The chiefs of the world’s major humanitarian relief and development agencies will convene in Seattle Saturday through Monday to coordinate their response to changing economic and political conditions and discuss with Northwest corporate leaders ways to collaborate in the fight against poverty and disease.
The heads of such groups as CARE, Oxfam and the Nobel Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders are coming at the invitation of Marc Lindenberg, dean of the UW’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.
Lindenberg, a former CARE official, joined with CARE President Peter Bell and Rockefeller Foundation Vice President Lincoln Chin to found the conference of aid leaders last year in Bellagio, Italy.
This time, the agency heads will discuss how to carry out their missions in a world in which many developing nations are torn by civil strife and the governments of developed nations increasingly cede their social responsibilities. That leaves these non-governmental organizations – known as NGOs – on the humanitarian front lines.
“In the post cold war world,” Lindenberg said, “many risk their lives to help others in settings where no nation is willing to send soldiers.”
To respond to the changes, the aid leaders will talk about their fledgling partnerships with multinational giants such as Starbucks and Cargill, while discussing strategies to shape corporate behavior and respond to humanitarian crises more quickly.
The 25 attendees also will lunch with Gates Foundation co-chairmen Patty Stonesifer and UW Regent William H. Gates, and other Northwest philanthropists, including Craig and Susan McCaw, Rob Glaser, Helen Jackson, Jackie Bezos and Paul Brainerd.
In addition, conferees will brainstorm about peace advocacy and post-conflict reconciliation with Francis Deng, a noted senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and talk to representatives of key Pacific Northwest foundations about how to raise public awareness of international issues.
The gathering will take place at the Aljoya Conference Center (the former Battelle Institute, 3920 N.E. 41st St.) near the University of Washington campus. Sessions will be closed to the public to enable participants to interact freely, but reporters are welcome to contact participants and speakers in advance and arrange interviews between sessions.
The conference’s official name is “Northern Relief and Development NGOs: The Challenges of the New Millennium.” The title refers to agencies that are based in Europe and North America but carry out relief efforts around the world.
Coming to Seattle will be the leaders of Oxfam America, Oxfam Great Britain and the Oxfam International Secretariat; Save the Children US; the International Save the Children Alliance; CARE; Medicins Sans Fronti?s (Doctors Without Borders); PLAN UK; the Federal Way-based World Vision; the International Rescue Committee; Mercy Corps; and Medical Corps International.
Speakers include Jim Austin of the Harvard Business School; Ronnie Heifetz, professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; Eileen Quigley of RealImpact, a foundation created by RealNetworks chairman Rob Glaser; Manuel Chiriboga, executive secretary of ALOP; Corazon Juliano-Soliman executive director of Community Organizers Multiversity; Kumi Naidoo, secretary general and CEO of CIVICUS; Alex Counts, president of Grameen Foundation USA; David Brown, associate director for international programs at The Hauser Center on Nonprofit Organizations; Mark Moore, director of the Hauser Center on Nonprofit Organizations and faculty chairman of Criminal Justice Policy and Management at the Kennedy School of Government, and William McKinney, president of the Pacific School of Religion.
For more information, contact Lindenberg at (206) 616-1648 or email@example.com.
The Aljoya Conference Center number is (206) 268-7000.