Among the many things that make CGD a great place to work is a steady flow of people in and out who are both kind and smart. We don’t usually use the CGD policy blogs to say farewell to those who are moving on, but in this case I’m declaring an exception.
As many of our friends know, Heather has managed literally hundreds of events here at the Center over the past four years. In designing and executing these events, Heather came to know and be known by hundreds of people in the Washington, DC, global development community and beyond. She has an uncanny ability to match names and faces, and was both unfailingly gracious and steel-nerved in ensuring that our many events ran smoothly. For some visitors, Heather’s name and face became more familiar than those of our senior scholars.
Given Heather’s many talents, the news that she had decided to take on a position with greater scope for creativity, as manager of programs at the highly regarded Meridian International Center, where she began work this week, should not have come as a surprise. Among other things, she will be curating an ongoing film series, a project that is close to her heart and draws on her deep knowledge of filmmaking. We understand. Still, all of us at CGD will miss Heather greatly!
Fortunately, before her departure, Heather oversaw the search for a worthy successor. I am happy to announce that Allysun Jackson, who has substantial experience running events in Washington and recently returned from serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, has joined CGD as events coordinator. I am confident that with Allysun’s help and the creativity of the research and program staff here at CGD, we will continue to offer the intellectually stimulating, high-quality events that have become a hallmark of CGD’s presence in Washington.
Over the past few years, Heather oversaw a steady increase in both the number of events and the number of participants. Such growth can’t be sustained, of course—there are only a limited number of days per year! And ultimately, our events are not about quantity but rather the quality of the discourse, and the impact of that discourse on real-world policy change. Our events are also about network building—strengthening ties among the many individuals and organizations who are part of the global development policy community—to foster the creation, exchange, and spread of practical ideas for global prosperity. Heather understood this. Allysun and the rest of us will be carrying on where she left off!