The United Nations Children’s Fund recently warned of a “catastrophic education emergency” amidst school closures around the world due to COVID-19 restrictions. On Wednesday, March 31 at 11:00am ET, Washington Post senior writer Frances Stead Sellers speaks with UNICEF’s executive director Henrietta Fore about the impact of the pandemic on the world’s children and the agency’s work with the rollout of vaccines.


UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore says connecting communities to the internet is one of the steps we can take globally to help solve the education emergency created by the pandemic. "Connectivity is not just a nice to have; it is a must have for the world of education. (Washington Post Live)
Pfizer announced its vaccine is safe and effective in children as young as 12. UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore says this news will help give parents who worry about sending their children back to school a “sense of comfort.” (Washington Post Live)
When asked what the United States’ role is in the global distribution of coronavirus vaccines, UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said, “The U.S has the manufacturers, and the more the manufacturers can prioritize COVAX will be powerful and important for the system…The more that we can share as the United States, that will be a powerful message, both of American values but of American know-how and what we have to offer to the world.” (Washington Post Live)
UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore says she fears the long-term impact of the pandemic on the mental health of children. “I think mental health is a shadow pandemic that we really don't understand yet." (Washington Post Live)

Henrietta Fore

Henrietta H. Fore became UNICEF’s seventh Executive Director on 1 January 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades.

From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Fore served as the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Director of United States Foreign Assistance. The first woman to serve in these roles, she was responsible for managing $39.5 billion of U.S. foreign assistance annually, including support to peoples and countries recovering from disaster and building their futures economically, politically and socially.

Earlier in her career at USAID, Ms. Fore was appointed Assistant Administrator for Asia and Assistant Administrator for Private Enterprise (1989-1993). She served on the Boards of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Millennium Challenge Corporation. In 2009, she received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award the Secretary of State can bestow.

From 2005 to 2007, Ms. Fore served as Under Secretary of State for Management, the Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Department of State. She was responsible for the staff, resources, facilities, technology and security of the Department and was the Secretary of State’s principal advisor on management issues. She oversaw a management budget of $3.6 billion, 7,200 employees, 30,000 contractors and 267 embassies and posts in 172 countries.

From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Fore was the 37th Director of the United States Mint in the U.S. Department of Treasury, managing the world's largest manufacturer of coins, medals and coin products. In 2005, she received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Department of Treasury’s highest honor.

Immediately prior to her appointment with UNICEF, Ms. Fore was Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, a manufacturing and investment company. She also served on the boards of a number of domestic and international public corporations, including as Global Co-Chair of the Asia Society, Chair of the Middle East Investment Initiative, and Co-Chair of WomenCorporateDirectors. She also served on the boards of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Aspen Institute, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) and the Center for Global Development (CGD).

Ms. Fore has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wellesley College and a Master of Science in Public Administration from the University of Northern Colorado. She is married and has four children.