Bridging the Gap: Developing Resilience in Northern Syria

January 29, 2016 • 7:30 – 8:30 pm EST

Pia Wanek
Director, Humanitarian Assistance, International Operations, Global Communities

Moderated by:
Conor M. Savoy
Deputy Director and Fellow, Project on U.S. Leadership, CSIS 

Join us for Careers in Development with Pia Wanek. Ms. Wanek will speak about her experience in bridging the gap between emergency assistance and long term development in crises by working to build trust within affected communities. To combat crises more effectively, humanitarian assistance must focus on not only fulfilling basic needs, but also engaging local stakeholders through both emergency and long term development efforts. Ms. Wanek will discuss her resilience-oriented relief efforts in food security and shelter in Northern Syria as examples of this adaptive approach.

Ms. Wanek is Director of the Office of Humanitarian Assistance at Global Communities, which works closely with communities to help them recover and eventually rebuild in the wake of both manmade and natural disasters. Ms. Wanek has directed the office’s response for a variety of crises, including the West African Ebola epidemic, the 2014 war in Gaza, and the ongoing Syrian conflict. A seasoned humanitarian assistance professional, Ms. Wanek has more than 15 years of experience in the donor community and the NGO world. She worked for USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) for six years, predominantly on East and Central Africa emergency response programs, and supported the civil-military portfolio at the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and strategic planning and policy development at the Consular Affairs Bureau at the State Department. She is adept at bringing together diverse stakeholders around complex topics to develop effective ways forward. Ms. Wanek was born and raised overseas, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology and International Studies from Colby College in Waterville, ME, and a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science in Anthropology and Development.

This event is part of Careers in Development, a monthly series featuring career professionals in the development field.

This series is made possible by support from the Chevron Corporation.

Conor M. Savoy

Conor M. Savoy

Former Senior Fellow, Project on Prosperity and Development