Burnham "Bud" Philbrook (MA '79), Global Volunteers CEO and Co-founder, has been named "Ambassador for Peace" by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT). Philbrook, an internationally recognized leader in public policy and engagement, earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, a Master of Arts with concentrations in international economic development and public administration from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law.
In accepting his award at the World Travel Market in London, Philbrook stated: "I am deeply honored to receive IIPT's prestigious Ambassador for Peace award. During the past 30 years, Global Volunteers has engaged over 30,000 volunteers serving in 32 countries on six continents. Each volunteer has served a local community, emphasizing the needs of children. I accept this award on behalf of all those volunteers, because they are the true ambassadors for peace."
Global Volunteers caught the attention of IIPT in 2012 for its St. Lucia Project - an ambitious development project to demonstrate the long-lasting benefit of short-term volunteers in partner communities. The St. Lucia Project pairs largely North American volunteers with local people on the Caribbean island to provide "essential services" to at-risk children and families to elevate the health, nutrition and educational attainment of young students - thereby helping to advance the nation's general IQ levels.
Philbrook is a former Deputy Under Secretary at the United States Department of Agriculture, where he was responsible for food security and agricultural trade issues. He is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, and former Assistant Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Philbrook was an administrative lawyer in Minnesota from 1983 until he closed his practice to lead the Global Volunteers staff full time in 1994. He initiated the concept of engaging private individuals from developed countries as short-term volunteers serving communities in developing countries. USA Today identified Global Volunteers as the "Granddaddy" of this movement.
Global Volunteers works in special consultative status with the United Nations and in partnership with U.N. agencies UNICEF and the World Food Programme to engage short-term volunteers on long-term projects to create, nurture and sustain the well-being of the world's children - so they can realize the full promise of their human potential.