Borgen Arrives in DC to Push for Poverty Reduction

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One of the world’s leading figures in poverty reduction is on Capital Hill lobbying Congress to address international poverty.

Clint Borgen, the President of The Borgen Project, is on Capital Hill this week meeting with over 40 key congressional offices. Borgen is pushing for U.S. involvement in achieving the U.N. Millennium Goals, a plan to end severe poverty that was agreed to by world leaders at a summit in New York City.

Borgen’s journey into the halls of congress has been an unusual one.

In 1999, as a sophomore in college, Borgen worked in the Kosovo refugee camps during the war and ethnic cleansing that killed 10,000 people. Inspired by what little effort it takes on the part of U.S. leaders to improve life for thousands and troubled by how little is typically done, Borgen recognized the need for an organization that could initiate political pressure in the U.S.

Shortly after college, in a move symbolic of the organization’s relentless pursuit to make poverty a political priority, Borgen hopped a plane for the quick cash of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. In the course of a year, Borgen developed and officially launched The Borgen Project while simultaneously raising much of the organization’s early funding by loading frozen-fish inside the freezers of cargo ships bound for China.

Today, less than two years since the launch of The Borgen Project from one of the most remote regions on earth, the nonprofit has stormed into U.S. politics. Although headquartered in Seattle, the organization has an international network of people who assist from over a dozen countries, and at 28-years-old Borgen is being praised as the Barack Obama of poverty-reduction.

The trip to D.C. is expected build political support for the U.N. Millennium Goals and help bring the largely ignored issue onto the agenda of Congressional leaders.

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Nilesh Vashee
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