Ishmael Beah was born in Sierra Leone in 1980. During the civil war in Sierra Leone he was a child soldier. His best selling book, “A Long Way Gone” details this experience. He moved to the United States in 1998 and finished his last two years of high school at the United Nations International School in New York. In 2004 he graduated from Oberlin College with a B.A. in political science. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has spoken before the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Center for Emerging Threats and Opportunities (CETO) at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, and many other NGO panels on children affected by the war. He currently works with UNICEF as an Advocate for Youth Affected by War and is about to release his second book in January 2014.