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I had the pleasure of participating at this forum in Washington, D.C. this week.  Sponsored and supported by Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development and the Keough School of Global Affairs, the 2017 Notre Dame Global Pathways Forum (NDGPF) brought together NDIGD's public and private partners for comprehensive and well-rounded dialogue around the theme:

Co-Creation: Bridging the Value Chain and Investment Gap

As public and private entities expand to address consumer needs in diverse economic markets, they are grappling with community engagement issues, political and currency stability, underdeveloped supply and distribution channels, as well as infrastructure issues, among others. Our theme for the 2017 NDGPF endeavors to initiate and continue dialogue among these stakeholders around these very challenging issues.


Keynote Speaker

Curtis L. Etherly, Jr., Esq. serves as Director of Federal Affairs and International Stakeholder Relations for The Coca-Cola Company. In this capacity, Mr. Etherly interfaces with key congressional constituencies, including the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, the LGBT Equality Caucus, and the Veterans Jobs Caucus.

A 15-year veteran of the Coca-Cola System, Mr. Etherly also leads the Company’s engagement with the African diplomatic corps, key U.S. government stakeholders, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in support of the Company’s business and philanthropic efforts across Sub-Saharan Africa. The Coca-Cola System is the largest private sector employer in Africa with over 70,000 associates and $17 billion (USD) in announced investments across the continent between 2010 and 2020. Coca-
Cola has been present in Africa since 1928 and operates in all 54 countries.

The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF) has committed $150 million (USD) to more than 200 projects across 48 countries on the continent. Key commitments include: the expansion of sustainable access to clean drinking water (RAIN Initiative), supporting women’s economic empowerment (5by20 Program), improving supply chain logistics for the transport of critical medicines and medical supplies (Project Last Mile), developing and enhancing sustainable local agriculture sourcing models (Source Africa), and youth development (“Youth Empowered for Success” Initiative).

In addition to the keynote address, the 2017 NDGPF featured several panels:

Panel I: Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Value Chains

Moderator: Joe Sifer, Executive Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton


  • Tim McLellan, Chief Operating Officer, TechnoServe

  • Theresa Peterson, Senior Executive for External Affairs and Advanced Technology Programs, GE

  • Anna Pienaar, Global Director of Institutional Partnerships, International Justice Mission

  • Tracey Webb, Vice President of Structured Finance and Insurance, OPIC

Panel II: Universities Partnering on Global Challenges: The Integration Lab

Moderator: Tom Purekal, Program Manager, NDIGD


Panel III: Bridging the Impact Investing Gap

Moderator: Melissa Paulsen, Associate Director of Education and Training Programs, NDIGD


  • John Patrick “JP” Gibbons, Global Transactions Group Team Lead, USAID

  • Tara Kenney, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Boston Common Asset Management

  • Nancy Widjaja, Principal Manager of Knowledge and Industry Engagement, Accion Venture Lab

  • Christopher Walker, Director of the Innovation Investment Alliance, Mercy Corps

Panel IV: Corporate Ethics and Sustainability

Moderator: Christopher Adkins, Executive Director, Notre Dame Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership


  • Roger Ford, Global Managing Director, Accenture Development Partnerships

  • Doris Gonzalez, Director of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs for the Americas, IBM

  • T.J. Kanczuzewski, President and CEO, Inovateus Solar

During lunch, attendees at each table had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion addressing themes such as:

  • The Benefits of Corporate Responsibility

  • Responding to Sustainable Development Goals

  • The Need for Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Sustainability and Environment

  • Understanding Local Networks for Business

  • Applied Innovation

  • Impact Investing

  • Financial Inclusion and the MSME Sector