Haiti: PEPFAR and the Global Fund, Konbit Sante

View many of the pieces published on this page,, syndicated to the DuPont Circle Rotary Club, of which Bryan Schaaf is former president.


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Bryan Schaaf

Rotary Club of Dupont Circle

“Austria received around 90,000 asylum requests in 2015, the majority of whom are from Afghanistan but also Syria, Iraq and other conflict-affected countries. Reuters recently released an article about crimes rising sharply in Austria amidst this refugee and migrant emergency.  These are not crimes committed by refugees and migrants but rather crimes committed against refugees and migrants, primarily by far right groups driven by xenophobia and Islamophobia. The article notes there were 1,690 cases related to right wing extremism in 2015, the highest recorded in a single year and up from 1,200 in 2015.”

Read More:


Bryan Schaaf

Rotary and the European Refugee and Migrant Emergency, The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle

“The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle is partnered with the Unter Den Linden Rotary Club in Berlin. In fact, the two Rotary clubs are considered “sister clubs” by Rotary International. Both clubs are located in capital cities and are keenly interested in social service in our communities, countries, and globally.

Last month, I had the opportunity to visit the Unter Den Linden Rotary Club in person.  I enjoyed meeting professionals from different backgrounds who care about the same things we do – polio eradication, education, water and sanitation, and women’s empowerment, to name a few.  The culture of every club is different – but what we care about and work on together is what makes us part of an international movement than makes a difference in the world.”

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Bryan Schaaf

Lessons from Berlin and Our German Sister Club, The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle

“City Dogs Rescue is an organization that rescues adoptable dogs from kill and/or overcrowded shelters, places them in foster families, eventually finding them permanent homes in the DC metropolitan area.  The Dupont Circle Rotary Club, having a soft spot for dogs, volunteered during “Dine Out for the Dogs” on August 10th to raise funds and promote fostering and adoption of dogs in need of a home.  Logan Tavern, Comissary, the Pig, and Grillfish gave 15% of their proceeds that night to City Dogs Rescue and allowed volunteers to set-up an information table staffed by City Dogs, Dupont Rotary volunteers, and the stars of the show…the dogs themselves!   While the rain did keep a few foster families away, that just meant more attention for our two very friendly dogs.”

Read More:


Bryan Schaaf

Dining Out with the Dogs, Then Playing with the Pooches, The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle

“Washington, D.C. is a very transient city.  Administrations come and go, and waves of friends get whirled into and out of the city like a centrifuge.  It can be easy to feel disconnected sometimes. I spend most of my day working in D.C. but interact with very few people who were born and spent their whole lives here.  Being a member of Dupont Rotary has given me opportunities to give back and feel more connected to the city.

 For example, the Dupont Rotary partners with BEST Kids, a very good non-profit here in Washington, D.C. that provides mentors for kids who are in the foster care system.  The mentors provide the kids with positive, stable adult relationships that would otherwise be lacking. “

Read More:


Bryan Schaaf

Dupont Rotarians Build Partnership with BEST Kids, Mentor Children in Local Community, The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle

“On November 14th, Dupont Rotary participated in a clean-up at the Kennilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens in Northeast D.C.  We were joined by youth from BEST Kids, who we partner with on a regular basis, in addition to student conservation groups.  Although I had lived in Washington, D.C. for ten years and had heard of the aquatic gardens before, I had never visited them—which is a shame, because it really is a beautiful little oasis in a busy part of the city. That is one of the things I like about Rotary—it gets me to places where I have not been before and gives me opportunities to help out, both in my own backyard and around the world.”

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Bryan Schaaf

Kennilworth Aquatic Garden Clean-Up, The Rotary Club of Dupont Circle

“Where in the Geneva conventions does it say refugees can only seek asylum (a right) in neighboring countries? And how can we guarantee the safety of people in the “safe zones” given the spotty history of trying to apply them in practice? I would argue UNHCR has credibility but that the governments turning refugees away at their borders or treating them as criminals rather than asylum seekers are the ones who lack both credibility and compassion.”

Bryan Schaaf

Comment on Syria safe zones will not end need for asylum in west, UN refugee head warns

“Mental health is important to public health, human rights, and economic development.”

Bryan Schaaf

Comment on Development partners: Prioritise mental health in global development

“I wouldn’t use this to commute into DC during the week but I would appreciate having the option of having a regular service into DC on the weekends. Metro barely functions on weekends.”

Bryan Schaaf

Comment on Our View: Commuter ferries are an intriguing but unfinished idea


Here you will find present and past fundraising efforts from Bryan for a variety of causes.

“DC Rotary wrote –

Washington, D.C.’s first ever D.C. Duck Race is set for April 30, 2016. The Rotary Club of Washington D.C. will host the event on the Anacostia River at The Yards Park thanks in part to a partnership with the Capitol Riverfront Business Improvement District (BID).

The D.C. Duck Race is a fun, family-friendly event and festival that will bring the community together in support of local non-profits and organizations. “Sponsor” numbered rubber ducks that will participate in a race in the Anacostia River, with funds supporting the Rotary Club and community organizations.  This event is modeled on many successful events hosted by Rotary Clubs across the United States, including one run in Aspen, Colorado for more than two decades.

First prize is $5,000 or a Special Duck worth $1,000,000!!* Plus an additional 10 or more prizes will be awarded.

Funds raised through this event:

  • provide annual grants in excess of  $140,000 to more than 30 local  non-profits
  • hosts career fairs for D.C. high school students
  • provides dictionaries to local 3rd graders
  • feeds the homeless every month in the nation’s capital
  • supports international projects through matching grants

The Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. is very active in the local community. In addition to the projects listed on the previous page, the Rotary Club has a partnership with D.C. Habitat for Humanity and the Ivy City III Project that provided 11 new homes to D.C. residents.

“This will be an enjoyable family event for people of all ages and a chance for sponsors to join the D.C. Rotary Club as it continues more than a century of service to our community,” said Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. President David O. Treadwell.

You can learn more about the D.C. Duck Race and the Rotary Club of Washington, D.C. at

Thank you for your duck sponsorship! We’ll see you at The Yards Park on April 30, 2016!

*For every 3,333 ducks sponsored, one will be a Special Duck worth $1 Million if it comes in 1st place.”

Bryan Schaaf


“UNRWA, the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees, is the primary provider of healthcare, education, and other basic social services to 5.3 million Palestine refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria. UNRWA has been the largest humanitarian operation in the region since its inception in 1950, and continues to help Palestine refugees achieve their full potential in human development. In Gaza, UNRWA provides assistance and protection for over 1.2 million registered refugees. This includes mental health counseling for 50,000 refugees every year, and in 2014, individual counseling for an additional 12,600 refugee children to help them cope with the trauma of bombings and blockade in 2014.”

Bryan Schaaf

2013 Gaza Solidarity 5K, DC: FRIENDS OF UNRWA ASSOCIATION INC, FirstGiving

“The Mekong Club is a movement fighting the business of human slavery in Asia. We are the first organisation in the world to bring together the skills and resources of the business community, channeling them into projects that directly disrupt the slavery and human trafficking trade.”

Bryan Schaaf

The Mekong Club: We are a movement in Asia working to fight the business of human slavery., JustGiving