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Major International Development Forum Takes Place at Georgetown

June 15, 2012 – A host of world  and business leaders, academics and U.S. government officials were those among attending a conference at Georgetown hosted by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

The inaugural Frontiers in Development forum, June 11-13, was designed to address the most important issues facing the future of foreign assistance and international development.

The forum was a public-private partnership between USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationGeorgetown's School of Foreign Service (SFS), The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Foremost Experts

“We are honored that USAID has chosen Georgetown as the venue for its inaugural Frontiers in Development forum,” said SFS Dean Carol Lancaster, a former USAID deputy administrator. “Given that this forum brings together some the world's foremost international development experts from across the globe, it has the potential to serve as a catalyst for solving some of the long-term issues that continue to challenge foreign assistance and international development.”

SFS has a number of academic programs in the field, including the master's in global human development, an academically rigorous skills-based graduate program designed to produce highly qualified development professionals.

The invitation-only forum audience comprised 700 prominent leaders, including confirmed speakers Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia; Atifete Jahjaga, president of Kosovo; Joyce Banda, president of Malawi; Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland; Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.); and Admiral James G. Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe; several CEOS of major companies and more.

Stimulating Debate

“USAID is engaging the most innovative and experienced thought leaders and practitioners from around the world to stimulate debate around key development challenges and opportunities,” said USAID Administrator Raj Shah.

Georgetown faculty members who presented at the forum included economics associate professor William Jack and James Habyarimana, an associate professor with the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and the university's O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. The institute is run by both the university’s School of Nursing & Health Studies and its law school.

The forum also included a number of other well-known individuals, including actress and activist Mandy Moore; George W. Bush’s daughter, Barbara, now president of Global Health Corps; and Christy Turlington Burns, supermodel and founder of Every Mother Counts. Media serving as forum moderators included PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff and Ray Suarez; CNN’s Kaj Larsen; and the Washington Post’s Juliet Eilperin and Cecilia Kang.

Key themes of the forum were:

  • Development, Democracy and Security (Monday, June 11)
  • Addressing Critical Challenges of Development (Tuesday, June 12)
  • The Future of Development (Wednesday, June 13)