Canadian NGO Wins Prestigious Skoll Award and Endorsement from US Leadership
in Afghanistan

    
    -   Peace Dividend Trust to receive Skoll Award for Social
        Entrepreneurship
    -   Amb. Eikenberry and Gen. McChrystal issue joint memo directing all US
        government agencies to use PDT operations in Afghanistan.
    -   PDT directs over $370m into Afghan economy, creating thousands of
        jobs
    

OTTAWA, Dec. 15 /CNW Telbec/ - Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) announced today it is the recipient of a three-year, USD $765,000 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (SASE). The award, which recognizes the most innovative and effective approaches to resolving critical social issues, was made in support of PDT's mission to make peace and humanitarian operations more effective, efficient and equitable in countries like Afghanistan, Haiti, and East Timor. Founded by Canadian Scott Gilmore, Peace Dividend Trust is just the second Canadian organization to join the prestigious group of Skoll social entrepreneurs who are working around the world on issues such as tolerance and human rights, health, environmental sustainability, peace and security, institutional responsibility, and economic and social equity.

Peace Dividend Trust also received an unprecedented endorsement from the United States Government through a joint memo issued by US Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Stanley McChrystal, directing all US government agencies in Afghanistan to use PDT's services. PDT's flagship project in Afghanistan is boosting GDP growth and job creation by channeling international aid and operational spending into the local economy through increased local procurement. Since 2006, PDT has redirected over $370m of new international spending into the Afghan economy, creating thousands of jobs on the ground.

"Peace Dividend Trust is honoured by the Skoll Award, which will provide a significant boost to our efforts to change the way aid is delivered on the ground to the people of Afghanistan and in other conflict zones," said Scott Gilmore, Founder and Executive Director of PDT. "We are also extremely gratified by the US government's decision to support PDT's work to create jobs and build the Afghan economy".

"Peace Dividend Trust, and its founder Scott Gilmore, are tremendous additions to the community of Skoll social entrepreneurs," said Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation. "In developing a new, innovative model for peace and humanitarian operations, Scott and his team have demonstrated large-scale impact in a relatively short period of time. We're thrilled that our support will enable Peace Dividend Trust to reinforce and grow its operations in war torn and post conflict regions around the world, ultimately resulting in a stronger peace and larger peace dividend for those affected communities."

"The Skoll award will enable PDT to continue to expand our organization and increase our impact. It will allow PDT to hire peacekeepers and aid workers with new ideas for improving the lives of people effected by conflict around the world", added Scott Gilmore.

Scott Gilmore will accept the award at a special ceremony on April 15, 2010, at the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford University. Scott will be participating in the three-day World Forum along with over 800 attendees from the social entrepreneurship community.

About Peace Dividend Trust

Peace Dividend Trust was started in Canada in 2004 by a group of United Nations staff, aid workers, and diplomats who were united in a desire to improve the way peace and humanitarian missions operate. It is a unique non-profit that develops and implements new ideas in peacekeeping and aid by focusing on the nuts and bolts of direct and measurable operational improvements, not just on the refinement of policy or strategy. For example, PDT created a Mission Start Up manual for the United Nations to improve the way peacekeeping missions are designed and launched. It has also piloted successful projects in Timor and Afghanistan that dramatically increase the economic impact of aid by increasing local procurement.

Since its inception, PDT has grown rapidly and gained support from the United Nations and other international agencies, donors, and host governments. PDT has received funding from the governments of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway as well as the United Nations, and the World Bank. PDT is incorporated in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

PDT employs over 130 staff and is operating in six countries: Afghanistan, Haiti, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Canada and the United States. Additional information can be found at www.peacedividendtrust.org.

About Scott Gilmore

Scott founded PDT after he and a group of colleagues working in a UN peacekeeping mission decided there had to be a better way. They were frustrated at how day-to-day management and operational problems hindered their ability to achieve the strategic goals of the mission. This informal group of diplomats, aid workers, and entrepreneurs believed there was an urgent need to fix the nuts and bolts of how aid and peace operations worked. With that objective, Scott left the Canadian diplomatic service in 2004 to launch PDT.

Born in Flin Flon and raised in Edmonton, Scott studied at the University of Alberta and the London School of Economics. He began his career as the Executive Director of Mountain Parks Health Services and then joined the Canadian diplomatic service. In 1998, he was posted to the Canadian Embassy in Indonesia where he watched events unravel in East Timor, eventually taking leave to join the newly deployed UN peacekeeping mission UNTAET. Scott returned to the Foreign Service in 2002 as the Deputy Director of the South Asia division, where he helped launch Canada's aid and military mission to Afghanistan.

In 2009, Scott was named one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 by the Globe & Mail. He lives in Ottawa with his wife Catherine McKenna, a social entrepreneur and founder of Canadian Lawyers Abroad, and their three small children Cormac, Isabelle and Madeleine.

About the Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation was created in 1999 by eBay's first president, Jeff Skoll, to promote his vision of a more peaceful and prosperous world. Today the Skoll Foundation drives large-scale change by investing in, connecting and celebrating social entrepreneurs and other innovators dedicated to solving the world's most pressing problems. Social entrepreneurs are individuals dedicated to innovative, bottom-up solutions that transform unequal and unjust social, environmental and economic systems.

The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is the foundation's flagship program. There are currently 61 organizations represented by 74 remarkable social entrepreneurs in the program, working individually and together across regions, countries and continents to deliver solutions to the world's most challenging economic and social problems. The Skoll Foundation connects social entrepreneurs and other partners in the field via an online community at www.socialedge.org, and through the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. The foundation also celebrates social entrepreneurs through the work of flagship organizations such as the PBS NewsHour and the Sundance Institute, which help drive large-scale public awareness of social entrepreneurship and its potential to address the critical issues of our time.

www.skollfoundation.org.

SOURCE PEACE DIVIDEND TRUST

For further information: For further information: Jennifer Holt, (917) 854-9391, holt@peacedividendtrust.org; Susan Smith, (613) 241-3512 x 221, susan@blueskystrategygroup.com

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