Professional Biography

Alison Root is an international development specialist with a strong academic, professional, and personal background spanning Africa and Asia. Alison grew up in Hong Kong and Singapore before attending Stanford University where she graduated with a B.A. in International Relations and a M.A. in Sociology (Organizations, Business and the Economy concentration).

While attending Stanford, Alison worked for a small NGO called FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment) from 2006 to 2008 during which time she designed, fundraised, and implemented social programs for refugees from Mwange Refugee Camp in Northern Zambia. In 2007, Alison designed a Repatriation Information Center which created a network of volunteer refugees to disseminate accurate and timely information regarding repatriation activities to the DRC. In 2008, the Repatriation Information Center received a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Zambia and was taken to scale for the camp of 20,000 residents.

In 2008, Alison managed a new component of FORGE’s country presence serving as a Program Coordinator for 8 refugees receiving full scholarships to university. In this capacity, Alison coordinated with donors while in California and instituted an 8 week leadership course for the students in Lusaka which built both leadership and academic skills. In addition to teaching classes, Alison also served as an academic advocate, liaising with university programs to reduce stigma and support students’ full development.

Following graduation and her tenure with FORGE, Alison moved to Washington, DC in 2009 and has worked in policy and advocacy since then, most recently as Deputy Director of ACTION – a partnership of global health advocacy organizations, leading a child health and vaccine access portfolio.

While in DC, Alison has contributed to the strengthening of the non-profit sector, serving on the Leadership Committee of the Young Nonprofits Professionals Network DC chapter. In her leadership capacity on the communications committee, Alison has led all email communications and contributed to social media outlets through her volunteer position.

Third culture kid, international development activist, Stanford Alum