The U.S. Secretary of State’s Global Partnership Initiative on Impact Investing
Friday, October 7, 2011
Recently, I interviewed Kris M. Balderston, Special Representative for Global Partnerships at the Global Partnership Initiative (GPI), which is located in the Office of the U.S. Secretary of State, and Lala Faiz, a Senior Partnerships Advisor at GPI, and who manages their Investing with Impact initiative.
Rahim Kanani: Describe a little bit about the Global Partnership Initiative and the kinds of work you and your team are currently involved in.
Kris Balderston: We forge strategic partnerships with diverse actors – private businesses, philanthropies, foundations, universities, faith communities, diaspora groups, and individuals. We bring these different groups to the table to collaborate on solutions that create shared value for business and society. We also act as a catalyst by launching new projects and seeking new solutions. This is an important priority for Secretary Clinton.
Rahim Kanani: What are some of the milestones of your office in recent past?
Kris Balderston: We see ourselves as an incubator of sorts for innovative public-private partnerships around pertinent issues. Our ultimate goal is to create entirely sustainable and autonomous entities to run each of these partnerships. Let me briefly introduce our four flagship initiatives.
First, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private effort to save lives and improve livelihoods of people cooking with solid fuels. By addressing this issue, we’re also tackling women’s empowerment and working to combat climate change. Many of these challenges are interconnected. I think this is why we’ve been able to attract partners like Chef José Andrés, our new Culinary Ambassador, as well as Julia Roberts, the United Nations Foundation, and more than 175 others, including 21 countries. We are envisioning a future where open fires and dirty stoves are replaced by clean, efficient, and affordable stoves and fuels around the world.