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Anne Goddard
Anne Lynam Goddard is president and CEO of ChildFund International, a global child development organization dedicated to helping vulnerable children living in poverty have the capacity and opportunity to thrive and bring positive change to their communities.

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As president, Goddard is focused on leading a strategy that expands and deepens ChildFund’s efforts across the globe. Through her leadership, ChildFund has helped to enhance the lives of children and communities on five continents, working to improve children’s health, education and economic conditions and opportunity. She led the organization’s rebranding, which strategically aligned the organization as a member of the ChildFund Alliance to better serve vulnerable children around the world.

Anne is a global citizen having immigrated to the United States with her parents as a child from Ireland. She worked in Kenya as a Peace Corps volunteer living in a mud house in a small, remote village and traveling the desert on a motorbike. Her experiences in poor communities led her to focus her career on international development.

After earning a master’s degree in public health, with an emphasis on international health, Anne went on to live and work overseas for almost 20 years in Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Egypt. She viewed first-hand the deprivation that many individuals experience. “I learned that poverty isn’t something you can fully convey in a photo. It’s the sights and sounds and smells – it’s the touch and feel – it’s even the taste,” she says.

Anne met and married her British husband in Kenya. Her son was born in Kenya and she has a daughter adopted from Indonesia. As a global citizen she has a deep appreciation for the diversity and dignity of people around the global and a commitment to a world that values and protects the rights of all, particularly children.

Entries by Anne Goddard

The Poverty of Play

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2016 | 1:33 PM


With summer comes the real work of children: play. The simple act of playing, whether an organized game or spur-of-the-moment frolic, sets free in children the capacity to grow and imagine, the chance to reach for new places and possibilities. While we know...

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On Capitol Hill: Elevating the Voice of Children

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2016 | 2:20 PM

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers,...

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World Water Day in a Time of Drought

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 4:50 PM

This month's recognition of World Water Day - a day in which we acknowledge the fact that upwards of 1 billion people around the world do not have access to clean water - is underscored by two disparate events. In Flint, Mich., people are contending with the fact...

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Beyond the wall: What's missing from our immigration debate?

(0) Comments | Posted February 29, 2016 | 12:11 PM

The national debate over America's immigration policy has a cyclical nature to it, tending to spike during political seasons where the posturing is long on emotion but often short on substance. We all know, however, that a comprehensive immigration plan that balances our desire for the rule of law with...

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Is Our Fear of Terrorism Suppressing Our Compassion?

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 10:00 AM

More and more, our national conversation about terrorism is taking on ethnic and religious overtones. That's what fear can do. It substitutes irrationality for prudence, stereotypes for clarity, hysteria for perspective.

But mostly, fear has a way of displacing empathy, and while we must as a nation build up our...

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In Global Survey, Children Ask Adults to Love Them More

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2015 | 2:21 PM

When world leaders agreed to include protecting children against violence in the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals earlier this fall, much of the attention focused on broad, systemic risks to children. Ending the exploitation of children through sex trafficking -- a horrific, illicit enterprise that involves as many...

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The Case for Empathy

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 8:04 PM

"America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." -- Alexis de Tocqueville

America's collective shrug over the refugee crisis originating from the Middle East calls to mind de Tocqueville's observations about the American people almost two centuries...

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Protecting Refugee Children From the Failures of Adults

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2015 | 6:34 PM

If every crisis has a tipping point, an instant when a distracted world's empathy is jolted to attention, then that moment arrived when the images of Aylan, the 3-year-old Syrian boy whose lifeless body washed up on a distant Turkish beach, began their viral orbit around the world, and into...

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Revisiting Kenya

(9) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 11:53 AM

The president's "tough love" visit to his father's homeland underscores some of the persistent challenges that remain for my onetime home.

President Obama's recent visit to Kenya put his ancestral home into the international spotlight, bringing scrutiny to a nation that has come a long way on many fronts, but...

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Renewed Focus and New Goals Must Make Child Protection a Priority

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 10:43 AM

Last month, UNICEF's most recent Progress for Children report provided a sobering reminder of the many challenges that remain in building a world that is safe, healthy and hopeful for the poorest children. While the report acknowledges the tremendous strides that have been taken over the past 15...

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Two-Wheeled Dreams Have Lasting Impact

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 2:41 PM

Among our priorities in helping provide a better future for children in developing countries, one area of focus rises to the top: the protection of children. It's an issue we are tackling on many fronts... and sometimes on two wheels.

From a global perspective,...

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Baltimore's Lessons Have Global Resonance

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 12:25 PM

The horizons of my professional life have always extended beyond our borders. This global perspective has shaped my views on the best ways to address some of the world's most intractable issues -- education, poverty, economic opportunity, health care. It's a point of view that also has provided a context...

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Children's Greatest Need: Protection

(6) Comments | Posted April 17, 2015 | 11:35 AM

This post is part of the Relay for Kids in partnership with SOS Children's Villages. Each time you share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action) to support children worldwide affected by crisis. Scroll to the bottom to find out more.

I've been on the...

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How One Teenager Transformed a Village... And Her Future

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 3:10 PM

This is the story of two children. A story of giving and receiving. A story that is not yet complete.

Seventeen-year-old Kara has grown up in the comforts of suburban Long Island. She is bright and curious, determined and generous. And busy.

A continent away, 8-year-old Mijael and his family...

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Virtual Learning May Be Solution to Real Problem

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 10:15 AM

Global attention to the Ebola crisis in West Africa has exposed a critical problem that exists throughout that continent: the overwhelming need for more trained health care professionals. A shortage of nurses and midwives, in particular, has meant gaps in health care services and, in some areas, no...

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Literacy Program Unlocking New Hope for Native American Children

(0) Comments | Posted January 23, 2015 | 9:45 AM

Some of my fondest memories as a parent were of reading to my children. They would snuggle up next to me with book in hand, excited for me to take them deep into stories told in words and pictures. Among their favorites was Deborah Guarino's Is Your Mama a Llama,...

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Children Lend Their Voices to Call for Greater Protection From Violence

(0) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 10:52 AM

Over the past several months, I've made a concerted effort to turn up the volume on the issue of child violence. I've noted the 25th anniversary of the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the slow -- and unacceptable -- progress governments around the world have made in...

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25 Years Later, Children's Rights Still Lacking

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 7:59 AM

This fall marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, a quarter century since world governments officially pronounced that the globe's youngest citizens were, in fact, people who deserved to be treated as such. With that recognition came a set of broad protections...

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Is Ebola's 'Yuck' Factor Suppressing Americans' Compassion for Victims?

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 9:17 AM

Americans have giant-sized hearts, so big that when disasters occur anywhere in the world, we -- not just our government, but individual citizens -- are among the first to respond. Our compassion and generosity have always extended well beyond our borders. After all, giving to those who are experiencing misfortune,...

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World's Children Echo Call for Making Child Protection a Global Priority

(1) Comments | Posted October 15, 2014 | 9:24 AM

That famous old observation -- "Everybody talks about the weather but no one does anything about it" -- has reminded me of the ongoing discussions about protecting children from violence. For generations, children have been subjected to the worst forms of violence -- beatings and mutilations, forced marriage and sexual...

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