2011 Global Diaspora Forum: Inaugural Conference


The U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton convened the inaugural Global Diaspora Forum on May 17, 2011.  Before a packed audience, Secreatry Clinton announced the launch of IdEA. The 2011 Global Diaspora Forum ran for three days and marked the first time that the State Department had ever convened diaspora groups at such a large scale.  Download the 2011 Global Diaspora Forum’s agenda and catalog of speakers.

The Global Diaspora Forum is an annual celebration of America’s diaspora communities. The gathering challenges diaspora communities to forge partnerships with the private sector, civil society, and public institutions in order to make their engagements with their countries of origin or ancestry effective, scalable, and sustainable.

The event brings together a diverse range of stakeholders, all passionate about promoting diaspora engagement, including:

    • Leaders of diaspora communities
    •  U.S. government officials
    • Private sector stakeholders
    • Representatives of international institutions
    • Foundations executives
    • Academic experts
    • Members of nonprofit organizations

Conference Agenda

DAY 1 – Tuesday, May 17th
Loy Henderson Auditorium, U.S. Department of State
9:00 am
Registration & Coffee

2201 C Street NW

Registration begins at 8:45am

10:00 am
Welcoming Remarks

Kris M. Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State

10:10 am
Diasporas & Diplomacy

The. Hon. Maria Otero, Undersecretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs

10:45 am
Keynote Address

The Hon. Hillary R. Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State

11:15 am
Partner Commitments to Diaspora Engagement

This section will feature prominent leaders of public and private institutions that are committed to effective and inclusive diaspora engagement.

12:15 pm
Diasporas & Development

The Hon. Dr. Rajiv Shah, M.D. Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development

12:45 pm
1:45 pm
Effective Engagement Strategies

A common challenge among many diaspora communities is how to identify common priorities and objectives, communicate with policymakers, and translate ideas into projects or activities. This plenary discussion will highlight the experiences and lessons from diasporas that have successfully mobilized for development and diplomacy.


    • Kathleen Newland, Director of the Migrants, Migration and Development and Refugee Policy Programs, Migration Policy Institute


      • Kingsley Aikins, Former President and CEO, The Worldwide Ireland Funds
      • Jose Luis Gutierrez, President, Federation of Michoacano Clubs in Illinois
      • Noosheen Hashemi, President and Co-Founder, the HAND Foundation
      • Danny Pins, Director of Immigrant Integration, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
      • Dr. Sanjay Sinho, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, American India Foundation
      • Dr. James Zogby, Ph.D., Founder and President, Arab American Institute
3:15 pm
Coffee Break
3:45 pm
Learning from Experience

Breakout group discussions providing a forum for diasporas to share their experiences.

Group A. Investment & Trade

Location: Breakout Room 1107

Diasporas are critical actors in promoting and deepening business and investment ties between the United States and their countries of origin. This roundtable will discuss various aspects of these business ties, including professional networks, investment funds, chambers of commerce, and entrepreneurs.


    • Carl Kress, Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe, US Trade and Development Agency


      • Katleen Felix, Project Director, Haitian Diaspora Liaison Officer, Fonkoze Financial Services
      • Eric-Vincent Guichard, Founder and CEO, Gravitas Capital Management
      • Dolly Oberoi, CEO, C2 Technologies and Member, The Indus Entrepreneurs
      • Dr. Liesl Riddle, Ph.D., Associate Dean for MBA Programs, The George Washington University
      • Lamine Savadogo, President and Founder, Marison Energy Systems
      • Francis Skrobiszewski, Director, US-Polish Trade Council and Director, Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce
Group B. Philanthropy

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium
Many diaspora communities retain ties with their countries of origin through donations and other means of financial support – ranging from small contributions through associations to larger donations by prominent individuals or families. This roundtable will discuss the various channels of diaspora philanthropy and address shared challenges and lessons learned across communities.


    • Suzy Antounian, Vice President, Global Philanthropy Forum


      • Diana Campoamor, President, Hispanic in Philanthropy
      • Dr. Tariq Cheema, M.D., Founder, World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists
      • Leona Forman, President and CEO, Brazil Foundation USA
      • Victoria Garchito
Group C. Volunteering and Community Service

Location: Breakout Room 1207

A popular medium for many members of diaspora communities to engage with their home countries is via volunteer work and community service projects. These activities are particularly popular among diaspora youth, highly skilled diasporas, and some diaspora retirees. This section will discuss several experiences with diaspora volunteer programs.


    • David Caprara, Director, Initiative on International Volunteering and Service, Brookings Institution


      • Fr. Hovnan Demerjian, Co-Founder and former Executive Director, Armenian Volunteer Corps
      • Dr. Giorgis Kefale, M.D., Volunteer, Vermont Oxford-Addis Ababa University Black Lion Hospital Project
      • May Mayor, Coordinator, Balik Turo “Give Back, Teach Back” Volunteer Program
      • Demian Pasquarelli, Executive Director, Florida International Volunteer Corps
      • Roopal Shah, Co-Founder and Former Executive Director, Indicorps
Group D. Innovation

Location: Breakout Room 1105

Diasporas often act innovators, bringing new ideas and new modes of production back to their countries of origin. This panel discussion will explore how diasporas promote both industrial and social innovation in the developing world.


    • Pradeep Ramamurthy, Deputy Counselor for Innovation, USAID


      • Ehaab Abdou, Advisor, Middle East Youth Initiative, Brookings Institution; Ashoka Fellow; Co-Founder and Board Member, Nahdet El Mahrousa NGO
      • James Bao, Co-Founder, OneVietnam
      • Satish Jha, Founder, One Laptop Per Child India
      • Jorge Zavala, Founder and CEO, TechBA
Group E. Health & Medicine

Location: Breakout Room 1205

The United States attracts medical professionals from around the world, many of whom remain or become engaged in improving the fields of health and medicine in their countries of origin. This panel will discuss the contributions of medical diasporas to improving health outcomes in the developing world.


    • Amie Batson, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Global Health, USAID


      • Victoria Navarro, MAS, MSN, RN, President-Elect, Philippine Nurses Association of America
      • Dr. Fiemu Nwariaku, M.D., President, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas
      • Dr. Saad Shakir, M.D., President, Iraqi Medical Science Association of North America
      • James Smith, Executive Director, American International Health Alliance Twinning Center Against AIDS
      • Dr. Manzoor Tariq, M.D., President, Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent
5:15 pm
Closing Plenary

The Hon. Leocadia Zak, Director, US Trade and Development Agency
Gustavo Arnavat, US Executive Director, Inter-American Development Bank

6:00 pm
7:00 pm
Welcoming Reception

United States Institute of Peace – 2301 Constitution Avenue, NW

Featuring performances by multi-instrumentalist Jowee Omicil and comedian Dean Obeidallah.

An independent event organized by the Migration Policy Institute with the generous support of the Digicel Group and ezetop.

DAY 2 – Wednesday, May 18th
Loy Henderson Auditorium, U.S. Department of State
8:30 am
Arrival & Registration

2201 C Street, NW

Official delegate nametag required for admission.

9:00 am
Opening Remarks

The Hon. Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President, Export-Import Bank of the United States
Mimi Alemayehou, Executive Vice President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation

9:30 am
Building Bridges: Diasporas, their Homelands, & the U.S.
Prominent Americans from a wide array of public and private fields achieve success in the United States and also remain engaged with, contribute to development in, and establish links between the United States and their countries of origin or ancestry. This panel discussion will highlight examples of diasporas that have helped build bridges or enhance understanding between the United States and their countries of origin.Moderator:

    • Jon Carson, Director, Office of Public Engagement, The White House


      • Semhar Araia, Executive Director, Diaspora African Women’s Network
      • John Calvelli, Secretary, National Italian-American Foundation
      • Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Ph.D., Director, National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution
      • Farooq Kathwari, CEO, Ethan Allen Furniture, Inc.
      • Duy-Loan Le, Senior Fellow, Texas Instruments
10:45 am
Coffee Break
11:00 am
Navigating Partnerships: Lessons from Collaboration

Breakout group discussions on issues where the US government, origin country governments, multilateral agencies, and other public institutions have joined efforts with diasporas to address development challenges. These experiences point to the potential of partnerships and also provide valuable lessons for the future of collaborative efforts.

Group A. Agriculture & Rural Development

Location: Breakout Room 1207

Food insecurity is often rooted in poverty and poses long-term challenges to communities and countries to develop. The global community has launched an expansive effort to eradicate global hunger and achieve food security. This panel, organized in partnership with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, will explore the role of diasporas in meeting this objective.


    • Paul Weisenfeld, Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Food Security, USAID


      • Estrella Dizon Anonuevo, Executive Director, Atikha Overseas Workers and Communities Initiative, Inc.
      • Fatumo Farah, Director, Himilo Relief and Development Association
      • Eleanor Nagy, Acting Deputy Coordinator of Feed the Future, Global Hunger and Food Security Office, US State Department
      • Pedro de Vasconcelos, Coordinator, Multi-donor Financing Facility for Remittances, International Fund for Agricultural Development
Group B. Disaster Response & Humanitarian Relief

Location: Breakout Room 1105

In the wake of natural disasters, diaspora communities are often among the first to mobilize assistance ranging from charitable donations to medical volunteers. This panel will examine how public institutions in the United States and origin countries, diaspora organizations, and multilateral relief agencies have worked with diasporas to respond to the challenges of disaster response and humanitarian relief.


    • Mark Ward, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs, Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, USAID


      • Habon Abdulle, Member, Internally Displaced Somali Advisory Council
      • Maggie Austin, Executive Director, Konbit for Haiti
      • Pratheepan (Deep) Gulasekaram, Founder and Vice President, World Children’s Initiative
      • Awais Khan, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Pakistan Foundation
      • Floyd Mori, National Executive Director/CEO, Japanese American Citizens League
Group C. Entrepreneurship

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

Entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool to enhance economic opportunity and empower communities. Diasporas often play a critical role in starting businesses and mentoring emerging entrepreneurs. This panel will focus on how various governments work with diasporas to promote entrepreneurship and business formation.


    • Thomas Debass, Director, Global Partnership Initiative, US State Department


      • Addis Alemayehou, Chief of Party, Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance, Ethiopia
      • Alden Zecha, CFO and Strategist, Sproxil and Winner, African Diaspora Marketplace
      • Rafaat Ludin, President and CEO, International Home Finance and Development LLC
      • Dr. Molly Pollack, Ph.D., Executive Director, ChileGlobal
      • Barbara Span, Vice President for Public Affairs, Western Union
Group D. Education

Location: Breakout Room 1107

Education and human capital development – including literacy, basic education, higher education and workforce development – are critical to any country’s growth and development. Diasporas often represent an important human capital resource for developing countries. This panel will identify how diasporas and public institutions work together to address global education challenges.


    • Patrick Fine, Vice President for Compact Operations, Millennium Challenge Corporation


      • Manjula Dissanayake, President and Founder, Educate Lanka Foundation
      • Ashraf Hegazy, Co-Founder and Former President, Harvard Arab Alumni Association and Executive Director, Harvard-Dubai Initiative
      • Nini Legesse, Founder and President, Wegene Ethiopian Foundation
      • John Wanda, Founder, Arlington Academy of Hope
Group E. Remittances & Mobile Money

Location: Breakout Room 1205

Remittances are the most tangible link between migration and development. For over a decade public institutions have worked with multilateral institutions, the private sector, and diasporas to facilitate remittance transfer and to expand opportunities for remittance-backed investment. This panel will discuss some of these experiences, including shared challenges and lessons learned.


    • Mike Szymanski, Director of Policy, Bureau of Economic, Energy and Business Affairs, State Department


      • Natasha Bajuk, Senior Associate, Multilateral Investment Fund
      • Bill Barhydt, CEO, m-Via
      • Isaku Endo, Financial Sector Specialist, Payment Systems Development Group, Financial and Private Sector Vice Presidency, The World Bank
      • Robert Meins, Remittance Specialist, International Fund for Agricultural Development
      • Dr. Manuel Orozco, Ph.D., Senior Associate, Inter-American Dialogue
      • Mark Roden, CEO, ezetop
12:30 pm
1:30 pm
Keynote Address

The Hon. Daniel Yohannes, Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation

2:00 pm
Emerging Opportunities for Engagement

Diasporas play an important role in all aspects of American public and private engagement with foreign countries and communities. This series of panels will explore several of these emerging and innovative opportunities for engagement.

Group A. Media of the Global Diaspora

Location: Breakout Room 1105

The panel, sponsored by New America Media, will focus on how journalists working in ethnic and transnational media cover homeland issues. The goal is to highlight how news events abroad ripple in diaspora communities, and what role ethnic media play as leaders in those communities, disseminating and contextualizing information to individuals who are between both worlds.


    • Sandy Close, Executive Director, New America Media


      • Hilda Garcia, News Director, ImpreMedia
      • Gary Pierre-Pierre, Publisher, The Haitian Times
      • Sujeet Rajan, Editor, Indian Express North American Edition
      • Sherine Tadros, Correspondent, Al-Jazeera English
      • Rong Xiaoqing, Senior Reporter, Sing Tao Daily
Group B. Getting to the Root of Global Problems

Location: Breakout Room 1207

The panel, sponsored by the UN Foundation, will focus on how grassroots engagement is bringing together diaspora communities to tackle major global issues. The world is focused on major challenges related to poverty, health, hunger, women’s empowerment and the environment through work toward the Millennium Development Goals. Partnerships offer a way to engage citizens with direct connections to these problems. Experts will discuss recent successes and ways diaspora groups can leverage partnership, outreach, and business capabilities to connect their communities to transnational goals.


    • Aaron Sherinian, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs, UN Foundation


      • Maria Teresa Kumar, Co-Founder, Voto Latino
      • Eric Farnsworth, Vice President, Americas Society/Council of the Americas
      • TMS (Teddy) Ruge, co-founder, Project Diaspora
      • Elizabeth Warn, Specialist in Labor Migration and Development, International Organization for Migration
Group C. Generation-D: Diaspora Youth Leaders

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

This panel will focus on how young people in the diaspora engage with their countries of origin or ancestry, including by reaching out through non-traditional means such as arts, culture, advocacy and business. The goal is to highlight how youth can catalyze new ideas, new networks, and new energies that translate into concrete initiatives.


    • Kalpen Modi, Associate Director of Public Engagement, The White House


      • Alvaro Maldonando, Founder and Director, Ballet Teatro Internacional
      • Thione Niang, Founder and CEO, Give1 Project and President, TN Consulting Group
      • Dean Obeidallah, Co-creator and Producer, New York Arab-American Comedy Festival and Executive Producer, Amman Stand Up Comedy Festival
      • Rasheq Rahman, Founding President, Network of Young Bangladeshi American Professionals
      • Rahama Wright, Founder and CEO, Shea Yeleen International Inc.
Group D. Science & Technology

Location: Breakout Room 1205

Science and technology are central to addressing major global challenges. Foreign-born scientists in the US contribute to progress in every field of science. For many, maintaining ties with colleagues back home contributes to new research partnerships, increased uptake of new research products or services, and strengthened science policies and practices. This panel will focus on the scientific diaspora communities as vectors of knowledge, learning, entrepreneurial partnerships, and science diplomacy.


    • Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, Ph.D., Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment and Science


      • Dr. Alexander Dehgan, Ph.D. Science and Technology Advisor to the Administrator, USAID
      • Dr. Jorge Gomez, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Office of Latin American Cancer Program Development, National Cancer Institute, National Institute of Health
      • Dr. Alfred Watkins, Ph.D., Science and Technology Program Coordinator, The World Bank
      • Patricia Zambrano, Senior Research Analyst, International Food Policy Research Institute
Group E. Sports

Location: Breakout Room 1107

For diaspora communities across the globe, sport continues to be an integral connection to their home countries. Sport has an inherent and unique ability to connect people and provides the ability to transform some of the world’s least developed countries. While sport has historically played an important role in virtually every society globally, sport has been an undervalued asset in development and seen as an emerging, yet powerful, tool to bring economic and youth development, peace and social mobilization. The leading experts in the field of sport in development on this panel will discuss how sport plays an integral role in diaspora communities as a platform to better the lives of youth, families and communities.


    • Mori Taheripour, Senior Advisor for Sports and Development, USAID


      • Rahul Brahmbhatt, General Manager, Magic Bus USA
      • Hisham Elkoustaf, Executive Director and General Counsel, Los Angeles Futbol Club Foundation
      • Fabian Koss, Youth Program Coordinator, Office of External Relations, Inter-American Development Bank
      • Kasia Muoto, Founder and President, Play to Win
      • Madieu Williams, Safety, Minnesota Vikings
3:30 pm
Coffee Break
4:00 pm
Closing Plenary

Dr. Quintan Wiktorowicz, Ph.D., Senior Director of Global Engagement, The White House
The Hon. Jose Fernandez, Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs

5:00 pm

Thematic meetings at partner organizations around Washington, D.C.

5:30 pm
Happy Hour Organized with the Give1Project

Eighteenth Street Lounge Rooftop – 1212 18th Street NW

An independent happy hour organized with the Thione Niang Give1Project. Beverages will be available for purchase.

6:00 pm
Reception Hosted by African Diaspora for Change

National Press Club – 529 14th Street, NW

An independent event for African-American and Africa Journalists co-hosted by the African Diaspora for Change and Deidre M. Childress, entertainment editor at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Vice-President-Print of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Featuring a performance by Kenyan recording artist Anna Mwalagho.

RSVP to Julian B. Kiganda at julian@vibrantdesigngroup.com.

DAY 3 – Thursday, May 19th
Washington, DC
9:00 am
unConference (continued)

Thematic meetings at partner organizations around Washington, D.C.

The Human Face of Remittances

Appleseed – 727 15th Street NW – 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Appleseed will present “The Human Face of Remittances”, emphasizing the importance of remittances to families back home, and “Children at the Border,” its new report focusing on protecting unaccompanied minors who are detained in the U.S. after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Appleseed will summarize important new consumer protections for remittance senders and recipients in this $400 billion per year industry and will discuss the link between remittances and investment, credit, health insurance and emerging financial access and certification opportunities. Appleseed will also present recommendations for reform in the United States and Mexico to improve the protections of unaccompanied minors.

RSVP to Annette LoVoi at alovoi@appleseednetwork.org.

Public Private Partnerships and the Cultivation of Diaspora: Engagement on Economic Opportunity in North Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the West Bank

The Aspen Institute and Partners for a New Beginning – DLA Piper LLP 500 Eighth Street NW – 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Partners for a New Beginning (PNB) is an alliance to foster public-private partnerships that are committed to broadening and deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad in support of President Obama’s vision for a New Beginning based on mutual interests and respect. Partners for a New Beginning focuses its primary efforts in five priority countries, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, West/Bank Gaza and the region of the Maghreb. In the Maghreb region, PNB operates through the North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (PNB-NAPEO). This event will address PNB’s diaspora engagement in these priority countries and the Maghreb region. Particular attention will be paid to three upcoming PNB- NAPEO delegations to the Maghreb that will include diaspora representatives, as well as the Maghreb Start- up Initiative that will identify, train and help fund promising start-ups, as well as provide mentoring from Maghreb diaspora entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

RSVP to Chris Westling at chris.westling@aspeninst.org.

Looking Forward: Prospects for Investment from the Haitian Diaspora

Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) – 1800 K Street NW, Suite 400 – 10:00 am to 11:30 am

This event will present Haitian diaspora private sector leaders who will talk about their views on the post- election, post-disaster opportunities to attract investment and what role can the diaspora play in bringing about those changes.Breakout group discussions on issues where the US government, origin country governments, multilateral agencies, and other public institutions have joined efforts with diasporas to address development challenges. These experiences point to the potential of partnerships and also provide valuable lessons for the future of collaborative efforts.


    • Ashley E. Chandler, Research Associate, Project on Prosperity and Development, CSIS


      • Thomas C. Adams, U.S. State Department Special Coordinator for Haiti
      • Jean-Patrick Lucien, CEO, Bel Soley and President, Ile-a-Vache Development Group
      • Arielle Jean-Baptiste, Founding Member, Haitian Diaspora Working in Haiti
      • Nana B. Ofori-Atta, Vice President of Business Development, Haiti Renewal Alliance

RSVP to Nikki Collins at ncollins@csis.org.

Global Remittances: Improving Where You’re From, From Where You Are

Hudson Institute Center for Global Prosperity – 1015 15th Street NW, 6th Floor – 10:00 am to 11:00 am

For nearly a decade, Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity has been the leading source on remittances from developed to developing countries, including new and creative ways that remittances are used to grow economies and reduce poverty. Join us at Hudson offices at 1015 15th Street, N.W., 6th Floor, on Thursday, May 19 at 10 AM when we will present the latest available numbers from our just-released 2011 Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances. Our research shows that in 2009, U.S. remittances to developing countries were remarkably recession-resilient, in fact, larger than government aid, philanthropy, and even private capital investment.

RSVP to Kacie Marano at kmarano@hudson.org.

National Network for Diaspora Giving: Inaugural Convening and Informational Session

National Network for Diaspora Giving – World Bank Main Complex, 1818 H Street NW, 10th Floor, Room 100 – 10:00 am to 11:30 am

The National Network for Diaspora Giving (NNDG) invites thought-leaders, funders and organizers in the area of diaspora philanthropy across the United States to its inaugural convening and information session. The NNDG will function as a peer-based network and serve as an information clearinghouse, a capacity- building resource, and an advocacy group for diaspora philanthropic initiatives, and as a resource center for those who wish to increase their understanding of diaspora philanthropy. The NNDG will dedicate its first year of programming to research and development, as well as the formation of a national board.

RSVP to Lori Ramos at loriramos@diasporagiving.org.

The Role of Diaspora in the Development of Health Care & Education in Ethiopia

People to People Inc., — Howard University Hospital Tower, Auditorium – 2041 Georgia Ave. NW – 10:00 am to 11:30 am

During this event professionals will give presentation on Health Care and Education in Ethiopia followed by a discussion on the role of the diaspora in bringing hope to those who find themselves in hopeless situations brought about by various determinants. Further discussion points will be building network of the Ethiopian diaspora committed and willing to give back to the motherland and developing strategies of mobilizing the Ethiopian diaspora to provide support not just in health and education areas alone but also in other sectors of social and economic development.

RSVP to Enawgaw Mehari at em_mehari@yahoo.com.

Moving People and Cultures: The Impact of Diaspora Communities on their Country of Origin

The International Council for Small Businesses – George Washington University School of Business – 2201 G Street NW, Duques Hall Room 651 – 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Moving People and Cultures: The Impact of Diaspora Communities on their Country of Origin is two-hour morning seminar at the George Washington University School of Business on May 19 focused on expanding the dialogue for policymakers and practitioners in several key public policy arenas as it relates to diasporas and transnationals with an established US presence (including economic development, post-conflict reconstruction, and international security). Hosted by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), the Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence (CFEE) and the GW Diaspora Research Program, this event will feature panelists with experience in both the public and private sector.

RSVP to Michael Battaglia at icsb@gwu.edu.

Youth Diaspora Voices: Leaders of Today

US Institute of Peace (USIP) – 2301 Constitution Ave. NW, Room B241 – 10:00 am to 11:30 am

This event will feature a film documentary produced by the USIP 2010 Youth Diaspora Conference which brought together youth originally from Haiti, Nigeria, Iraq and Sri Lanka now living in the Washington D.C. area to share their stories and learn creative ways to engage in positive social change. After the screening, participants will discuss the film, their own experience as youth in the diaspora and will take on the challenges facing diaspora in the United States as well as opportunities for engagement in peacebuilding.

RSVP to Janene Sawers at jsawers@usip.org.

Diasporas & the Development of Southeast Europe

United Macedonian Diaspora and the Heritage Foundation – 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, The Krieble Boardroom, 8th Floor – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

The United Macedonian Diaspora and The Heritage Foundation invite you to a discussion among Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Greek, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian, and Turkish Diaspora leaders on the best practices/their experiences in their communities with the following themes in mind: Diaspora Philanthropy, Diaspora Volunteerism, Diaspora Entrepreneurship, Diaspora Capital Markets, Diaspora Tourism and Nostalgic Trade, and Diaspora Advocacy and Diplomacy all in an effort to assist in development of the Southeast European region and its relationship with Euro-Atlantic institutions.

RSVP to Metodija A. Koloski at mkoloski@umdiaspora.org.

Capacity Building for Policymakers serving in the Newly- Formed Diaspora Ministries in Africa

African Diaspora Policy Centre – Location TBD

The African Diaspora Policy Centre (ADPC) will present its program for diaspora-oriented policymakers in Africa, which has been developed in response to capacity deficits affecting the performance of the emerging diaspora ministries and other institutions tasked with overseeing diaspora and development related matters in many countries in Africa. Its purpose is to strengthen the capacity of diaspora-oriented policymakers providing them with the essential knowledge, skills and tools to develop feasible policies aimed at maximizing the contribution of the diaspora to the development of their respective home countries.

RSVP to Awil Mohamoud at a.mohamoud@diaspora-centre.org.

1:00 pm
Welcoming Remarks

Location: Atrium Hall, Ronald Reagan Building 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Diaspora communities are powerful and effective actors in promoting development in their countries of origin. The US government recognizes this potential and seeks partnerships that build upon the energies and efforts of diaspora communities while simultaneously contributing to US international development goals. This recognition of the importance of diaspora communities is also shared by the private sector, and non-governmental organizations. This series of roundtable discussions will allow participants to interact and exchange partnership opportunities with representatives from various US government agencies, private sector entities, and NGO’s that are involved in international development efforts.

The Hon. Judith McHale, Undersecretary of State of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs
The Hon. Eric Schwartz, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration
The Hon. Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, USAID

1:45 pm
Building Partnerships with the US Government and Beyond (Round I)

Interactive roundtables allowing participants to interact and exchange ideas for collaboration and partnership with representatives from the U.S. government and other participants. The sessions will provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences from their work engaging diaspora communities and to directly engage policymakers. Participants will have the opportunity to move between multiple tables during each round.

2:45 pm
Coffee Break
3:00 pm
Building Partnerships with the US Government and Beyond (Round II)

Interactive roundtables allowing participants to interact and exchange ideas for collaboration and partnership with representatives from the U.S. government and other participants. The sessions will provide an opportunity for participants to share experiences from their work engaging diaspora communities and to directly engage policymakers. Participants will have the opportunity to move between multiple tables during each round.

4:30 pm
Concluding Remarks

Mauricio Vera, Director, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, USAID

Video Archives


Kris Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
Maria Otero, Under Secretary of State for Democracy & Global Affairs

For a transcript of her remarks, Secretary Otero, click here.

Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator

Daniel Yohannes, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation

For a transcript of his remarks, click here.

Panel on Education

Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President of the World Bank’s Africa Region

Banatao Diosdado, Chairman of PhilDev

Denis O’Brien, Chairman of Digicel Group

Bill Barhydt, President & CEO of m-Via

Khalid Fellahi, Senior Vice President of E-channels at Western Union

Noosheen Hashemi, President & Co-Founder of The HAND Foundation

Dr. Raúl Hinjosa-Ojeda, Mexican American Leadership Initiative