Dr. Neil Boothby; Chairman of the Governing Counsel
Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator on Children in Adversity, & the Allan Rosenfield Professor of Global Health at Columbia University
Dr. Boothby was appointed as the U.S. Government Special Advisor and Senior Coordinator on Children in Adversity in March of 2012. In his Special Advisor role, Dr. Boothby fulfilled the legislative mandate set forth in Public Law 109-95: the Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005, which calls for a coordinated, comprehensive and effective response on the part of the U.S. Government to the urgent needs of to the world’s most vulnerable children. Under his leadership, the first-ever U.S. Government foreign assistance policy for children in adversity, the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity, was launched at the White House on December 19, 2012. Dr. Boothby currently serves as USAID’s senior expert on children in adversity. In this role, he is spearheading USAID’s efforts to develop implementation plans for the Action Plan on Children in Adversity in priority countries.
Dr. Boothby is also the Allan Rosenfield Professor of Global Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Boothby’s research has focused on the developmental outcomes of children growing up in abject poverty, war, and other adverse environments. His longitudinal study of adult outcomes for child soldiers in Mozambique enabled him to identify interventions and community supports linked to positive life outcomes. Lessons learned from the Mozambique research have been applied through operational agencies to current war-affected countries with large numbers of child soldiers, and found their way into the Paris Peace Principles. A second focus of his work has been on children separated from their families due to poverty, disasters, and armed conflict. His cornerstone study showed that many child-family separations are not accidental, but instead result from misguided policies and agency practices. This observation has been translated into international standards, including in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and UNHCR Refugee Policy. Dr. Boothby has published extensively on the subject of children and adversity, and has received a number of academic awards for his scholarship.
Associate Deputy Undersecretary, Bureau of International Labor Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor
Eric Biel joined the Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB) at the U.S. Department of Labor in February 2012. He is part of ILAB’s senior leadership team, working on a diverse set of projects and activities, including supply chain issues across different sectors and submissions under the labor chapters of free trade agreements.
Before joining the Department, Biel was Managing Director for Corporate Responsibility at Burson-Marsteller, a global consulting firm. From 2003-06 he was Deputy Washington Director and Senior Counsel of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights). Prior to that he was Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Fontheim International, a Washington consulting and law practice.
Biel served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1997-2000, including Deputy Undersecretary for Trade Policy and Acting Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning. From 1995-97, he was Director of the Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, a bipartisan body chaired by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. From 1990-95, he was International Trade Counsel at the Senate Finance Committee, following five years in private law practice.
Since 2008, Biel has taught a course at the Georgetown University Law Center on “Human Rights at the Intersection of Trade and Corporate Responsibility” that explores a range of business and human rights issues. He received a B.A. in history from Johns Hopkins and joint degrees in law from Yale Law School and public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.
Anna De Geer
Secretary General at World Childhood Foundation & Chairman of the Board at Cooperation on the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Anna Hårleman De Geer is an international development professional with several years of experience working within the field of development, sustainably and migration. She was appointed Secretary General for the World Childhood Foundation in June 2012. Prior to her appointment she worked as Project Director and Deputy Secretary General at Childhood.
Besides from being a member of the Leaders Council for Global Alliance for Children, she also serves as chairperson of the partner project “Barnkonventionen – av, för och med barn”, in which seven of Sweden’s children’s rights organizations and the Ombudsman for Children work to raise awareness about children’s rights in Sweden, and as member of the Board of Directors for Global Child Forum.
Director of Children’s Rights & Education Programs at Wellspring Advisors
Dr. Gibbons has worked in basic education, community development and social justice since the mid 1970s in Asia, Africa, Latin America and low-income areas of the USA. He specializes in basic and non-formal education, child rights and child development, adult learning processes, training of educators and organizational learning. He holds a PhD from the Fielding Institute in human and organizational development, with a focus on organizational learning processes within educational programs. He is particularly interested in the role learning plays in personal development and social transformation. Currently, Mr. Gibbons serves as Director of Children’s Rights and Education Programs at Wellspring Advisors LLC, a donor advising company based in Washington DC. Mr. Gibbons teaches courses in international training, education and development at The American University, George Washington University and the Monterey Institute for International Studies. He has served as associate director at Banyan Tree Foundation, country director and education advisor for Save the Children.
President of Maestral International
Philip Goldman is Founder and President of Maestral International, a team of leading global experts supporting the development, strengthening and coordination of child welfare and protection systems that meet the needs of children in adversity. A passionate advocate for children, Philip has decades of experience in designing, negotiating and implementing comprehensive human development programs for the World Bank, UNICEF and global foundations, and covering the social and child welfare, health and education sectors. He frequently speaks on these issues at global, regional and national conferences and before government agencies. Philip was a member of the Publications Committee for the U.S. Evidence Summit on Children Outside of Family Care, and in 2013 he facilitated the preparation of a Joint Interagency Statement on Child Protection Systems Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa that was endorsed by a wide range of multilateral and non-governmental organizations. Philip managed development and completion of a comprehensive global toolkit for mapping and assessing child protection systems, and has been supporting related programming in many countries of sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. He is currently assisting the Government of Myanmar and its development partners to prepare the country’s first national Social Protection Strategy. Philip has extensive current and past board and philanthropic experience, including the Global Alliance for Children, the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas, the Better Way Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates (D.C.), the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, the Advisory Board of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, Progress Valley, the Sieben Foundation, and the International Leadership Institute. . Mr. Goldman received Masters Degrees from Harvard University (Regional Studies: Soviet Union Program) and the University of California at Berkeley (Political Science) and a B.A. from the University of Washington in Seattle.
CEO of the Lumos Foundation
For over 20 years, Georgette has worked around the world leading large-scale programmes to transform the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and their families. She pioneered a model of deinstitutionalisation now followed in many countries across Central and Eastern Europe, and has advised governments on the reform of their services for children and families. She is the author of four books related to children’s rights, and is currently advising the European Commission on the reform of children’s services across the European Union. Georgette is also a Commissioner on the UK-based Commission on Civil Society and Democratic Engagement.
Senior Program Officer, Global Development at GHR Foundation
Dan Lauer is the senior program officer for GHR Foundation’s Children in Families initiative, and works to leverage child protection interventions that strengthen families, address the needs of children and drive further evidence of innovative, pro-family approaches.
Previously, Dan was vice president of international programs at Holt International Children’s Services where he worked in various capacities since 1986. During his tenure, his responsibilities included work in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. Much of Dan’s work at Holt was focused on finding permanent, secure, in-country families or family-like settings for children without homes. He also has experience in family preservation to prevent institutionalization of children.
Dan earned a master’s degree in international development, community and regional planning from the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri and a bachelor’s degree in community services and public affairs from the University of Oregon.
Associate Vice President, International Programs, Child Protection and HIV/AIDS at Save the Children US
Greg Ramm is currently the Associate Vice President, International Programs, Child Protection and HIV/AIDS in the Washington, DC, office of Save the Children. From 1998 to 2008 Mr. Ramm worked for Save the Children in different parts of Africa, first as Country Director in the DR Congo and then in Ghana. During this time he also served as Head for Regional Office for southern Africa and as Regional Director for West and Central Africa, based in Senegal. From 2009 to 2012 Mr. Ramm served as Director of Global Programs for Save the Children in London. He is a former Peace Corps Volunteer (Zaire) and has a B.A. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.
The Secretariat for the Global Alliance for Children
Dr. Charles Gardner, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Children
Dr. Gardner comes to the Alliance with over 20 years’ experience in international development, with over 90 publications and direct work experience in Latin America, Africa and Asia. After completing his Ph.D. in 1991, Charles was awarded a Congressional Science Fellowship to work for the United States Congress. He then served for roughly five-year stints (each) as: Program Officer for Africa and the Middle East at the US National Institutes of Health; Science Attaché at the US Embassy in New Delhi, India; and Associate Director for Health Equity in the Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Charles then shifted to Switzerland where he served in a variety of roles including Senior Advisor to the World Health Organization and Director of Health Programs in the UBS Optimus Foundation. After five years in Switzerland, Charles returned to the US to take on the most exciting and timely challenge of his career. He has a strong track record in building public-private partnerships and coordinating private international development donors.
Some of the publications he has authored include: Defining research to improve health systems (PLoS Medicine, November 1, 2010); Technological and Social Innovation: a Unifying New Paradigm in Global Health (Health Affairs, January 1, 2007); Innovative Developing Countries: Role in Global Health (10/90 Report on Health Research, January 1, 2005); Health Innovation Networks to Help Developing Countries Address Neglected Diseases (PubMed, July 2005).
Regional Alliance for Children
Ronald Seligman, MPS, Children in Adversity Coordinator for the Cambodia Alliance for Children
Ronald Seligman is an international development expert with extensive experience in performance management and M&E, having worked with USAID programs since 1977. He has over three decades of development experience in Asia, Africa and Latin America, including on the ground in Cuba, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Peru. He brings a significant expertise working with partner organizations to design, analyze, and implement development project management strategies for the benefit of marginalized and high-risk groups. He has designed M&E systems for USAID and the Gates Foundation programs and developed M&E plans for anti-corruption and civil society programs in Panama, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. In 2000, he worked for the Global Development Group in Cuba where he conducted a rapid assessment of a Havana hospital as part of a 3-year institutional strengthening program. He developed a program results framework based on patient outcomes and other key data indicators. He also developed databases to facilitate program M&E, drafted an evaluation field manual for staff members, and trained personnel in statistical monitoring and database use. He is a recognized international UNDP-Certified M&E expert in results-based performance appraisal procedures across development sectors with proven success in ensuring partner compliance with M&E management plans. In 2013, he worked with the UNDP and the government of Rwanda to design a new M&E strategy using best practice indicators for the office of the Prime Minister. Previously, he ran his own NGO consulting firm, Interdesarollo Associados, in Colombia for seven years where he provided technical assistance to over 800 Andean-region NGOs. He is fluent in written and spoken Spanish and French and holds the degree entitled: Master of Professional Studies in International Development from Cornell University’s Center for International Studies.