Before this adventure takes me to Hanoi, It took me to D.C.!
Arizona State’s Global Development Research Scholars (and a few other amazing ASU peeps) went to a really cool conference in D.C. called Society for International Development (SID)! The cool part is that ASU is (and has been) the only university to show up on the scene for international development at this conference for about 5 years. The purpose of
the conference was to meet with stakeholders who fund international development (like USIAD), and to connect with Global Development agencies who utilize the USIAD funds in projects around the world (Like Chemonics and Abt).
What I learned: International Development is a national security initiative! This was an interesting thing for me to understand. Virtually everything we do for international development will secure or advance the US foreign policy efforts. We do not want Malaria, Aids, or other communicable diseases on US soil, so we fight them internationally. We understand the impact of foreign aid on peace, so we work in good faith initiates that promote peaceful interactions. We do international development to strength national security.
SID and D.C. in a Nutshell
8:30 am flight was delayed an hour. I ate breakfast in the airport while chatting with my new friends from different ASU departments while we discussed hashtags and I learned how to use twitter (late to the game I know!). We got in late and rushed right to our quick orientation at the J.W. Marriott, just blocks from the Whitehouse. The view was beautiful and the weather was amazing (a little drizzly). Dinner was upscale and delicious at Old Abbitt Grill, you know, where congressmen take their business associates and locals take their tourist families. It was a long night but a great start.
7:30 am, Bright and early we met at the lobby to don our ASU polo shirts and walk over to the SID conference. The conference started off with Gayle Smith and Peter McPherson as the plenary speakers addressing the state of funding for foreign aid. I hit the vendor hall and met a few great people from global consulting groups like Apt, Chemonics, Crowns Agents, and Humana People. I made some great contacts and found out about all the amazing opportunities for people looking to make a difference abroad (if you are interested, look up those companies). Dinner was at the hotel where we played silly game and bonded over the excitement of the conference.
Again, 7:30 am, bright and early, my group headed out to visit the Chemonics headquarters where we met with their leadership working on a new Global Health Supply Chain Project from USAID (it’s a big deal). They are starting to look at the health system and find ways to strengthen the delivery of healthcare internationally to support their existing global health projects. I got to see what other students have been doing in the field of global development as well. Check out Solar Spell , a in engineering project in partnership with Peace Corps. to bring an education learning library to places without electricity or internet.
Also, It turns out that ASU and Chemonics both have offices in Hanoi that I was not previously aware of. I am now in contact with an additional 3 people in Hanoi that will be in the city when I am. Very exciting!
Next we visited the State Department and sat in this beautiful library of rare books while we learned about being an ambassador and working for Foreign Affairs.
Dinner was at an amazing Austrian cafe and drinks after dinner were at the W Hotel Rooftop bar where we could see the White House steps!
Up early again and back on a plane to home. I ate breakfast at the airport with my new ASU friends and tried to soak in the knowledge. Now I am back home and will start prepping for Vietnam again!
Check Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for these hashtags to catch the fun:
Resources for more info:
ASU ha 5 different ways that you can get involved in international development
– Global Development Research– Scholarship program in partnership with USAID
– Thunderbird Emerging Markets Lab– Faculty led consultant teams in 5 week emersion projects
– Global Resolve– venture solutions in engineering and business
– Student Development Coursework- student lead international research courses
– MindSpark– solution space to connect with real world problems through crowdsourcing
Also check out these links: