Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of State will host a program promoting health, advocacy, and gender equality at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, February 29, 2016, in the Burns Auditorium of the State Department’s Marshall Center for a “Running Start” into Women’s History Month 2016.

U.S. Ambassador Janice L. Jacobs, an avid runner, will give opening remarks. Extreme race organizer, ultra-runner, and advocate, Mr. Richard Donovan, will deliver keynote remarks entitled “The Right Time Is Now: The Intersection of Health, Advocacy, and Empowerment.” Marathoner, Ms. Erin L. Eddy, with the Secretary’s Office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy, will moderate a panel discussion including Q&A with high-achieving athletes:

  • Ms. Ann Cody, Paralympian gold medalist and sports diplomat with the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) Sports Diplomacy Division;
  • Mr. Richard Donovan, ultra-runner, advocate, and event director for the World Marathon Challenge, North Pole Marathon, and extreme, ultra-running events that empower minority athletes and others to achieve dreams of competing in extreme locations, and to raise awareness and money for countless health charities around the world;
  • Kathrine (K.V.) Switzer, athlete, activist, author, president and founder of 261 Fearless, Inc., and a global advocate for women’s empowerment who is honored in the National Women’s Hall of Fame for her courage to change women’s lives after challenging the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon in 1967, to become the first woman to officially enter and run the event (participating remotely via Skype video);
  • Ms. BethAnn Telford, Ironman triathlete, ultra-runner, and brain cancer survivor fighting and advocating for a cure by founding Team BT and partnering with ABC2 (Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure).

Following the program, there will be a photo opportunity with the panelists promoting Global Goals: SDG3 – Good Health and Well Being; SDG5 – Gender Equality; and SDG17 – Partnership for the Goals.

Follow live tweeting with #RightTimeIsNow: @GHDatState, @SportsDiplomacy, @WorldMarathon77, @261Fearless, @TeamBT2010, @RichardDonovan7, @BrainCancerCure, #HealthDiplomacy, #SportsDiplomacy, #WHM2016, #BeFearless, #GlobalGoals, #SDG3, #SDG5, #SDG17

The Sports Diplomacy Division of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Secretary’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy are co-hosting this event, which is open to State Department staff and invited guests.