Waterloo, ON — April 19, 2013 — Isabel Ortiz, an expert in poverty reduction and former associate director at UNICEF, will focus on global inequalities – and solutions – at the next Signature Lecture at The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

“The Inequality Gap: A Social Protection Floor for an Inclusive Crisis Recovery,” will take place from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.

With expertise in social policy, national development and aid policies, Ms. Ortiz is currently director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue, based on Columbia University. This role follows a distinguished career with UNICEF, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and the Asia Development Bank.   

At CIGI, she will discuss the concept of and need for a social protection floor for the global economy, which was proposed at the beginning of the 21st century, and endorsed by the United Nations and its member countries, in response to rising inequalities. Her presentation will review the importance of expanding social protection coverage, debates on unconditional versus conditional cash transfers and universal versus targeted policies, and the affordability of a social protection floor.

This Signature Lecture is the opening event for "Toward a Global Social Protection Floor," a symposium being held from April 24-26. Organized by the Global Social Governance field group at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, the symposium will bring together prominent international policy intellectuals and scholars from different disciplines and regions of the world to discuss this ambitious initiative, its prospects, and its implications.

CIGI invites media to cover this free public Signature Lecture. Members of the media can register in advance by emailing Declan Kelly, CIGI communications specialist, at [email protected].  Members of the public who want to attend in person can find more information, including how to register, by visiting: http://www.cigionline.org/events/inequality-gap-social-protection-floor-inclusive-crisis-recovery. Those who are not in Waterloo or who want to watch the lecture from home can view the live-webcast at no cost by visiting the same link for registration.

Event: CIGI Signature Lecture: “The Inequality Gap: A Social Protection Floor for an Inclusive Crisis Recovery” featuring Isabel Ortiz

Date: Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Time: 7-9 p.m.

Location: CIGI Campus

67 Erb Street West

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada


Isabel Ortiz is Director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz's Initiative for Policy Dialogue, based at Columbia University. Until 2012 she was Associate Director of Policy and Strategy at UNICEF. From 2005-2009 she was Senior Advisor at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and from 1995-2003, at the Asian Development Bank, where she was founding member of its Poverty Reduction Unit. Isabel Ortiz has worked in more than 30 countries in all continents, providing advisory services to governments and development institutions. Additionally she was a lecturer in Spain and has contributed to the work of civil society organizations. Isabel Ortiz was educated in Barcelona and the UK (Ph.D. London School of Economics). She has about fifty publications translated in several languages.

Declan Kelly, Communications Specialist, CIGI
Tel: 519.885.2444, ext. 7356, Email: [email protected]

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is an independent, non-partisan think tank on international governance. Led by experienced practitioners and distinguished academics, CIGI supports research, forms networks, advances policy debate and generates ideas for multilateral governance improvements. Conducting an active agenda of research, events and publications, CIGI’s interdisciplinary work includes collaboration with policy, business and academic communities around the world. CIGI was founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie, then co-CEO of Research In Motion (BlackBerry), and collaborates with and gratefully acknowledges support from a number of strategic partners, in particular the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. For more information, please visit www.cigionline.org.


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