USAID chose Pepperdine University as the site from which the organization launched its newest initiative, the Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Campus Challenge.
In its fight against human trafficking, USAID is encouraging college students and faith-based groups from throughout the country to play a critical role in how the United States government addresses the complexities surrounding human trafficking. The challenge, coordinated by USAID, will award prizes to student teams from colleges across the country that present innovative solutions to human trafficking. The Malibu launch featured remarks from, USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, which was followed by a moderated conversation with representatives from Google Ideas, International Justice Mission, Not For Sale, USAID and Pepperdine.
Dr. Rajiv Shah serves as the 16th Administrator of USAID and leads the efforts of more than 8,000 professionals in 80 missions around the world. Since being sworn in on Dec. 31, 2009, Shah managed the U.S. Government's response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Port-au-Prince, Haiti; co-chaired the State Department's first review of American diplomacy and development operations; and now spearheads President Barack Obama's landmark Feed the Future food security initiative. Before becoming USAID's Administrator, Shah served as undersecretary for research, education and economics, and as chief scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Prior to joining the Obama administration, Shah served for seven years with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Shah earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and his master's in health economics from the Wharton School of Business. He attended the London School of Economics and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
The event, which was part of the Global Justice Speaker Series at the Herbert and Elinor Nootbaar Institute for Law, Religion, and Ethics, came only months before a similar topic is tackled at the annual Nootbaar conference. Scheduled for February 8-9, Intercountry Adoption: Orphan Rescue or Child-Trafficking, is slated to feature a variety of expert panelists that will explore the legal, religious, and ethical issues surrounding child trafficking.
"We are proud that Pepperdine could host the launch of USAID's Challenge Slavery initiative," said Jay Milbrandt, director of Pepperdine's Global Justice Program. "USAID's choice to come to Pepperdine recognizes the actions Pepperdine students have taken to combat human trafficking locally and around the world. The Challenge Slavery initiative is remarkable in that it draws upon innovative solutions from college and faith-based audiences. Our students, indeed, make some of the most promising suggestions and I look forward to seeing how this initiative can leverage them."