Fereshteh Forough interviews Lauren Lovelace in this video. Lauren is the Executive Director of US-Afghan Women’s Council at Georgetown University. This Council was set up in 2002 to help women and children in Afghanistan through public-private partnerships. Lauren belongs to Kentucky. She has been in diplomatic service for over a decade. She fluently speaks French, Arabian and Russian. Lauren has a lot of experience in South Asia. She has worked as a diplomat in Foreign Service in India and Bangladesh before she joined as the Executive Director at Georgetown University.
She holds a BA from Tufts University; a Masters in International Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School; a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kentucky; and a graduate certificate from St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Lauren is a recipient of the State Department’s Distinguished, Superior, and Meritorious Honor Awards. She is married to writer Dan Morrison, author of The Black Nile.
She talks about how public-private partnership is the way forward not only for Afghanistan but other South Asian economies. They actively collaborate with private partners in the field of maternal care, health, child health, literacy, and nutrition among others. The American University at Kabul that Fereshtah teaches at also has an initiative for setting up a center for women’s economic empowerment. At the Afghan Women’s Council, they have been actively working at the four objectives of economic empowerment, education, health and leadership development with other organization and groups. They hope to unite the four types of initiatives and spread more awareness by actively using social media.
She talks about the immense power of social media that is crucial to take any initiative forward these days. She and many others learn about Afghanistan, about Film Annex’s efforts in the field of women’s education in Afghanistan, and about all the other heartwarming stories through the power of social media. Even the Afghan themselves find a great way of interacting with the world community through social media. It opens them to more knowledge and economic opportunities as well. The spread of mobile technology and mobile use is also a great way to access knowledge and communication.
She talks about how public policy can be instrumental to change but it must also be led by the energies of people on the ground. She talks about how public opinion and the thoughts that they share on social media platforms does influence public policy in the long term. Watch her entire interview as she shares her experiences and amazing insights into public-private partnership ventures and how they have been instrumental in bringing about change.
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