Promoting Democracy: Pathway To Peace & Development

May 26 at 12:00-1:15pm

Dr Jeff Balch

One individual can change the world by making clear choices, continually investing in oneself, working determinedly on a dream, and replicating professionalism in progressively expanding operational contexts and geographic/demographic spheres.

Our speaker Dr. Jeff Balch will talk about about his path from student activist to knighthood; about the choices he made along the way to support transformation in Africa; and about the processes he discovered that are effective in creating lasting impact for social change.

Dr. Jeff Balch’s 30 year career promoting democracy and human rights spans 40 countries. He grew up in California and started working in the anti-apartheid movement in Europe in the 1980s. He coordinated international observer delegations for transitional elections in Namibia and South Africa. As Director of a parliamentary capacity building organization, he managed training programs with the Pan-African Parliament, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Parliamentary Forum, the East African Legislative Assembly, the West African (ECOWAS) Parliament and national parliaments across most of Africa. While focusing on regional integration, peacebuilding, gender equality, child rights, parliamentary oversight and democratization, he published widely in these areas and was awarded a professorship at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. His thematic expertise also includes reproductive health, food security, climate change, budget scrutiny and aid effectiveness. 

He was knighted by the Queen of the Netherlands in 2012, as Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau, at the occasion of his 25-year jubilee of working for human rights in Africa. Currently, he is Executive Director of Justice for Africa and works part-time as a certified Health & Wellness Coach.