Great Decisions | The Future of Development: The United Nations and Beyond

THU, FEB 16, 2017

Join WorldBoston and the United Nations Association of Greater Boston for the 2017 Great Decisions kickoff event! Hosted in the beautiful Flagship Room of the Seaport Hotel, come enjoy a special extended Great Decisions and networking session to mark the opening of the WorldBoston programming year.

Recently the U.N. and other international organizations have come under fire as the Trump Administration challenge their contributions to U.S. objectives. But for some time, development practitioners and scholars have been questioning more deeply the effectiveness and future of the UN as the globe’s primary provider of development assistance.

Last year marked the halfway point in the UN’s effort to eradicate poverty, hunger and discrimination, as well as ensure justice and dignity for all peoples. At this point, how is the globe progressing on development, and how are the UN and other organizations doing as a part of that effort?

With development expertise from both inside and beyond the UN system, Denise Garcia, Northeastern professor and expert on the UN, and David Offensend, President & CEO of EDC, will offer unique perspectives on global efforts to achieve sustainable development.

+ BIO: David Offensend

As president and chief executive officer (CEO), David Offensend brings a strong business acumen as well as nonprofit experience to his oversight of EDC’s domestic and international work. He leads the senior management council, which directs the organization’s major programmatic and business activities, and is a member of EDC’s board of trustees.

Most recently, Offensend was the chief operating officer (COO) for America Achieves, a nonprofit organization that helps communities and states build high-quality educational systems and prepare young people for college and careers.

Previous to America Achieves, Offensend served for 10 years as COO of the New York Public Library, the nation’s largest public library system with 90 affiliated branches. During his tenure, he was responsible for the digitization of the library system, increased circulation by 70 percent, and extended the reach and quality of the research and education programs.

Before moving to the nonprofit sector, Offensend cofounded Evercore Partners, an independent investment banking advisory firm. He also worked in the investment organization of Robert M. Bass as well as at Lehman Brothers, where he was president and CEO of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partnership.

Offensend has served on multiple boards, including Princeton University, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, and Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. He holds a BA in public and international affairs from Princeton and an MA in business administration from the Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

+ BIO: Denise Garcia

Professor Denise Garcia is associate professor in the Department of Political Science and the International Affairs program at Northeastern University in Boston. She researches on international law, global governance of security, and the formation of new international norms and their impact on peace and security. Garcia teaches the annual course titled “Global Governance of International Security & the World Politics of Diplomacy” at the United Nations in Geneva, in cooperation with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research and many other partners. In 2016, she testified to the United Nations on the question of lethal autonomous weapons and their impact on peace and security. She is author of Small Arms and Security – New Emerging International Norms, and Disarmament Diplomacy and Human Security – Norms, Regimes, and Moral Progress in International Relations. Her articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the European Journal of International Security, International Affairs, Ethics & International Affairs, Third World Quarterly, Global Policy Journal, International Relations, and elsewhere. She is proud to have held the title of Sadeleer Family Research Faculty at Northeastern (2011-2016). Prior to joining the faculty of Northeastern University in 2006 (tenured in 2013), Garcia held a three-year appointment at Harvard, at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and the World Peace Foundation’s Intra-State Conflict Program. She holds a Ph.D. in international relations and international law from Institut des Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement (Graduate Institute for International Studies and Development), University of Geneva, Switzerland, 2006; an M.A. in international relations and international law from Institut des Hautes Études Internationales et du Développement (Graduate Institute for International Studies and Development), University of Geneva, Switzerland, 2000; and a B.A. in international relations from University of Brasilia, Brazil, 1994. She lived for several years in Geneva and worked at the United Nations and other international organizations. She is the vice-chair of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, a member of the Academic Council of the United Nations and the Global South Unit for Mediation in Rio de Janeiro. A native of Brazil, Garcia is a devoted yogi, her hobbies include travel and surfing. Please visit her page on Foreign Affairs: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/authors/denise-garcia.

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