Devex seeks nominees for list of young aid leaders in DC

Rajiv Shah, right, was sworn in as administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development Jan. 7, 2010, by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. At 37, he is among a young generation of leaders transforming the aid landscape in Washington and beyond. Photo by: U.S. State Department

From the U.S. Agency for International Development to the World Bank to the hundreds of non-governmental organizations, consulting companies and social enterprises in this development capital, there’s a new generation of global development leaders emerging in Washington, D.C. Devex is asking the development aid community to help celebrate these young leaders by making nominations for its list of 40-under-40 international development leaders in Washington.

Nominations can be made through the initiative’s website. The goal is to profile the achievements of young aid leaders in Washington who are reshaping approaches to tackling poverty, improving global health and boosting development around the globe. As the home to the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corp., and so many other development organizations, the U.S. capital is a global hub for development ideas, funding and policy. It’s a place where future global development leaders often establish their careers.

“There is a lot of innovation in the global development community here in D.C., and we want to celebrate the young leaders that are making it happen,” said Devex President Raj Kumar. “We think it’s important to highlight the great work being done in our community – sometimes by unsung heroes who don’t make the headlines but are having a big impact.”

Kumar encourages the Devex community to nominate colleagues, friends, or themselves.

“We absolutely need our community of 500,000 aid workers and development professionals around the world to chime in. We need their suggestions for people to consider for this list,” he said.

Devex is seeking young leaders who are making a real impact on aid and development and helping to shape the development agenda. They also have to be based in the Washington, D.C., area and 40 years of age or younger as of Dec. 31, 2010.

Nominees may be from a donor agency, an NGO, a business, a social enterprise, a think tank, or really any institution as long as their work is related to international development. A panel of well-known professionals in the Washington development community will use a pre-determined set of criteria to select the top 40 young leaders from among those nominated. That selection committee includes Carol Lancaster, dean of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service; Lawrence MacDonald, vice president of communications and policy outreach at the Center for Global Development; Bruce McNamer, president and CEO of TechnoServe; Denielle Sachs, global communications manager in the Social Sector Office of McKinsey & Co.; and Devex President Raj Kumar, who will chair the selection committee.

The list is being organized by Devex with sponsorship from Chevron, a global energy company. Selected leaders will be profiled on the Devex website and honored in a special event at the Washington office of global consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. in September 2010.

Nominations for the 40-Under-40 list must be made before midnight Eastern Standard Time on Aug. 23, 2010. Those interested in making a nomination and learning more about this initiative can visit the website Devex has created specifically for this process: dc40.devex.com.

About the author

  • Oliver Subasinghe

    Oliver joined Devex in late 2008 as an international development correspondent and researcher. He previously served as a microfinance fellow for Kiva in Kenya and Uganda. During his tenure, he worked with Kiva’s field partners to improve their operations and governance. Oliver holds a master's in business from the College of William & Mary.