Mary Robinson, Zainab Salbi, Ann Venemen, and Frank Donaghue tell of the myriad acts of brutality happening every day to women and children living in impoverished and war-torn countries. They also discuss what steps are being taken to help them, and what needs to change in the future.
Frank Donaghue is the Chief Executive Officer of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a national organization that mobilizes health professionals to advance the health and dignity of all people through action that promotes respect for, protection of and the fulfillment of human rights.
With more than three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector,Donaghue has a distinguished track record in humanitarian service, fundraising and nonprofit management.
For the majority of his career, he worked for the American Red Cross in a variety of capacities, serving as President and CEO of the Red Cross in Philadelphia, Vice President of both Development and Corporate Communications for the National Red Cross and as chief spokesperson in response to both national and international disasters and conflicts.
In his international work, Donaghue developed HIV education programs for youth in Romania, Grenada, Ghana and Bosnia.
He also participated in a mass vaccination campaign in West Africa to help eliminate measles from the African continent by 2010.
Donaghue's background in international humanitarian work gives him a unique perspective on the relationship between humanitarian response and human rights advocacy during major international crises affecting populations.
Donaghue leads the organization whose current activities include campaigning to protect victims of genocide and documenting sexual violence in Darfur, responding to reduce alarming rates of maternal mortality globally, investigating lack of healthcare in Zimbabwe and northern Uganda and mobilizing to promote women's rights in the context of the AIDS pandemic.
Mary Robinson is President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, in partnership with the Aspen Institute, Columbia University and the International Council for Human Rights Policy.
Robinson served as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and as President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997. Before her election as President, she served as Senator, holding that office for 20 years.
Educated at Trinity College in Ireland, Robinson holds law degrees from the King's Inns in Dublin and from Harvard University. She is Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, Vice President of the Club of Madrid, honorary President of Oxfam International, a board member of the GAVI Fund Board and Chair of the GAVI Fund Executive Committee, and a member of the Leadership Council of the UN Global Coalition on Women and AIDS.
She co-chairs the Health Worker Global Policy Advisory Council.
Zainab Salbi, Founder and CEO of Women for Women International, has written about fleeing from the Iraq of Saddam Hussein in Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam.
Her organization has helped 153,000 survivors of wars and civil strife begin to rebuild their lives and contribute to the political and economic health of their societies. Her second book, The Other Side of War: Women's Stories of Survival & Hope, chronicles the stories of such women.
Salbi is interviewed regularly on U.S. network television, the BBC and Al Jazeera. She has been featured nine times on The Oprah Winfrey Show and interviewed in such national outlets as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Newsweek.
In 2007 Salbi was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, Forbes gave her its 2005 Trailblazer Award and in 1995 President Clinton honored Salbi at a White House ceremony for her humanitarian work.
In 2006, Women for Women International received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize, the world's largest humanitarian award.
A graduate of George Mason University in sociology and womens studies, she earned a master's degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2001.
Ann M. Veneman assumed the leadership of UNICEF on May 1, 2005, becoming the fifth Executive Director to lead UNICEF. At UNICEF she directs a global agency of more than 10,000 staff and annual total resources of about $3 billion, funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, businesses, foundations and individuals.
As the children's agency of the United Nations, UNICEF works on the ground in more than 150 developing and transitional countries to help children survive and thrive. The world's largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF works to advance the Millennium Development Goals by supporting child health and nutrition, quality basic education, access to clean water and sanitation and the protection of children from violence, exploitation and AIDS.
Prior to joining UNICEF, Veneman served as Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture from 2001 to 2005. She earned her bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis; a master's degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley; and a juris doctorate degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
She serves as a board member of the Close Up Foundation, a nonpartisan civic education organization, and has served previously on a number of advisory councils and committees.