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Join us for a Panel Discussion with Mercy Corps Field Workers

Three of Mercy Corps' most experienced field workers from around the globe will share their first-hand perspectives in a public event at the new Mercy Corps global headquarters. Moderated by Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer, the panelists – working in some of the world’s toughest places including Iraq and Guatemala – will discuss how crises like war and natural disasters can turn into opportunities for long-term progress. Presented by the Mercy Corps Action Center (www.actioncenter.org), the discussion will be followed by a Q&A with the audience.

Thursday, October 22nd Doors at 6:15pm, panel begins at 7pm Mercy Corps global headquarters 45 SW Ankeny Street Portland, OR 97204 (Enter through the Mercy Corps Action Center at 28 SW 1st Ave)

Panelists include:

Ammar Zakhr directs Mercy Corps’ World Food Program-funded programs in Iraq. Originally from Baghdad, Ammar oversees a program that provides oil, wheat, vegetable seeds and nuts to over 230,000 internally displaced Iraqis in six different cities. Ammar has worked on various aspects of Iraqi reconstruction including water and sanitation projects, cash for work projects and emergency distributions for internally displaced persons, returnees and refugees. Since 2003, Mercy Corps has worked to directly engage Iraqis in the rebuilding of their country while providing humanitarian and development assistance to over 4 million Iraqi citizens. Ammar's experience has led him to be selected as a member of Mercy Corps’ Global Response Team which is mobilized to provide relief operations in crises zones.

Borys Chinchilla is Mercy Corps’ Country Director in Guatemala. Borys has dedicated his life’s work to alleviating the rampant poverty he experienced growing up in rural Guatemala. In the last seven years, Borys has taken Mercy Corps’ Guatemala office from a staff of eight with a budget of $300,000 to a staff of 70 with a budget over $2 million. Beginning in 2005, Mercy Corps began helping eight communities with planning, land management, crop diversification and marketing. These communities now grow pineapple, honey, bananas and other produce for sale. In a 2007 survey of participants, farmers growing pineapples and raising bees saw their household incomes rise by 40 percent.

Sean Granville-Ross is the Country Director of Mercy Corps’ extensive programming in Indonesia. He is an economic development specialist who has worked on programs for sustainable rural livelihoods and agriculture in Africa, the Caribbean, the Balkans, Mongolia and Indonesia. As Country Director for Mercy Corps’ Indonesia program, he currently oversees 475 staff, 9 field offices. Sean most recently oversaw Mercy Corps’ immediate response to the earthquake in Padang, Indonesia that destroyed over 133,000 homes and killed over 800 people and injured move than 1,300.