Global Partnerships Practitioners Forum

Monday, March 6 2017 | 9:00AM to 6:00PM

The Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Global Development Lab at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Concordia, and PeaceTech Lab will kick off Global Partnerships Week (GPW) by convening the third annual gathering of partnership builders from governments, multilateral organizations, civil society, and corporations for a one-day forum. This event will bring together partnership practitioners and leaders to engage in discussion on common challenges and best practices, identify new partnership opportunities, and coordinate on collaborative solutions. This year, GPW will focus on the role of partnerships in achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

This is an invite only event. For more information please contact

The GPW Partnership Practitioners Forum will be available via the Concordia Livestream channel.



**All sessions are subject to change**

Registration & Coffee

Welcome & Introductory Remarks

  • Thomas Debass, Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State
  • Nancy Lindborg, President, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Matthew Swift, Co-Founder, Chair, & CEO, Concordia

8:00AM - 9:00AM

9:00AM - 9:30AM

9:30AM - 10:30AM

Opening Plenary: Goal 17 in 2017: Partnerships for the Global goals

The issues facing our interconnected world continue to be far too complex for any one group to overcome alone. Regardless of interest, capacity, or funding constraints, every government, organization, and individual has the ability to take part in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Collaboration between sectors, industries, and nations is essential to bridge the capacity gap and achieve the SDGs. While many obstacles to overcoming development challenges remain, partnerships have the potential to leverage unique strengths to address issues of global importance and implement viable solutions. This session will focus on how partnerships can be utilized to address challenges presented by issues such as inequality, poverty, and governance to ensure the achievement of this comprehensive global agenda. 

  • Raj Kumar, President, Devex (moderator)
  • Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
  • Kathy Calvin, President & CEO, UN Foundation
  • Trevor Davies, Global Head, International Development Assistance Services Institute, KPMG
  • Claus Stig Pedersen, Head of Corporate Sustainability, Novozymes 
  • Tomicah Tilleman, Director, Bretton Woods II, New America

10:30AM - 10:45AM


Partnership Building Workshops

1. Social Impact Bonds: Lessons Learned and New Directions

"Pay for Success" (a variation of "Social Impact Bonds") is a new program financing model and financing mechanism that supports improved social outcomes and reduced financial risk to government of program failure.  In recent years in the U.S., the federal, state and local governments have explored the potential of Pay for Success to improve health, educational, and other social and environmental outcomes.  Although most Pay for Success projects and studies are still underway or in development, lessons are emerging regarding the opportunities and challenges of the model.  This panel will allow key experts to reflect on Pay for Success activity and public/private partnerships.

  • Yennie Tse, Senior Advisor, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (moderator)
  • Anna Fogel, Director, Social Finance
  • Sarah Gillespie, Senior Research Associate, Urban Institute
  • Sindhu Lakshmanan, Investment Associate, Living Cities
  • Megan Lizik, Senior Evaluation Specialist, U.S. Department of Labor

2. Beyond the Usual Suspects: Using Competition Models to Foster Innovation and Entrepreneurship

In today’s budget and resource constrained environment, ambitious targets like those set out in the SDGs will require a range of innovative approaches to longstanding challenges. Prizes, challenges, hackathons and other approaches have enabled the public and private sectors to engage a range of partners – innovators, entrepreneurs and scientists – to develop revolutionary new ideas for solving development challenges and achieve our objectives in cost-effective and efficient ways. This session will focus on using competition models to engage new and nontraditional partners, leverage innovation and technology, and build a community of practice to reach beyond the “usual suspects” in working toward our development objectives.

  • Alice Gugelev, Director, Global Development Incubator (moderator)
  • William Center, Director, International Funding Organizations, Philips
  • Jenn Gustetic, Small Business Innovation Research Program Executive, NASA
  • Seema Patel, Division Chief of Innovation Design, USAID
  • Mike Walker, Program Manager, DARPA
  • Quintan Wiktorwicz, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Affins Labs

3. Government Partnering Pitch for the Sustainable Development Goals

The world agreed to ambitious goals to eliminate poverty, hunger and improve life for billions of people living in poverty. Governments alone can’t finance the investments that will be needed to make significant progress toward the goals. It will take the whole of society, including businesses, foundations, civil society organizations and academia, among others to work together to address the goals. How can the government best pitch partnerships to address the goals? What attracts people to the goals and how do we find partners domestically and internationally to achieve progress? This discussion will elucidate some of the best work being done to bring partners together to focus on the SDGs.

  • Andrew Mack, CEO and Principal, AMGlobal Consulting (moderator)
  • Amb. John Heffern, Acting Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasian Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Jessica Long, Managing Director, Accenture Strategy & Sustainability
  • Ed Martin, Founder and CEO, Goodx

4. Infrastructure Partnerships: Lessons Learned and Opportunities for Increasing Impact

Partnerships are critical to achieving the ambitious infrastructure goals reflected in SDG 9. What are key lessons for practitioners on P3 investments in infrastructure? What are the opportunities to scale and strengthen the success of partnerships? This panel will elicit new ideas for government agencies, civil society, and the private sector to implement in 2017 and beyond.

  • Ryan Johnson, Senior Director, Office of Strategic Partnerships , MCC (moderator)
  • Laurence Carter, Senior Director, Public-Private Partnerships, World Bank
  • Kyeh Kim, Acting VP, Department of Compact Operations, MCC
  • Carl B. Kress, Regional Director for MENA/East Asia, USTDA
  • Ellen Moran, Senior Operations Advisor, MCC
  • Tam Nguyen, Global Sustainability Director, Bechtel

5. The Softer Side of Partnerships: Strengthening Relationship Health and Management

As donors and the public sector strategically and systematically engage with private sector partners to drive development impact, research suggests that strengthening relationships can also improve performance and, ultimately, impact. And while investing in partnership health is valuable, it is often not prioritized. This session will look at the importance of relationship health and management to best harness the capabilities, resources and assets of partners to make progress in the effort toward the SDGs.

  • Todd Kirkbride, Senior Partnership Advisor, The Partnering Initiative (moderator)
  • Nathan Hurst, Chief Sustainability and Social Impact Officer, HP
  • Judith Schneider, Deputy Director, Private Sector Engagement, World Wildlife Fund
  • Prairie Summer, Senior Partnerships Advisor, US Global Development Lab, USAID

10:45AM - 11:45AM

11:45AM - 1:00PM


In addition to the regular program, the Forum will also offer the opportunity for informal table discussions during lunch for attendees to convene around a specific partnership-related topic. These include: 

  • Zero G Summit - Shuttle Diplomacy in a New Space Age - Hosted by Space Trust
  • Unreasonable Goals  - Hosted by the U.S. Department of State
  • Sustainable Diaspora Goals - Hosted by the U.S. Department of State
  • Utilizing Data for the SDGs - Hosted by the U.S. Department of State
  • Innovation and the SDGs - Hosted by the U.S. Department of State
  • Catalyzing Private Investment: A Discussion with USAID's Office of Private Capital and Microenterprise - Hosted by the USAID
  • Concordia Campaigns: Partnering for Social Impact - Hosted by Concordia
  • Finding Ground Truth: Data-Driven Local Awareness for Decision Making - Hosted by PeaceTech Lab

1:00PM - 1:15PM

Afternoon Opening Remarks

  • Thomas Debass, Acting Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State
  • Daniel Epstein, Founder & CEO, Unreasonable Group
  • Sarah Glass, Acting Director, Center for Transformational Partnerships at USAID
  • Marcus Peffers, CEO, M&C Saatchi

1:15PM - 1:45PM

Afternoon Keynote

  • Vikki Spruill, President, Council on Foundations

1:45PM - 2:45PM

Partner Pop Quiz: How well do you really know each other?

In this high-energy session moderated in the spirit of The Newlywed Game, cheer on your favorite pair as three competing teams answer questions about the benefits and challenges of their meaningful work together, making for an equally engaging and informative experience. Charismatic host and cheesy 80's synthetic-style theme song included.

  • Bruce Sherman, Strategic Adviser,  PeaceTech Lab (moderator)
  • Charles Blazevich, Corporate Partnerships Specialist, Feeding America
  • Chad Blevins, Senior Analyst, USAID GeoCenter
  • Paula Diaz, Senior Manager, Conservation International
  • Evamay Lawson, Social/Environmental Affairs Manager, IKEA
  • Mikel Maron, Data Team, Mapbox
  • Michael Yamoah, Manager, Sustainability and Global Insights and Analytics, Bechtel Corporation


2:45PM - 3:00PM

3:00PM - 4:00PM     

SDG-Themed Breakout Sessions

1. Supporting Refugees: Partnership-based Business Solutions for Humanitarian Needs

SDG Track: Human Rights (Goals 4, 5, 6, 10, 16)

According to UNHCR, there are currently more than 21 million refugees globally; 86% of which are hosted by developing countries. These figures highlight the urgent need for innovative and sustainable solutions that will protect refugees’ rights while also easing the social and economic burden faced by governments to accommodate a large influx in population. Through partnerships, businesses, NGOs and governments can create opportunity and promote lasting social impact. This session will seek to share lessons learned from other business & human rights movements, such as global efforts to combat forced labor, and extrapolate best practices to identify new ways of addressing the global migration and refugee crisis.

  • Adva Saldinger, Associate Editor, Devex (moderator)
  • Chiara Cardoletti-Carroll, Deputy Regional Representative, UNHCR
  • Hanne Dalmut, Director of Social Impact, Concordia
  • Kathleen Newland, Co-Founder, Migration Policy Institute
  • Heather Reilly, Principal, National Security Sector, Deloitte

2. Sprinting Towards Success: Agile Business and the Race to Tackle the World’s Toughest Challenges

SDG Track: Economic Opportunity & Employment (Goals 1, 4, 7, 8, 9)

“Agile” doesn’t just describe Silicon Valley startups anymore. Governments, businesses, and nonprofits alike are feeling the pressure to show greater impact, sooner. So what does it take get good ideas off the ground and running? Learn from four of the world’s leading accelerators, who are on a mission to achieve the SDGs, and are transforming the way people think about “doing business” in the process.

  • Nancy Payne, Vice President, PeaceTech Lab (moderator)
  • Eva-Maria Dimitriadis, Chief Operating Officer, C5 Accelerate
  • Todd Gagorik, Senior Manager, Federal Solutions, Amazon Web Services
  • Daniel Hsu, Vice President of Business Development & New Initiatives, Village Capital
  • Ulrich Mans, Co-Founder, Humanity X
  • Brandon Pollak, Head of Global Affairs, 1776

3. Knowing the Unknown: Partnering to Protect Against Blind Spots

SDG Track: Human & Natural Environment (Goals 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)

Even the best-intentioned individuals and organizations have blind spots. How can partnerships reveal the places, things, and people we too often miss? In this candid discussion, explore how partnering supported by data, storytelling, and imagery helped these organizations expand their worldview, or see the opportunity in their own backyard.

  • James Bernard, Director of Strategic Partnerships, SSG Advisors (moderator)
  • Ellen Goodwin, Product Development Manager, Knoema Corporation
  • Dr. Mira Olson, Associate Professor of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, Drexel University
  • Dr. Gerry Power, Chief Research Officer, M&C Saatchi 
  • Andrew Zolli, VP Global Impact Initiatives, Planet, Inc.

4. Prevention to Treatment: Strengthening Community Health Systems

SDG Track: Health (Goals 2, 3, 6, 11)

Whether directly or indirectly, health is impacted by all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, from education and gender equality, to climate and economic growth. Evidence has shown that investments in public health provide some of the most cost-effective short and long-term returns, with positive spillover effects on many areas of a nation’s overall prosperity. In less-developed countries, the importance of community health systems in prevention, early detection, and access to treatment cannot be understated. Community health workers have been essential in providing simplified and decentralized access to services by operating as trusted counselors with local knowledge to perform effective outreach to the most vulnerable populations, including women and children. Investing in this vital network will be a priority in order to achieve the SDGs. This session will address the challenges to and opportunities for strengthening community health systems in less-developed countries, by addressing issues such as: training, technology, financial resources, and health policy.

  • Alan Robbins, Partner & Global Head of Partnerships, Devex (moderator)
  • Gisela Abbam, Global Executive Director, Healthcare Government Affairs & Policy, GE Healthcare
  • Ashley Arabasadi, Policy Advisor and Campaign Manager, No More Epidemics Campaign
  • Lisa Carty, Director, US Liaison Office, UNAIDS
  • Dr. Peter Lamptey, President Emeritus, FHI360; Senior Advisor, Novartis Foundation
  • Judith Robb-McCord, Senior Director, Every Preemie program, Project Concern International

5. Promoting Private Participation in U.S. Infrastructure

SDG Track: Infrastructure (Goals 6, 7, 8, 9, 11)

Private investment will be necessary to reduce the nation’s infrastructure deficit. What can the Federal government do to encourage private investment, at both the Federal and state and local levels? What lessons can be learned from the P3 experiences of other countries?

  • Art Smith, Chairman, National Council on Public Private Partnerships (moderator)
  • Ben Brubeck, Vice President for Regulatory, Labor and State Affairs, Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Marshall Macomber, President, ThinkP3, LLC
  • Scott Walchak, Senior PPP Consultant United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

4:00PM - 4:15PM

Networking Break


  • Paloma Durán, Director, SDG Fund
  • Jimena Leiva Roesch, Senior Policy Analyst, International Peace Institute
  • Matthew Swift, Co-Founder, Chairman, & CEO, Concordia
  • Nancy Payne, Vice President, PeaceTech Lab
  • Lise Kingo, Executive Director, UN Global Compact

4:15PM - 4:45PM




4:45PM - 6:00PM                                            Reception