Session Summary

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3-103 - TAD Talks on Using Research to Improve the Lives of Children Around the World

Sat, March 23, 11:30am to 12:30pm, Hilton Baltimore, Floor: Level 2, Holiday Ballroom

Session Type: Invited TAD Talk

Integrative Statement

Each day of the conference, around noon-time, there are a series of TADs: Talks about Development – three 15-minute talks that follow the plan of that day’s Invited Program theme. These plenary TED-type talks are unopposed in the day’s schedule allowing all of us to convene in the same place at the same time.

Thursday: Interdisciplinary Research
Friday: International Research
Saturday: Relevant (using research to improve the lives of children around the world)

Sub Unit

Individual Presentations


As President of the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Andrew Serazin is responsible for all aspects of the Foundation’s philanthropic activities as well as effective stewardship of its financial resources. As a researcher, entrepreneur, and executive, Dr. Serazin has worked to bring scientific and technical advances to bear on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Serazin served as Senior Program Officer in Global Health Discovery & Translational Science at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. At the Gates Foundation, he was responsible for bringing new products, scientific approaches, and technologies to nutrition and human development. He founded and led Grand Challenges Explorations, an early-stage medical research fund that has attracted ideas from 60,000 scientists in over 100 countries and has resulted in over 1,000 projects.
As a complement to his philanthropic endeavors, Dr. Serazin is an entrepreneur. He was founding CEO of Matatu, Inc., a venture-backed biotechnology company dedicated to applying insights about microbiome and nutrition to health. He has also worked as an advisor to Mars, Inc., one of the world’s largest food companies, on programs to harness market-oriented efforts for improving the quality and diversity of food choices for consumers in Africa and Asia.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Serazin was Departmental Lecturer in the Zoology Department at the University of Oxford, where he conducted infectious disease research and taught courses on the biology of disease. As a Rhodes Scholar, he received his doctorate from the University of Oxford for his work on developing new genomic technologies to accelerate the design of new drugs and vaccines against malaria. Dr. Serazin has also been a member of the College of Science Advisory Council of the University of Notre Dame, where he received his undergraduate degree. His original research has been presented at many international meetings and in leading peer-reviewed journals, including Science, PLOS Medicine, Nature Immunology, and Lancet.

Pia Rebello Britto, Ph.D., Global Chief and Senior Advisor, Early Childhood Development, UNICEF, is internationally renowned for her expertise in early childhood policy and programmes.
Dr. Britto obtained her doctoral degree in developmental psychology from Columbia University and prior to joining UNICEF she was an Assistant Professor at Yale University’s Child Study Center.
Dr. Britto is known globally for her expertise in early childhood programmes, policies and advocacy. She has worked extensively with partners to advance the ECD agenda globally, and nationally, to give every child a best start to life. The focus of her work has been on strengthening multi-sectoral programmes for young children and families, measuring of results, mobilizing political commitment, creating a global architecture for ECD and setting technical standards of excellence.
Dr. Britto is the recipient of several national and international awards in recognition for her work and has published numerous books, articles, chapters and reports.
Twitter: @piabritto

Sarah Smith, Ed.D. is the Senior Director of Education at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She and her team establish the vision and direction for the IRC’s Education programs around the world. Dr. Smith has over twenty years of experience managing and advising programs for children and youth in conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Before joining the IRC, Dr. Smith worked for Concern Worldwide, UNHCR and as a Peace Corps volunteer. She began her career teaching preschool and elementary school. Dr. Smith earned a Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Doctorate in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Twitter: @SarKathSmith