Forum 2015

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Join Us at Forum 2015

The most influential event of its kind, the 31st annual InterAction Forum brings together leaders from not-for-profits, governments, philanthropy, corporations, and civil society to advance collaboration, effectiveness, and innovation in our work to end poverty and move us toward a more sustainable and equitable future.

Scheduled for June 22-24 in Washington, D.C., Forum 2015 promises to be our most ambitious and exciting program ever. Our work is framed by enormous and rapid changes in the development and humanitarian landscape – technological advances, multisector partnerships, and new financing mechanisms, as well as complex challenges from climate change to food insecurity and economic instability. Forum 2015 is an unprecedented opportunity to raise the effectiveness of our work and find solutions to these challenges.


Ben Rhodes to Give a Keynote on the Impact of the President's Stand With Civil Society Initiative

Ben Rhodes is the Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting, overseeing President Obama’s national security communications, speechwriting, and global engagement. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of White House Speechwriting, and as a Senior Speechwriter for the Obama campaign. Prior to joining Obama for America, he worked for several years as Special Assistant to Lee Hamilton at the Wilson Center, where he helped draft the Iraq Study Group Report and the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. He is the co-author, with Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean, of Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission. A native of New York City, Ben has a B.A. from Rice University, and an M.F.A. from New York University.

Bill Easterly, Amina Mohammed, and Yves Daccord to Speak on the Future of Our Sector

William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, which won the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge in Development Cooperation Award. He is the author of three books: The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (March 2014), The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Harm and So Little Good (2006), which won the FA Hayek Award from the Manhattan Institute, and The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001).

He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed academic articles, and has written columns and reviews for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, New York Review of Books, and Washington Post. He has served as Co-Editor of the Journal of Development Economics and as Director of the blog Aid Watch. He is a Research Associate of NBER, senior fellow at BREAD, and nonresident Senior Fellow at Brookings. Foreign Policy Magazine named him among the Top 100 Global Public Intellectuals in 2008 and 2009, and Thomson Reuters listed him as one of Highly Cited Researchers of 2014. He was named among 100 Scientist Stars of Twitter by Science magazine. He is also the 11th most famous native of Bowling Green, Ohio.

Amina Mohammed, Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning, was born in 1961, in Nigeria. She was appointed in July 2012 by the UN Secretary General as Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning. Ms. Mohammed has more than 30 years experience as a development practitioner in the public and private sectors, as well as civil society.

Prior to her UN role, she served as Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the MDGs, serving three Presidents over a period of six years. Ms. Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory panels and boards. She is a recipient of the Nigerian ‘National Honours Award of the Order of the Federal Republic’ and was inducted in the Nigerian Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007. Ms. Mohammed has four children.

Yves Daccord is Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva, a post he has held since 2010. A former journalist, TV producer, and international relations expert, his ICRC career has spanned more than two decades in a variety of posts and challenging contexts – including Israel and the Occupied Territories, Sudan, Yemen, Chechnya, and Georgia.

Prior to his appointment as Director-General, he held the posts of Head of Communication Division and Director of Communications. He assumed the chair of Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) in January 2015. He holds a degree in political science. Born in 1964, Mr. Daccord is married with three children.

Sheri Fink, Paul Danahar, and Michael Elliott Examine the Media, NGO Accountability, and Engagement

Sheri Fink is the author of the New York Times bestselling book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown, 2013), winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for nonfiction, the Ridenhour Book Prize, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Book Award, the American Medical Writers Association Medical Book Award, and the NASW Science in Society Journalism Book Award. Fink’s news reporting has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Magazine Award, and the Overseas Press Club Lowell Thomas Award, among other journalism prizes.
A former relief worker in disaster and conflict zones, Fink received her M.D. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. Her first book, War Hospital: A True Story of Surgery and Survival (PublicAffairs), is about medical professionals under siege during the genocide in Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina. She is a correspondent at the New York Times
Paul Danahar is the BBC’s Americas Bureaux Chief and author of the book The New Middle East: The World after the Arab Spring. Danahar has lived and worked as a journalist in South Asia, Africa, the Far East, and the Middle East. He was the BBC's Middle East Bureau Chief (2010–13) where he ran the organization's news coverage of the Arab Spring for which he won two Emmys and a Peabody award. In 2003 he was awarded an MBE for his work as the Baghdad Bureau Chief during the American-led invasion.
Prior to his present posting, Danahar was the BBC's East Asia Bureau Chief for three years, and previous to that he was the BBC's South Asia Bureau Chief, covering the rise, fall, and eventual return of the Taliban. He is one of a small number of journalists to have worked in all three countries that make up the so-called 'Axis of Evil': Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. He was appointed the BBC's Americas Bureaux Chief in 2013.
Michael Elliott is the President and CEO of ONE, the global campaigning and advocacy organization fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease. Prior to joining ONE in 2011, Elliott had a long and distinguished career in the media. He served as editor of both TIME International and Newsweek International, and as Political Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of The Economist, where he was the founding author of both the “Bagehot” and “Lexington” columns. Elliott was a columnist on the global economy for Fortune magazine, and has written and presented many television documentaries that have been broadcast all over the world. He is the author of four books, including The Day Before Yesterday, an acclaimed history of the post-1945 United States. Elliott was born and raised in Liverpool, England, and earned two degrees from Oxford University.
Prior to his career in journalism, he was a member of the Central Policy Review Staff in Britain’s Cabinet Office, and before that, spent eight years teaching in universities in the US and UK, ending his academic career with a tenured position at the London School of Economics. Elliott sits on a number of official advisory committees and boards, including those of InterAction, the International Center for Journalists, and Beyond Sport. 

Kristin Lord, Daniel Brutto, and Nicole Goldin Discuss Creating Economic Opportunities for Youth

Kristin Lord is President & CEO of IREX and the Co-Chair of AIYD. Prior to joining IREX, Dr. Lord served as Acting President and Executive Vice President of the United States Institute of Peace, a Congressionally-created organization that prevents, mitigates, and resolves violence conflict worldwide. From 2009 - 2013, she was Executive Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), where she oversaw the Center's research and served as one of three members of the Center's leadership team. Prior to joining CNAS, Dr. Lord was a fellow at The Brookings Institution and directed the science and technology initiative of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World. Dr. Lord held leadership roles at The George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs, including Associate Dean for Strategy, Research, and External Relations. She received an International Affairs Fellowship from the Council on Foreign Relations, enabling her to serve as a special adviser to the Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs from 2005 - 2006. 

Dr. Lord is the author of Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy or Peace (SUNY Press 2006), Power and Conflict in an Age of Transparency, edited with Bernard I. Finel (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), and numerous book chapters, policy papers, and articles. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University and her bachelor's degree in International Studies from American University.

Daniel Brutto is a UPS Foundation Trustee and a retired President of UPS International. Brutto began his 38 year career with UPS in 1975 as a part time employee while attending Loyola University in Illinois. Over the years, he held several senior management positions in operations, finance, marketing, and business development.

As president of UPS International, Dan Brutto was responsible for the company's global expansion. He lead UPS international package, freight forwarding and logistics businesses, as well as U.S. international package services serving more than 220 countries and territories. Prior to this role, Brutto was president of UPS Global Freight Forwarding, where he was responsible for air and ocean freight network management and global brokerage services. Under Dan's leadership, UPS developed a model that is unique to the logistics industry. He was responsible for establishing logistics emergency teams for rapid response during dire emergencies, and continues to share his expertise as a member of the National Board of Directors and the United States Fund for UNICEF, among others. Brutto led efforts to respond to natural disasters such as earthquakes in Haiti and Japan during his tenure with UPS, and he works directly with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), relief agencies, and governments to streamline their supply chains for more effective emergency response.

Nicole Goldin is a leading expert on inclusive global development and international affairs; especially well-known for her pioneering work on youth, young women, and girls.   She heads a boutique consultancy, NRG Advisory, is an affiliated expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a professorial lecturer at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. She recently led the creation of the  acclaimed inaugural Global Youth Wellbeing Index. Her commentaries and analyses have been featured in many fora including CNN, The Huffington Post, Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR), The Guardian, Devex, U.S. News, and she has appeared before the United Nations, on Voice of America, WTOP, and in other media. She served in senior advisory positions in the Obama Administration at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development and received multiple commendations for her work. She was a driving force behind the State Department Youth Task Force and policy framework, the President's Young African Leaders Initiative, and was principal architect of USAID's Policy on Youth In Development. 

Dr. Goldin has demonstrated success working within and across public, corporate, finance, philanthropic and non-profit sectors with organizations including International Youth Foundation, Hilton Worldwide, Clinton Global Initiative, Gerson Lehrman Group, Chemonics, and IFES. Dr. Goldin has a Ph.D. in Economics, and masters degrees in Development and International Affairs. She is Board Director of Educate!, an adviser to She's The First and sat on the Board of Directors of the Society for International Development-Washington. She volunteers locally with The Reading Connection in the D.C. metro area. 


Engage   |   Learn   |   Build

  • Engage with government decision makers, private sector leaders, relief and development experts, and hundreds of peers who share your passion and commitments.
  • Learn about latest developments in issues that affect our sector. Get trained in best practices and skills that support your work.
  • Build our effectiveness as a community of the most professional and accountable nonprofits working internationally at creating a sustainable and equitable future.

Featuring thought-provoking plenary sessions and workshops with more than 100 experts from around the world, Forum 2015 will bring together more than 1,000 professionals from more than 350 organizations representing the broad international development landscape.

2015 Forum Co-Chairs

Shawna Bader-Blau leads the Solidarity Center, the largest global worker rights organization based in the United States. Since October 2011, she has served as executive director of an organization of more than 220 staff in Washington, D.C., and 26 field offices, implementing programs in 60 countries. She has been with the organization for 12 years.

Shawna is an advocate and activist for working women and men seeking safe jobs with dignity that provide for their families and futures. As the public face of the Solidarity Center, she testifies as an expert witness at U.S. Congressional briefings and hearings on worker and human rights. She represents the organization at conferences and policy discussions around the world, promoting social justice, gender equity, decent work and more inclusive economic development and democratic societies. She raises the voice of workers within the international rights community and with the U.S. and other governments.

Shawna has worked in the field of international development and human rights for 17 years and has lived or worked in more than 25 countries. She is an Arabic speaker and holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Shawna currently serves on the Board of Directors of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

Steve Davis, President and CEO of PATH, combines his extensive experience as a technology business leader, global health advocate, and social innovator to accelerate great ideas and bring lifesaving solutions to scale. He oversees PATH’s work of driving transformative global health innovation to save and improve lives, reaching 219 million people in 2013.

Davis’ commitment to human rights and global development grew from his early work on refugee programs and policies, and from his later focus on Chinese politics and law. He has been a leader and strategist for a range of private and nonprofit organizations, including as CEO of the global digital media firm Corbis, director of social innovation for McKinsey & Company, and interim CEO of the Infectious Disease Research Institute.

Davis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), serves on the boards of InterAction and Global Partnerships, and sits on several advisory groups, including the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation and the Clinton Global Initiative’s Global Health Advisory Board.

Davis earned his BA from Princeton University, his MA in Chinese studies from the University of Washington, and his JD from Columbia University.

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