As Applied Ict Unit 1 Coursework Columbia

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The Development Practitioners Seminar is a special feature of the MPA in Development Practice program at SIPA.  The weekly seminar provides students the opportunity to hear from and engage directly with experienced development practitioners, ask candid questions and gain practical insight on how to function effectively in their future careers.  The program has had the privilege of hosting a diverse group of speakers from non-governmental organizations, private sector companies, consulting firms, UN development agencies, philanthropic organizations, the diplomatic corps, and academic institutions. Our guests enjoy access to a forum for sharing experiences, best practices and current trends in development with the next generation of development practitioners. The seminar also promotes longer-term professional exchanges that open the door for internship and employment opportunities.




Friday, March 30
Shauna Downs, Assistant Professor, Department of Health Systems and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health

Shauna Downs, PhD, focuses on two main areas: 1) the role of policies and interventions to reorient the food system towards the production and consumption of nutritious foods and 2) the environmental and health trade-offs of the promotion of healthy diets. She conducts research in India, Senegal, Myanmar and New York City using mixed-methods approaches. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Shauna was a Hecht-Levi Fellow with the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and an Earth Institute Fellow at Columbia University where her research focused on the impacts of intensified horticultural production, complemented with nutrition education, on nutrition outcomes in Senegal. Shauna received her PhD in Public Health from the Menzies Centre for Health Policy at the University of Sydney. She also has a Master’s of Science in Nutrition from the University of Alberta, Canada. Friday, February 16
Jessica Gehl, Manager in PwC’s Sustainability Services Practice

Jessica manages various major clients' engagements for pre-assurance and assurances for corporate sustainability reporting. Jessica has provided leadership to a variety of global client's projects related to greenhouse gas emissions, energy, water, waste, health & safety, beneficiation, healthy living, and responsible sourcing. In previous PwC roles, Jessica was part of PwC USA conflict minerals practice team and the PwC global scorer team for the Carbon Disclosure Process. In 2017, Jessica was the PwC global team's only USA representative in a groundbreaking initiative around corporate reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals. The team provided support to the UN Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and to GRI, the world’s leading organization for sustainability reporting. Friday, February 9
Susan Gigli, Global Director for International Development, Kantar Public

Susan Gigli has 25 years of experience in designing, implementing and managing applied research and evaluation for social, behavioral and organizational change in low and middle-income countries worldwide. Susan works in close partnership with Kantar Public specialist hubs across low and middle income countries to support clients across multiple sectors—from maternal & child health and disease eradication to sanitation, agriculture and education—in assessing the appropriateness, effectiveness, sustainability and impact of social programs, and delivering a better public realm.Susan holds an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business and a Master’s of International Affairs from Columbia University. She is proficient in Italian and Russian. Friday, January 26
Nilda Mesa, Director, Urban Sustainability and Equity Planning Program, Earth Institute

Nilda Mesa is the Director of the Urban Sustainability and Equity Planning Program with Columbia University's Urban Design Lab in the Earth Institute, as well as an adjunct professor with the School of International and Public Affairs. She served as NYC Director of the Mayor's Office of Sustainability under Mayor Bill de Blasio, where she directed climate, energy, and other initiatives including OneNYC, the city's long-term sustainability plan. Previously she served in the White House Council of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the California Attorney General's office. She is a graduate of Harvard Law School.



Friday, December 1
Benjamin Kumpf, Policy Innovation Specialist, UNDP

Benjamin leads the Innovation Facility of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York. He manages UNDP’s Innovation Fund, a pooled funding vehicle created to support and scale innovations that address challenges related to poverty, governance, climate change and gender equality across the globe. Benjamin advises internal and external clients on social innovation with a focus on behavioral design. Benjamin’s work experience includes assignments in Rwanda, Nepal, India and Jordan. He holds a Master's degree in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Heidelberg and a post-graduate certification from New York University. Friday, November 17
Radhika Iyengar, Director, Education Sector, Center for Sustainable Development

Radhika Iyengar has a Ph.D. in Economics of Education from Teachers College in 2011. She received a distinction from Teachers College, Columbia University on her dissertation Social capital as a determinant of schooling in rural India: A mixed methods study. Her professional experience also includes working in an India based non-profit organization- Pratham, for multiple years. At Pratham, Radhika brought cutting edge research into operation in the program management and implementation areas. She also collaborated with researchers from Imperial College, London and University of California, Berkeley to design and implement a pivotal randomized experiment study on the impact of health interventions on cognitive and other educational outcomes of pre-schoolers in India. Friday, November  4
Maurice A. Bloem, Executive Vice President, Church World Service

Maurice assists and advises the president in the daily management of CWS, while specializing in managing research, monitoring and evaluation and incubation. He is also the agency’s Main Representative to the United Nations. Bloem is the former country director and regional director of CWS in Indonesia/Timor-Leste. In that position he led CWS’s multi-million dollar response to the tsunami and the earthquakes that devastated the region in 2004 and 2005 and directed the development and implementation of innovative HIV/AIDS programs and programs for youth. Prior to joining CWS in 1999, Bloem was project coordinator for an HIV/AIDS prevention project run by CARE Bangladesh. Before that he was an advisor to the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh. A native of the Netherlands, Bloem earned a Master of Science degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Leyden in the Netherlands. In 2011, Bloem started the 100-mile Walk to raise awareness of issues around hunger and poverty. As part of the annual effort, Bloem Walks 100 miles in a single week, visiting programs supported and funded by CWS. Friday, October 27 
Kevin Hong, International Relations Officer, U.S. Department of Labor

Kevin is a data-driven innovator having worked with a broad range of NGOs, social enterprises, and bilateral organizations such as Africare, Aravind Eye Hospitals, Carter Center, ideas42, Innovations for Poverty Action, Proctor Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Trickle Up, and USAID. Most recently, Kevin was an M&E Advisor at Mercy Corps, especially on impact investing, social ventures, and Shared Value programs. He is currently an International Relations Officer (focusing on M&E and impact evaluations) at Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking at Department of Labor. He holds a Master in International Affairs from the SIPA and graduated from Cornell University with summa cum laude in computational and systems biology. He is also a founder of the Social Enterprise Boot Camp, a hands-on skill building workshop which he started to go beyond theoretical conversations in conferences and impart actionable knowledge to aspiring social entrepreneurs. He is a reluctant triathelete and lover of outdoors and spicy food. Friday, October 6 
Kris Torgeson, Global CEO, Lifebox

Kris Torgeson is the Global CEO of Lifebox, leading our efforts to make surgery and anaesthesia safer worldwide. A former Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontièrs/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) International based in Switzerland, Kris also served as Founding Executive Director of the US office of The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA). Friday, September 29
Boris Maguire, Head of Deployment, Echo Mobile

Boris Maguire is the Head of Deployment at Echo Mobile in Kenya, where he designs and oversees global ICT projects with clients including multinational corporations, leading social enterprises, UNICEF, UNDP, the governments of Kenya and Malawi, UC Berkeley, and IPA. Echo’s turnkey communication and management information tools help these organizations interact with customers and beneficiaries in emerging markets through mobile channels, enhancing their impact and operations through better data-driven decisions. The Deployment Team is Echo’s consulting business unit—internal experts who help clients leverage Echo’s technology to most effectively achieve their objectives.

Boris believes passionately in the potential for emerging market ICT companies to empower the private sector and enable the social sector to efficiently drive sustainable development. At SIPA, he conducted consulting projects in Mexico and East Timor with ICT startups and companies, and he previously helped design and produce innovative TV and radio programs with emerging independent media outlets in South Asia and North Africa. He also worked for the US Congress on foreign policy oversight. He holds a BA from Duke and an MPA-DP from SIPA. Friday, September 15
Linda Raftree, Consultant, Girl Effect Mobile

Linda Raftree (@meowtree) supports strategy, program design, research, and technology in international development initiatives. She currently consults with Girl Effect Mobile (GEM) on digital safety, security, privacy, strategy, and learning. She also advises The Rockefeller on the use of ICTs in monitoring and evaluation and runs the MERL Tech Conference. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Linda worked for 16 years with Plan International. She has published discussion papers on adolescent girls and ICTs for UNICEF, the role of ICTs in child/youth migration for the Oak Foundation, mobile technologies and youth workforce development for the mEducation Alliance, and ICT-enabled monitoring and evaluation for Rockefeller. Linda is a co-founder of Regarding Humanity, which encourages debate and dialogue around the portrayal of ‘the poor’ in the media, social impact work, and non-profit marketing. She runs Technology Salons in New York City and advocates for ethical approaches for using ICTs and digital data.


Friday, April 21
Dr. Eugenia Cherkasskaya, Clinical Psychologist Columbia Counseling & Psychological Services

Dr. Eugenia Cherkasskaya, a Clinical Psychologist from Columbia's Counseling & Psychological Services, joined the DP Seminar to discuss ways that we can identify signs of burnout, traumatic stress, and vicarious trauma, as well as ways that we can learn to build resilience and coping strategies to deal with the multiple stresses associated with international fieldwork. Prior to Columbia, worked as a clinical fellow in college mental health at the CUNY College of Staten Island.  She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the CUNY Graduate Center. Eugenia's professional interests include sexual health and women's sexuality, couples therapy, relationship and identity difficulties, developmental issues specific to emerging adulthood, and trauma. Friday, April 7
Case Cline, Director of Impact Investing and Operations for Shared Interest

Casey Cline is the Director of Impact Investing and Operations for Shared Interest. Casey previously served as the Director of Operations for myAgro, a West Africa-based non-governmental organization that works with small-scale farmers. Prior to that, he was a Kiva Fellow initiating, monitoring, and evaluating relationships with microfinance partner organizations in Central America. Casey’s earlier background includes working in corporate finance and investment management for 17 years, most recently as a Vice President at Allen & Company LLC. Casey holds a BA in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College. He serves as a board member of myAgro. Friday, April 7
Donna Katzin, Founder and Executive Director of Shared Interest

Donna Katzin is the Founder and Executive Director of Shared Interest. Prior to, Donna served as the Director of South Africa and International Justice Programs for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility for 8 years. In that capacity she worked with religious bodies, institutional investors and community organizations to exert economic pressure to end apartheid, promote responsible reinvestment after apartheid, and to advance social criteria for domestic and international lending. She holds a master’s degree in Community Organization and Planning, and a doctorate in Human Services Education and Development. She is a board member of the Thembani International Guarantee Fund in South Africa, and the Center for Community Change in the U.S. Friday, March 3
Eric Couper, Co-founder and Director of Operations for GreenPath Food

Eric Couper (Columbia MPA-DP c/o 2011) is the Co-founder and Director of Operations for GreenPath Food, Ethiopia's first and only Organic certified fruit and vegetable business. He is passionate about using technology to address agricultural development challenges in the developing world. Eric formerly worked as a Technology Advisor at Abt Associates, where he provided consulting, implementation, and training support across Abt's international projects. Eric also worked at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), advising the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture on their ICT4Ag strategies and initiatives. Originally from the state of Louisiana in the southern US, Eric loves all things New Orleans, most notably the food, music, and culture. Friday, February 24
Tensie Whelan, Director of NYU Stern School of Business’s Center for Sustainable Business

Tensie Whelan is the Director of NYU Stern School of Business’s Center for Sustainable Business, where she is bringing her 25 years of experience working on local, national and international environmental and sustainability issues to engage businesses in proactive and innovative mainstreaming of sustainability. As President of the Rainforest Alliance, she built the organization from a $4.5 million to $50 million budget, transforming the engagement of business with sustainability, recruiting 5,000 companies in more than 60 countries to work with Rainforest Alliance. She built the Rainforest Alliance frog into an internationally recognized and credible brand. Her previous work included serving as Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, Vice President of the National Audubon Society, Managing Editor of Ambio, a journal of the Swedish Academy of Sciences, and a journalist in Latin America. Tensie has been recognized by Ethisphere as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics, was the Citi Fellow in Leadership and Ethics at NYU Stern in 2015 and has served on numerous nonprofit boards and corporate advisory boards such as the Unilever Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board and the Nespresso Innovation Fund Advisory Board. Tensie holds a B.A. from New York University, an M.A from American University, and is a graduate of the three-year Harvard Business School Owner President Management Program. Friday, February 17
Isabel Beltrán, Associate Director 100 Resilient Cities

Isabel Beltrán joined 100RC after over 10 years of experience in international development. Prior to 100RC, she worked at the World Bank in Washington D.C. – in both the Research Group and the Bank's Development Impact Evaluation Initiative. She contributed to the design and implementation of impact evaluations in Africa and Asia. She also worked at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) where she developed extensive expertise in Latin America. As part of the IDB’s Young Professionals program Isabel spent one year in Peru working with the IDB's Country Director in the development of the Country Strategy. She also spent four years in the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative of the IDB in Washington D.C. working with local governments to develop multisector sustainable action plans, defining interventions, prioritization processes, and defining possible funding sources.

Beltran holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University and both a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Economics from the Catholic University in Ecuador. She is a native Spanish speaker.

Friday, February 3 & 10
Dr. Eric Hansen, President of the Economic Transformations Group

Dr. Eric Hansen is the President of the Economic Transformations Group. His areas of expertise are economic competitiveness analysis, strategy development, and managing broad-based economic change and action implementation for regions and industries. He is a specialist in cluster-based economic development and is innovating procedures for stimulating private-sector development and public-private collaboration in a variety of socio-economic and cultural contexts. Dr. Hansen has directed major economic strategy projects in areas throughout the U.S., Africa, Eastern Europe, and in Mexico. He has authored numerous articles and publications, and lectures at ESSEC Business School (Paris), the Mediterranean School of Business in Tunisia, Columbia University, NYU, UC Berkeley, and Stanford University. He is a founder and member of the Advisory Board of The Competitiveness Institute (TCI) – the Cluster Practitioners Network. Friday, January 27
Dr. Jo Puri, Head of the Independent evaluation office, Green Climate Fund 

Dr Jyotsna (Jo) Puri is an expert in evaluation methods and systems and adjunct faculty member at SIPA. Until recently she was the head of evaluation at the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) and also the Deputy Executive Director of the organization. Since Feb. 2017, Jo has been leading the Independent Evaluation office of the Green Climate Fund, headquartered in Korea. Jo has more than 21 years of experience in the area of evaluation and has worked at the UNEP in Paris as part of the Green Economy team; at the World Bank in the Development Economics Research Group, as part of the Guatemala Poverty Assessment team, and at Columbia University where she was the impact evaluation advisor and associate research scientist. She was also a board member of the Community of Evaluators, South Asia, and holds board positions with the Geneva-based Humanitarian Quality Assurance Initiative and with the Africa-based International Center for Evaluation and Development. Jo’s main passion is to advocate for producing and using high-quality evidence in decision making. In this, she has worked to advise WFP, UNICEF, AGRA, IFAD and other INGOs in areas related to agriculture, environment, infrastructure, and humanitarian assistance and livelihoods. 



Friday, December 2
Jason Foley, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan, USAID

Jason Foley has over 20 years of public and private sector experience.  As a career member of the Senior Executive Service, he currently serves as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Deputy Assistant Administrator (DAA) for Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Previously, Mr. Foley served as DAA for East Asia and as the Director of Strategic and Program Planning.  In these capacities, he testified to Congress, provided media interviews including to the New York Times, gave public speeches, attended high-level White House meetings, and negotiated policy issues with senior host-country government officials. In addition to his USAID assignment, Mr. Foley serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Georgetown University's Graduate School of Foreign Assistance where he designed and is currently teaching a course on the role of development in national security.  Before joining USAID, Mr. Foley served as the Director of Strategic Planning at the U.S. State Department, Budget Director at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Benin.  Prior to his government service, Mr. Foley was a senior manager for a consulting firm where he advised foreign governments on reforming their financial sectors.  He earned his Bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and his Master’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Friday, November 18
Philip Sayeg, Managing Director of Policy Appraisal Services

Philip Sayeg holds degrees in engineering, planning, and management and has 40 years of managerial and technical experience in urban and regional multi-modal transport & associated environmental matters in Australasia, the Pacific, Asia, and Africa. With 34+ years of international development experience, since 1990 Philip has been on regular assignment (over 100 missions) as a staff consultant for Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, working on project preparation, supervision, post evaluation and knowledge product development. He has also worked with the French Development Agency, International Finance Corporation, German International Cooperation Agency, UNEP, and Australian Aid. Currently, for World Bank, he is supporting their Lead Economist to develop a global tracking framework for sustainable transport, an effort that aims to replicate for transport, the Sustainable Energy for All tracking framework. Friday, November 11
Nyla Rodgers, CEO and Founder of Mama Hope

Nyla Rodgers is the CEO & Founder of Mama Hope, a non-profit that works in close partnership with local African organizations to fund the completion of projects to improve the health and economic standing of the entire community (e.g. schools, health clinics, food security). Since launching in 2007, it has supported 150,000 people throughout Africa with these projects. Nyla is also is a Co-Producer of the Stop The Pity video campaign, and has been featured on CNN and Al Jazeera & at Sundance and SXSW conferences. Nyla is also the Co-Founder of the Global Advocates, a 9-month program that provides instructional career training, real leadership opportunity, & hands-on experience, including a 3-month stay as a program manager with partners throughout Africa. Nyla graduated with a BA in Global Studies from UC Santa Barbara & received an MA in Peace and Conflict Transformation from the European University of Peace Studies.  Friday, November 4
John McArthur, Senior Fellow: Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution

John McArthur is an economist focused on improving global living standards and advancing sustainability and co-founder of the MDP program. He is a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, a senior advisor to the UN Foundation, and a member of the Board of Governors for the International Development Research Centre. He has previously served as CEO of Millennium Promise; manager and deputy director of the UN Millennium Project; a senior fellow with the Hong Kong-based Fung Global Institute; faculty member at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs; and policy director at the University’s Earth Institute. He began his career as a Research Fellow at the Harvard Center for International Development, where he co-authored the Global Competitiveness Report and supported the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. In 2007-08 John co-chaired the International Commission on Education for Sustainable Development Practice. He has chaired two Global Agenda Councils for the World Economic Forum and in 2009 was recognized as a Young Global Leader. He completed a DPhil (PhD) and MPhil in economics from Oxford University (Rhodes scholar); an MPP at Harvard's Kennedy School; and a BA at the University of British Columbia. Friday, October 28
Connie Nelson, Director, RE:Design project at the Center for Policy Design
Jeff Zlonis, Director, RE:Design project at the Center for Policy Design

Connie Nelson is Partner Emeritus of the former Public Strategies Group. She has over 40 years experience as an executive leader in government and as a consultant across public and non-profit sectors. Connie is passionate about organizations being very clear about why they exist and for whose benefit. She has participated in or led over 30 Design Labs to rethink areas as diverse as property taxation, child support payment, financial inclusion, older adult self-sufficiency, youth homelessness and tribal nation sovereignty. 

Jeff Zlonis has over 40 years experience working as a manager in government, teacher in university management programs and consultant for public & private organizations. Jeff's primary focus has been strategic management and applying enterprise thinking to public sector management, in particular, transforming central administrative systems. Jeff received a MPA degree from Harvard University, where he was a Bush Leadership Fellow. 

Friday, October 14 
Michael Shank, Head of Communications for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

Michael Shank Ph.D., is Head of Communications for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network in New York City, where he handles communications for Professor Jeffrey Sachs and SDSN’s work on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Michael’s recent positions include serving as Director of Media Strategy at Climate Nexus, Associate Director for Legislative Affairs at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and US Congressman Michael Honda’s Senior Policy Advisor and Communications Director. Michael’s Ph.D. from George Mason University’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution is on Climate Conflict. Friday, September 23
Claire Starkey, President of the Executive Committee at Fintrac

Claire has been collaborating on agricultural initiatives with local and international partners to improve food security for farmers and farm families in developing countries for three decades. A creative strategist, she provides leadership to Fintrac's organizational development, advises staff and clients on best practices to achieve sustainable impact, and advocates for increasing women's participation in the agribusiness sector worldwide. Prior to joining Fintrac in 1990, she coordinated agri-marketing activities for commercial entities, trade associations, USAID, and NGOs.

Friday, September 16
Jess Fanzo, Professor of Ethics and Global Food & Agriculture at Johns Hopkins

Dr. Fanzo is the Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor of Ethics and Global Food & Agriculture at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of International Health at JHU. She also serves as the Director of the Global Food Ethics and Policy Program at JHU.  Prior to going to JHU, Dr. Fanzo taught nutrition at SIPA and the CU Medical School. She has been – and continues to be – a wonderful friend of the MDP program. She has advised and mentored many past students and graduates of our program. 


Friday, March 4
Leslie Kantor, Vice-President of Education, Planned Parenthood

Leslie Kantor, MPH, Ph.D, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s (PPFA) vice president of education, is a widely respected leader in the field of sexual and reproductive health, with over two decades of experience in sex education. Since arriving at PPFA, Ms. Kantor has led efforts to develop innovative, technology-based approaches to sex education, partnered with affiliates to strengthen programs and evaluation, served as a national spokesperson, and spearheaded PPFA’s policy efforts related to sex education. Friday, February 26
Owen Phillips, Associate Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team

Owen is an Associate Advisor on the North American Team. Prior to joining BIT, Owen worked on the NPR Education team producing digital and radio stories on all things education and learning. He has also researched how insights from behavioral science can be applied to higher education for the Washington, DC based think tank, New America. Owen holds a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University. He is originally from Mississippi and earned a bachelors degree in economics from Millsaps college in Jackson, Mississippi. Friday, February 19
Lauren Burke, Executive Director of Atlas: DIY

Since graduating from New York University School of Law in 2009 she focused her career on developing inclusive legal programs for immigrants and youth in various organizations throughout New York City. During a Skadden Fellowship, Lauren developed the Immigrant Youth Peer Educator Program, and in 2010 she and three of her students worked together to create Atlas. Fluent in Mandarin, Lauren has an expertise in representing youth trafficked to the U.S. from China (her work inspiring the documentary "Walking Merchandise"), though in founding Atlas she became passionate about serving immigrants of all origins. Lauren and Atlas have been profiled in Forbes, where she was also named one of "30 Under 30" (Law & Policy) and one of "20 Millenials on a Mission," in The New York Times, and on NPR's All Things Considered. In 2013 Lauren was named NYU's Distinguished Young Alumna of the Year. Lauren also hosts a popular YouTube series teaching youth from across the country how to file their own cases. Friday, February 12
JD Stier, President of Stier Forward

JD has held leadership positions within numerous campaigns, including the 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign, leading to a Presidential Appointment in the White House in 2009.  After serving in the White House JD was tapped to lead the Enough Project’s Raise Hope for Congo Campaign. Under his leadership, the campaign increased public pressure on the electronic industry to further address their role in cleaning the conflict minerals supply chain. In 2012, Raise Hope for Congo highlighted Congolese activists, including Amani, in the I Am Congo documentary series. The campaign also initiated a gold campaign calling on the jewelry industry to lead the way to a clean gold sector in eastern Congo.  He is a frequent contributor to the Huffington Post, advocating for solutions to the crisis in eastern Congo. He asked Apple for increased leadership addressing conflict minerals; partnered to raise awareness of the crisis in Congo; and asked President Obama to increase his engagement in eastern Congo. Friday, February 5
Ben Smilowitz, Disaster Accountability Project

Soon after Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Ben Smilowitz directly witnessed the failed response as the manager of a Red Cross Client Service Center in Gulfport, MS. With a background in civic engagement and issue campaigns, Ben started DAP to confront the root causes of the bungled disaster response.  In August 2008, Ben and the Disaster Accountability Project received a highly competitive Echoing Green Fellowship, awarded to social entrepreneurs addressing the root causes of societal challenges by starting new, cutting-edge ventures. Since founding DAP, Ben has raised over one half million dollars of in-kind and probono support and the group’s reports have been covered by The New York Times, Washington Post, Al Jazeera English and Fox News. Ben received a BA in Political Science and an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Washington University in St. Louis and is currently pursuing a law degree at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Friday, January 29
Valter Vincent, Senior Legal Advisor for Timor Leste's Ministry of Finance

Valter has acted as a legal advisor for the government of Portugal and the Australian Council of Ministers. Valter was part of the World Bank’s legal advisory program at the Ministry of Finance for East Timor from 2008 to 2013 where he conducted policy and legal training for national staff and worked on legislation and other legal documents in the area of public financial management, national budget, taxation, procurement, the petroleum fund and local development among many others.  Since 2013, Valter has acted as Senior Legal Advisor of Timor Leste’s Ministry of Finance as well as Senior Legal Advisor of the Office of the Prime Minister where he developed and introduced legislation on the SDGs. Friday, January 22
Graciela Leal, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager/Program Manager Latin America, PCI Media Impact
Carina Schmid, Program Manager, PCI Media Impact

Graciela received an M.A. in Sociology of Education, from Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development in New York University. She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies from ITESO University in Guadalajara, Mexico, with an emphasis in educational interventions, communication theory and social research. She has extensive professional experience as Program Manager, Project Designer and Researcher combining research in communications and education with hands-on work. During her time at the Trompo Magico Interactive Museum in Guadalajara, Mexico she designed scientific dissemination workshops and museological content for exhibits. She has worked at ITESO University as a Researcher, Assistant Program Manager and Facilitator for an at-risk youth national program in rural and urban vocational high schools. She also has experience in other formal and non-formal educational settings such as distance learning programs and community work. During her time at New York University she worked as a research assistant conducting qualitative data collection and analysis. Graciela also carried out monitoring and evaluation activities to analyze the impact of the Entertainment-Education Program My School-My Community in eleven New York City schools. As one of her latest projects she worked in the impact evaluation of the A Ganar program in Central America (Honduras and Guatemala).  

Carina is passionate about leveraging the power of media and creative communications to develop, implement and evaluate successful public health initiatives. Throughout her research and work, Carina constantly strives to find the balance in programs that are theoretically sound and also out-of-the-box to bring about innovative health behavioral changes without inducing fear. In this regard, Carina is a strong advocate and proponent of capacity building. The most successful and sustainable programs, she believes, are designed within a community and not for a community.  With a background in professional nursing, Carina worked as a head nurse in south Germany until she realized the importance of reaching out to people before they need medical care. She earned a Bachelor's degree in business communication with a focus on health communication and social marketing in Berlin. In 2012, she graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Health Promotion.



Friday, December 4
Pravin Chandrasekaran, CEO and Founder, OpelCrest

Pravin leads the management of OpalCrest’s global business. Pravin has spent the last seventeen years of his career focused in Agriculture and Energy Trading. He started in the Petroleum business focused on Middle Distillates and later moved to trading Agriculture Commodities. Before founding OpalCrest, Pravin worked at various institutions including Reliance Industries, ADM, Deutsche Bank, Rabobank and most recently at Citigroup, where he headed their Agriculture Derivatives trading desk in London. Throughout his professional life, Pravin has established a broad array of strong client relationships by living and doing business across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. He frequently contributes articles to the business press and is active as a speaker with organizations focused on agribusiness, commodities markets, data sciences, and sustainability. Pravin is a member of the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture Transformation Leader’s Network.

Pravin received a Masters Degree from Harvard University, USA and a Bachelors Degree from Anna University, India. Friday, November 20
Karla Hoff, Senior Research Economist, Development Research Group

Karla Hoff is a Senior Research Economist in the Development Economics Research Group and Codirector of the  World Development Report 2015. Much of her work focuses on using the tools of economics to study social interactions. She has published papers in theAmerican Economic Review that explain how good people can form bad neighborhoods, how productivity is sensitive to social setting, and how historical legacies influence the difficulty of establishing a rule of law. She won a Citation of Excellence for one of the top 50 papers from Emerald Management Review in for her 2009 Economic Journal paper with Joe Stiglitz, “Exiting a Lawless State.” She was a member of the MacArthur Research Network on Inequality and Economic Performance, 1996-2006. She coedited two books—The Economics of Rural Organization and Poverty Traps. Ongoing work evaluates a women’s empowerment project and a political theater program in India. Her work spans conceptual analysis and grassroots fieldwork. She has a BA in French from Wellesley College and a PhD in economics from Princeton. She taught English in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast. Friday, November 13
Leith Greenslade, Vice-Chair at the MDG Health Alliance 

Leith Greenslade is vice-chair at the MDG Health Alliance, a special initiative of the UN Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Every Woman, Every Child movement. Greenslade is also an investor in several nonprofit organizations that empower women, the chair of a giving circle that invests in women social entrepreneurs working globally and a member of the Peace and Security Funders Group. Greenslade served on the US Board of GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance and in several positions with the Australian Government, including policy advisor and speechwriter to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, economic adviser to the Leader of the Opposition, and chief of staff to the Shadow Minister for Social Security and the Status of Women. Greenslade holds an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MBA from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a First Class Honors Degree from the University of Queensland Friday, November 6
Katherine Garcia, Member of the Founding Team for The Center for Open Data Enterprise

Katherine Garcia is a member of the founding team for The Center for Open Data Enterprise, where she manages communications and outreach. Previously she served as a Research Assistant on the Open Data 500 Study and Project Liaison on the Open Data 100 Mexico Study at The Governance Lab at NYU. Prior to joining The GovLab, Katherine served as Press Assistant at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. She has over 10 years of media and publishing experience. Katherine earned her MPA with an emphasis in Policy Analysis from Baruch College. She serves as Co-President of the Metro NY Chapter of the U.S. National Committee for UN Women, which promotes gender equality and women's empowerment. She also serves on the Board of SustainUS, a non-profit that empowers youth to advance sustainable development. She is passionate about open data because of its impact on governance and human rights. She tweets at @katherinejulia.

Friday, October 16
Karim Abouelnaga, CEO and Co-founder 

Karim Abouelnaga is CEO and co-founder of Practice Makes Perfect, a nonprofit organization conceived on the premise that all children, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, have equal potential to compete intellectually in our society. After learning about the achievement gap and its personal impact on his life in 2010, Karim set out to create a program that addressed three critical pain points: lack of engagement in middle school, especially in low income neighborhoods like the one in which he was raised; summer opportunities and graduation rates for high school students, especially for those attending inner-city high schools like the one Karim attended; and college readiness and matriculation into selective universities. Since graduating from the New York City public school system, Karim secured over $300,000 in scholarships and awards to make his college education possible. For his work with Practice Makes Perfect, Karim has been featured in the New York Times and awarded several distinctions, including the Robinson Appel Humanitarian Award, Newman Civic Fellowship, Pearson Prize National Fellowship, Cornell Distinguished Leadership Award and the Cornell Class of 1964 John F. Kennedy Memorial Award. Karim is a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, where he served as a student assistant to the Dean and was a Presidential Research Scholar. Friday, October 9
Karolo Aparicio, Executive Director

Karolo Aparicio is the executive director of EcoViva, an 18 year-old nonprofit organization with deep ties to grassroots social movements in El Salvador that grew out of peace-building efforts after the Salvadoran Civil War. Today, Ecoviva works in partnership with community-led organizations in Central America that work on environmental conservation and economic development. EcoViva provides assistance to their partners' initiatives in diversified agriculture, rural infrastructure, youth leadership development, climate change adaptation, and environmental conservation. They embrace a collaborative and democratic approach to development that seeks to reconcile what are often considered competing priorities of economic development and environmental sustainability.

Prior to joining EcoViva, Karolo was in leadership roles at the Global Fund for Women, the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter, and International Rivers. Karolo has an MBA from San Francisco State University, where he also earned his BA. Karolo also holds an MA in Anthropology from Vanderbilt University where he did field and archival work in Guatemala and Mexico. He is a member of the Program Committee of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter and helps coordinate professional development programs for fundraising professionals Friday, September 25
Dr. Frannie Leautier, Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner of Mkoba Private Equity

Mkoba Private Equity is a fund offering growth capital to small and medium enterprises in Africa. Previously Dr. Leautier served as World Bank Vice President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank; Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF); and Founder and Managing Partner of the Fezembat Group, a company focused on risk management and leadership development. She holds a number of Board Director positions including at PTA Bank; AERC; Nelson Mandela Institute for Science & Technology; editorial board of the Journal of African Trade (JAT); and UONGOZI Institute. She serves on Visiting Committees at the MIT Corporation and on the Advisory Board of Women’s World Banking. She was Co-Chair for World Economic Forum (WEF) Africa and is a member of the WEF Global Agenda Councils.

The Information age


This unit has been designed to explore how the world we live in is constantly changing as a result of new technologies. We live in an age full of data and information which, in many cases, is crucial to our standard of living and overall quality of life.


  • To be aware of key technologies used to convey information
  • To be aware of how technology allows us to present information in different ways
  • To understand how information can be shared quickly, allowing people greater interaction with others
  • To understand some of the issues and challenges surrounding the use of technology

What you need to do

Your task is to produce an e-book using Dreamweaver to tell people 100 years from now what life was like in the "Information Age."

This e-book must contain:

  • An introduction which makes it clear that you understand the audience and purpose of the e-book

You should also write:

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