SOURCE: Children's HeartLink

Children's HeartLink

April 29, 2013 08:00 ET

Children's HeartLink Names J. Brian Atwood as New International Advisory Board Chair

Advisory Board Focuses on Strategic Growth and Resource Development of Children's HeartLink's Pediatric Cardiac International Programs

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - Apr 29, 2013) - Children's HeartLink, a nonprofit organization promoting sustainable cardiac care for children in developing countries, announced today J. Brian Atwood, former head of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), as the new chair of its International Advisory Board. Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy G. Thompson and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle are the outgoing co-chairs, with Secretary Thompson continuing on as a member of the group.

Since its inauguration in 2011, the Children's HeartLink International Advisory Board (IAB) has been instrumental in advising the nonprofit on its approach to global collaboration and strategy for program growth, capacity building, international relations and medical diplomacy.

"We are extremely honored to welcome J. Brian Atwood as the new IAB chair. As a distinguished professor, chair of Global Policy Programs of the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs and former chair of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), Mr. Atwood brings a wealth of knowledge that is relevant to the work we do around the world," said Elizabeth Perlich Sweeney, Children's HeartLink president. "We are privileged to have his support and expertise as we continue our global efforts to build the capacity of pediatric cardiac programs in underserved countries."

Members of the Children's HeartLink International Advisory Board include:

  • J. Brian Atwood, Chair - Mr. Atwood is Professor and Chair of Global Policy Programs at the University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He began his career as a diplomat in Cote d'Ivoire and Spain and as a presidential appointee in both the Carter and Clinton administrations. He served for six years as Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Chair of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation during both Clinton terms. In 2001, he served on U.S. Secretary General Kofi Annan's Panel on Peace Operations, and was the only American on the 10-member "Brahimi" panel which recommended major changes in the U.N.'s peacekeeping and peace-building operations. From 2002 to 2011, he served as Dean of the Humphrey School. He left that post when asked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to chair the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), a position for which he was subsequently elected unanimously by the 24 member states. During his tenure as Chair of the DAC, Professor Atwood is credited with helping create a new Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation endorsed by 160 nations, civil society and the private sector.
  • Aldo Castañeda, M.D., Ph.D. - Dr. Castañeda is the Founder of the Pediatric Cardiac Surgical Unit of Guatemala and is Professor Emeritus of Surgery at Harvard Medical School.
  • Kathy Jenkins, M.D., M.P.H. - Dr. Jenkins is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and holds the Kobren Family Chair for Patient Safety and Quality. She is a faculty member in the Department of Cardiology and serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Safety and Quality Officer at Boston Children's Hospital.
  • Bongani Mayosi, M.D., Ph.D. - Dr. Mayosi is a researcher, teacher and clinician in internal medicine and cardiology who currently serves as the 7th Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and Chief Physician at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa.
  • Srinath Reddy, M.D. - Dr. Reddy is President of the Public Health Foundation of India. He is also Coordinator of the Initiative for Cardiovascular Health Research in the Developing Countries, a global partnership program that promotes research for prevention of cardiovascular diseases in developing countries. Dr. Reddy is the current President of the World Heart Federation and has served on many WHO expert panels. Until recently, he headed the Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
  • Richard Smith, M.D. - Dr. Smith is Director of the UnitedHealth Chronic Disease Initiative, a program with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute that has created 11 centers in low and middle income countries that work to counter chronic disease. Dr. Smith previously served as Chief Executive of UnitedHealth Europe, a subsidiary of the UnitedHealth Group that works with public health systems in Europe.
  • Tommy G. Thompson - Mr. Thompson is a former Secretary of Health and Human Services and four-term Governor of Wisconsin. He was a partner at the law firm of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld from 2005-2012.
  • Daniel B. Wright, Ph.D. - Dr. Wright is Founder, President and CEO of GreenPoint Group, using 26 years of China experience to build bridges between people, resources and public policy. He previously served at the U.S. Treasury Department as Managing Director for China and the Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) where he provided strategic counsel to the Secretary of Treasury. Dr. Wright was also formerly Senior Vice President and China practice head of the Albright Stonebridge Group.

About Children's HeartLink
Founded in 1969, Children's HeartLink is a nonprofit organization partnering with health care centers in underserved regions of the world to promote sustainable cardiac care for children with congenital or acquired heart disease. Congenital heart disease is the world's most common major birth defect, affecting one in every 120 children. Nearly 90 percent of those newborns are in areas of the world where appropriate medical care is inadequate or unavailable. Children's HeartLink currently supports partner hospitals and programs in Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Ukraine and Vietnam. For more information on Children's HeartLink, please visit

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