This post was originally produced for Forbes.
If you ask someone crippled by polio about the legacy of polio, you would likely hear about the life-altering implications of the horrid disease. When you ask the partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative–Rotary International, the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation–you will get another answer altogether.
Polio’s real legacy, they say, is in the infrastructure established to eradicate the disease, which can be used to battle all infectious diseases. Add to that, the clear implication that mankind can radically shape the environment in which we live for the better within time scales that individuals–not just humanity–can appreciate and you begin to see a different picture.
On March 31, 2014 at noon Eastern, John Hewko, the General Secretary of Rotary International–the senior-most paid executive in the organization–will join me to discuss the end game strategy for completing the eradication of polio and the legacy the effort leaves behind.
John Hewko, General Secretary, Rotary International
Tune in then and listen while you work.
John Hewko is the general secretary of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation.
From 2004 to 2009, Hewko was vice president for operations and compact development for the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government agency established in 2004 to deliver foreign assistance to the world’s poorest countries. At MCC, he was the principal United States negotiator for foreign assistance agreements to 26 countries in Africa, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. During his tenure, he completed the negotiation of assistance agreements totaling $6.3 billion to 18 countries for infrastructure, agriculture, water and sanitation, health, and education projects.
Prior to joining MCC, Hewko was an international partner with the law firm Baker & McKenzie, specializing in international corporate transactions in emerging markets. He helped establish the firm’s Moscow office and was the managing partner of its offices in Kyiv and Prague.
While working in Ukraine in the early 1990s, Hewko assisted the working group that prepared the initial draft of the new Ukrainian post-Soviet constitution and was a charter member of the first Rotary club in Kyiv.
Hewko has been a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University, and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He has published papers and articles in leading U.S. and international publications, and he has spoken extensively on political and business issues dealing with the former Soviet Union, Central Europe, Africa, and Latin America. He is also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Hewko holds a law degree from Harvard University, a master’s in modern history from Oxford University (where he studied as a Marshall Scholar), and a bachelor’s in government and Soviet studies from Hamilton College in New York.
As general secretary, Hewko leads a diverse staff of 800 at Rotary International’s World Headquarters in Evanston, Illinois, USA, and seven international offices. Hewko is a Paul Harris Fellow. He and his wife, Margarita, live in Evanston.