Distressing news about Clinton Foundation President Donna Shalala emerged at the conclusion of an annual event otherwise focused on the future — of impact, of sustainable development, and of the U.S. presidency.
Shalala, who became president of the foundation in March, suffered a stroke after the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting. “Initial reports are very encouraging,” according to a statement from President Bill Clinton and foundation co-chair Chelsea Clinton. The Clintons shared that Shalala was with colleagues at the time of the incident and was taken to the hospital for treatment. “Please join Hillary, Chelsea and me in keeping Donna in your thoughts and prayers,” they wrote.
CGI’s 10th year saw discussions of critical issues facing the development sector as it projects forward to 2030, the year by which world leaders have agreed extreme poverty must be made history. President Clinton urged attendees to focus on “trend lines,” instead of on “headlines.” That is at a time when the European Union is facing its worst-ever migration crisis, when conflicts persist and trap people in pockets of extreme poverty, and when climate change threatens to aggravate these problems. The overall trajectory for poverty alleviation, Clinton sought to remind CGI’s assembly of the rich, famous and influential, is good.
The Clintons and the Clinton Foundation have been making headlines of their own. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid has brought new scrutiny to the foundation’s operations and political allegiances. And a combative primary season recasts every issue as something to be championed or defended by the campaign.
None of that stopped CGI from assembling a who’s who of global leaders and world shapers to discuss “the future of impact,” and Devex pressed many of them for more detail and more specifics in a series of video interviews we will continue to roll out over the course of the coming weeks.
Watch the above video for a taste of the action at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, and stay tuned for more.
Michael Igoe is a senior correspondent for Devex. Based in Washington, D.C., he covers U.S. foreign aid and emerging trends in international development and humanitarian policy. Michael draws on his experience as both a journalist and international development practitioner in Central Asia to develop stories from an insider's perspective.
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