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Katherine Marshall
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Katherine Marshall has worked for four decades in international development with a focus on issues facing the world’s poorest countries. She is currently a senior fellow at Georgetown’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Service, where she enjoys the gift of working with the next generation.

Before coming to Georgetown, Marshall worked for 35 years at the World Bank. Among her many assignment she was Country Director in the World Bank’s Africa region, first for the Sahel region, then Southern Africa. Before that she was country division chief in Latin America and agriculture chief in Eastern Africa. She led the Bank’s work on social policy and governance during the East Asia crisis years. From 2000 – 2006, she was counselor to the Bank’s president on ethics, values, and faith in development.

Marshall was involved from the beginning in the creation and growth of the World Faiths Development Dialogue and is its Executive Director. She serves on two international prize committees, the Opus Prize Foundation and the Niwano Peace Prize Foundation, and chairs the board of the World Bank Community Connections Fund. She was a core group member of a World Economic Forum initiative to advance understanding between the Islamic World and the West. She serves on several other boards including AVINA Americas, a foundation working across Latin America and the Washington National Cathedral Foundation. She co-moderates the Fes Forum, part of the world renowned Fes Festival of Global Sacred Music.

Marshall writes and speaks on wide ranging development and humanitarian topics. She contributes regularly to the religion page of the Huffington Post. Her two most recent books are Global Institutions of Religion: Ancient Movers, Modern Shakers, and The World Bank: From Reconstruction to Development to Equity. From 2003 – 2009, she served as a trustee of Princeton University – her alma mater -- with an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves as a visiting professor at the University of Cambodia.
Marshall’s daughter is a physician and her son is at college, majoring in music.

Entries by Katherine Marshall

Living Miracles: Celebrating Child and Maternal Survival in Washington

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 8:17 PM

Not such a long time ago, it was common, even expected, that many babies, children, and mothers would die. Family histories (mine included) are full of poignant stories of lives lost to a multitude of causes. Today, in our country the death of a mother or child is rare and...

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Life's journey: A Sufi Parable in Fes

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 8:41 PM

A band of birds of different species set out on a perilous journey through the unknown, in search of their king. That is the story of The Conference of the Birds, the twelfth century masterpiece of Persian poet Farid ud-Din Attar. Like Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, it offers an amalgam of...

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Slum Priest in Bangkok

(0) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 8:36 PM

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My always iconoclastic grandfather intrigued me by insisting that he wanted to go to Hell. It might be unpleasantly hot but the people there would be interesting and would have a sense of fun. The virtuous people who went to Heaven were not...

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Values in Play: The Inspiration of Sports

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 6:19 PM

The word religion keeps coming up in commentaries on the just launched World Cup in Brazil. Let's pick that apart. Obviously people are fingering negative aspects, especially the sense of fanaticism and partisan fervor that seems to be part of large sporting events. But the positives are broader, hopeful, and...

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Moderation and Modernity: Challenges for Moroccan Islam

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 10:42 AM

"We need passionately moderate Muslims", argues former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Moderates, yes, but not tepid or vacillating moderates; instead, moderates with vim, ready to engage and to bring about change. I was with such a passionate moderate this week, who adds to passion and moderation a sweeping vision...

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Caring for "Our Kids" Is a Faith Challenge

(1) Comments | Posted April 14, 2014 | 2:40 PM

Robert Putnam, the Harvard professor renowned for his challenging analysis of social trends, lectured Thursday night at Washington's Kennedy Center to an audience that included two Catholic cardinals and a motley group of very religious and distinctly non-religious people. He presented slides showing graph after graph that looked...

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TB: Out From the Shadows

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 3:05 PM

Tuberculosis (TB) is often remembered through long-dead artists and poets who left moving testimonies of the suffering it caused. Scriptures of various religions cite TB because it was a constant reality in societies everywhere. But today TB is so rare in wealthier societies today, the result of better sanitation and...

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Family Planning and Serving Familes in Kibera

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2014 | 2:40 PM

As you walk through Kibera (taking note of friendly warnings to watch for thieves and for the flying toilets -- plastic bags that double for more sophisticated facilities) it does not take long to grasp how much people want health care. Located in central Nairobi in Kenya, Kibera is said...

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A Conversation With Sister Carol Keehan About Health Care Challenges

(2) Comments | Posted January 6, 2014 | 3:27 PM

Catholic nuns know lots about Health care. They founded hospitals all over the United States and ran them with love and grit. Sister Carol Keehan is president and chief executive officer of The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) that supports the roughly 630 Catholic hospitals...

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Global Dialogue: Probing the Possibilities

(2) Comments | Posted November 24, 2013 | 11:28 AM

The Hilton Stadtpark hotel, in Vienna, Austria, was buzzing with interfaith dialogue for a full week from November 18. The year-old KAICIID -- King King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue - held a global forum, followed immediately by the Global Assembly of

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The Touchy Topic of Religion: Afghanistan's Future

(6) Comments | Posted November 18, 2013 | 4:40 PM

Georgetown University hosted two star-studded events last week: one the award of the 10th Opus Prize, a million dollars plus two $75,000 awards to other finalists, the other a meeting on Afghan women and U.S. responsibilities and opportunities. Sakena Yacoobi won the Opus prize, in recognition...

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Courage to Hope: Praying for Peace in Rome

(16) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 3:51 PM

Wars of religion fill history books. Even today, when religious institutions rarely feature as diplomacy's leading players, religious teachings are invoked time and time again to justify or explain violence and war. Yet wise leaders and observers, coming from an extraordinary range of traditions, argue passionately that the true essence,...

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Devotion and Service: Liberation Theology, Indonesian Style

(2) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 11:37 AM

We arrived at the pesantran in the late afternoon. A rather unruly group of boys greeted the visitors, leading us through a maze of buildings, to a house where the headmistress and her staff were waiting. In short order we were introduced to the school and guided through the premises....

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Burundi's Great Mother: Maggie Barankitse

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2013 | 6:19 PM

There's so much bad news from around the world this month that it's important to remember the less reported work of heroes. One is a remarkable woman working in Burundi: Marguerite Barankitse.

She's a force of nature, a woman who accepts no barriers to what she thinks is right and...

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Inspiring Muslim Women: Khadiga and Edna at Work

(1) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 5:02 PM

Khadiga Hussein is one determined lady. Her cause is peace -- an end to violence of all kinds, national and domestic, communal and individual. She founded and has led the Sudanese Mothers for Peace and Development movement for 25 years. Now she's itching to find new ways to make her...

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Mandela and Gandhi: Calling for a Coalition of Conscience

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 4:32 PM

It was an odd parable, said to be part of an African country's tradition. Two men were sleeping out in the bush. One woke up in the pitch black, hearing a noise. "What's up? Are you all right," he asked his companion. "Be quiet," the companion answered, "the hyena is...

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Reflecting on Al Andalus: Living Legacies and the Power of Myth

(2) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 12:56 PM

There's wonderful power in an ideal. My childhood visions of Camelot, where gallant knights fought for justice, "July and August cannot be too hot", and rain "never falls till after sundown", still evoke dreamy smiles. Al Andalus is another mystical world, a place where Christians, Muslims, and Jews lived in...

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Bewitched Children? A Problem Churches Should Tackle

(250) Comments | Posted June 15, 2013 | 9:26 AM

The occasional horror story seeps out, but the fact that significant numbers of children are abused and die because people believe they are bewitched or possessed by evil spirits is not well-known or documented. But when and where this occurs, it's among the most horrific of the dark sides of...

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A Fes Aperitif: Searching for Balance

(13) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 2:16 PM

The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music was born with an idealistic hypothesis: the diversity and wonder of music from different faiths and cultures can break through barriers of intolerance and misunderstanding and create harmony among very different people. Another core belief is that the world and especially the phenomena...

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Sin, Corruption and What Religions Can Do About It

(3) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 11:33 AM

There's plenty of sin in the air these days: sins of commission, sins of omission, all seven of the original deadly sins (to remind, wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony). Actually Mahatma Gandhi's 1926 seven social sins are also very present:

  1. Wealth without work
  2. Pleasure without conscience
  3. Knowledge without...

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