Becoming Mrs. Van Allen

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One of the biggest problems facing international education is simply not having enough books to teach kids in developing countries how to read. USAID has come up with a solution. Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID, takes the TEDxFoggyBottom stage to explain how we can all help make a difference to improve education all around the world.

Christie Vilsack joined the U.S. Agency for International Development as the Senior Advisor for International Education in March 2013 where she works with education sector partners and education leaders worldwide in support of USAID’s Education Strategy goals to improve children’s reading skills, strengthen workforce development, and provide equitable access to education in crisis and conflict settings, as well as to build understanding of and support for international education solutions. For 25 years, she taught secondary and college English and journalism. Her experience inside the classroom led to a focus on education as Iowa’s First Lady, as a candidate for Congress and now as the global spokesperson for USAID Education. Christie is a graduate of Kirkland College in Clinton, New York. She earned a master’s degree in journalism from The University of Iowa. She and husband Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack have enjoyed a lifetime of public service together.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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