Student-led conference to focus on human development

Author: Elizabeth Rankin

Ford Program Human Development Conference

Graduate and undergraduate students from across the country will present dynamic human development research conducted in 43 countries at the second annual Human Development Conference titled “People, Power and Pragmatism: The Future of Development in Our Changing World” to be held Friday and Saturday (Feb. 26 and 27) at the University of Notre Dame’s Hesburgh Center for International Studies. The event is free and open to the public.

During the two-day conference, 64 participants will present their research from 14 different fields of development. Participants will analyze past successes and challenges, examine current development efforts and synergize their experiences into a view of the future of sustainable and authentic human development.

Joseph Sebarenzi, former speaker of the Rwanda parliament and a genocide survivor, will deliver the keynote address on Saturday evening. Sebarenzi, who now serves on the faculty of the SIT Graduate Institute, speaks on topics of reconciliation, forgiveness and conflict management. He is the author of the personal and political memoir “God Sleeps in Rwanda: A Journey of Transformation.”

Ray Chambers, the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for malaria, will speak Friday evening. Chambers, who began working with at-risk youths in Newark, N.J., more than two decades ago, is now active in efforts to address extreme poverty globally. He is cofounder of Millennium Promise and Malaria No More.

Sponsored by the Ford Family Program in Human Development Studies and Solidarity at Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, the event is cosponsored by Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and SIT Study Abroad, a program of World Learning. The majority of the student research to be presented was facilitated by conference sponsors.

For a full conference schedule and to register, visit

Contact: Lacey Haussamen, Ford Program, 574-631-4367,