Omer Ismail was born in the Darfur region of Sudan. He has spent over 20 years working both independently and with international organizations on relief efforts and human rights. Omer fled Sudan in 1989 as a result of his political views. He helped found the Sudan Democratic Forum, a think tank of Sudanese intellectuals working for the advancement of democracy in Sudan. In addition, he co-founded the Darfur Peace and Development organization to raise awareness about the crisis in his troubled region. He currently works as Policy Advisor to several agencies working in crisis management and conflict resolution in Africa. He was a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy.