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Keynote speakers

David Miliband, President and CEO of International Rescue Committee

David Miliband is the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a New York-based organization that, since its formation in 1933, has provided emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and people displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster. The IRC currently operates in more than 40 countries. Immediately before joining the IRC in 2013, Miliband was a member of the British parliament, taking on the role of Foreign Minister from 2007 to 2010. He brings to WISH 2018 extensive experience both as a government representative and as the head of a major international non-governmental organization. His speech is expected to focus on the health impact of conflicts around the world.

Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and member of the ‘Elders’

Mary Robinson is currently a member of the ‘Elders’, a group of independent global leaders, which includes former UN Secretaries-General Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, convened by Nelson Mandela in 2007 in order to tackle some of the world’s greatest challenges. Mrs. Robinson was the first female President of Ireland, serving between 1990 and 1997. She has led a distinguished career, which has included serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. She is also a recipient of the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience award, given in recognition of her work promoting human rights. As founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, which counts Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, as a member of its international advisory board, Mrs. Robinson has a strong interest on the health impact of climate change.

Michael Phelps

Michael Phelps is widely regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time. He captured 28 medals, including a record-setting 23 gold medals, and set 39 world records over the course of his career. Phelps utilized his performance bonus for winning eight gold medals in 2008 to establish the Michael Phelps Foundation, which promotes water safety, healthy living, and the pursuit of dreams. The Foundation’s signature program - im – is a learn to swim, healthy living and goal-setting curriculum based on the principles and tools Phelps utilized in his swimming career, which is available through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and Special Olympics International. The most decorated swimmer in World Championships history, Phelps launched the competitive swimwear brand – MP – in partnership with Aqua Sphere in 2014. He has published two autobiographies – No Limits: The Will to Success and Beneath the Surface – that were New York Times and USA Today best sellers, as well as published one children’s book – How to Train with a T-Rex and Win Eight Gold Medals. After retiring from competitive swimming Phelps has become a staunch advocate of addressing stigma related to mental health, encouraging individuals facing mental health challenges to seek professional help.

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