Web Forum

Global Health Series #5
Agent Orange in Vietnam:
A Humanitarian Issue We Can Do Something About
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 | 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM Pacific

Agent Orange was an herbicide used by the U.S. military to kill shrubs and plants during the war in Vietnam. Some 12 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed over South Vietnam at up to 50 times the concentration recommended for killing weeds. About five million acres of forests and crops were destroyed and an estimated 4.5 million Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands of American soldiers were exposed.

Thirty-five years after the war, harmful effects of Agent Orange/dioxin are still being felt by millions in Vietnam, including children. But this is a humanitarian concern we can do something about.

Join us for a Web Forum to hear from leaders from the public health, disabilities, political and religion arenas who recently traveled to Vietnam to learn more about the issue, and find out how you can get involved.






    Charles Bailey, PhD
    Agent Orange in Vietnam Program
    The Aspen Institute
    New York, NY

    Charles Bailey, PhDCharles Bailey has worked overseas for 33 years as a Ford Foundation executive and grant maker in Eastern and Southern Africa and in South and Southeast Asia. In 1997 he moved to Vietnam, where he headed the Foundation’s Hanoi office and served as the Ford Foundation Representative for Vietnam and Thailand until September 2007. During this time the Foundation made $95 million in grants in the fields of economic development, arts and culture, sexuality and reproductive health, higher education and international relations.

    In 1998 he began exploring ways to address the agent orange/dioxin legacy of the Vietnam War. He contributed to a breakthrough on this subject beginning in 2006 and mobilized further support and action on Agent Orange after his return to the U.S. in October 2007. In May 2011 Charles moved from the Ford Foundation to become the director of the Agent Orange in Vietnam Program at the Aspen Institute. He is based in New York, with frequent travel to Washington and Hanoi.

    Charles graduated from Swarthmore College and then joined the Peace Corps in Nepal. He holds the master’s degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and the PhD in agricultural economics from Cornell University.

    Bob Edgar, PhD
    President and CEO
    Common Cause
    Former Member of Congress, 7th District, PA
    Washington, DC

    Bob Edgar, PhDBob arrived at Common Cause in 2007 with a long history of leadership and public service that included 12 years in Congress. He was the general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA for seven years prior to arriving at Common Cause.

    Bob was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1974, representing the Seventh Congressional District of Pennsylvania. During six terms in the U.S. House, Dr. Edgar led efforts to improve public transportation, fought wasteful water projects and authored the community Right to Know provision of Super Fund legislation. He also served on the House Select Committee on Assassinations that investigated the deaths of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and President John F. Kennedy.

    In 1986, Bob ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against now Senator Arlen Specter. That race fueled his frustration with the undue influence of money in politics, and he became an active supporter of clean elections and campaign finance reform, issues that have long been Common Cause's hallmark. Prior to becoming Common Causes’ president, Bob served on its National Governing Board for several years.

    Under Bob’s leadership, Common Cause is championing a number of critical issues, including exposing the corporations and billionaires taking over our democracy and drowning out the voices or ordinary Americans; pushing for ethics and transparency on the Supreme Court and advocating for public funding of political campaigns at all levels.

    An active volunteer, Bob sits on the boards of several organizations, including Families USA. He has a B.A. degree from Lycoming College and a Masters in Divinity degree from the Theological School of Drew University. Bob has served as President of the Claremont School of Theology and holds five honorary doctoral degrees.

    Bob is the author of the book Middle Church. (www.commoncause.org)

    Pat Schroeder, JD
    Former Member of Congress, 1st District, CO
    Celebration, FL

    Pat Schroeder, JDPat Schroeder was born in Portland, Oregon, and had politics in her genes as her great grandfather served along side of William Jennings Bryan in the Nebraska Legislature. Yet, nothing came easy for the Harvard Law graduate and mother of a 6 and 2 year old when she decided to run for Congress in Denver, Colorado, in 1972. She felt more like a professional juggler than a glass ceiling breaker!

    Graduating from law school in 1964, Schroeder worked at the National Labor Relations Board, taught in local universities and was a hearing officer for the Colorado State Personnel system.

    After her winning campaign in 1972 Pat requested a seat on the Armed Services Committee because she had a pilot's license and thought a woman should be on the committee. It caused a real upheaval in the House, but she got on and served on that committee and Judiciary for 24 years.

    In 1984 and 1933 Schroeder co-chaired Gary Hart's Presidential bid. When he left the race in 198, she explored running herself, but after several months decided the country was not ready for a woman President yet! Back in Congress Pat was a co-founder of the Congressional Woman's Caucus, Chair of the Children Youth and Families Committee and on Post Office and Civil Service.

    Retiring in 1997 after 24 years, Schroeder taught at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. After that she was the President and CEO of the Association of American (AAP) Publishers, representing America's book publishing industry for over twelve years. Currently Schroeder is Chair of the English Speaking Union (ESU) nationally and internationally, the vice chair of the Marguerite Casey Foundation and on the Boards of Common Cause, the Communications Consortium and the Child Welfare League of America.

    She currently resides in Celebration, Florida, the Disney experiment in new urbanism.
    She is the author of two books, "Champion of the Great American Family"
    and "Twenty Four Years of Housework and the Place is still a Mess." (www.house.gov)

    David Morrissey, MPS
    Executive Director
    US International Council on Disabilities
    Washington, DC

    David Morrissey, MPSA leader in the nonprofit sector for over a decade, Morrissey has advanced missions of HIV/AIDS care and prevention, disability and independent living, and community volunteerism. He has presented internationally on developing disabled people’s organizations and the transition to adulthood for youth with disabilities, with particular focus on Vietnam and its disability community. As the 2007 Disability Policy Leadership Fellow for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Morrissey was on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Expert Working Group on Transition at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. In 2010, he served as Private Sector Advisor in the United States delegation to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review of the U.S. human rights record. Morrissey was a member of the inaugural class of the Clinton School of Public Service where he earned his Master of Public Service degree and conducted service projects in the Arkansas Delta and in Vietnam. (www.usicd.org)


    Suzanne Petroni, PhD
    Vice President for Global Health
    Public Health Institute
    Washington, DC

    Suzanne Petroni, PhDWith two decades of service in the government, philanthropic and non-profit sectors, Suzanne Petroni is a respected leader, thinker and speaker on a range of global health issues. As Vice President for Global Health at the Public Health Institute (PHI), Petroni is responsible for designing and implementing the organization’s global health strategic plan, overseeing and expanding its global health projects, managing its global health staff and recruiting new staff to join the organization.

    Prior to joining PHI, Petroni administered millions of dollars in grants for international reproductive and adolescent health and rights at the Summit Foundation. As Chair of the Funders Network on Population, Reproductive Health and Rights, she led an association of over 60 U.S.-based donors which, combined, provide over $1.1 billion annually for these causes. In nearly a decade of public service in the federal government, Petroni worked closely with UN agencies, foreign governments and a range of non-governmental organizations from the U.S. and around the world.

    Petroni has a BA in International Relations from the University of California, Davis; an MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University; a certificate in Public Health in Complex Emergencies from Columbia University; and a PhD in Public Policy and Public Administration from The George Washington University. (www.phi.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

Bailey/The Aspen Institute

Edgar/Common Cause


Schroeder/Former Member of Congress, 1st District, CO

Morrissey/US International Council on Disabilities




Prior to participating in the Web Forum, we encourage you to watch a short (2 minute) video on the issue

retrieved from: www.makeagentorangehistory.org


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

Agent Orange in Vietnam Program :: The Aspen Institute
Make Agent Orange History
Agent Orange :: cleveland.com
East Meets West Foundation
Children of Vietnam
Vietnam Assistance for the Handicapped (VNAH)

Disability Resources Development
Agent Orange Record


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo

Public Health Institute