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Forum 2016

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Join Us at Forum 2016

The most influential event of its kind, the 32nd 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 April 18-20 in Washington, D.C., Forum 2016 promises to be our most ambitious and exciting program ever.


Jan Eliasson was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 2, 2012. He took office as Deputy Secretary-General on July 1, 2012. Mr. Eliasson was from 2007-2008 the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur. Prior to this, Jan Eliasson served as President of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the US from September 2000 until July 2005. In March 2006, Mr. Eliasson was appointed Foreign Minister of Sweden and served in this capacity until the elections in the fall of 2006. Mr. Eliasson served from 1994 to 2000 as State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, a key position in formulating and implementing Swedish foreign policy. He was Sweden’s Ambassador to the UN in New York 1988-92, and also served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Iran/Iraq.

Mr. Eliasson was the first UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and was involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans. He took initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention and humanitarian action. 1980-1986, Mr. Eliasson was part of the UN mediation missions in the war between Iran and Iraq, headed by former Prime Minister Olof Palme. In 1993-94 Mr. Eliasson served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He has been a Visiting Professor at Uppsala University and Gothenburg University in Sweden, lecturing on mediation, conflict resolution and UN reform. On 18 September 2011, Mr. Eliasson delivered the 13th annual Dag Hammarskjöld Lecture, organised by the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation and Uppsala University; the theme of his address was “Peace, Development and Human Rights: The Indispensable Connection”. Mr. Eliasson has had diplomatic postings in New York (twice) Paris, Bonn, Washington (twice) and Harare, where he opened the first Swedish Embassy in 1980.

Gayle E. Smith was sworn into office as the seventeenth Administrator of USAID on December 2, 2015. As a long-time leader in President Obama’s Administration, she has helped shape and guide America’s international development policy for the past seven years, including by elevating development as a vital component of the national security agenda. As Administrator of USAID, Smith oversees a dedicated team of nearly 10,000 professionals working to end extreme poverty, foster sustained and inclusive economic growth, and promote resilient, democratic societies all over the world. She is committed to sustaining USAID’s work to lift up the world’s most vulnerable people through promoting innovative partnerships, emphasizing science and technology, engaging with and strengthening local leadership, and maintaining a relentless focus on evaluating, measuring, and delivering results.

Most recently, Administrator Smith served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security Council (NSC), where she helped manage the U.S. Government's responses to more than 15 major humanitarian crises and worked to strengthen democratic institutions around the world. She has been a driving force behind Presidential initiatives that are advancing USAID's mission, including Feed the Future and Power Africa.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is a world-renowned professor of economics, leader in sustainable development, senior UN advisor, bestselling author, and syndicated columnist whose monthly newspaper columns appear in more than 100 countries. He is the co-recipient of the 2015 Blue Planet Prize, the leading global prize for environmental leadership. He has twice been named among Time Magazine’s 100 most influential world leaders. He was called by the New York Times, “probably the most important economist in the world,” and by Time Magazine “the world’s best known economist.” A recent survey by The Economist Magazine ranked Professor Sachs as among the world’s three most influential living economists of the past decade.

Professor Sachs serves as the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. He is Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals, and previously advised both UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals.  He is a Distinguished Fellow of the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria. Sachs is Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.