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Young Women’s Summit Combines Soccer and Life Skills

Photo: Ian OliverThis April, 50 young female footballers from Namibia, South Africa, and the United States gathered in Cape Town for Girlz Got Skillz: A Young Women’s Summit on Health, Leadership, & Empowerment, hosted by Johnson & Johnson, AED, and Grassroot Soccer. The girls participated in a week-long series of cultural, life skills, and leadership activities as part of the event.

The Namibian girls participate in an HIV-prevention program, funded by Johnson & Johnson and managed by AED, meeting three times a week to play soccer and take part in the Grassroot Soccer Skillz HIV-prevention curriculum. In 2010, the Namibia program will graduate more than 8,000 participants.

Building on the Namibia activities, the Cape Town summit included training in leadership and life skills activities. Women soccer stars from all three countries, including U.S. Olympians and World Cup winners Cindy Parlow and Danielle Slaton, who were honorary coaches and led activities during the week.

At the closing event, Helen Zille, South Africa’s Western Cape Premier, praised participants for their commitment. “If [soccer] helps you appreciate the idea of working as a team, international cooperation, and understanding your own personal empowerment and choices, then … it can change the world,” she said. Hundreds of young people attended the closing fair and celebration, which included health screenings by local organizations.

With the FIFA World Cup taking place in South Africa this summer, Girlz Got Skillz drew attention to soccer-based HIV-prevention efforts in the region and celebrated the work the girls are doing to tackle HIV.

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Jack Downey Named Executive Vice President

Photo: Peter HowardAED’s board of directors has named Jack Downey the organization’s executive vice president. Downey remains AED’s chief operating officer and is responsible for ensuring the technical quality of all day-to-day operations.

When Downey took over as chief operating officer in 2001, the organization had field staff in 33 countries. Today, AED is on the ground in more than 60 countries around the world. Much of this growth is due to Downey’s commitment to ensuring that AED maintains a local presence and focus, according to AED President Stephen F. Moseley.

“Jack’s efforts to expand our field presence and connect more deeply with the communities we serve help the entire organization produce outstanding results for our partners,” Moseley said.
Downey’s career has spanned work with private sector companies, small enterprises, NGOs, and communities. He started his career in international development as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya, where he served as the headmaster of a secondary school that provided vocational training. He has since worked in 35 countries.

Active in the Society for International Development for the past 15 years, Downey currently serves on the SID advisory council in Rome, Italy. He is also a member of the SID/Washington board and previously served as the president of that chapter.

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Cornelius Baker Appointed to Presidential Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS

Photo: Jessica PouchetCornelius Baker, senior communications advisor with the AED Center on AIDS & Community Health, has been appointed to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. With the Secretary of Health and Human Services, this council advises, informs, and recommends actions to the president on both U.S. and global HIV/AIDS policy issues, including the National HIV/AIDS Strategy.

Baker directs the HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative for the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which provides information, resources, and support so that opinion leaders are better equipped to inform their communities about HIV vaccine research.

“Cornelius’s leadership and tireless commitment are among our strongest assets in our work to fight HIV/AIDS and improve the lives of those living with it,” said Frank Beadle de Palomo, senior vice president and center director. “Without a doubt, his contributions to the Presidential Advisory Committee will strengthen our country’s efforts to end the epidemic.”

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Dr. Denise Glyn Borders Is New Head of Knowledge Alliance Board

Knowledge AllianceDr. Denise Glyn Borders, senior vice president and director of the AED U.S. Education and Workforce Development Group, is the new chairwoman of the board of directors of the Knowledge Alliance, a major force in U.S. education-research circles.

Announcing Borders’ appointment, Jim Kohlmoos, president and CEO of the group, said, “2010 will be a pivotal year for advancing knowledge and innovation in education reform. With Denise at the helm, the Knowledge Alliance is ready to help lead the way to a new era of change and transformation.”

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Dr. Halima A. Mwenesi Elected to the Roll Back Malaria Board

AED File PhotoDr. Halima A. Mwenesi, AED’s director of Public Health Policy Initiatives and a senior malaria advisor, has been elected to the Roll Back Malaria Board as the Member for the Northern NGO constituency. Dr. Mwenesi has been involved in malaria prevention activities for over 20 years, working at local, national, regional, and global levels with public, commercial, and NGO institutions.

“Halima has worked with most national malaria control programs in Africa as well as a number in Asia,” said Margaret Burns Parlato, senior vice president and director of the AED Global Health, Population, and Nutrition Group. “Her expertise is regularly called upon by WHO and other international health organizations.”

Dr. Mwenesi currently leads a global effort funded by the Gates Foundation to understand the impact of taxes, tariffs, and non-tariff barriers on the availability of anti-malarial commodities and to design an advocacy strategy to reduce these barriers.

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Experts in International Development, Corporate Social Responsibility Join AED Board

Five prestigious leaders in international development, corporate social responsibility, and finance have joined AED’s board of directors.

Hattie Babbitt, an attorney with Jennings Strouss, served as deputy administrator of the United States Agency for International Development from 1997 to 2001. As U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States from 1993 to 1997, Babbitt led the U.S. negotiating effort at the world’s first anti-corruption convention. She currently serves on numerous boards, including as vice chair of World Resources Institute’s board of directors.

Julies E. Coles, now director of the Office of Global Education and the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College, was most recently the president of Africare. Coles also served as mission director for USAID in Senegal from 1989 until he retired with the rank of Career Minister in 1994.

Callisto Enias Madavo, a visiting professor in the African Studies Program at Georgetown University, held numerous senior-level positions at the World Bank Group, including regional vice president for Africa and a country director for both East Asia and East Africa. In these roles, Madavo championed initiatives in HIV/AIDS prevention and care, capacity development, and infrastructure improvement.

Paulo Gomes served as the World Bank’s Executive Director for Sub-Saharan Africa from 1998 to 2006, when he formed a private company called Constelor Group, which promotes economic development and wealth development in emerging markets. Gomes is currently working on a National Reconstruction Strategy for his home country of Guinea-Bissau.

Sandra E. Taylor is president and CEO of Sustainable Business International, LLC, a Washington-based consulting firm that specializes in providing corporate social responsibility advice to companies around the world. Prior to founding her company, she was the senior vice president for corporate social responsibility for the Starbucks Coffee Company.

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Global Directions: Ensuring Program Excellence

Photo: Gale Frank-AdiseEighty-eight of AED’s field leaders from around the world convened in Washington, D.C., in November 2009 for a week-long conference on how the organization can best use its global presence and diversity to ensure program excellence. AED has offices in nearly 65 countries, and 90 percent of AED’s staff is from the country or region in which they work.

The strongest theme to emerge from this meeting was the strength of having “one AED,” in which all global offices participate in knowledge sharing activities regionally and organization-wide.

“The insight our field leaders and staff bring to every element of AED’s operations is invaluable,“ said Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Downey. “We’re strengthening our ability to integrate perspectives from the field more fully into everything we do, which is an exciting process because it takes great collaboration and innovation.”

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What Next on Climate Change?

Earlier this year, AED hosted an event called “What Next? Post-Copenhagen Reflections,” which featured Dr. Jacqueline McGlade, the director of the European Environment Agency.

During the discussion, Dr. McGlade said that the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference was successful, and that she felt there was a firm global commitment to the accord, which endorses a continuation of the Kyoto Protocol and sets stronger emission targets for 2020.

Another measure of the meeting’s success is that, for the first time, the agreement brought “developing nations into the framework,” she said.

Dr. McGlade encouraged the audience to not wait for governments to take action. Instead, she emphasized that every person has the responsibility—and the ability—to make small changes in his or her daily life, which can positively impact the climate.

AED Senior Vice President and Director Gregory R. Niblett supported that position. “There is no single solution to combat climate change,” he said. “The solution will require interventions that address behavior change, policy, and marketplace solutions.”

Dr. McGlade is a leading marine biologist and a professor of environmental informatics. Her research focuses on the spatial and nonlinear dynamics of ecosystems, climate change, and scenario development.

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Summit on the Summit Spotlights Water Issues in Tanzania

Photo: Kara TureskiMore than a billion people throughout the world lack access to safe drinking water. To raise awareness of the issue, AED, as part of the Procter & Gamble-funded Mswakini Safe Drinking Water Program, hosted Summit on the Summit in January. A team of activists and celebrities visited AED’s activities in Tanzania and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro to explore firsthand how the global water crisis affects families in the region.

The program is improving access to safe drinking water in Mswakini, a Masai community near Arusha, Tanzania, according to Margaret Burns Parlato, senior vice president and director of the AED Global Health, Population, and Nutrition Group.

“More than 80 percent of households in that area obtain their drinking water from open, unprotected sources,” she said. “Now the community members are receiving PUR, an easy-to-use household product that removes pathogenic microorganisms and suspended matter from water.” Mswakini residents also participate in household and community-level education sessions aimed at improving safe drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation practices, she added.

As part of Summit on the Summit, actors Jessica Biel, Emile Hirsch, and Isabel Lucas, among others, visited the Mswakini community and discussed with residents drinking-water issues and how the program is addressing them.

While in the community, the Summit team sent a video greeting to viewers of the People’s Choice Awards. A documentary of their journey aired on MTV in March.

To learn more, read the trip blogs, and donate, visit

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Dr. Sidney R. Schuler to Serve on NIH Center for Scientific Review

Photo: Kara TureskiAED’s Dr. Sidney R. Schuler has accepted an invitation to serve on the National Institute of Health’s Center for Scientific Review. As a member of the “Community Influences on Health Behavior Study Section,” Schuler will contribute to national biomedical research efforts by reviewing and making recommendations on grant applications submitted to the NIH and by surveying the status of research in her field.

A social anthropologist trained at Harvard University, Schuler founded and directs the Empowerment of Women Research Program and is a research and gender advisor for the Communication for Change (C-Change) Project in the AED Global Health, Population, and Nutrition Group.

She has extensive research experience in gender in international health and development, and is especially known for her work in conceptualizing and measuring women’s empowerment and for her field studies documenting how intended beneficiaries perceive reproductive health policies and programs.

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DialoguesThe African Union’s July summit in Kampala, Uganda, will focus on maternal and child health. On April 20th, the commissioner for social affairs of the AU, Advocate Bience P. Gawanas, spoke on their efforts to address the issue at the AED Globe Theater. Joining her on the panel were:


A panel discussion on “Advancing the Cairo Agenda: Entrepreneurship, Education, and Gender Equality in the Muslim World” was held in AED’s Academy Hall on April 28th. AED co-sponsored the event with the United Nations Development Program in support of the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. The international forum explored how educational reform in the Muslim world can produce a new generation of entrepreneurs. Participants included:

The event was hosted by AED President Stephen F. Moseley and moderated by David Yang, senior advisor at UNDP Washington.

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AED: Ideas Changing Lives. Health, Education, Social and Economic Development.