Forum 2016 Plenary Sessions

Monday, April 18 - Opening Plenary

The World We Want: Opportunities to Shape a Shifting
Global Landscape

10:00 a.m.-12:25 p.m. | Thurgood Marshall Ballroom

For the first time in history the world’s nations have successfully adopted a universal framework that will shape human wellbeing through 2030. But as nations work to provide better emergency aid for their citizens and address challenges in urban settings, the new global agreements do not provide a clear role for international actors and resources.

Noted economist Jeff Sachs will kick off Forum 2016 with a keynote address looking at what these new frameworks mean. To examine these themes further, InterAction CEO Sam Worthington will lead a panel discussion with Dr. Chris Elias (President, Global Development Program, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), Victor Ochen (Founder of the African Youth Initiative Network), and Dr. Helene D. Gayle (CEO, McKinsey Social Initiative) on the opportunities to shape a shifting global landscape. To close the first part of the plenary, Deputy UN Secretary Jan Eliasson will address the audience via a video keynote.

A Conversation with USAID and DFID

11:35 a.m.-12:15 p.m. | Thurgood Marshall Ballroom

On the occasion of her visit to the United States, Secretary of State for International Development The Rt. Hon. Justine Greening, MP, will be joined by USAID Administrator Gayle Smith to share their thoughts on the future of humanitarian assistance and international development.

Opening Keynote

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. 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-Generals Ban Ki-moon and Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals. He also 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. Sachs holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Keynote (Video)

Jan Eliasson was appointed deputy secretary-general of the United Nations by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on March 2, 2012. From 2007-08 Eliasson was the special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Darfur. Prior to this, he served as president of the 60th session of the UN General Assembly. He also has served as Sweden’s ambassador to the US, foreign minister of Sweden, Swedish state secretary for foreign affairs, Sweden’s ambassador to the UN, and as the first UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs where he was involved in operations in Africa and the Balkans and led initiatives on landmines, conflict prevention, and humanitarian action. From 1980-86 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 Eliasson served as mediator in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Featured Panelists

Dr. Chris Elias is the president of the Global Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where he leads the foundation’s efforts in a diverse range of program areas aimed at finding creative new ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in poor countries who need them most. Dr. Elias’s professional background is in public health and medicine. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation in February 2012, he worked in various positions and countries for international nonprofit organizations, most recently serving as the president and CEO of PATH, an international, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors. Dr. Elias holds an M.D. from Creighton University and is a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Dr. Helene D. Gayle is CEO of McKinsey Social Initiative, a nonprofit organization that implements programs that bring together varied stakeholders to address complex global social challenges. As the inaugural CEO, Dr. Gayle is setting direction and building the organization. McKinsey Social Initiative’s first program, Generation, addresses the problem of youth unemployment, with programs in five countries—India, Kenya, Mexico, Spain, and the United States—and a goal of connecting one million young people with skills and jobs in five years. Previously, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading international humanitarian organization. She also spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, focused primarily on combating HIV/AIDS. She was appointed as the first director of the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention, and achieved the rank of rear admiral and assistant surgeon general in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Gayle holds an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is board certified in pediatrics.

Victor Ochen was born and raised in a northern Uganda IDP camp, often living on one meal per day. After surviving an attack by Joseph Kony’s LRA, he dedicated his life to the peacebuilding and community development process. In 2005, he founded African Youth Initiative Network (AYINET) in Lyra with a desire to mobilize youth and communities to contribute to peace and justice. At age 34, Ochen is the youngest African and first Ugandan ever to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and he has been designated by the UN to be the Ambassador for Peace and Justice (SDG 16) and Africa Spokesperson for the UN’s 17 Global Goals. He is also the Global Advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, on Gender, Forced Displacement and Protection. He received the 2015 Commonwealth Youth Worker Award for his efforts to support young people in building peace, and Forbes Magazine named him among the ten most powerful people in all of Africa. Ochen travels the world speaking at major events and meeting with global leaders to advance the cause of peace and justice, but he returns home to Lyra to lead AYINET and support young people and victims of war.

Session Moderator

Photo of Sam WorthingtonSam Worthington is the CEO of InterAction, the largest U.S. alliance of nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 220 members and partners. Worthington leads the U.S. NGO sector’s engagement at the highest levels with the UN, governments, and civil society groups around the world. Worthington sits on the board of the Van Leer Group Foundation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously, he served as chief executive officer of Plan International USA (from 1994 to 2006) and as a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center (2015). His numerous leadership roles include serving on the White House Task Force on Global Development and Poverty, working as a founding board member of the ONE Campaign, and chairing the global NGO Impact Initiative on behalf of UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery Pres. Bill Clinton.


Monday, April 18 - Afternoon Plenary

From Urban Fragility to Sustainable Cities

3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. | Thurgood Marshall Ballroom

For the first time in history over 50% of all people live in cities which continue to grow. In response to this trend, the world has committed to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable over the next 15 years through Sustainable Development Goal 11. To reach this goal, it is imperative for civil society groups, governments, and the private sector to examine the drivers and obstacles in urbanization.

In this special plenary session, a panel of leading thinkers will examine the challenges of international urban fragility. Speakers joining the discussion will include William (Billy) Cobbett (Director, Cities Alliance), Zia Khan (VP, Initiatives and Strategy, The Rockefeller Foundation), Jonathan T.M. Reckford (CEO, Habitat for Humanity International), and Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez (Senior Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank Group). The session will be moderated by Lindsay Coates (President, InterAction).

The 2016 Disability Inclusion Award will be presented to HelpAge USA during this session. Read more here. 

Featured Panelists

William (Billy) Cobbett is Director of Cities Alliance. He initiated a series of corporate and strategic reforms for the Cities Alliance, including relocating the Secretariat from Washington D.C. to Brussels, which will culminate with the inaugural meeting of the Cities Alliance Assembly in April 2016. Earlier in his career, he was the overall coordinator of Planact, an urban NGO providing policy and technical support to civic organiations and trade unions. He moved to the African National Congress (ANC) headquarters in 1992, and served on the National Housing Forum and, prior to the historic 1994 election, the Transitional Executive Council (TEC). In the Government of National Unity under President Mandela, he was appointed director general of the National Department of Housing under Minister Joe Slovo. He has a history degree from Middlesex University, London.

Photo of Zia KhanZia Khan is vice president for initiatives and strategy with The Rockefeller Foundation. Khan oversees the foundation’s approach for achieving impact and realizing the organization’s mission and goals. He leads the program team in New York, Bangkok, and Nairobi and their work in searching for new opportunities, developing strategies, and executing initiatives. Prior to joining the foundation he was a management consultant who advised senior leaders in different sectors on strategy and organizational performance. His previous experience includes being a partner at Booz & Company and a principal at Katzenbach Partners where he founded and led the San Francisco office. Khan holds a B.S. from Cornell and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford.

Jonathan T.M. Reckford

Jonathan T.M. Reckford is CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, an ecumenical Christian housing ministry that, since 1976, has helped more than 6.8 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes in more than 70 countries. Since 2005, Habitat’s 1,400 U.S. affiliates and more than 70 country programs have grown from serving 125,000 individuals each year to over 1.8 million people annually. Reckford graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead Scholar. He was also the recipient of a Henry Luce Scholarship, which enabled him to do marketing work for the Seoul Olympic Organizing Committee and coach the Korean rowing team in preparation for the 1988 Olympics. He serves on the boards of the Stanford Graduate School of Business, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Duke Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship. 

Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez is the senior director for the World Bank Group’s Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice. In this position, Ijjasz-Vasquez leads a team of over 600 technical experts deployed across the world, leveraging global knowledge and collaborating with partners to help tackle the world’s most complex development challenges in: social inclusion and sustainability; mainstreaming resilience in all dimensions development; territorial and rural development; and urban planning, services and institutions. Mr. Ijjasz has a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in civil and environmental engineering, with specialization in hydrology and water resources. He has been a lecturer at the Environmental Science and Policy Program at Johns Hopkins University, and at Tsinghua University. 

Session Moderator

Lindsay Coates is the president of InterAction, overseeing all management issues and institutional outreach to InterAction members and partners. A life-long advocate for human dignity, Coates currently serves on the steering committee of the World Bank Global Partnership for Social Accountability, the executive committee for Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), and the boards of Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and United State Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC). She has also served on the Obama administration’s task force on Global Poverty, was a Trustee for her alma mater the University of the South at Sewanee, and a board member for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Global Heath Council. From 2008-2009, she was a nonresident fellow of Seminar XXI, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies. She holds a JD from the University of Mississippi, a B.A. magna cum laude from Sewanee, and has studied at the London School of Economics.


Tuesday, April 19 - Plenary

Smart Solutions: How iNGOs Can Survive and Thrive

UPS® - InterAction CEO Roundtable Event

10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. | Thurgood Marshall Ballroom

The global digital revolution has transformed how iNGOs communicate, collaborate, advocate, educate, coordinate, and deliver programs. Kickstarter and other crowdfunding aps have opened new lines of funding for civil society groups around the globe, empowering tech and social entrepreneurs alike. The rapid adoption of new technologies has created new networks, markets, and demands for private and public sector actors across the developing world.

Featuring an opening "Quick-fire" Talk by USAID Chief Innovation Officer Ann Mei Chang, this plenary session will bring together leading public, private, and nonprofit sector voices—including David Bonbright (CEO, Keystone Access), Elizabeth Littlefield (CEO, Overseas Private Investment Corporation), Ed Martinez (President, UPS Foundation), Mari Kuraishi (Co-founder and President of GlobalGiving), and Amy Costello (Founder and Managing Editor, Tiny Spark).

The 2016 Effective Assistance Photography Award will be presented to Abhijit Dey during this session. Read more here. 

Quick-Fire Speaker

Photo of Ann Mei ChangAnn Mei Chang is the chief innovation officer and the executive director of the U.S. Global Development Lab at USAID. The Lab is the newest bureau at USAID and aims to transform global development through science, technology, innovation, and partnerships. Prior to USAID, Chang was the chief innovation officer at Mercy Corps and also has previously served as the senior advisor for women and technology in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State. Chang has more than twenty years of engineering and leadership experience in Silicon Valley where she served as a senior engineering director at Google and held leadership roles at Apple, Intuit, and SGI.

Featured Panelists

Photo of David BonbrightDavid Bonbright is founder and chief executive of Keystone (formerly ACCESS), an initiative that aims to transform the fields of social investing and sustainable development. Previously, Bonbright directed the Aga Khan Development Network's Civil Society Programme, which brings together a number of development agencies, institutions, and programs that work primarily in the poorest parts of Asia and Africa. Prior to his work with the Aga Khan Foundation, he held positions with the Ford Foundation, Oak Foundation, and Ashoka. In the early 1990s, he founded and led two African citizen sector resource centers: one relating to organizational development (the Development Resources Centre, Johannesburg) and one relating to information and technology (SANGONeT, Johannesburg). 

Photo of Elizabeth LittlefieldElizabeth Littlefield was appointed by President Barack Obama as the president and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), an Under Secretary level position. OPIC is the U.S. government’s development finance institution, and manages an $18 billion portfolio of financing and insurance to support private investment in sustainable economic development, especially in the world’s poorest countries. Under Littlefield’s leadership, OPIC’s annual commitments to renewable resources projects grew ten-fold in three years to $1.5 billion, while generating increasing income for the U.S. federal budget. From 2000 until 2010 Littlefield was CEO of the World Bank's Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP). Prior to joining CGAP, Littlefield was JP Morgan’s managing director in charge of capital markets and financing in emerging Europe, Middle East, and Africa. 

Photo of Ed MartinezEd Martinez is president of the UPS Foundation and UPS’ chief diversity and inclusion officer. He is responsible for the operations and management of UPS’ global philanthropic, employee engagement, corporate relations, and diversity and inclusion programs. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Martinez represents UPS on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Humanitarian Response and serves as UPS executive liaison to the Council of Independent Colleges. He is also a member of the corporate advisory board for The National Council of La Raza, corporate liaison to the Points of Light Institutes’ Service Council, and a member of the board of the International Association for Volunteer Effort. Martinez also is a member of the American Bar Association, Florida Bar, and Hispanic National Bar Association.  

Mari Kuraishi co-founded GlobalGiving with Dennis Whittle, and currently leads the organization. In 2011, Mari was named one of Foreign Policy's top 100 Global Thinkers for "crowdsourcing worldsaving." Before GlobalGiving, she worked at the World Bank where she managed and created some of the Bank's most innovative projects including the first ever Innovation and Development Marketplaces, and the first series of strategic forums with the World Bank's president and senior management. Mari also designed a range of investment projects in the Russia reform program, including a residential energy efficiency project, structural adjustment loans, and legal reform project. She currently serves as chair of the board of Guidestar US. She also serves on the board of DataKind, APOPO US, and the Global Business School Network.

Session Moderator

Photo of Amy CostelloAmy Costello is the founder and managing editor of Tiny Spark, an independent podcast and news program that investigates and reports deeply on philanthropy, nonprofits, and international aid. Prior to launching Tiny Spark, Costello was the Africa Correspondent for PRI’s The World. She has reported for NPR, Marketplace, the BBC World Service, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Costello’s television investigation about the Playpump, a celebrated idea designed to do good, exposed myriad problems with the technology and became the impetus for launching Tiny Spark. More recently, Costello has begun working with nonprofits to help them assess and improve the impact of their projects through investigative journalism techniques.


Wednesday, April 20 - Closing Plenary

People on the Move: Exploring the Opportunities and Costs of Global Migration

1:45 p.m.-3:15 p.m. | Thurgood Marshall Ballroom

We are witnessing the highest level of forced displacement since WWII and massive human migration away from danger and hardship. What factors are driving people to migrate? And once they decide to move, what is their fate?

Forum 2016's closing plenary will look at threats and vulnerabilities for migrants and the forcibly displaced, as well as the assets they bring to the societies they seek to join. Featured speakers will include António Guterres (former UN High Commissioner for Refugees), Nancy Lindborg (President, U.S. Institute of Peace), Anne C. Richard (Asst. Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration), Amb. William Lacy Swing (Director General, International Organization for Migration), Stephen O'Brien (Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, OCHA) and Hannah Allam (Foreign Affairs Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers).

The 2016 Security Advisory Group Distinguished Achievement Award will be presented to ChildFund’s Davidson Jonah during this session. Read more here. 

Featured Panelists

António Guterres

António Guterres served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015, heading one of the world's foremost humanitarian organizations with nearly 10,000 staff members working in 125 countries. During his tenure, he oversaw a profound structural reform of UNHCR, reducing staff in its Geneva headquarters by over 20 per cent and increasing the organization’s cost effectiveness and emergency response capacity. UNHCR’s volume of activities tripled during his time in office, following the introduction of a needs-based budgeting approach and an increase in the number of people displaced by conflict and persecution, from 38 million in 2005 to over 60 million in 2015. Before joining UNHCR, Guterres spent more than 20 years in government and public service, and served as Portuguese prime minister from 1995 to 2002.

Nancy Lindborg

Nancy Lindborg has served since February, 2015, as president of the United States Institute of Peace, an independent institution founded by Congress to provide practical solutions for preventing and resolving violent conflict around the world.  Prior to joining USIP, she served as the assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) at USAID. From 2010 through early 2015, Lindborg led USAID teams focused on building resilience and democracy, managing and mitigating conflict and providing urgent humanitarian assistance. Prior to joining USAID, Lindborg was president of Mercy Corps, where she spent 14 years helping to grow the organization into a globally respected organization known for innovative programs in the most challenging environments. 

Photo of Anne C RichardAnne C. Richard was sworn in as assistant secretary of state for population, refugees, and migration on April 2, 2012. Prior to her appointment, Richard was the vice president of government relations and advocacy for the International Rescue Committee, an international aid agency that helps refugees, internally displaced and other victims of conflict. She was also a non-resident Fellow of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University/SAIS and a board member of the Henry L. Stimson Center. From 1999 to 2001, Richard was director of the secretary’s Office of Resources, Plans, and Policy at the State Department. From 1997 to 1999, she was the deputy chief financial officer of the Peace Corps. Earlier, she served as a senior sdvisor in the deputy secretary’s Office of Policy and Resources at the State Department and as a budget examiner at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. 

Ambassador William Lacy Swing

Amb. William Lacy Swing of the United States is now on his second five-year term as director general of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He was re-elected on 14 June 2013 by IOM’s governing body to the post that he has held since October 2008. From May 2003 till January 2008, as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Amb. Swing successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history. Prior to his work in the DRC, Amb. Swing served from 2001 to 2003 as the special representative to the secretary-general for Western Sahara and chief of mission for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). 

Stephen O'Brien is the under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. As a former conservative Member of Parliament in the UK, Stephen was the prime minister’s envoy and special representative for the Sahel 2012-2015. Prior to that he served as the Coalition Government’s parliamentary under-secretary of state for international development, and before that in a succession of economic, health, care and education shadow ministerial roles. He gained over 35 years of global leadership experience in the campaign to control Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases, for which he was awarded the 2014 Champions Action Award in Washington D.C. He was previously an entrepreneur and an International UK FTSE100 manufacturing industrialist, business leader and manager at Redland PLC. He practiced law in the City of London with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, in international commercial arbitrations and dispute resolution. He gained his MA (Law) at Cambridge University; professionally he qualified as a solicitor and was made a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

Session Moderator

Hannah Allam covers foreign affairs for the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers, the third-largest newspaper chain in the United States. She previously served as bureau chief in Baghdad during the Iraq War and bureau chief in Cairo during the Arab Spring rebellions. As Baghdad bureau chief, Allam directed a 16-member team of journalists and translators, coordinated security, and went out on assignments across the country. Her coverage of regional conflicts has won several awards, including an Overseas Press Club award for her role in exposing death squads in Iraq and a joint Polk Award for chronicling the war in Syria. Allam previously worked with the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, The Washington Post, and The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle. She was a 2009 Nieman Fellow at Harvard, where she studied sectarianism within Islam.

Forum 2016 Sponsors

UPSPlan InternationalZakat FoundationPlanet AidSIT Graduate InstituteNCBA CLUSATzu ChiMercy CorpsGlobal CommunitiesIslamic ReliefPublic Interest RegistrySave the ChildrenSolidarity CenterSolidarity Center