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Dr. Alene Gelbard created ACCESS Partnerships as a successor to ACCESS Health Worldwide (ACCESS-HW), a project she created and ran at the Public Health Institute (PHI) from 2004 to 2016. She was inspired by seeing what businesses in Indonesia were doing to improve workplace and community health and realizing the potential of business engagement to help countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Under her leadership, ACCESS-HW developed a successful model to increase the abilities of businesses and community organizations to partner for community well-being. The model is founded on the experiences and perspectives of businesses on how to help them improve community well-being. 


Prior to creating ACCESS-HW in 2004, Dr. Gelbard worked for decades on health, population, and development while living in Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Previous positions include Senior Population Policy Advisor for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in Washington, DC, and Senior Communications Advisor on Health, Population, and Nutrition for USAID/Indonesia, Advisor to the Ministry of Planning and Coordination in Bolivia, and Policy Analyst for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). As director of international programs at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), she served on U.S. delegations to several international conferences on development in the 1990s. Her experience includes training policymakers and others in the public and nonprofit sector on policymaking and program development and management. 


Dr. Gelbard has lived in Indonesia, Bolivia, France, Brazil, and the Philippines. She also worked in many other countries in these regions and in sub-Saharan Africa. She has a doctorate in population dynamics from the Bloomberg School of Public Health/John Hopkins University and a BA in French from the University of Washington. She speaks French, Spanish, Portuguese, and limited Indonesian. She is an Adjunct Professor of Social Enterprise in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC where she teaches business-nonprofit partnership building. 

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