Latest Event Updates
Presenter: Mr. Rutger Reman, President and Head of Customer Unit Industry and Society, Middle East and Africa Region, Ericsson
Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 11:00-11:40
This session examined how ICT can enable societies and better serve people, from both a social and humanitarian perspective, taking into account such trends as migration from rural to urban areas and the growth of megacities.
There is general recognition that technology can do so much to further progress across all levels of society, and growing acceptance that connectivity has become a basic need. “Technology for good” comprises a range of initiatives, from broadening access to learning, healthcare and banking to helping to achieve efficiencies and resilience in the energy, water and transport sectors, to assisting families in crisis situations reunite. We are just beginning to tap the potential of connected societies, and the predictive function of the resulting data can help us to work more effectively.
Mr. Rutger Reman, President and Head of Customer Unit Industry and Society, Middle East and Africa Region, Ericsson
In 1995, Rutger joined Ericsson in Sweden, and has been working in Ericsson since then. He has held different positions in Project Management, Product Management, Operations, Marketing and Sales. Since 2004, Rutger has been relocated outside of Sweden where he has worked in various roles and projects with a large number of customers in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. Recently Rutger has been Executive Vice President and Head of Global Customer Unit OOREDOO based in Qatar.
As of January 2015, Rutger was appointed President and Head of Customer Unit Industry & Society, which is a newly established business line within Region Middle East, in order to drive business growth and capture market opportunities in new business areas with a special focus on Energy & Utilities, Public Safety & Security, Intelligent Transport Systems and Smart Cities.
Rutger was born in 1963 in Goteborg, Sweden, where he was brought up and educated.
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8. Prepositioning Relationships and Technology to Better Communicate with Communities in Disaster Response
Panelists: Ms. Angela Rouse, Senior Programme Manager, CDAC Network Secretariat; Mr. Mike Adams, International Coordinator, First Response Radio; Mr. Gil Arevalo, Communications with Communities Coordinator, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
Wednesday, 29 April 2015, 11:40-12:20
In the days and weeks following a disaster, information and the means to communicate – both with each other and with responders – are crucial for the survival and well-being of communities. They also play a key role in early warning. The humanitarian response system has the know-how and technology to enable this to happen as a matter of course, and yet it persists as a major challenge.
Gil, Mike and Angela discuss the communication needs of communities and what it means for the humanitarian system: looking at how we can address this systemic challenge early and collectively, through partnership across traditional boundaries and with genuine commitment to put people first.
Ms. Angela Rouse, Senior Programme Manager, CDAC Network Secretariat
Angela is currently Senior Programme Manager for the Secretariat of the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network. The Network is a unique collaboration between NGOs, UN agencies, media development
agencies, technology providers and others that crosses traditional boundaries to leverage improvements both in information sharing for communities, and two-way communication between humanitarian responders and disaster-affected people, as well as between disaster affected people themselves. Angela leads the implementation of the Network’s capacity strengthening work and manages the programme team. “Ultimately I want to see humanitarian responses where community voices truly shape programmes and decisions, and where communities, duty bearers and responders work together to implement the responses.”
Prior to joining the CDAC Network in November 2013, Angela was the Emergency Capacity Building Manager for CARE International and brings rich experience of interagency collaboration across various initiatives, accountability in practice, training design and delivery, and evaluative work. Angela has a strong programmatic background, having spent many years working in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Kenya across various sectors, including primary health care, gender-based violence, and water, sanitation and hygiene. She has worked in the humanitarian sector for over ten years, prior to which she worked in scientific research following an education in biology and public health.
Mr. Mike Adams, International Coordinator, First Response Radio
Originally from Seattle, Washington, Mike started his career as an aircraft radio technician. He has worked as a broadcast engineer since 1987 with experience in SW transmitters, antennas, studios and Mike’s favorite – AM radio remote broadcasts. In 2003 he received Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) certification as a Professional Broadcast Engineer for 20 years experience in radio.
Mike began working as a consultant with Health Communications Resources (HCR) after the 2004 Asian tsunami where they worked together with a local partner to put an Emergency FM radio station on the air in Indonesia. After seeing the value of radio after a disaster, he has worked to develop the Rapid Response Radio Unit (RRRU) that can be deployed anywhere in the world within 72 hours of a disaster.
The network of participating stations is called FIRST Response Radio and Mike has been serving as the international coordinator since the start. Since 2007, Mike has led Rapid Response Radio Workshops and field trials in the Philippines, India and Indonesia teaching teams to use radio in humanitarian relief for the affected communities following disasters.
A RRRU team was led by Mike into the flooded Kosi river region of Bihar, India in 2008 to establish radio broadcasts to assist the 3 Million people affected by the flood. He also led a team into Sumatra Indonesia following the Sept 2009 Earthquake, establishing an FM station within 5 days of the disaster. Mike most recently took a team into the most affected community in Tacloban, Philippines following typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda where all radio and TV stations were off the air. The team arrived on the 5th day and were broadcasting on the 6th day after the powerful typhoon.
Mike received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) from Washington State University in 1984. Mike is married, has two daughters and currently lives in Cambodia.
Mr. Gil Arevalo, Communications with Communities Coordinator, UN OCHA
Gil Francis Arevalo has twelve years of experience in the field of media, communication, humanitarian and emergency response, community engagement, youth development, disaster risk reduction and management and climate change adaptation. Since 2003, he has worked in different capacities with various organizations like the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Save the Children-US, YMCA-Japan, Oxfam-GB, UNFPA and UNDP.
Currently, he is with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) – Philippines as Communications with Communities (CwC)/Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) Coordinator, establishing and leading a CwC/AAP preparedness working group at the national level, which is designated to facilitate coordination for communications with disaster-affected communities practitioners in partnership with the Government of the Philippines, CSOs, INGOs, media, private sectors, telecommunication companies, and faith-based groups.
He provided proper coordination through the Community of Practice of CwC/AAP and technical support during successive emergencies and disasters in 2013: Zamboanga armed conflict, Bohol earthquake, and typhoon Haiyan; and also as part of preparedness initiative during typhoon Hagupit in 2014 and typhoon Maysak in 2015.
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Presenter: Mr. Yazeed Sheqem, Director of Business Development, MENA & Africa, Souktel Inc.
When humanitarian disaster strikes, rapid response–at scale—is crucial to saving lives and minimizing damage. But in many crisis zones, a shortage of ex-ante population data means that aid providers often lack a clear understanding of local demographics. As a result, NGOs and aid agencies fail to develop effective communication and outreach strategies, and communities fail to receive critical life-saving information.
Multi-channel mobile platforms help address this challenge—by providing a range of simultaneous options for transmitting information to and from disaster-affected populations. Yazeed Sheqem spoke about lessons that Souktel, based in Ramallah, Palestine, has learned in the Middle East.
Mr. Yazeed Sheqem, Director of Business Development, MENA & Africa, Souktel Inc.
Yazeed Sheqem leads Souktel’s strategic outreach to clients and partners in the Levant, Gulf, North Africa and Sub-Saharan African regions. He also drives Souktel’s consulting practice which advises clients in the fields of ICT4D and M4D. Yazeed has extensive experience in the area of technology utilization for disaster and emergency response as well as economic growth and employment.
Yazeed holds a Master’s degree in economics from the Goethe University in Frankfurt-Germany as well as a higher degree in urban planning from New York University. He is based in Amman-Jordan and is fluent in Arabic, English, and German.
Founded in 2006, Souktel is a provider of end-to-end technology solutions that support the projects of 30+ development funders and implementers across the globe. Additionally, Souktel delivers strategic consulting services in the fields of ICT4D and M4D. Souktel is mainly engaged in the areas of disaster and emergency response, economic growth and employment, education and youth, as well as democracy and governance. Based in Ramallah-Palestine, Souktel helps change lives in more than 20 emerging markets in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
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10. Humanitarian Connectivity Charter: Mobile Industry Commitment to Supporting Affected Populations
Panelists: Ms. Kyla Reid, Head, Disaster Response, GSMA; Ms. Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque, Communicating with Communities Coordinator, UN OCHA; Mr. Karim Khoja, CEO, Roshan Telecom; Mr. Ramon Isberto, Head, Public Affairs, PLDT and Smart Communications; Mr. Abdulla Hassan, Public Relations & Communications Senior Manager, Asiacell
This panel discussion led by Kyla Reid and Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque “Humanitarian Connectivity Charter: Mobile Industry commitment to supporting affected populations” provided an introduction to the objectives of The Humanitarian Connectivity Charter and outlined its potential impact for humanitarian operations in the field and for improving access to communications for those affected by crises.
Panelists reflected on successful initiatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in providing services to people affected by crises, as well on what challenges and obstacles need to be addressed to ensure that the charter can be fully implemented.
Ms. Kyla Reid, Head, Disaster Response, GSMA
As Head of the Disaster Response Programme, Kyla is responsible for leading the mobile industry in improving resilience and engaging in coordination initiatives that most effectively support citizens and humanitarian organisations on the ground following a crisis.
Prior to joining the GSMA, Kyla worked with a range of organisations focused on humanitarian response, failed and fragile state policy and development.
Kyla holds an Msc in International Development from the London School of Economics.
Ms. Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque, Communicating with Communities Coordinator, UN OCHA
Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque is UNOCHA’s Global Coordinator for Communications with Communities since July 2014. Alexandra came to OCHA from the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) where she worked on humanitarian communications and deployed to the Philippines (Typhoon Haiyan) and Jordan (Syria crisis). Alexandra also worked in Sudan for more than three years in the field of media and development, first as Country Director for BBC Media Action and later as Radio Producer for the UN peacekeeping mission. In 2002, she co-founded the non-profit organization Journalists for Human Rights (JHR). Throughout her humanitarian career, Alexandra has also been a documentary filmmaker and has produced two feature films.
Originally from Montreal, Canada, Alexandra received her MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.
Mr. Karim Khoja, CEO, Roshan Telecom
Karim Khoja, Chief Executive Officer of Roshan, has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including starting and managing extremely successful GSM companies in Pakistan, Poland, Croatia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Under his leadership, Roshan has grown to be Afghanistan’s market leader, with more than six and a half million customers. Mr. Khoja started his GSM career as CEO for Mobilink in Pakistan, and then launched Era GSM in Poland. He then went on to spin out the mobile company, T Mobile, from the incumbent Croatia Telecom.
Over the course of the last eleven years, Mr. Khoja has dedicated his time to the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) to bring competition and best practices to the telecommunication industry in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. He has focused not only on financial results, but also on how technology can be used to change lives.
Mr. Khoja serves on the board of IPS West Africa and T Cell in Tajikistan. He is the Chairman of the Afghan Investment Climate facility (Harakat), a £30m fund to encourage private enterprise, an advisor to the GSMA Development Fund and until a year ago a Associate Board Member of the Legatum Center at MIT.
Mr. Ramon Isberto, Head, Public Affairs, PLDT and Smart Communications
Mr. Isberto is the concurrent Public Affairs head of the Philippines’ biggest telecommunications firm, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), and its wholly-owned wireless subsidiary, Smart Communications Inc.
His media experience spans over 30 years of work in newspapers, wire service, television and public relations. He was a special sections editor of a leading Philippine business daily and Manila bureau chief of an international wire service covering not only domestic events, but also regional and international development issues. He was executive producer of a leading public affairs program and a talk show host of a business and general affairs morning program. He also served as the vice president for public affairs of a major broadcast network.
Outside of the PLDT Group, Mr. Isberto is the president of the Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR), a fellow of the Social Weather Stations, an independent opinion poll organization, a member of the National Press Club, the Philippine Futuristic Society, and the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines. In 2012, Mr. Isberto was conferred with the prestigious Accredited in Public Relations (APR) distinction from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) for displaying excellence and integrity in the practice of the profession.
Mr. Abdulla Hassan, Public Relations & Communications Senior Manager, Asiacell
Abdulla Hassan is the Public Relations and Marketing Communications Senior Manager of Asiacell, the first Iraqi telecom company. Hassan assumed this position in 2009 to lead a capable team of 32 Public Relations and Marketing Communications professionals. Hassan has scored numerous achievements as the company’s PR & MarCom manager, most notably of which is increasing the company’s brand image and corporate reputation in a record time of 3 years. As the company’s PR & Communications head, Hassan shoulders the responsibilities of devising and implementing Asiacell’s PR long-term strategies, monitoring the work process and controlling quality of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sponsorship programs, media relations strategies, creativity and managing marketing communications.
Since joining Asiacell in 2005, Hassan has assumed a number of critical positions at the company. He was appointed as the official spokesperson for Asiacell, for which he was greatly qualified due to his staggering ability to communicate with the various media and social segments in the country.
Hassan acquired B.A. in English Language and Literature from Sulaimanya University in 2000. He also acquired a Master’s degree in Business Administration, International Management and Leadership 2011 at the American University in Iraq.
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Presenters: Ms. Heather Leson, Program Manager, Social Innovation, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI); Dr. Larissa Fast, AAAS Fellow, USAID Global Development Lab Wednesday, 29 April, 15:30-16:30 Disaster-affected communities are increasingly the source of the “Big Data” that gets generated during disasters. Making sense of this flash flood of information is proving an impossible challenge for traditional humanitarian organizations. What are the next generation needs for actionable research and software in the field of Social Data and Predictives for Humanitarian response, especially focused on communicating with communities? This session built from the lessons learned from QCRI’s Social Innovation Team while engaging participants in small group discussion. Participants were asked to discuss key topics such as research needs, opportunities and barriers.
Ms. Heather Leson, Program Manager, Social Innovation, Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) Heather Leson is a programme manager and community builder for global open source projects. As the Programme Manager, Social Innovation for the Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar Foundation she creates projects and programmes for social innovation and humanitarian software. Specializing in strategic planning, community engagement, and fundraising, Heather is a Board member for Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. She demonstrates mentorship and leadership as an Infogr.am ambassador and adviser for numerous social technology start-ups including School of Data, Jump2Spot and Invstg8net. She is a member of the Standby Task Force and Non-Commercial User Constituency, ICANN. Organizations she leads in include the Crisis Mappers Network, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, Open Knowledge Foundation (School of Data), Ushahidi, Random Hacks of Kindness, Mozilla and more. Recognized as a digital humanitarian leader, Crowdsourcing Week cited her as one of the Top 10 Canadian Experts. Heather curates numerous civil society, open source and technology workshops and is a frequent public speaker including such events as IEEE Humanitarian Technology Conference, Google Big Tent, UN Human Rights Council, World Bank, OSCON, TedxSilkRoad, UNSpider and various Canadian government events. Heather has over 15 years of experience in technical incident management, software life-cycle development, customer care, and Internet communications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Combined Political Science and History from Carleton University in Canada’s capital city of Ottawa, and a Library and Information Technician diploma from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto. Leadership programmes that Heather has participated include Personal Democracy Forum Google Fellow) and a certificate for the Annenberg-Oxford Media Policy Summer Institute (2012).
Dr. Larissa Fast, AAAS Fellow, USAID Global Development Lab Larissa Fast is a AAAS Fellow at the USAID/Global Development Lab working with the Digital Development Team. She is also Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution at the Kroc Institute and Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Her book, Aid in Danger: The Perils and Promise of Humanitarianism (2014, University of Pennsylvania Press) explores the causes of and responses to violence against aid workers. Fast has published in the European Journal of International Relations, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, and Disasters. Her research has been funded by the Swiss Development Corporation, the United States Institute of Peace, and the US Agency for International Development.
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Panelists: Mr. Mark Banbury, Global CIO, Plan International; Ms. Marianne Donven, Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Luxembourg; Ms. Najat Abdulrahman, Executive Director Business Development, Yahsat; Mr. Edward Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Mr. Brent Carbno, Program Director, Ericsson Response
Wednesday, 29 April, 16:30-17:10
Traditionally, the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) has served the humanitarian community, enabling the coordination and distribution of life-saving aid. The network will expand to serve a wider community of humanitarian responders, affected populations and governments in order to facilitate the delivery and receipt of humanitarian aid.
By 2020, the ETC will strategically connect technology and energy companies, humanitarian organisations, government, affected populations and emerging actors globally, regionally and locally. With the scope of the ETC’s work growing, the panel discussion considered how existing members, government donors, NGOs, private sectors and new partners are preparing to support this new approach.
Mark Banbury is the Global Chief Information Officer, Director of Shared Services for Plan International where he oversees IT operations in Plan’s 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas. The child development organization which fundraises and spends over €725 million annually, works in over 90,000 communities with a direct impact on the lives of over 165 million people, including over 78 million children. During his time at Plan International Mr. Banbury has also overseen the Human Resources team and the Communication team during periods of leadership transitions.
Prior to joining Plan International, Mr. Banbury was the Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Plan Canada where he oversaw gift processing, donor communications, and the teams that were responsible for determining the technological direction of Plan Canada’s fundraising and Web communications systems. He joined Plan in 2006 and was responsible for ensuring Plan’s technology was able to meet the needs of a growing not-for-profit which more than doubled its fundraising revenue in under 4 years.
Prior to joining Plan Canada, Mr. Banbury spent more than five years as the Director of Information Systems and New Media at SickKids Foundation, Canadian’s largest paedeatric care and research facility, and one of the top four children’s hospitals in the world. Mr. Banbury also spent 10 years in the educational sector as an associate professor for his alma mater, Ryerson University, and taught radio/audio production and new media. He holds a BA in Radio and Television Arts (with honours) and has taken post graduate courses in distance education, media, and organizational leadership/strategy.
Ms. Marianne Donven, Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Luxembourg
Marianne Donven has been working at the Directorate for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs since March 2005. In 2005 and 2006 she coordinated and monitored Luxembourg’s response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami. From 2007 to 2014, she was in charge of the Humanitarian Aid Desk, with a specific focus on Luxembourg’s emergency relief operations in response to sudden-onset disasters as well as in protracted crises. She was also in charge of Luxembourg’s relations with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Since 2010, she has been involved in the design and implementation of the public-private-partnership ‘emergency.lu’, an innovative satellite-based telecommunications platform. ‘emergency.lu’ is a global public good offering emergency telecommunications services to the humanitarian community, primarily in support of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, with the objective to improve communication and coordination in humanitarian crises (www.emergency.lu).
Najat joined Yahsat in 2013, to lead and manage the YahClick business development team. In partnership with regional directors and country managers she establishes a personal network within the satellite industry and service partners to support growth of YahClick within its regional footprint .
Najat has over 20 years work experience within the Telecom field. During her career Najat has been involved in Product Marketing , Marketing communication and Business development within both local and international markets. Her diverse experience encompasses dealing in varied enterprises based solutions in addition to data clearing house , SIM manufacturing and more recently M2M . Najat holds a B.A in Business Administration & Economics from International American University of Richmond UK in addition to a Postgraduate Degree in International Marketing from University of Strathcylde, UK.
Mr. Edward Happ, Global CIO, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
Edward G. Happ is the Global CIO of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based in Geneva, Switzerland, and co-founder and former Chairman of NetHope, a U.S. based consortium of 41 leading international relief, development and conservation nonprofits focused on information and communications technology (ICT) and collaboration.
He is the former Chief Information Officer at Save the Children, in Westport, CT. During his first year at Save the Children, in March 2001, he presented a paper to Cisco on “Wiring the Virtual Village,” which became the basis for NetHope.
Before joining Save the Children, he was a senior partner and founder of HP Management Decisions Ltd., a management consultancy, and has held a variety of corporate management positions, to the Senior Vice President and General Manager level, with Wall Street data providers, service and software product companies.His 35 years of professional experience include all facets of managing information services and high technology businesses, including general management with P&L responsibility, operations, product management, sales, marketing, customer service, human resources management, technical consulting, manufacturing, and both software and hardware development.
He began his career as an Assistant VP, Equity Research at the First Boston Corporation. Mr. Happ is a graduate of Drew University where he also did graduate work. Further information on Mr. Happ may be found on his web page (www.eghapp.com).
Brent Carbno has more than 14 years of experience in the telecommunications technology field, and over 10 years of experience working in humanitarian emergencies.
In his current role as Program Director for Ericsson Response, Brent is responsible for all of the operational aspects of the program, including managing the volunteers and humanitarian partnerships. Brent started at Ericsson in 2001 as a telecommunications engineer, and eventually moved into leadership and project management positions within Ericsson. In 2004, Brent joined the Ericsson Response program as a volunteer and went on his first UN mission to Pakistan the next year. Brent was also deployed to UN missions in CAR and Haiti where he acted as team leader. As an Ericsson Response volunteer, Brent also acted as operations manager for two separate missions with Save the Children in Sudan.
In 2011, Brent joined Ericsson Response full-time as Solutions Manager, and became Program Director in 2012. Since then, Brent has been responsible for leading all Ericsson Response missions and activities. So far 2015 has been an unprecedented year, with activities continuing in South Sudan, Iraq, Vanuatu and the Ebola crisis in West Africa. He is also an active member of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster, and is currently helping to shape the future direction of humanitarian response towards 2020.
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Presenter: Ms. Abi Weaver, Global Technology Project, American Red Cross
Thursday, 30 April, 09:10-09:40
With an eye on the threats and opportunities of the next decade, the Red Cross Red Crescent recently developed a multi-sector vision outlining how emerging technologies can address emerging humanitarian needs. Community engagement was essential to the development of this vision and their diverse ideas drove both the problem sets and solutions.
Abi Weaver shared lessons from her experience helping people on the receiving end of emergency aid identify and voice their own needs directly, improve their knowledge, design their own solutions and expand their coping strategies through technology. She also shared why the Red Cross Red Crescent cares about the design, use and cost of future technology solutions and how this focus is helping them prepare for other global shifts like climate change. And she revealed what they learned from communicating with communities about their emerging needs and barriers as well as their attitudes, beliefs, questions and concerns about emerging technologies.
Ms. Abi Weaver, Global Technology Project, American Red Cross
Abi Weaver, a director within the international division of the American Red Cross, is currently researching and testing emerging technology solutions with the vision that they can help strengthen disaster resilience in urban communities. In addition to her 10-year career with the Red Cross, Abi has held strategic communications and government relations positions at PATH, an international nonprofit organization that accelerates global health technologies, as well as the National Parent Teacher Association, America’s premiere child advocacy organization.
She has earned degrees in journalism and public relations, and lives in the Washington, DC metro area.
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