Forming and Founding the Alliance

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In July 2013, after a ten month planning phase, a core group of partners founded the Global Alliance for Children, passed by-laws, elected a chair, and established a Leaders Council to oversee the Alliance’s governance and development. Global partners include the GHR Foundation, Wellspring Advisers, US Agency for International Development, US Department of Labor, Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (observer), World Bank, EIM Group, World Childhood Foundation, and Save the Children.

The Alliance resides in the New Venture Fund, a non-profit entity that enables donors to leverage resources and mount effective global advocacy efforts and intervention programs that lead to more measurable results for children. The Alliance mobilizes targeted investments in childhood as a core component of a nation’s social and economic progress

Global Alliance for Children Staff

Kathleen Strottman
Executive Director

Kathleen Strottman comes to her role as the Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Children with 15 years experience as a policy advocate for vulnerable children In her previous role as the Executive Director of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), the non-profit partner to the largest bicameral caucus in Congress, Kathleen was a sought after expert in legislation related to children outside of family care. As Legislative Director for Senator Mary Landrieu, Kathleen worked to pass legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act, The Medicare Modernization Act, The Inter-Country Adoption Act, The Child Citizenship Act of 2000, and the Family Court Act. Throughout her career, Kathleen has worked to increase the opportunity for positive dialogue and the exchange of best practices between the United States and its partner countries. Kathleen regularly presents at national and international child welfare conferences and has appeared on CNN, FOX News, CBS, NBC, C-SPAN, PBS and numerous other media outlets. Kathleen attended Whittier Law School’s Center for Children’s Rights where she graduated with honors. A member of the Whittier Law Review, Kathleen published an article entitled “Creating a Downward Spiral: Transfer Statutes as Answers to Juvenile Delinquency.” Kathleen received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of the Holy Cross.

Dr. Richard Rinehart
Senior Program Officer

Prior to joining the GAC Secretariat team, Richard Rinehart served as the Senior Technical Advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, and Evidence-based Practices for Assistance to Vulnerable Children at USAID. In that role, a senior position within the PL 109-95 secretariat, Richard provided technical leadership to the interagency community to improve the monitoring and evaluation of USG international assistance for highly vulnerable children, and to increase the knowledge and use of evidence-based practice. Working with multiple constituencies, he led an evidence-based approach on critical issues that affect children across many development areas. Prior to his fellowship, Richard was a consultant on child labor and youth employment, research and evaluation, occupational safety and health and interagency collaboration. He was a Senior Scientist, Project Manager at URS Corporation and EDV, Inc. Richard holds Master of Science and Doctor of Science degrees from Harvard School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts degree, Biology from the State University of New York.

The Governing Council of the Global Alliance for Children

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.

Eric Biel
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.

Michael Gibbons
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.

Phillip Goldman
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.

Georgette Mulheir,
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.

Daniel Lauer
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.

Greg Ramm
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.

Global Alliance for Children Members


The U.S. Agency for International Development is the coordinating agency in the implementation of Public Law (PL) 109-95: The Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005, and the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity. The Agency’s Center on Children in Adversity is the home of the U.S. Government Special Advisor for PL 109-95 and the PL 109-95 Secretariat.

To learn more please visit: and

World Childhood Foundation

World Childhood Foundation works to prevent abuse and exploitation of children. They support and implement over 100 projects around the world, assisting children who are at risk of or are victims of abuse, children who are in alternative care, street children, and families at risk.


Childhood’s work is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), and is politically and religiously unaffiliated. The goal of Childhood is that no child should be exposed to a violent or damaging environment, but instead have the opportunity to grow up with memories of a safe and loving childhood.

Childhood has offices in Brazil, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

To learn more please visit:

Maestral International

Maestral International is a team of leading global experts supporting the development, strengthening and coordination of child protection and social welfare systems that meet the needs of children in adversity. They work to strengthen community-based and nationally-owned systems for preventing and responding to harm and supporting children at risk.

Their advisors possess a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds drawn from every region of the world. They are trusted advisors to governments, development agencies, donors, community leaders, and non-governmental organizations. Each member of team is driven by Maestral’s organizational mission to secure a better life for children—bringing experience, passion and integrity to the work of our clients with a laser focus on results.

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Save The Children

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world what every child deserves – a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. When disaster strikes, children’s needs are put first. Save advocates and achieves lasting change for millions of children. They operate in 120 countries, providing support for health, education, protection, disaster relief and so much more


Lumos is an international non-governmental organization, set up by the author J.K. Rowling which works to end the institutionalization of children around the world. It works to transform education, health and social care systems for children and their families and help children move from institutions to family-based care.

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GHR Foundation

GHR Foundation applies entrepreneurial creativity and universal catholic values to foster hope and opportunity where it is needed most. Started in 1965 by Opus founders Gerald A. and Henrietta Rauenhorst, the Foundation seeks transformational change in education, health, and global development, and partners with the world’s experts to achieve it. This results in a powerful exchange of ideas, and a community of thought leaders providing locally-driven solutions.  GHR is anchored with a belief in responsibility, action, and the knowledge that we are all deeply connected. Despite global challenges, we meet each task with entrepreneurial optimism because we have seen the impact of strategic, thoughtful change.

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U.S. Department of Labor

The Bureau of International Labor Affairs leads the U.S. Department of Labor’s efforts to ensure that workers around the world are treated fairly and are able to share in the benefits of the global economy. ILAB’s mission is to improve global working conditions, raise living standards, protect workers’ ability to exercise their rights, and address the workplace exploitation of children and other vulnerable populations. Their efforts help to ensure a fair playing field for American workers and contribute to stronger export markets for goods made in the United States.

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The World Bank Early Child Development

The World Bank’s Early Child Development (ECD) is part of the Child and Youth Group in Human Development Network (HDN). Their primary mission is to improve World Bank’s staff and clients’ knowledge of ECD programming and to improve the quality of World Bank’s lending for ECD.

They accomplish this mission by:

  • Maintaining a knowledge base on ECD to support World Bank’s operational staff in designing ECD projects and increasing the lending for ECD as part of World Bank’s Education For All (EFA) and Health and Social Protection (HD) portfolio.
  • Extending the knowledge base on ECD and building capacity among World Bank’s task managers and field practitioners in the design and preparation of ECD interventions.

They fulfill these roles by:

  • Responding to just-in-time requests from operation staff. Proactively providing technical assistance and support for policy dialogue with governments.
  • Preparing analytical, economic and sector studies, and regional strategy papers.
  • Designing, supervising, and evaluating ECD projects.
  • Providing analytical frameworks, tools and resources for effective implementation of ECD projects.
  • Closely monitoring ECD projects for best practices and lessons learned

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UBS Optimum Foundation

Established in 1999 by UBS AG, the UBS Optimus Foundation invests in programs that ensure children are safe, healthy, educated and ready for the future. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported more than 300 programs in more than 75 countries, prioritizing the most vulnerable children and their most pressing protection, health and education needs. The funding for these programs comes from donations by UBS, its clients and staff. To drive positive impact from their donations, the UBS Optimus Foundation sources high-quality partners, conducts due diligence, and ensure monitoring and evaluation of outcomes for children. Because UBS supports all the foundation’s administrative costs, 100 percent of donations go directly to support programs that improve the lives of children.

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