#BlueStarBrief March 2021

International Women's Day 2021

Blue Star Strategies joins the world in celebration of International Women's Day marking the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also highlights a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

This year the celebration offers a new focus—"Choose to Challenge"—calling for increased recognition of gender bias, inequality, and the power of sustained and meaningful action to provoke change.

Click here to learn more about the day.

#IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge

This Month in the #BlueStarBrief

Staff announcements...Gabriel Zinny and Dan Erikson

France’s Bumpy Road to Environmental Sustainability
by Etienne Bodard

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern: A new model of leadership
by Sally Painter

WTO Names First Woman and First African Director-General

Karen Tramontano Co-Anchors New TV show

Sally Painter on the Future of U.S.-Ukraine Relations

Welcome Gabriel Zinny...Congratulations Dan Erikson

We are excited to welcome back Gabriel Sánchez Zinny, former co-founder of Blue Star Strategies. Gabriel will serve as Senior Managing Director and oversee our Latin America and Caribbean practice.

Previously, Gabriel served as Executive Director of the Integral Assessment Unit of Educational Quality and Equity in the Ministry of Education of Buenos Aires, Argentina. From 2017 to 2019, he served as Minister of Education of the Province of Buenos Aires, overseeing an education system with more than 4.7 million students in 18,400 schools. From 2015-2017, he served in Argentina’s National Ministry of Education as Executive Director of the National Institute of Technological Education where he coordinated public policy related to the development and strengthening of professional skills and technical training.

We congratulate Daniel Erikson on his appointment to the Biden Administration to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs. All the best, Dan!

France’s Bumpy Road to Sustainability

With the consequences of climate change ever more apparent, countries on both sides of the Atlantic are moving to reduce their carbon emissions and make their economies more sustainable to meet the Paris Agreement’s goals. In France, reforms passed to meet those targets have in some instances caused unrest, prompting President
Macron and his team to re-assess their strategy by welcoming French citizens as stakeholders in the government’s climate reforms.

New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern
A New Model of Leadership

By Sally A. Painter

This past week, International Women’s Day called for increased recognition of gender bias, inequality, and the power of sustained and meaningful action to provoke change. Once again, we find ourselves looking to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s example—this time to help guide the new U.S. Administration.

Click here to read.

World Trade Organization Names New Director-General
Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala made history this March by becoming the first woman and first African chosen to serve as Director-General of the World Trade Organization, the multilateral organization whose mission is to ensure that global trade and economic rules operate as smoothly, predictably, and freely as possible.

As former minister of finance of Nigeria, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala focused on fighting corruption, helping rid her country of $30 billion of debt. She recently served as chair of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) which makes immunizations available to millions of children around the world.

For her notable efforts in these arenas, Dr. Ngozi was the recipient of the 2016 Fairness Award presented by the Global Fairness Initiative, founded by our CEO Karen Tramontano. The annual Fairness Award honors exceptional leaders whose work and life have opened opportunity and access to poor and marginalized communities.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala's leadership of the WTO comes at a time of significant challenges for the organization. Among the WTO's most pressing issues that Dr. Okonjo-Iweala will be expected to address include increasing
trade protectionism, tariff wars, and the global economic upheaval caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The WTO is also facing calls to more effectively advance new trade negotiations, confront China's egregious economic practices, and, perhaps most significantly, to address its own top internal structural challenge: reforming the WTO trade dispute settlement mechanism, whose appellate body has come under criticism for its limited power to confront trade distortion behaviors by member countries.

Karen Tramontano Co-Anchors New TV Program

Karen Tramontano is the co-anchor of a new, nationally broadcasted weekly television show, State of Play. The program features a "deep dive" into touchstone issues of the day by providing historical context and a multi-faceted understanding of policy implications.

The show features compelling guests, subject-matter experts, respected historians, advocates, organizers, analysts, and award-winning journalists. It airs weekly every Saturday and Sunday at noon on Black News Channel and can be viewed on its YouTube channel here.

For news and updates, follow State of Play here.

Sally Painter on the Future of U.S.-Ukraine Relations

Sally Painter served as a panelist and moderator of a high-level discussion on the future of U.S.-Ukraine relations. The event featured former U.S. and Ukrainian ambassadors and touched on key economic and security issues such as the energy sector, NATO membership, and foreign investment.

Click here to watch the recording of the discussion.


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