"Combating Global Poverty" – A program
organized with the 2008 Rocky Mountain Roundtable, the Council on Foreign
Relations and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of
Denver in collaboration with the ONE Campaign Vote '08- National Democratic Institute
Ben Affleck is an actor, writer, and director who recently received the 2007 Best Directorial Debut award from the National Board of Review for his directorial debut with GONE BABY GONE.
He first came to prominence in 1997 with the acclaimed Good Will Hunting, which he starred in and co-wrote with Matt Damon. For their work, they won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, as well as the Golden Globe Award and Humanitas Prize.
He has since starred in films including John Madden's Academy Award winning Shakespeare In Love, Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor,Roger Michell's Changing Lanes and Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl. He won Best Actor in 2006 and a 2007 Golden Globe nomination. He next stars in the upcoming Universal Studios motion picture, State of Play with Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams, scheduled to be released in 2009.
In addition to being a successful actor, writer and director, Affleck is a longtime political activist and strong supporter of many charitable organizations. Affleck is a passionate advocate who travels around the world independently to gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of issues facing Africa today. In the last year alone he has made three separate trips to numerous countries on the African continent with a focus on the Great Lakes region.
Madeleine K. Albright
Madeleine Albright is the first woman to become a United States Secretary of State. She was appointed by U.S. President Bill Clinton on December 5, 1996, and was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate vote of 99-0. She was sworn in on January 23, 1997.
Albright now serves as a Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service. In addition to her PhD from Columbia University, she also holds Honorary Doctors of Laws from the University of Washington in 2002, Smith College in 2003, University of Winnipeg in 2005, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2007 and Knox College in 2008. Secretary Albright also serves as a Director on the Board of the Council on Foreign Relations
Nancy Birdsall is the founding president of the Center for Global Development. Prior to launching the center, Birdsall served for three years as Senior Associate and Director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Her work at Carnegie focused on issues of globalization and inequality, as well as on the reform of the international financial institutions. From 1993 to 1998, Birdsall was Executive Vice-President of the Inter-American Development Bank, the largest of the regional development banks, where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio.
Before joining the Inter-American Development Bank, Birdsall spent 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank, most recently as Director of the Policy Research Department.
Ms. Birdsall is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and monographs. She has also written more than 75 articles for books and scholarly journals published in English and Spanish. Shorter pieces of her writing have appeared in dozens of U.S. and Latin American newspapers and periodicals. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University.
John J. Danilovich
Ambassador John J. Danilovich began his duties as Chief Executive Officer for the Millennium Challenge Corporation on November 7, 2005, continuing a distinguished career of more than thirty years in both the public and private sectors.
Prior to his appointment by President Bush as CEO, Ambassador Danilovich served as the American Ambassador to the Republic of Costa Rica from 2001 to 2004, and then Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil.
Ambassador Danilovich is a businessman and private investor with a strong background in foreign affairs. A native Californian and resident of London for many years, he was active in the international shipping business for over two decades and served as director of companies in the shipping, property, publishing and investment fields.
Ambassador Danilovich served on the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Commission from 1991 though 1996 and chaired the Commission's Transition Committee prior to the transfer of the Canal to the Panamanians. Ambassador Danilovich has been a Director of the Stanford University Trust, a Trustee of the American Museum in Britain, a Director of the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission, and has served in leadership positions for several charitable organizations.
The Ambassador graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in Political Science, and received a master's degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California (London). Ambassador Danilovich is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an Associate Fellow of Pierson College (Yale University), a Knight of Malta and the recipient of several national and international awards including the Choate Alumni Seal Prize.
Tom Daschle is a senior policy advisor in DLA Piper’s Government Affairs practice and serves as a member of the DLA Pipers Global Board. He is a former US senator (D-SD) and served as Senate majority leader from 2003 to 2005. In 2007, Daschle joined with former majority leaders George Mitchell, Bob Dole, and Howard Baker to create the Bipartisan Policy Center. Daschle serves on the board of the Center for American Progress and the National Democratic Institute and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He also is a member of the Health Policy and Management Executive Council at the Harvard School of Public Health as well as a member of the Global Policy Advisory Council for the Health Worker Migration Initiative. His most recent book, Getting It Done, is a close-up look at the 2009 passage of health care reform legislation.
Hernando de Soto
Hernando de Soto is President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy, headquartered in Lima, Peru and considered by The Economist to be one of the two most important think tanks in the world.
Time and Forbes have chosen him as one of the leading innovators in the world, and more than 20,000 readers of Prospect and Foreign Policy ranked him as one of the world's top 13 public intellectuals.
He has served as President of the Executive Committee of the Copper Exporting Countries Organization, as CEO of Universal Engineering Corporation (one of Europe's largest consulting engineering firms), as a principal of the Swiss Bank Corporation Consultant Group, and as a governor of Peru's Central Reserve Bank. He is the author of several books and papers on economic policy, including the seminal work The Mystery of Capital.
Obiageli "Oby" Ezekwesili has been the World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region since May 01, 2007. Ezekwesili joined the Bank from her most recent position as Minister of Education in the Government of Nigeria and with a rich mix of experiences in the private sector and civil society.
Ms. Ezekwesili began her career as an auditor and management consultant with focus on financial planning, SME financing, audit and regulatory compliance in Delloitte & Touche.
She served as one of the founding Directors of Transparency International as Director for Africa from 1994-1999. She worked with Professor Jeffery Sachs as the Director of the Harvard - Nigeria Economic Strategy program between 2000 and 2002 during which time she was also appointed as an aide to President Obasanjo. In 2003, she went on to serve as Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence.
In this capacity, Ms. Ezekwesili spear-headed institutional reforms through the establishment of Due Process mechanisms and strategies resulting in markedly reduced procurement costs to Government projects and turnaround time for completion of Government projects while improving transparency.
As Minister of Solid Minerals, Ms. Ezekwesili provided leadership in the drafting and subsequent passage of the Minerals and Mining Act, the establishment of the Nigerian Mining Cadastre Office and the opening of the mining sector to private participation.
Ms. Ezekwesili also served as the Chairperson of the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative from 2004 and pioneered the voluntary sign-on of Nigeria to the EITI ++ Principles as well as the first ever process, financial and physical audit of Nigeria's oil and gas sector.
Donald M. Payne
Donald M. Payne, a native of Newark, New Jersey, was elected to represent the 10th Congressional District of New Jersey in 1988 as New Jersey's first African American Congressman by an overwhelming majority and has been returned by a wide margin of the vote in each subsequent election.
In 2004, he won election to his ninth term to represent the 10th District in the 109th Congress. Congressman Payne was chosen by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to serve on the powerful Democratic Steering Committee, whose membership determines each individual committee assignment for Democratic members and plays an active role in shaping the legislative agenda. In 2003, President Bush appointed Payne as one of two members of Congress to serve as a Congressional delegate to the United Nations.
In this role, he met with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and regularly attended sessions of the U.N. General Assembly and other high level meetings.
Congressman Payne is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, where he serves on the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations and the Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness.
He also serves on the International Relations Committee and its Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Relations, where he holds the position of Ranking Member. A past Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, he is a member of the Democratic Whip Organization and has served as a member of the House Democratic Leadership Advisory Group. As a leading advocate of education, he has been instrumental in the passage of key legislation, including the Goals 2000 initiative to improve elementary and secondary schools; the School-to-Work Opportunities Act; the National Service Act, establishment of the National Literacy Institute, and funding for Head Start, Pell Grants and student loans.
On the international front, Congressman Payne has been at the forefront of efforts to restore democracy and human rights in nations throughout the globe, including South Africa, Namibia, Haiti, Zaire, Nigeria, China, Eastern Europe and Northern Ireland. He was one of five members of Congress chosen to accompany President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton on their historic six-nation tour of Africa. Congressman Payne gained national recognition when he was selected to manage the debate on the floor of the House of Representatives in opposition to the use of force in Iraq before fully exploring a diplomatic solution. In the 108th Congress, he was successful in wining passage of a resolution declaring genocide in Darfur, Sudan. He is leading the national Divest Sudan Campaign to divest state-administered pension funds of companies doing business with Sudan.
A Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Director of the International Rights and Responsibilities Program and Energy Opportunity Program, Gayle Smith served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council from 1998-2001, and as Senior Adviser to the Administrator and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Agency for International Development from 1994-1998.
Smith was based in Africa for over 20 years as a journalist covering military, economic, and political affairs for the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Toronto Globe and Mail, London Observer, and Financial Times.
Smith has also consulted for a wide range of NGOs, foundations, and governmental organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, Dutch Interchurch Aid, Norwegian Church Relief, and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.
She won the World Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council and the World Hunger Year Award in 1991, and in 1999 won the National Security Council's Samuel Nelson Drew Award for Distinguished Contribution in Pursuit of Global Peace.
Timothy E. Wirth
Timothy E. Wirth is the president of the United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund. These organizations were founded in 1998 through a major financial commitment from R.E. Turner to support and strengthen the work of the United Nations.
Mr. Wirth began his political career as a White House fellow under President Lyndon Johnson and was deputy assistant secretary for Education in the Nixon Administration. In 1970, he returned to his home state and successfully ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Colorado's 2nd Congressional District from 1975-1987. In 1986, Wirth was elected to the U.S. Senate.
Following those two decades of elected politics, Mr. Wirth served in the U.S. Department of State as the first undersecretary for Global Affairs from 1993 to 1997.
James D. Wolfensohn
James D. Wolfensohn is Chairman of Wolfensohn & Company, LLC, a private investment firm and an advisor to corporations and governments. Mr. Wolfensohn became Chairman of Citigroup International Advisory Board on April 18, 2006. He is also advisor to Citigroupâ€™s senior management on global strategy and on international matters. Mr. Wolfensohn is also Chairman of the advisory group of the Wolfensohn Center, a new research initiative focused on global poverty, at the Brookings Institution. Mr. Wolfensohn was the ninth president of the World Bank Group (since 1995). On May 31, 2005, at the end of his second term, he left office and assumed the post of Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement for the Quartet on the Middle East, a position he served until April 30, 2006. In this role, he helped coordinate Israelâ€™s planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and spearheaded reconstruction efforts as Palestinians assumed sovereignty over the area. As President of the World Bank, he travelled to more than 120 countries in order to pursue the challenges facing the World Bank in regard to poverty and environmental issues. He successfully led initiatives on debt reduction, environmental sustainability, anti corruption programs, and AIDS prevention and treatment.
Prior to joining the Bank, Mr. Wolfensohn was an international investment banker. His last position was as President and Chief Executive Officer of James D. Wolfensohn, Inc., his own investment and corporate advisory firm set up in 1981 to work with major U.S. and international corporations. He relinquished his interests in the firm upon joining the World Bank.
Before setting up his own company, Mr. Wolfensohn held a series of senior positions in finance. He was Executive Partner of Salomon Brothers in New York and head of its investment banking department. He was Executive Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Schroders Ltd. in London, President of J. Henry Schroders Banking Corporation in New York, and Managing Director of Darling & Co. of Australia.
Throughout his career Mr. Wolfensohn has also closely involved himself in a wide range of cultural and voluntary activities, especially in the performing arts. In 1970, Mr. Wolfensohn became involved in New Yorkâ€™s Carnegie Hall, first as a board member and later, from 1980 to 1991, as Chairman of the Board, during which time he led its successful effort to restore the landmark New York building. He is now Chairman Emeritus of Carnegie Hall. In 1990, Mr. Wolfensohn became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. On January 1, 1996, he was elected Chairman Emeritus. In May 1995 he was awarded an Honorary Knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the arts. Mr. Wolfensohn has also been decorated by the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, Germany, Georgia, Mexico, Morocco, The Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Pakistan and Russia.
Mr. Wolfensohn has served as Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University for the last 18 years. He has been President of the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, Director of the Business Council for Sustainable Development, and served both as Chairman of the Finance Committee and as Director of the Rockefeller Foundation and of the Population Council, and as member of the Board of Rockefeller University. He is an Honorary Trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Century Association in New York.
Born in Australia in December 1933, Mr. Wolfensohn is a naturalized U.S. citizen. He holds B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of Sydney and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Graduate School of Business. Before attending Harvard, he was a lawyer in the Australian law firm of Allen, Allen & Hemsley. Mr. Wolfensohn served as an Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, and was a member of the 1956 Australian Olympic Fencing Team.
Ben Affleck comments on his recent trip to Africa and the grassroots efforts Africans are engaging in themselves. Affleck says the U.S. can help by "imposing solutions into existing social grooves." On the adage "teach a man to fish" Affleck comments stating "these people know how to fish, they need a pond to fish in."
U.S. Representative from New Jersey Donald Payne discusses that some of the most extreme parts of the world facing conflict are also the most impoverished. Payne says the first way in start avoiding poverty conflict is trying to eradicate poverty.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discusses tools to help alleviate poverty. Albright states "the poor are not stupid, and in many ways they are very entrepreneurial." Albright looks at how giving access to justice can help improve poverty.
President of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy Hernando de Soto recalls the U.S. legal revolution that enabled property rights, corporate rights, and a credit system which caused financial success at the turn of the twentieth century. Hernando de Soto suggests ways America can teach other countries from examining the past.
Former U.S. senator, Colorado and CEO of United Nations Foundation Tim Wirth discusses the importance of the U.S. taking the lead in climate change, population, and human rights and how it can affect global poverty.