Glenn Strachan

Chief Technologist, Jhpiego, The Johns Hopkins University
Pasadena, MD, United States

About Glenn

Bio

SUMMARY OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Glenn Strachan, a seasoned international development executive, has extensive experience spanning the globe as well as information technology (IT) disciplines – from programming inventory management systems to being a Chief Information Officer (CIO), Vice President (VP), and Senior Information and Communication Technology (ICT) advisor to NGOs, private sector companies and nations. As a technology expert, he designed the national health management information systems for Grenada, Jamaica and the West Bank. In Macedonia and Montenegro, he designed long-term sustainable solutions for nationwide wireless internet access by leading the collaborative efforts of numerous stakeholders, making Macedonia the first all broadband wireless country in the world. Mr. Strachan is a successful, results-oriented technology strategist, uniting public/non-governmental sector sensitivities to corporate decision-making and program management. He has worked on United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded activities in 20 countries and has traveled to 114. Mr. Strachan was Chief of Party of USAID-funded projects in Macedonia, Romania and Jamaica and has written white papers related to the deployment of broadband solutions in 7 countries for USAID. Additionally, he has received numerous awards for his work with USAID.
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
2011–Present Chief Information Officer
Jhpiego, Baltimore, MD
Leads the design and management of information systems, information technology and knowledge management and related functions – communications, office systems, document production – needed to support global program, technical and management activities, and business operations and management information requirements for Jhpiego offices in Baltimore, Washington, DC and worldwide. Aligns information strategies and systems, information technologies and knowledge management needs to support enterprise objectives and strategies and evaluate performance of and lead updated implementation of information and information technology strategies. Inspires the enterprise and expands the positive impact of information strategies and technologies in terms of business and technical facets for all Jhpiego offices worldwide. Defines planning and performance metrics for information and knowledge management and information technology. Establishes, maintains, evaluates and improves strategic service provider partnerships for information management, knowledge management and information technology. Aligns IT risk management with enterprise-wide risk management. Optimizes and designs enterprise processes via information technology, information management and knowledge management. Assures the information and data integrity of the enterprise and all of its knowledge management and related applications.

Languages

English

TED Conference

TEDGlobal 2013

Areas of Expertise

ICT4D, Women's Studies, family planning, Technological Systems, mHealth, Public health, Thinking and decision making, Technological Exploration and Innovation, Telecom & Wireless, Making Order From Chaos

An idea worth spreading

I am interested in using active proximity location tools to connect pregnant women in the developing world with trained medical staff like midwives and other trained delivery specialist. The goal is to increase the chances for the mother to survive birth, reduce the chance for a fistula after birth and increase the chance that the baby will survive.

I'm passionate about

The use of technology to improve the probability of sustained life prior to and after delivery of a child. The use of technology to extend a babies life once it is born.

Talk to me about

Talk to me about creating sustainable technological solutions in the developing world. Talk to me about using technology to shift traditional paradigms and show that change IS possible.

People don't know I'm good at

Photography is a silent passion and one which I reserve for myself but as I have begun to show people my work, I am getting incredible feedback.

My TED story

In 2004 I created a model for the distribution of wireless Internet in Macedonia making it the first all wireless country in the world. That model, based on the simple concept of anchor tenancy, was implemented in advance of any type of planning for a similar model in the United States. The United States Agency for International Development called it their best ICT solution in 2005 and that model has become the standard approach for increasing the uptake of Internet in the developing world. The path to get there is the real story.

Comments & conversations

188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
Living there and knowing the history of China helps. You also have no idea of the incarceration rate because they do not make that known. We know about it in the USA because it is readily available. I have also dealt with China Inc. and the basic rape of African commodities. I doubt that you will see the connection between all of these elements, but for me, the voices which count most are the ones either put in jail for speaking their mind, the thousands who were killed during the Tiananmen uprising (their Arab Spring) or the slave laborers which still exist. I am not a neophyte to China. I have been from one end to the other and I went because I loved China and its people. The government is a totally different thing. Economic progress is a great thing, perhaps quite laudable, but at what price. I have seen other economic transitions, not quite as good as China, but still quite amazing and they have human rights.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
The problem with this point of view is that a democracy, not just the representative democracy which exists within the USA, bares its warts while other countries hide them. The Chinese version of "Rule of Law" is summary execution rather than long drawn out possibilities of being proven innocent. It also includes extended periods of detention for people who speak out against former and present leaders. Perhaps they will graduate from this, over time, but having lived there, I know that will be measured in decades and perhaps a century. Lives will be lost because of it.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
I was surprised that people gave him a prolonged standing ovation. I remained in my seat. You should also view the presentation by Dambisa Moyo who believes that the Chinese system is, perhaps, a better solution for Africa. I remained in my seat after her presentation as well. I wrote the only review of her presentation.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems
"China has to go along with world trends. That's democracy, liberty, individual freedom. China sooner or later has to go that way. It cannot go backward." I stole this quote from an online source which does not provide attribution. As someone who has lived in China, has loved the history of China for as long as I can remember, I was front and centre for this speech and I have to say I did not like it at all. Not because I am an American who believes our government to be the best form, but due to two objections. The first is built on the fact that I have been to 114 countries and lived in 20 including China starting in 1983. I lived in Uganda where the President holds absolute power to be re-elected, in a pseudo democracy and says the people are not yet ready, or educated enough, for real democracy. In support of his belief, there is no freedom of the press, or ability to speak out against Yoweri Museveni. I have worked in many of these countries trying to make life a little bit better for the poorest of people. My second objection is Tiananmen Square. Those people, and hundreds of thousands more would prefer freedom over economic well being. China has 1.2B people and clearly many have chosen money over personal freedoms. I was once told that just because 1B flies like the taste of dog shit doesn't mean I will like its taste as well. Whilst living in China, we were always told that its long history makes it a very patient mother - in other words, change will happen, but it will come slowly. I lived in China at the beginning of its economic change and saw the transition from green and blue Mao suits to Gucci and Hugo Boss wear. EXL's speech was, to me, a lover of Chinese history from 1898 to 1949, pure rhetoric and ill conceived. Give a glass of water to someone who has been parched for days in a desert and they will take it. Give an economic panacea to historically poor people and they will do the same. In the end the elite rule like the dynasties have before them.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grove_City_College_v._Bell http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1982/1982_81_3 There are the two cases and it specifically shows that the USG CAN and did act against both schools for its discriminatory acts. I am only citing these as examples of ways in which legislative and judicial action can not only define a norm but also defend it.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?
BJU and GCC are not allowed to have discriminatory practices even if based in religion and and they do not receive any funding from the USG. In a different way a private enterprise cannot enter into discriminatory practices such as building into their charter that jews, blacks and women are not permitted because exclusionary practices based on those conditions are illegal and the Justice Department could sue, as they have in other cases. My point was actually more in agreement with your statement not contrarian. I believe that laws, when enacted "correctly", can serve the best interests of equality.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?
There are two schools of note which could NOT get around government regulations when it came to their policies about inter-racial dating - Bobby Jones College and Grove City College. In your own home you can be as inclusive or exclusive as is your want, but I doubt you could ever consider a public organization being able to exclude anyone. If not legal then social actions would ensue as they did for the golf course in Georgia.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?
women have always been the majority population but were vastly underrepresented in all places, other than the home. They entered the workplace during WWII when men were in short supply and it was not until the social unrest of the 60's did women really begin to fight for their rights. The Supreme Court upheld Roe v. Wade and there were many legislative actions taken to equalize women's rights. These women created a tidal wave which has now led to women being the majority in most universities and colleges in the USA. It is very difficult to separate the legal and legislative battles fought by women in the past with the advancements women now experience. So I woud argue that it was far from inevitable and that present numbers simply represent the actual sex ratio of the population in the USA. I can also argue this from an economic perspective which is how I did pursue this argument in my Master's Thesis.
188647
Glenn Strachan
Posted about 2 years ago
Is equality feasible and is it worth achieving? Subquestion: By your definitions, is equality synonymous with fairness?
My life experience has shown me that some great scholars come from the worst possible economic and social conditions while some people who have the greatest access to economic and educational means end up as criminals. There is no single answer capable of fully resolving social ills which have grown out of de facto or de jure conditions established over time. The remnants of slavery have seemingly hamstrung the African-American population in the United States since their emancipation. We can also conclude that all women were subjugated to second class status until they received the right to vote, were given the ability to fully control their fertility, and policies were put in place to end discrimination in the labor force. In fact, laws were put in place to correct a historically unbalanced playing field for minorities and women. Unfortunately, some of these laws are viewed as a zero-sum solution wherein a class of people feel a potential loss of position and privilege rather than a belief that all parties will benefit universally. Time appears to play in the favor of resolving some social issues. For instance, women have become the majority in most American universities. As women filter throughout all majors (women of all skin colours) they should eventually break through all barriers in the labour force. It just takes TIME and patience. I don't have enough characters to provide a complete response, but to the heart of your question, fairness and equality operate on two different planes - equality is often achieved through a host of legislative or legal responses to a belief that there is a lack of fairness in any particular environment. Title IX was created to deal with the disparity between expenditures for male and female collegiate sports. It was considered unfair that women's sport was not equal to men's. Legal and legislative means leveled the playing field. Unfortunately it is a slow process mired in a presently destructive political environment.