Future-Proofing Global Emergency Response Systems

Event Description

Children in Central Kasai Province, Kananga, DRC, where World Vision has responded to suffering after civil conflict by delivering food aid and setting up Child Friendly Spaces.

Children in Central Kasai Province, Kananga, DRC, where World Vision has responded to suffering after civil conflict by delivering food aid and setting up Child Friendly Spaces.

This month marks 10 years since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake and its more than 50 aftershocks devastated Haiti and forever changed global disaster response. The tragedy that struck Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010 displaced 2.3 million people and killed at least 220,000 others.

Immediately after the earthquake, more than 20 countries, the United Nations, and an estimated 10,000 international organizations jumped to the rescue, sending people, supplies and $13.5 billion in pledges and donations. But as the humanitarian response unfurled, many began to criticize the massive influx of aid, saying it was creating more chaos and problems than it was solving. Furthermore, the long-term recovery process in Haiti blurred the lines between humanitarian relief, recovery, and development, and demonstrated that crises are increasingly complex and prolonged.

More recently, an alliance made up of eight leading U.S.-based international aid organizations, organized to increase awareness and raise funds to deliver emergency relief quickly and efficiently to save lives and help rebuild communities. This new Global Emergency Response Coalition provides a model for collective fundraising and better coordination.

What have we learned in the past 10 years that can better prepare us for future emergencies? How should international NGOs build resiliency and local partners in vulnerable areas? Can collective fundraising lead to better coordination and more effective aid? Join us for a panel discussion on what a decade of humanitarian crises has taught us about how to make global emergency relief systems more effective, nimble, and scalable.


Global Washington
1601 Fifth Ave, Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Registration: 2:30pm – 3:00pm
Program: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

Members: $25
Non-Members: $35

Email pratima@globalwa.org for member code



Nicky Smith
Executive Director
International Rescue Committee

Nicky Smith is responsible for establishing and managing new country programs for the IRC. Her areas of expertise include emergency preparedness and response, country-program management, refugee policy and advocacy, and strategy and change planning.

Nicky joined the IRC in 2003. From 2007 to 2010, she was a member of the IRC’s Washington, D.C. office, working to educate policy makers and the public about the importance of providing resources for humanitarian and development assistance in Africa and Asia, and promoting programs that prevent violence against women and girls. From 2003 to 2007, she worked in some of the organization’s most sensitive situations, including managing the IRC’s single largest country program, Sudan, and serving as the IRC country director in Liberia during a key moment in the peace process. Before joining the IRC, Nicky worked for Doctors Without Borders and Children’s Aid Direct in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan and Nepal.

Gwen Young
Managing Director
Global Emergency Response Coalition (GERC)

Gwen K. Young is the Managing Director of the Global Emergency Response Coalition.

Ms. Young brings to her position over 25 years of experience in international relief and development, working for organizations such as Africare, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Rescue Committee, Harvard Institute for International Development, and Médecins Sans Frontières. She is also a Distinguished Fellow in Women’s Leadership and the former Director of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative and Women in Public Service Project at the Wilson Center.

As a public policy professional, Ms. Young has a long history of developing strategy, programming and advocacy in the areas of humanitarian policy, international affairs and international development. She has developed public-private partnerships to address critical issues such as maternal health, access to finance, and primary care delivery, and worked in-country with private and public sector actors to improve agricultural productivity and supply chains.

Advocating for girls and women globally has been a mainstay of her career. Ms. Young has written and spoken extensively on the important role women play in political, social and economic development. As an attorney, she served as a professional advocate for women and human rights in corporate law settings, working with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego. She also provided humanitarian law and advocacy training and developed guidelines to address sexual and gender-based violence and exploitation in conflict-ridden zones.

Ms. Young is an alumna of Smith College, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and the University of California Davis School of Law.

Lauren Zimmerman
Business Development Manager
Humanitarian & Emergency Affairs Team – International Programs Group
World Vision US

Lauren is a Business Development Manager on World Vision U.S.’s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs team. She covers the East Africa and Middle East regions, managing the program design and grant acquisition processes for new programs that respond to both sudden onset and protracted emergencies. Lauren was also a member of the inter-organizational planning committee that designed and formed the Global Emergency Response Coalition (GERC) as one of two World Vision representatives, and led the working group that helped to define when the Coalition should activate to respond to emergencies. Lauren has a degree in International Development Studies and a minor in African Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Lauren has been at World Vision since 2013.


GlobalWA Event Space

Jan 23, 2020

3:00pm (Registration starts at 2:30pm) - 4:30pm

1601 Fifth Ave, Suite 1900
Seattle WA 98101

Members: $25 (email pratima@globalwa.org for member code)
Non-Members: $35

Back to Upcoming Events

Back to Past Events