Washington Humanitarians Gather to Honor Caryl Stern and to Believe in Zero


Last Tuesday was an unintentionally powerful day for those that stand with humanity and empowering the children who rarely get a voice. While most of the country watched a shocked Jon Stewart on the Daily Show as he spoke with Malala Yousafzai, earlier that night Washington gathered around the Jefferson hotel to hear from UNICEF President Caryl Stern about her latest book, “I Believe in Zero*.”

Featuring Melanne Verveer, the nation’s first global ambassador for women, and with former Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, a leader in the global effort to prevent deaths in garment factories as Independent Board Chairman of the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, Stern focused on a key point behind the philosophy of UNICEF and her book: zero preventative child deaths.

“As a society, we can’t say that every child has value if we’re not willing to act accordingly ,” Stern wrote on Huffington Post back in September. “Over the last year, 176 governments, including the United States, have pledged to accelerate our progress on child survival. These countries have recognized that an investment in children is at the heart of every nation’s prosperity and sustainable development. Healthy children are more likely to live longer, stay in school and be productive members of their society, creating benefits that reverberate through future generations.”

Stern’s latest book is filled with stories from her travels around the world, especially as she looks at the struggles within third-world counries and how communities must pull themselves together along with their government to redefine and develop a global consciousness.

Barbara and Laura Bush, Global Health Corps DC Reception

The work of Global Health Corps was honored at a reception with GHC CEO and Co-Founder Barbara Bush, Thursday evening at the historic Jefferson Hotel.

GHC believes that a global movement of individuals and organizations fighting for improved health outcomes and access to healthcare for the poor is necessary in order to change the unacceptable status quo of extreme inequity. GHC works to strengthen this movement by recruiting, training, and supporting future leaders, providing opportunities for young professionals from diverse backgrounds to work on the frontlines of the fight for global health equity in year-long fellowships.

The exclusive reception in D.C. included remarks by former First Lady Laura Bush, as well as Barbara Bush, co-host Ambassador Mark Dybul, Ambassador Melanne Verveer and GHC fellow Lilly Bertz.
Guests included Dr. Anthony Fauci, Ambassador Eric Goosby, Jen Kaplan, Susan McCue, Jim Jones, Ana Morse, Bob Barnett, Betsy Fischer, Ed and Shirley Henry, and Robert Higdon and David Deckelbaum.

The Exxon Mobil Foundation announced today a $250,000 grant to GHC launch the ExxonMobil Fellowships in Global Health. Eight young professionals are to be chosen for skills-based, year-long fellowships grant to GHC to work on the frontlines of pressing global health issues.

HONORARY EVENT CHAIRS were The Honorable Joshua Bolten, The Honorable Stephen Hadley, Constance Milstein de La Haye St. Hilaire, and The Honorable Condoleezza Rice and a hist of Congressional biggies. The co-hosts were Dr. Mark Dybul, Anita McBride, David Vennett, Gordon Johnroe and Tammy Haddad.

Michelle Obama on first First Ladies Conference

Anita McBride, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush and now an executive in residence at American University, kicked-off the The Legacies of America’s First Ladies conference on Monday to celebrate and examine the role of the nation’s first ladies. The day long gathering began  with a letter from the current First Lady, Michelle Obama in which she said

It is my honor to serve our nation as First Lady and have the opportunity to touch so many lives.  Throughout the course of our history, the accomplished women who have come before me have helped to shape our national character and strengthen our country.  Their stories are a fascinating part of our narrative and their commitment to service represents what is best about the American spirit.  Each day, I am inspired by their countless contributions and it is a privilege to join their company.  I wish you all the best for an enjoyable conference.

McBride, who organized the conference with the American University’s School of Public Affairs , also read a job description written by John Heubusch, president of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, listing the extensive requirements expected of a first lady which include the willingness to relocate to Washington, DC; demonstrated perfection as a human being; and superhuman multi-tasking.

Watch below to hear the full description and ask yourself: forty-six women have filled this important role – would you apply for this job?

Susan Sher, former chief of staff to Michelle Obama, marking her first appearance since leaving the White House, and Melanne Verveer, former chief of staff to Hillary Rodham Clinton, now Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues joined McBride on a panel for a bi-partisan look inside 1600 Pennsylvania Ave the role of the modern First Lady.

Other featured panel discussions included insights on first ladies throughout history and behind-the-scenes moments at the White House. Gahl Hodges Burt, Social Secretary to President and Mrs. Reagan recalled a particular moment when close Reagan friend Charlton Heston came to visit. Heston wandered onto the White House lawn while the fife and drum corps marched during an official ceremony. Burt had no choice but to alert secret service over a loud walkie-talkie to ask that Heston be moved. A clever secret service agent replied: “nobody moves Moses.”

Participants included, among others, Presidential Historian Richard Norton Smith; Jean Becker, Deputy Press Secretary to First Lady Barbara Bush; Kathryn Cade, Director of Projects for First Lady Rosalynn Carter; Ann Compton, White House Correspondent for ABC News; Ann Gerhard, Deputy Outlook Editor for the Washington Post; Lois Romano, National Political Correspondent for the Washington Post; and Steve Scully of C-SPAN.

In addition to the conference, McBride is also spearheading the creation of the First Ladies Foundation to cultivate the first non-partisan history on the impact these women have made. CLICK here for more information.

Celebrating the First Ladies

Forty-six women have served as First Lady, standing alongside our US Presidents throughout history. To kick off Women’s History Month, the American University’s School of Public Affairs is holding an afternoon conference, The Legacies of America’s First Ladies, to celebrate and examine the role of the nation’s first ladies.

The conference was organized by Anita McBride, former chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush and now an executive in residence at American University.

“A first lady’s role may be a mysterious to many, but these leaders behind the leaders help effect change and advance our society in valuable ways,” says McBride.

Susan Sher, former chief of staff to Michelle Obama, will be making her first appearance since leaving the White House. She will be participating in a panel discussion with McBride and Melanne Verveer, former chief of staff to Hillary Rodham Clinton, on how these modern women have redefined what it means to be First Lady.

There will be other panel discussions throughout the afternoon with premier historians, authors, White House correspondents and journalists, who have studied, written, covered and traveled with the first ladies. Representatives from the Carter, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush administrations will also be participating including Gahl Hodges Burt, former special assistant to President Reagan and social secretary.

Events will be held at AU’s Katzen Arts Center and the White House Historical Association, the National Archives’ Presidential Libraries, and American University’s Library are conference partners. For a full list of speakers and conference agenda, click here.

In addition to the conference, McBride is also spearheading the creation of the First Ladies Foundation to cultivate the first non-partisan history on the impact these women have made. For more information go to FirstLadiesFoundation.org.

Celebrating Mothers at Garden Brunch

For the second year in a row, Saturday’s Garden Brunch is going to be dedicated in part to Mothers Day Every Day, an advocacy group combining the resources and talents of the White Ribbon Alliance and CARE. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, named by President Obama as the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, will be among the guests at the brunch

Members of these groups also gathered last month to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD), a special day set aside to reflect on the achievements of women around the world and for leaders to strategize new ways to help women in the social, economic, and political arenas. Next year marks the centenary celebration of International Women’s Day.

A dinner took place in Washington, DC with members of Mothers Day Every Day and the ONE campaign which used IWD to launch a new initiative called Women ONE2ONE. The goal is to increase opportunities for women and save the lives of those living in poverty across the globe by recruiting one million people to conduct awareness-raising events and actions. Among those attending were Theresa Shaver, Director of the White Ribbon Alliance; Sheila Nix, US Executive Director, One; Mothers Day Every Day Advisory Board Members Amb. Mark Green and Mike McCurry; and JoDee Winterhof, CARE’s vice president for policy and advocacy.

International Women’s Day 2010 from whcinsider on Vimeo.

Obama Protocol Chief Capricia Marshall Makes a State Splash

Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Rogers Offer Support

Capricia Marshall and Family

Capricia Marshall and family with Sec. Hillary Clinton

The Ben Franklin Room of the State Department was filled with stars and stargazers, as well as family and friends, as Secretary Hillary Clinton presided over the swearing-in ceremony for her longest-serving aide, Capricia Penivac Marshall, as chief of protocol.

Marshall, the former Clinton White House social secretary and campaign veteran, came to Washington with the Clintons in 1992. Secretary Clinton shared a hilarious Inauguration story about Marshall being stuck outside the White House gate.

It wasn’t just Clinton friends. Top Obama pals Valerie Jarrett, Desiree Rogers, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chief of Staff Susan Sher, were there to pay tribute to the newest executive in charge of diplomatic activities for President Obama. Roger’s deputies Ebs Burnough and Joe Reinstein had a crowd of admirers lined up to say hello.

CLICK here to see Marshall’s official list of duties.

Marshall’s protocol team includes some Washington’s savviest veterans, including deputies Lee Satterfield and Dennis Cheng. Her team debuts on the world stage this month with one of the biggest diplomatic gatherings of the year: the G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh.

Obama State Department Ambassadors Elizabeth Bagley (Global Partnerships) and Melanne Verveer (Global Women’s Issues) added their shine to the large crowd. Clinton family members, from mom Dorothy to daughter Chelsea, cheered for their close friend. Marshall’s 9-year old son Cole mugged and husband Rob Marshall looked shocked by Clinton’s shout out to him as “the best cardiologist in the world.”

Parents Frank and Mary Penavic beamed and assorted cousins from her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, watched the ceremony.

Former protocol ambassadors Lucky Roosevelt, Lloyd Hand, Lea Berman, Evan and Kit Dobelle joined former White House Social Secretary Ann Stock and veterans of other administrations in their own mini-reunion

Celebrity guests included: Greta Van Susteren and her husband John Coale, Mandy Grunwald, Janet Howard, Ann Orr, Claire Shipman, Michael Feldman, Melissa Moss and her husband Jonathan Silver.

Pam Stevens, once Condoleezza Rice’s press secretary and now press adviser to Ambassador Nancy Brinker and Race for the Cure, caught up with old friends as Betsy Fischer and other media types worked the room. New York’s fabulous event planner, and Marshall pal, Bronson Van Wyck drew his own crowd.

Terry McAuliffe had a double-barreled receiving line around him; no surprise there. He also hosted a Friday night gathering at his McLean home.

Check out the photo gallery:

[tylr-slidr userID=” 35544829@N07″ groupID=”72157617172849739″]http://www.flickr.com/photos/haddadmedia/sets/72157622215867527/[/tylr-slidr]