ELS WOODKE PRESS CONFERENCE — Nov. 17, 2021, 1:30 pm
Summary: Els Woodke will make her first public comments regarding the kidnapping of her husband, Jeff Woodke by a jihadist terrorist group in West Africa in 2016. Her remarks will address:
- The reason her husband Jeff was living and working in Niger when he was kidnapped. She will provide an overview of the 29 years of humanitarian work he has done to support nomadic pastoralist peoples of the Sahel.
- Her five years’ efforts to free her husband, including her efforts and struggles trying to work with different governments, including the U.S. government, to obtain help in freeing Jeff.
- The present situation, including:
- What group she thinks holds Jeff; and
- What they seem to want and what she is doing (and fighting)
- Why she has decided to speak out publicly now (and the circumstances that led to that decision); and
- Making specific requests for action from the Mali and United States governments.
- She will provide copies of her two most recent video messages to the public, asking for their help; and to the captors, advocating for Jeff’s immediate release.
- Els will take questions from the media.
- Links to videos and prepared remarks will be available.
In-Person: The National Press Club, Lisagor Room, 529 14th St NW, Washington, DC
(Participants must present proof of negative COVID-19 test or vaccination, wear a mask, and agree to a temperature check)
Live Stream: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGFrVGw_tl0CYoTHOmv4_nu3U2jY34YrE
Margaux Ewen, Executive Director of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
Els Woodke, wife of hostage Jeff Woodke
Robert Klamser, Executive Director, Crisis Consulting International
Diane Foley, the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
Juleanna Glover and Veronika Velch, Ridgely/Walsh
Palmer Holt, InChrist Communications
Patty Powers, The National Press Club
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