Fact Sheet
Washington, DC
July 24, 2012

Day 1 – Wednesday, July 25, 2012
U.S. Department of State

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9:00 am

I. Registration & Coffee

Location: C Street Lobby

Registration begins at 8:30am

9:30 am

II. Welcoming Remarks

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

Kris M. Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships, U.S. Department of State

10:00 am

III. Year in Review

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

Highlighting IdEA’s Initiatives

  • African Diaspora Marketplace II (ADM II) – Tony Chan, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Caribbean Idea Marketplace (CIM) – Flora Painter, Inter-American Development Bank
  • Tunisia Partnerships Forum – Mohamed Malouche, Tunisian American Young Professionals

10:30 am

IV. Diaspora, Development and Diplomacy – Keynote Address

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

Hillary R. Clinton, Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State

11:00 am

V. IdEA: Forward

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium


  • Kay Kapoor, Accenture & Derek Evans, CUSO
  • Ravi Gundlapalli, MentorCloud
  • Dennis Whittle, GlobalGiving
  • John Hartnett, IdEA@Silicon Valley
  • Stephen Keppel, Univision

12:00 pm

Networking Lunch

Location: Delegates Lounge

1:00 pm

VI. Public Diplomacy through Diasporas

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

Tara Sonenshine, Under Secretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State

1:15 pm

VII. Plenary Panel – Future of Diaspora Engagement

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium


  • Kathleen Newland, Migration Policy Institute


  • Bill Drayton, Ashoka
  • John Hartnett, Irish Technology Leadership Group
  • Martha Smith, US-Mexico Foundation
  • Daniel Wordsworth, American Refugee Committee

2:45 pm

Coffee Break

Location: Delegates Lounge

3:00 pm

VIII. Breakout Sessions

Room 1107

Group A. Social Entrepreneurship: Diaspora Change Makers

Diaspora communities are at the forefront of innovative problem-solving and are the most willing to take risks to empower and improve their country of origin. Join us as we discuss how diaspora-driven social entrepreneurship can be used to foster sustainable development in countries of origin.


  • Roopal Shah, IndiCorps


  • Anousheh Ansari, Prodea Systems
  • Iman Bibars, Ashoka
  • Cheryl Dorsey, Echoing Green
  • Fawzia Naqvi, Soros Economic Development Fund

Room 1205

Group B. Diaspora Apps: The Next Generation of Engagement & Philanthropy

People are beginning to learn that a cause they are passionate about is likely shared by others as well. Join us as we discuss new ways to foster greater impact by pooling resources and knowledge to create sustainable partnerships that enable larger groups of people to contribute what they can to make a difference and increase diaspora philanthropy.


  • Noosheen Hashemi, The Hand Foundation


  • Bef Ayenew, ArifSoft
  • Ravi Gundlapalli, MentorCloud
  • John Hecklinger, GlobalGiving
  • Antony Taylor, WellSpace

Room 1207

Group C. Diaspora Volunteerism: Serving Your Heritage

Over 60 million first and second generation Americans have strong roots in their countries of origin and want to know what they can do to help. Diasporas can provide technical advice and professional expertise, often have the linguistic and cultural familiarity that makes engagement more effective and trustworthy from the recipient’s vantage point, particularly in the most volatile regions, and diaspora volunteers can help counter the effects of “brain drain”. This session will explore different ways that organized volunteer programs can engage diaspora volunteers and provide perspective from diaspora volunteers who have undertaken projects in their countries of origin.


  • Michael Deal, VEGA


  • Derek Evans, CUSO International
  • Natalie Grigorian, Birthright Armenia
  • Gregory Price, VolunteerMatch
  • Aelaf Worku, American International Health Alliance

Room 1406

Group D. Mobile Money: Implications for Diaspora Engagement

The role of remittances is a backbone within Diaspora communities and, to many developing economies, a backbone of the economy. Mobile technology and mobile money have the potential to lower costs and expand the ability of communities to transfer funds, support the growth of businesses and the thriving entrepreneurial spirit in their respective diaspora. This session will explore the growing number of services available to those interested in remitting funds through mobile technologies and the resulting business opportunities from these new payment methods.


  • Nandini Harihareswara, Mobile Solutions, U.S. Agency for International Development


  • Bill Barhydt, Boom Financial
  • Conan French, Open Revolution
  • John Owens, Chemonics
  • Barbara Span, Western Union

Room 1105

Group E. Startup Diaspora: Unleashing A Transnational Ecosystem

With so many new jobs in entrepreneurial economies coming from startups (firms less than five years old), it is not surprising that leaders around the world are looking to reinvigorate their economies by focusing on ways to stimulate startups. Diaspora entrepreneurs can play a pivot role in cultivating the innovation and startup ecosystems of their countries of origin.


  • Thomas Debass, Global Partnership Initiative, U.S. Department of State


  • Claire Lee, Microsoft
  • Dilawar Syed, Yonja Media Group
  • Driss Temsamani, Maghreb Growth Foundation
  • Oltac Unsal, The World Bank Group

4:30 pm

IX. Closing Plenary

Location: Loy Henderson Auditorium

Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor to the President for Strategic Communications, White House

5:00 pm

X. Adjournment

6:00 pm

Science and Technology Diaspora Networking Reception

This two-hour networking reception will convene conference participants who are interested in networking, discussion, collaboration, and conversation on issues facing diaspora knowledge networks. The reception will serve hors d'oeuvres.

Remarks by:

  • Bill Burns, Deputy Secretary of State, U.S. Department of State

Location: National Academy of Sciences, 2100 C Street, NW, Washington, DC

Please RSVP to Osmaan Minhas at minhaso@state.gov

Day 2 – Thursday, July 26, 2012
Atrium Ballroom, Ronald Reagan Building, USAID

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9:00 am

I. Check In & Coffee

Location: Atrium Ballroom

Check in begins at 8:30am

9:15 am

II. Opening Remarks

Location: Atrium Ballroom

Dr. Maura O’Neill, Chief Innovation Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

9:30 am

III. Diaspora Engagement in Practice – Keynote Address

Location: Atrium Ballroom

Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

10:00 am

IV. Diaspora

Location: Atrium Ballroom

Mimi Alemayehou, Executive Vice President, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC)

10:30 am

Coffee Break & Networking

Location: Atrium Ballroom

11:00 am

V. Breakout Sessions

Location: Atrium Ballroom -
Room 1

Group A. Partnership Opportunities with Public Institutions

Building new programs and increasing your reach is difficult without proper funding and strategic engagement. Join experts as they delve into new funding sources and explain how to apply for grants, undertake public-private partnerships, and share best practices for financing and empowering your diaspora community’s initiatives.


  • Deena Shakir, International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA)


  • Romi Bhatia, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Jeff Brown, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Aaron Sherinian, United Nations Foundation
  • James Thompson, Global Partnership Initiative, U.S. Department of State

Location: Atrium Ballroom - Room 2

Group B. Innovations to Affect Change

This panel will provide best practices in giving the diaspora a voice through online platforms and social media. The panelists will also describe ways that their organizations work to raise awareness about issues of interest to the diaspora and educate individuals on how they can contribute in a way that will be meaningful both for the diaspora community and their country of heritage.


  • Raul Hinogosa-Ojeda, North American Integration and Development Center at the University of California


  • Aphrodite Bouikidis, Reinventing Greece Media Project
  • Katleen Felix, Haitian Hometown Associations Resource Group & Fonkoze
  • Molly Mattessich, Africa Rural Connect
  • Nicholas Reville, Amara

Trade Information Center, Mezzanine Level, Conference Room A

Group C. Enhancing Trade, Commerce, and Development

This session will focus on how the US government agencies support U.S. small and medium businesses interested in tapping into international markets. Representatives from various agencies will discuss how partnerships with the diaspora community can lead to trade and development opportunities


  • Steve Glickman, White House


  • Antwaun Griffin, International Trade Administration
  • Alejandra Y. Castillo, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Dario Gomez, U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Steve Gardner, U.S. Department of Commerce

12:30 pm

VI. Keynote Lunch

Location: Atrium Ballroom


Ricardo Michel, Deputy Director, Office of Innovation and Development Alliances, U.S. Agency for International Development

Donald Steinberg, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development

Keynote Address

Kingsley Aikins, CEO, Diaspora Matters

2:00 pm


2:15 pm

VII. Opening of Unconference

Location: Atrium Ballroom

Chris Jurgens, Division Chief, Office of Innovation and Development Alliances, USAID

2:30 pm

VIII. Unconference

Participants are encouraged to attend scheduled events and sessions with our partners.

Location: Atrium Ballroom

Various small roundtable discussions around topics relevant to diaspora engagement.

Other Unconference Events

2:30 pm

Science Diaspora Conference

This event will highlight the contribution of science diasporas to economic growth in the United States and to the development of their ancestral countries of origin through research, innovation and education.

2:30 pm

Fundraising through the Global Giving Platform

This session will allow GDF participants to speak directly with GlobalGiving on how to utilize their platform to increase visibility for diaspora organizations and fundraise.

2:30 pm

Social Entrepreneurship and the Chinese Diaspora

Convened by Tea Leaf Nation, this session will feature several speakers from the Chinese diaspora who will share their experiences on being entrepreneurs in China.

3:30 pm

Pathways Forward for Southeast Europe

Roundtable discussion hosted by the Southeast Europe Coalition and the Heritage Foundation.

Location: The Heritage Foundation

227 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Haller Room, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC


*These receptions are independently organized events hosted by the organizations below.

5:00 pm

Southeast Europe Coalition Reception

The Heritage Foundation and the United Macedonian Diaspora will co-host a reception celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the Southeast Europe Coalition, which was formed during the 1st Global Diaspora Forum in May 2011. The reception will feature wines from Southeast Europe. The reception will be located at the Heritage Foundation.

Location: The Heritage Foundation, 227 Pennsylvania Ave, SE, Haller Room, 2nd Floor, Washington, DC

Please RSVP to Ana Donevska at adonevska@umdiaspora.org or 202-350-9798

6:00 pm

VEGA 2012 Diaspora Volunteer Service Awards Reception

VEGA is commencing the Diaspora Volunteer Service Awards as a way to recognize the incredible work that is being done by diaspora volunteers around the world, and to host a networking reception that will help facilitate collaboration between diaspora communities and volunteer-sending organizations.

Location: CDC Development Solutions, Suite #730 East,1030 15th Street NW, Washington, DC

Please RSVP in advance at diasporavolunteers.eventbrite.com

6:00 pm

Latin America and Caribbean Reception

A reception co-hosted by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation and the Woodrow Wilson Center honoring Latin American and Caribbean diaspora community leaders.

Location: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 6th Floor Dining Room, Washington, DC

Please RSVP in advance at lacreception.eventbrite.com

7:30 pm

Discussion on the Role of the Diaspora Community in Protecting Religious Minorities’ Rights in Muslim-Majority Communities

The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) plans to hold a roundtable discussion and iftar dinner on the role of the diaspora community in protecting religious minorities’ rights in Muslim-majority communities. A roundtable discussion will begin at approximately 7:30 pm, followed by an iftar dinner at approximately 8:30 pm

Location: The home of Dr. Maqsood and Nadira Chaudhry
855 Dolly Madison Blvd, McLean, VA 22101

Transportation to be provided from the Ronald Reagan Building entrance located at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW (13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue) at 6:30 pm

Please RSVP in advance to Maggie Siddiqi at maggie@isna.net