Director of Aid Effectiveness, Oxfam America
Gregory Adams directs Oxfam America’s advocacy work on aid effectiveness and reform of US foreign aid and development policy. He works with allied organizations and individuals to generate momentum for foreign aid and development policy reforms that are driven by a long-term commitment to effectively reduce poverty. Prior to Oxfam America, Adams spent more than 10 years working for members of the US House of Representatives, covering national security and foreign affairs issues. He served as legislative director for Representative Diane E. Watson of Los Angeles. In this role, he helped craft Watson’s positions on the Millennium Challenge Corporation and other dimensions of US foreign aid. Adams has given briefings and presentations at venues including the United Nations, US Department of State, US Agency for International Development, and American University. In addition, he has also briefed Members of Congress on aid effectiveness issues and recently sat on an anti-corruption panel at the 14th Annual International Anti-Corruption Conference in Bangkok. Adams is a frequent commentator in the media including The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, NPR, and Politico.
Senior Editor, Roll Call
David Hawkings writes the Hawkings Here blog for Roll Call. The aim is to provide penetrating, non-partisan and forward-looking analysis of policies being formed on Capitol Hill — and the people and politics driving the legislative debates. David is in his 20th year at CQ Roll Call. He spent six years as managing editor of CQ Weekly, a magazine covering federal policies, people and politics. He has also been the senior editor for legislative affairs, economics editor, congressional affairs editor, managing editor for daily news and co-editor of “Politics in America,” the company’s signature reference work on members of Congress. He offers analysis every Monday and Friday on NPR’s Washington affiliate, WAMU, and makes frequent appearances as a guest commentator on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. Before joining the company in 1995, he was a correspondent in the Washington Bureau of Thomson Newspapers and a reporter, columnist and editor at the San Antonio Light. He’s a native of New York and a graduate of Bucknell University.
Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.)
Congressman Gerald E. “Gerry” Connolly is serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia’s 11th District. Congressman Connolly serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Through his background in foreign policy and his work on the Foreign Affairs Committee, Connolly has become a leading voice on foreign assistance reform, war powers, embassy security, and democracy promotion abroad. Congressman Connolly received a M.A. in Public Administration from Harvard University in 1979. He received a B.A. in Literature from Maryknoll College in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After graduating from Harvard, Connolly spent 10 years on the staff of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where he handled numerous foreign policy issues including oversight of international economic issues and policies concerning the Middle East and the United Nations. Congressman Connolly also worked in the non-profit sector, primarily advocating for hunger aid and international assistance. He resides in Fairfax with his wife Cathy and his daughter Caitlin.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.)
Jeff Fortenberry was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2004 to serve Nebraska's First Congressional District. His work in Congress is rooted in the belief that the strength of our nation depends on the strength of our families and communities. Jeff is a member of the House Appropriations Committee, which appropriates United States government expenditures. He serves on three subcommittees with importance for Nebraska: Energy and Water, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and State and Foreign Operations. Jeff also serves as co-chair of the Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East and co-chair of the Congressional Study Group on Europe. Jeff previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee where he placed particular focus on human rights concerns, Middle Eastern affairs, and nuclear weapons non-proliferation. He also represented Nebraska on the Agriculture Committee, where his work on two Farm Bills advanced opportunities for young and beginning farmers and promoted agricultural entrepreneurship. Prior to serving in Congress, Jeff worked as a publishing industry executive in Lincoln, where he also served on the Lincoln City Council from 1997-2001. Jeff also has significant personal experience in small business, and early in his career he worked as a policy analyst for the United States Senate Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations. Jeff earned a bachelor's degree in economics and two master's degrees, one in public policy. He and his wife Celeste live in Lincoln and have five daughters.
Editor, Defense and Foreign Policy, CQ Roll Call
Koons oversees CQ News defense coverage, including the Pentagon, foreign policy and homeland security. She has a background in U.S. legal affairs, national security and foreign policy issues. In May 2014 she returned from Niger, where, as a recipient of a Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting grant, she investigated the root causes that have allowed Boko Haram and like-minded extremist groups to thrive in the region. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, GlobalPost, Salon and Huffington Post. She has taught journalism at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism in Qatar and at Georgetown University.
Jacqueline Musiitwa, Esq.
Founder, Managing Partner, Hoja Law Group, Kenya
Jacqueline Musiitwa’s focus is now on the importance of good governance and rule of law, and on improving Africa’s standing in the world. Musiitwa has served as an advisor to the director general of the World Trade Organization on trade policy as well as to the Rwandan Justice Ministry on investment, trade and infrastructure and private sector development. She was an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Fellow, Mo Ibrahim Fellow and a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.
Gyan Mani Nepal
Education Officer, Nepal
Nepal's first "Integrity Idol," Gyan Mani is an education officer in the eastern district of Panchthar in Nepal, who won the title for his commitment towards educational reforms in the region. In a country where government officials are often associated with corruption and incompetence, this contest aimed to shine a spotlight on honest and industrious civil servants, and was organized by the Accountability Lab. Mani was chosen due to his work promoting accountability in the education sector in his district, and elevating education standards.
Acting President & CEO, InterAction
Lindsay Coates is a committed advocate for human dignity and currently works as the Acting CEO & President of InterAction, a community of nearly 200 NGOs which is a united voice for global change. Lindsay currently serves on the steering committee of the World Bank Global Partnership for Social Accountability and the Boards of Episcopal Relief and Development and the Global Health Council. She served on the Obama administration’s Task Force on Global Poverty, was a Trustee for her alma mater the University of the South at Sewanee and a Board Member for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project. Before joining InterAction, she was the COO of Population Action International, which advocates for access to family planning services. Prior to her work in the non-profit sector, Lindsay practiced civil rights law in various capacities, from beginning her career in Mississippi to Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights to Equal Employment Opportunity Attorney and Officer at the National Gallery of Art. Lindsay was a nonresident Fellow of Seminar XXI, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies, holds a JD from the University of Mississippi, and a B.A. magna cum laude (focus on International Relations) from Sewanee, which included a junior year of study at the London School of Economics.
Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator and Director of Office of Policy, Bureau of Policy, Planning and Learning, USAID
Noam Unger is an Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator and the Director of USAID's Office of Policy in the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning. He serves as a primary policy adviser to the agency's leadership, manages a skilled team of policy analysts and advisers, and he also directed the agency's 2014 Frontiers in Development Forum. He previously served as Vice President for Partnerships and External Affairs for Global Citizen Year, an education-related social enterprise. For several years prior he served as a Brookings Global Economy and Development Fellow, where he directed the Foreign Aid Reform Project, co-founded the Development Assistance and Governance Initiative, and managed the annual Brookings Blum Roundtable. He was also a founding member and principal of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and a member of the Transatlantic Task Force on Development, convened by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His background includes prior service at the State Department and USAID in roles focused on international conflict and humanitarian assistance, as well as consulting work with Save the Children in Haiti and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. Having worked in the private sector as an analyst for a software firm, he is also a patented co-inventor. Mr. Unger received his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He was a Thomas J. Watson Foundation Fellow in Central America, South America, West Africa, South Asian and Southeast Asia. In 2010, he was selected as one of Devex’s Washington DC 40-under-40 International Development Leaders. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and three sons.