June 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to the June 2012 issue of the Global Washington newsletter. If you would like to contact us directly, please email us.


Note from our Executive Director

Bookda GheisarGreetings and happy first week of summer!

Last month, we were excited to host Nobel-prize-winning economist Paul Krugman as part of our GlobalWA//Gather series of events and conversations with thought-leaders on global issues.  An in-depth summary of the GlobalWA events surrounding Mr. Krugman’s visit to Seattle is included in this newsletter. We look forward to bringing more premier thinkers and leaders to Seattle in upcoming Gather events. We also hope you will Save the Date for our 2012 Annual Conference to be held on December 6th at Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.  Early-bird registration is now open and an agenda will be announced in the upcoming months.

This time of year is always bittersweet at Global Washington as we say goodbye to many departing interns who are graduating, going home for the summer, or moving on to new ventures. We would like to give a big thank you to Alisa Minkina, Angie Anderson, Tomomi Tanaka, Mingxing Tu, Brianna Breimayer, Yun-Chieh Pai, and Matt McCleary. We are also excited to be working with some new interns, as well as a fantastic group of ongoing volunteers. If you visit our office, make sure to stop and meet some of these dedicated people who help make everything happen: Ismail Mohammad, Bryan Gamble, Sean O’Keefe, Jordan Faires, Raissa Licano-Sanchez, Sarah Baron, Jake Sumibcay, Niny Yang, Nataliya Pistorskaya, Prajwol Shrestha, Daniel Drake, Mollie Diddams, Carolyn Hubbard, and Casey O’Connor. You can view their bios on our website.

Volunteers and interns power much of our work. Make sure you check out some of our resources that are heavily volunteer-supported, including our Careers in Development CenterPolicy Resources, Social Media, and many Global Washington events!

Finally, we salute our friends and members who are working tirelessly in the field of global health. July is Global Health Month in Seattle and we hope you will take some time to support this crucial part of Washington’s global development community. The Washington Global Health Alliance is a great resource for more information on events and other components of Global Health Month.

In unity,

Bookda Gheisar, Executive Director

Back to Top

New member benefits

We are always trying to find new member benefits to add more value to your organization. Please see some of the latest opportunities that are available to Global Washington members in good standing.

Radio advertising:  We recently sent all members an email about discounted radio spots on KPLU, KUOW, Komo Newsradio, and Smart 570 KVI Talk. Let us know if you are interested or would like more information!

For more information or to sign up, please contact Megan Boucher (megan@globalwa.org). To join Global Washington and take advantage of these or other member benefits, please visit our website.

Back to Top


Robert Rose: Hope and opportunity for Nepal’s children with disabilities

By Megan Boucher

“I look into all of your eyes and see love, joy and hope. I see promise and possibilities, but most of all, I see potential. You must be allowed to achieve your potential, to see that the possibilities are endless.”

-Robert Rose, in a letter to the children with disabilities of Nepal

Changemaker Robert Rose

Rob and Gina Rose with an armful of kids with disability from DNC (Disabled Newlife Center) in Kathmandu, Nepal

Robert Rose excels at making the most of the potential around him. A professional photographer with a love for children, Rob has been able to utilize his own skills and the skills of people he has met along the way to make a difference for countless children. His organization, The Rose International Fund for Children (TRIFC), supports children with disabilities in Nepal by funding organizations and programs that address the needs of this neglected population.

Supported programs include a Braille book library; hearing aids and kitchen equipment for a  deaf school; and “backpacks for the blind” which provides blind children with materials needed to succeed in school such as Braille watches, Braille rulers, and folding canes. Rob is a big fan of simple but effective solutions. “At one school in a rural area they were feeding the kids in two shifts because they didn’t have enough tin plates,” Rob explained. “Sometimes things as simple as that completely make it so much better for them.”

Life for a child with a disability in Nepal can be difficult, both because of the negative social stigma and also because of the lack of resources needed to help the child succeed. Smart, motivated children are easily left behind their peers without intervention, but TRIFC is working to change that. One particular success was at the Disabled New Life Center where, prior to TRIFC’s involvement, the kids went home after their high school graduation to an uncertain future. Now there are eight graduates going to college.

Changemaker Robert Rose

TRIFC volunteer and teacher of the blind- Sita Gyawali on the left with sponsored blind student Sima Tamang on the right

Rob’s interest in this part of the world started when he was sixteen years old. He spent eight months in Calcutta, India as a Rotary exchange student and was struck by the poverty there. “It made me wonder about my place in the world,” he recalled. “Why was I born in Seattle into relative comfort with shelter and adequate food and water, but a lot of people around the world didn’t have those basic necessities? It led me to believe that I had a responsibility to try to help those who were less fortunate.”

The perspective change stuck with him, although he did not return to Asia until many years later. He took over his parents’ Bellevue photography business—Brant Photographers—in 1985, become active in the Bellevue Rotary club, and started a family. Sixteen years ago, Rob read an article in the Seattle Times about a small California nonprofit called the Nepal Youth Foundation that was helping 500 children in the Kathmandu Valley. He felt a tug on his heart to return to that part of the world and thought about calling the organization to see if they needed a volunteer photographer. However, he hesitated, thinking that they would say no. “Well yeah, that’s true,” he thought, reconsidering. “But what if they say yes?’” Rob made the call with a sense that his life might never be quite the same.

Changemaker Robert Rose

TRIFC formed this group to educate and empower deaf women. They embroider greeting cards as a means of learning new skills, earning money and developing a network of friends. The funds raised from the sales of these cards go directly back to the women.

On the other end of the phone was Olga, a 72-year-old woman who, in her younger years, had a penchant for trekking in the mountains of Nepal. She told Rob that they did indeed need a photographer and so Rob made his way to Nepal. “I had a real epiphany moment,” he explained, reminiscing about that first visit in 1997. “I felt that if I just directed some of my time and attention towards helping other people, there was the opportunity to make a pretty big impact.”

Rob quickly began exploring the resources and connections around him. He asked Olga if she knew anyone in Rotary. She introduced him to Rabendra Pandey, a Nepali businessman who was active in his local club. Rob and Rabendra started doing Rotary projects together, raising money from Rob’s local Rotary club and Nepali clubs and utilizing Rotary’s generous matching grants to fund projects for children in Nepal. These projects eventually turned into TRIFC, an independent organization that still has close connections to Rotary and Rotarians in Nepal.

Changemaker Robert Rose

Bharat and Ajay play ping-pong (and get great physiotherapy) on a brand new table donated by TRIFC to DHC’s home for children with disability.

Many of the programs that TRIFC funds–providing school supplies, nutrition, winter coats, and similar—represent short-term solutions. Perceptions need to change to create lasting impact. Recently, the organization partnered with Rotary in a large scale social marketing campaign about people with disabilities. The goal was to reach 15% of Nepal’s population through awareness ads using various forms of media and PR like television, radio, news, sports festivals, street theater, billboards, and wall paintings. The project just wrapped up and the preliminary results are encouraging. Rob’s dream would be to find a partner that can help take the campaign countrywide to reach more people with the message about the value, potential and capabilities of people with disabilities.

Changemaker Robert Rose

Disabled Newlife Children and volunteers on an overnight camping trip in Dhulikhel, Nepal.

Rob believes that TRIFC’s main strengths are its rich people resources and support from Nepalis, including some with disabilities. These volunteers help Rob, as he puts it, “do the right thing” by providing a firsthand perspective, as well as expertise and advice. Additionally, Rabendra and his wife Chandra serve on TRIFC’s board of directors, as does Rob’s wife Gina, whose skills as an international marketing professional have been invaluable during the recent marketing campaign. Rob’s sons have made trips to Nepal and even his mother has hosted Nepali visitors in her home. He has also brought numerous Rotarians and others to Nepal on volunteer trips.

Despite this strong support, Rob is always happy for more collaborators. “Personally, I feel very fortunate to be in a position to provide help, hope, and love to the kids we work with in Nepal,” he said. He would be happy to help others do the same and “work with a marginalized community that is just waiting for an opportunity.”

Back to Top

Featured Organization

Member Profile: World Trade Center Seattle Shines Bright on the Waterfront

By Carolyn Hubbard

While ferries float past and seagulls catch thermals, company executives hover over fresh cups of coffee, and a young couple samples an entree for their upcoming nuptials. They are enjoying World Trade Center Seattle (WTCSE)’s dining room, more formally known as the Holland America Line Dining Room, where a curved wall of windows, rising some 40 feet from floor to ceiling, affords a sweeping view of Seattle’s waterfront, from the flock of red cargo cranes at the port, north to the touristy hub of Pier 66. Access to this spectacular place – for a lunch meeting or an event – is one of the benefits of being a WTCSE member.

World Trade Center SeattleShelley Tomberg, Vice President of Sales, describes WTCSE as “an intimate place for businesses to come together to discuss business” and explains that “you’re going to see people who have a similar focus as you – people involved in the Port of Seattle, entrepreneurs, people with more of a business focus.” You’re also going to see a healthy mix of members from both trade/commerce and non-government organizations. Some of Seattle’s global development community that have memberships to WTCSE currently include PATH, International Rescue Committee, GAPPS, and Global Washington. Also found on site is the World Affairs Council.

The Port of Seattle owns the WTC building and contracts Seattle-based Columbia Hospitality to manage the WTCSE building and the Bell Harbor International Conference Center across the street. The WTCSE was completed in 1998, receiving the licensing rights to be a part of the international World Trade Center Association, just in time to ride the wave of the strong economy. Businesses and non-profit organizations joined as members, some even renting office space in the building, and enjoyed the hustle and bustle of networking during a time of seemingly endless opportunities. In more recent years, some tenants (mainly the non-profit organizations) left to find reduced rents, but membership has remained steady, even going up this year.

About three times a year, WTCSE holds a members’ reception in the dining room. These are well-attended events at which members have the chance to reconnect, meet new members and talk shop. “Drinks are included,” Tomberg notes with a quick laugh, “and that helps loosen the barriers.”

Along with access to other World Trade Centers around the world, member benefits include use of the boardrooms and other meeting spaces in the building. Tomberg wants smaller organizations to see WTCSE as a home base, a place to conduct business and make those essential connections to forward a goal. WTCSE and the Port of Seattle want to ensure there is representation from many segments of society and the community, says Tomberg. To help promote this, non-government organizations are offered a discounted membership rate.

“This is a connection place,” Tomberg explains. “It’s a place for leaders to come and share what they are thinking about for the future.” For example, member Washington Council on International Trade recently held a “Maritime & Trade Discussion” with Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna. Other events have featured former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senator Patty Murray, and the president of the Philippines. When visiting TV star-chef Bobby Flay came to town to challenge Matt’s in the Market to a salmon chowder ‘throwdown,’ the producers chose to film at the Holland America Line Dining Room.  (No surprise, Matt’s chowder won.) “Film crews love this place. It gives them a snippet of Seattle,” says Tomberg.

The World Trade Center Association’s website mentions that to get licensing, a World Trade Center building must “be a facility with a purpose. It is a place where special things happen.” Tomberg notes that WTCSE is what it is because of the members from various industries who come together to connect and inspire one another, regardless of background or position. That is a fine purpose to have.

Back to Top

Special Feature

10 Hours with Paul Krugman

Noble Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was in Seattle at the end of May to promote his new book End This Depression Now! During his trip, Krugman partnered with Global Washington’s “Gather” series for an intimate salon and conversation with representatives from Seattle’s international development community. Roughly 90 individuals from the nonprofit, business, and philanthropic sectors met on a rare sunny afternoon at the Sorrento Hotel to hear Krugman’s take on how to solve the Global Depression.

Paul Krugman

Photo by Michele Frix,
Seattle International Foundation

Paul Krugman

Photo by Michele Frix,
Seattle International Foundation

Bill Clapp, founder of Global Washington, moderated the candid discussion with Krugman and focused the conversation around the importance of history and the power of optimism in resolving our current economic crisis. Krugman spent a fair amount of time criticizing austerity measures and failed economic policies of past administrations. It was not all doom and gloom, however. Krugman repeatedly reiterated that we can, as a country, get ourselves out of this unnecessary and messy depression.  Our political leaders must find the clarity and political will to end this depression through strong political measures. “It’s not a hard concept; it’s actually incredibly simple”, Krugman said. What we need to do, Krugman stated, is implement radical economic policies if both the United States and Europe are to avoid future economic instability. This includes ambitious government spending (you’ve got to spend to stimulate) that goes far beyond proposals the White House has drafted, increasing federal aid to local governments, and looking to history to tell us what to do to get out of the crisis.

Paul Krugman

Photo by Michele Frix,
Seattle International Foundation

The obstacle, Krugman declared, is not economic but rather a lack of political will. As a parting comment, Krugman encouraged the crowd to question the ever widening income gap and demand sustainable economic policies from Congress and the White House. As the conversation concluded, the audience had the opportunity to meet Krugman and network with others in the international development sector. The program ended just in time for everyone to get out and enjoy the sun…a great end to a thought-provoking conversation with Paul Krugman.

As a part of the Gather series, Global Washington is now hosting dinners with key development stakeholders and Gather guest speakers. After the event at the Sorrento Hotel concluded, representatives from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Landesa, the University of Washington, Microsoft, Seattle University and Vulcan, Inc. had the opportunity to share a meal and intimate conversation with Paul Krugman. Dinner guests were able to participate in a fireside chat with Krugman and consulted his economic expertise on global development and foreign aid issues. All in all, it was a memorable evening full of robust discourse and fantastic food.

Be sure to join Global Washington for our next Gather event–a great opportunity to connect with thought leaders in the field of international development. Past events have included conversations with Geena Davis, actress and activist, and Peter Diamandis, Founder of the X-Prize Foundation. Check out our website to stay posted on upcoming dates and speakers!

Back to Top

Welcome New Members

Please welcome our newest Global Washington members. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with their work and think of opportunities for support and collaboration!

Literacy Bridge: At Literacy Bridge, our mission is to empower children and adults with tools for knowledge sharing and literacy learning, as an effective means towards advancing education, health, economic development, democracy, and human rights. www.literacybridge.org

EcoZoom: EcoZoom is a social venture with the mission of bringing ecological products to the world. We are starting with stoves because we see that as one of the biggest needs in the world. Cooking is literally killing people; we want to make it safe. http://www.ecozoomstove.com/

Water 1st: People living in extreme poverty have many needs, but we believe water and toilets come first. There is a powerful and direct link between human development and convenient access to water and toilets. Through the implementation of sustainable, community-managed water supply and sanitation projects, we are addressing the most fundamental issues of poverty, childhood death, and gender equality. www.water1st.org

Individual Members:

Carol Welch

Back to Top

Career Center

Highlighted career:

Jessica DyerProgram Officer, Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, Seattle: Jessica Dyer

How would you describe your job? “I’m the Program Officer at Prosthetics Outreach Foundation, an International non-profit that seeks to improve the mobility and independence of physically disabled children and adults in developing countries. I manage POF’s Clubfoot treatment programs in Vietnam and Sierra Leone.  More.

Highlighted positions:

Health Systems Group Intern, VillageReach
The HSG Internship is an opportunity for an experienced graduate-level student interested in both research and implementation to contribute his/her knowledge to the design and evaluation of health system interventions at VillageReach. The intern will work closely with VillageReach program staff on a variety of activities to support the work of the Health Systems Group. More.

Grants Administrator – Global Health, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Grants Administrator is responsible for managing technical, legal, financial, and administrative components of the grant-making process in the Global Health Program. This administrator serves as liaison to program, legal and finance staff and works with Grants Management and other foundation staff to contribute to process improvements. More.

Nutrition Research Officer, Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, PATH
The Nutrition Research Officer will provide technical expertise for nutrition and research to multiple MCHN projects, including PATH’s Ultra Rice® project activities to scale up implementation in multiple countries and Sure Start Project in India.  More.

Volunteer, West African Vocational Schools 
Most people don’t really want more stuff for their birthdays, but they would like the opportunity to make a difference. Now Facebook is making that easy to do: People can ask their friends who visit their page to donate to WAVS as a birthday gift. We need people who are willing to help promote this great idea. The job would involve telling your friends and others about this opportunity and explaining to them how it works. More.

For more jobs and resources, visit www.globalwa.org/resources/careers-in-development/

Back to Top


July is Global Health Month in Seattle
July 2012 will be Global Health Month in Seattle as part of the Next Fifty – a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair. The month, sponsored by the Washington Global Health Alliance, is an exciting opportunity to raise awareness and discussion around the region’s role in global health and will “feature our region’s strengths in combating malaria, diabetes and cancer, and in improving mother and child health and access to safe water.”

Events marking Global Health Month include the Global Health Experience Exhibit, held throughout July in the Next 50 Plaza at Seattle Center, which features personal stories from across the globe, regional innovations in health and a Global Health Activity Tent.

Join Melinda French Gates and members of the Seattle health community for Groundswell: A Night for Global Health. This free event on July 14 (7:30-9 pm), will celebrate global successes in preventing maternal mortality while galvanizing strength to prevent the deaths of millions of mothers and children (featuring Christy Turlington Brown, founder of Every Mother Counts, and Dr. Chris Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations).

Following Groundswell will be Agency (formerly Party With a Purpose), an opportunity for 20-and-30-somethings to dance the night away for global health while connecting with other socially-conscious individuals.

On July 15 (1-3 pm), Global Health Nexus invites community members to Perspectives: How Faith-based and Secular Organizations Partner for Better Global Health Event, featuring a keynote panel including Bill Gates Sr., Rich Stearns (CEO of World Vision International) and Caryl Sterns (President & CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF) and honest discussions on the realities and challenges of partnerships for faith-based and secular organizations.

The month wraps up with a discussion on partnerships between non-profit health organizations and for-profit entities entitled Business Partnerships for Global Health: Successes, Obstacles and Opportunities (July 31, 5:30-8:00 pm).

Why is aid transparency important to YOU? Tweet and win!
Tweet about “why you think aid transparency is important” and you could win a grand prize from The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN). Help create momentum for transparency by participating in MFAN’s Twitter contest! The grand prize winner will receive USAID administrator Raj Shah’s top 5 books on global development.

The fine print:

  • You MUST include @ModernizeAid and our designated contest hashtag #Aidtransparency in your response
  • Tweets will be judged Monday-Friday from 10am EST – 6pm EST
  • Semi-finalists will be chosen on Tuesdays and Thursdays; our grand prize winner will be announced the final day of the contest—June 29
  • Prizes will only be mailed within the United States

Global Washington member Landesa expands focus on land rights in China
Over 700 million rural citizens in China rely on land as their primary asset, but this livelihood has been threatened in recent decades by a lack of legal rights and framework for rural land expropriation, resulting in the taking of land for non-agricultural development. As China has announced plans to enact new legislation to help farmers by March 2013, Landesa has announced that it will increase engagement with policy advice for government leaders and think tanks to make new laws equitable and transparent.  Landesa has recently been working in the Henan and Shaanxi provinces to ensure farmers’ right to forestland. A new Chinese law has prohibited all types of logging on the land of farmers- a policy that has brought ecological gain, but has also simultaneously deprived farmers of a significant income source. Landesa is working to ensure proper compensation to affected farmers.

Landesa also announced that the state government of Odisha, India will extend a homestead program to provide land titles to around 500,000 tribal families in the state. This breakthrough policy is based on a Community Resource Person model- an approach developed by Landesa’s Indian partner, the Rural Development Institute.

Intern/Volunteer wanted: Help save valuable coastal wetlands in Asia and Latin America
Mangrove Action Project is seeking a research intern or volunteer to help with their Question Your Shrimp campaign. This project aims to reduce reliance on environmentally destructive shrimp farming in the Global South, while educating consumers about the connection between the shrimp on their plate and the loss of mangrove forests. The U.S. imports over 90% of its shrimp from Latin America and Asia, and this aquaculture industry is the greatest threat to millions of acres of precious mangrove forests.

The intern would contribute to Mangrove Action Project’s survey of Seattle restaurants to determine the effectiveness of the Question Your Shrimp campaign. If interested, please contact Alfredo Quarto, Executive Director of Mangrove Action Project at mangroveap@olympus.net or (360) 452-5866.

Clark Nuber P.S. hosts 3-day workshop on not-for-profit accounting 
On July 10-12, Clark Nuber P.S. is hosting a three day workshop on not-for-profit accounting for those new to the trade and those who feel the need for a refresher course. The workshop will feature discussions and group exercises covering “accounting, tax, federal compliance and information that is unique to not-for-profit organizations.”

For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/?eventid=1090692

  • When: July 10-12, 2012, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Where: Clark Nuber P.S., 10900 NE 4th St. Suite 1700, Bellevue, WA 98004
  • Cost: $295 per day, all three days $780 (continental breakfast and lunch included)
  • Questions? Contact Teresa Tierman, 425.635.4574, ttieman@clarknuber.com

Seattle Children’s Research Institute receives grant for science program
Children in schools across Washington State have experienced the Science Adventure Lab, a program created by Seattle Children’s Research Institute to give students in schools with low resources an opportunity for a hands-on science education. Seattle Children’s has just received a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to expand the program to include activities for families, with curriculum modules that focus on cardiovascular health and neuroscience. Families of participating students are invited to “Science Night” at the school and “Science Day” at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Congratulations to Seattle Children’s for their innovative work on this program! Visit http://www.seattlechildrens.org/Press-Releases/2012/Seattle-Children%E2%80%99s-Research-Institute-Lands-$1-1-Million-NIH-Grant-for-Science-Adventure-Lab/ for more information.

Back to Top

Global Washington Events:

4th Annual Conference

Back to Top

Other Events:

Wednesday, June 27
Entrepreneurs College: Liquidity & Exits

Saturday, June 30
World Bicycle Relief Red-Bell 100

Tuesday, July 10 – 12
Not-for-Profit “Basics” Workshop

Saturday, July 14
Groundswell: A Night for Global Health

Sunday, July 15
Perspectives: How Faith-Based and Secular Organizations Partner for Better Global Health

Tuesday, July 17
2012 Seattle Social Media Summit

YPIN: Spanish Conversation Group

Thursday, July 19
WCIT Summer Trade Luncheon: U.S. Trade Policy With Asia

Contributors: Amanda Bidwell, Megan Boucher, Jordan Faires, Bookda Gheisar, Carolyn Hubbard, Tomomi Tanaka

Back to Top