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Ignite DC #4

Elizabeth McKee Gore

What if you were married at 5 years old?

In November 2009 Elizabeth Gore went on an extensive observation trip to Ethiopia to highlight the critical work of United Nations agencies operating in the country. During her time in Ethiopia Mrs. Gore visited projects in both rural and urban areas related to global health, women and girls, and technology for health development. Her visits included forming personal relationships with those who were benefitting from the work of the United Nations. At UNHCR’s Mai-Aini refugee camp Mrs. Gore had the privilege of meeting a young Eritrean girl who at the age of seven walked by herself across the border from Eritrea into Ethiopia. At Biruh Tesfa, a UNFPA project, Mrs. Gore met young girls who had escaped child marriage and were now receiving informal education as a result of the work of Birush Tesfa. Biruh Tesfa works to convince the employers of these vulnerable girls to allow them to attend informal education sessions for just two hours a day. Girls such as, Zusiah Mersha, shared with Mrs. Gore how those two hours were the happiest part of their day. The heart wrenching stories only continued at Berhane Hawen, a project focused on girl’s education, a married girls program, and a community program, in an area with one of the highest child marriage rates in the world. Mrs. Gore’s visit to a Berhane Hawen project site allowed her to meet Sesuagno Mola. Sesuagno was married at the age of five and now has two children at the age of 19. Sesuagno was elated to learn that married girls could participate in the program and beamed with pride as she told Mrs. Gore that she had learned from Berhane Hawen that she could wait before having her next child. Whether in urban or rural settings Mrs. Gore was moved and inspired by the things she saw and the people she met during her time in Ethiopia.

About Elizabeth McKee Gore:

Elizabeth Gore is the executive director of global partnerships and Nothing But Nets for the United Nations Foundation, currently managing partnership and cause marketing strategies implemented in programs and campaigns of the Foundation. Mrs. Gore also directs successful initiatives such as the upcoming Girl Up campaign benefiting adolescent girl globally, $150 Million campaign for malaria programs and the Global Fund, Refugee appeal for malaria, and a multi-million dollar partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Elizabeth recently joined Summit on the Summit and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the global clean water crisis on behalf of the United Nations.

Prior to joining the UN Foundation, Mrs. Gore served as the director of development and corporate relations for the Points of Light Foundation. There, she facilitated the development department by successfully fulfilling yearly financial needs of the organization. In tandem, she created a new fund-raising model for the Foundation through corporate cause marketing, connecting the Volunteer Center National Network with corporations and financial partners. Her consulting experience includes the implementation and launch of The Great American Bake Sale, an anti-hunger initiative for Share Our Strength, ABC television and Parade magazine.

Mrs. Gore is a former United States Peace Corps volunteer and served in Bolivia, South America. In Bolivia, she wrote, received and managed a USAID grant to better the food availability and economic situation for the Chaco. Mrs. Gore is originally from Texas where she was a financial development associate for the A&M Foundation. She holds a bachelor of science in Animal Science and a masters in Financial Development from Texas A&M University.

In 2008, Mrs. Gore was named by People Magazine and Nabisco as one of the top 100 Extraordinary Women. Mrs. Gore has been featured on multiple media outlets including; CNN, ABC, CBS, People Magazine, Real Simple and the New York Times

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