“It is so important for the School to have flexible money to invest in new ideas, but money that comes without strings attached is hard to come by. I want to help with that.
“When you write a new proposal, you obviously can’t use funds that have come from other grants. You need a little pot of money from which you can draw to leverage key priorities. For example, we spent about $30,000 on development of a proposal that, in 2011, led to an almost $14 million grant from the Gates Foundation for the Maternal Health Task Force. In this way, with relatively little money, we managed to leverage a very large project.
“We also use flexible funds to open opportunities to students. For instance, we are now supporting a doctoral student’s participation in a family planning conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This trip will significantly increase the visibility of our work, and it will also be a wonderful career step for her. These additional opportunities cost so little compared to what they bring—in this case, a wonderful champion for global reproductive health.
“I truly believe in the mission of this School, and I want my colleagues to have the flexibility to advance their amazing portfolios. I know how limited our unrestricted resources are, and—in a very, very modest way—I want to help overcome some of these challenges.”