AIF Blog

Spotlight Health to Feature New Voices Fellows

Jun 16, 2017

Aspen New Voices Fellows pose at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2016.

The challenges of international development can seem insurmountable. The world’s toughest problems in global health, food security, and poverty reduction defy easy solutions. The Aspen New Voices Fellowshippart of Aspen Global Health and Development, is working to address these problems. This year, the program's Fellows will lend their voices to the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Each year the Fellows bring messages of hope and perseverance to the Festival’s Spotlight Health session Undaunted. It's an evening of true stories from the frontlines of global development.

This year’s Undaunted session will be held at the Hotel Jerome on Friday, June 23. It will feature 10 storytellers, including a psychiatrist from Zimbabwe pioneering new ways to bring therapy to underserved communities, an Indian researcher looking at how to prepare for killer heatwaves, and an activist from Barbados leading the global campaign to make HIV/AIDS drugs available to the world’s poorest people.

“This year our focus is on defining moments in the Fellows’ development work—moments that stand out either as a miserable failure, a grand success, or a total surprise,” said Andrew Quinn, director of the New Voices program. “How they respond to these moments is shaping what kind of world we all live in.”

The Fellowship, now in its fifth year, is a media and communications program for development experts from Africa and other parts of the Global South. Through specialized media training and journalist mentoring, the program helps New Voices Fellows tell their stories across a variety of platforms—bringing crucial grassroots perspectives to a global development discussion too often dominated by western academics and advocates.

Since the program’s launch, New Voices Fellows have been featured more than 2,500 times in worldwide media outlets. They have contributed op-eds to The New York Times, interviewed with journalists at NPR and the BBC, presented TED and TEDx talks, and delivered story slams for The Moth podcast. Fellows are also featured on panels at Spotlight Health, an experience many have called a highlight of their Fellowship year.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you have to let yourself go to enjoy it,” said 2013 New Voices Fellow Adebisi Alimi. “Prepare to shine and come out of your shell. Network, find opportunities, learn, hike, or rest. You may never have this kind of opportunity again.”

The 2017 New Voices Fellows are:

Narayan Adhikari
Governance Expert
NEPAL

Moses Ariong
Food Security Specialist
UGANDA

Gulrez Shah Azhar
Climate Scientist
INDIA

Dixon Chibanda
Psychiatrist
ZIMBABWE

Minda Dentler
Polio activist
INDIA/AMERICA

Ngozi Erondu
Epidemiologist
NIGERIA/AMERICA

Robert Hakiza
Refugee advocate
UGANDA/DRC

Jamila Headley
Health Policy Expert
BARBADOS

Boaz Keizire
Food Policy Specialis
t
UGANDA

Omezzine Khleifa
NGO leader
TUNISIA

Mercy Lung’aho
Nutritionist
KENYA

Janet Midega
Malaria Scientist
KENYA

Koketso Moeti
Community Activist
SOUTH AFRICA

Andrew Mude
Economist
KENYA

Jemimah Njuki
Gender Expert
KENYA

Mojisola Ojebode
Scientist + Entrepreneur
NIGERIA

Bernard Olayo
Medical Doctor
KENYA

Phyllis Omido
Environmental Campaigner
KENYA

Assia Sidibe
Finance Expert
IVORY COAST

Bakary Sidibe
Global Health Expert
IVORY COAST

Neo Tapela
Medical Doctor
BOTSWANA