Bird Anderson has worked with disadvantaged communities in the field of international development and public health for three decades. Her focus has been in Latin America, although she has also worked in Southeast Asia and Africa. Primary areas of concentration throughout the arc of her career have been refugee care, food security and education as a health strategy, and capacity-building programs designed to benefit underserved populations rather than individuals.
She has served primarily with non-governmental organizations such as Save the Children, as well as supranational organizations such as the International Organization for Migration. For the last decade, she was the Executive Director of the U.S. Foundation of the University of the Valley of Guatemala. The Foundation increases access to education, principally for indigenous Maya and other historically marginalized groups, by supporting the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala.
Bird holds a degree in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and an MHS from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Focused on the intersection of disciplines in relief work and motivated to apply that in innovative public health practices, her master’s thesis examined microlending as a family planning intervention.
She has seen firsthand the negative impacts of climate change and environmental justice inequalities experienced by populations around the world. The value of healthier energy supply, efficiency, and conservation in terms of improved public health is the lens through which she fundamentally understands and best appreciates the work of Fresh Energy.