In his role as senior advisor to the USAID Administrator on Children in Adversity, Mailman School of Public Health’s Dr. Neil Boothby, Allan Rosenfield Professor of Global Health, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Prime Minister of Moldova to develop and promote a child protection agenda. The Memorandum will support the government of Moldova, both financially and by sharing expertise, as it works to reduce the numbers of children living in orphanages and increase those living in family and community-based care. The work will be conducted under the auspices of the Global Alliance for Children, a non-profit organization, which Dr. Boothby chairs, that was created to leverage public and private resources on behalf of global child protection programs.
Dr. Boothby is an internationally recognized expert and advocate for children affected by war and displacement. As a senior representative of UNICEF, UNHCR, and Save the Children, he has worked for more than 20 years with children in crises in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. As director of the Program on Forced Migration and Health at the Mailman School, his research focuses on the developmental outcomes of children growing up in poverty, war, and other adverse environments. Lessons learned from his study of adult outcomes for child soldiers in Mozambique helped identify interventions and community supports that are now part of the Paris Peace Principles. Findings from another study on children separated from their families due to poverty, disasters, and armed conflict, have been translated into international standards, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and UNHCR Refugee Policy.
In March 2012 Dr. Boothby was appointed as the U.S. Government special advisor and senior coordinator on Children in Adversity. In this role, and under his leadership, the first-ever U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity was launched at the White House. As USAID’s senior expert on children in adversity, he is spearheading USAID’s efforts to develop implementation plans for the Action Plan on Children in Adversity in priority countries.