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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, February 11, 2004

SPEA to host leader of nation's largest nonprofit advocacy organization

EDITORS: Aviv will be available for interviews. Call George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846 or Adriene Davis at 317-236-4912 to make arrangements.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Diana Aviv, president and chief executive officer of Independent Sector, a coalition of more than 700 foundations, nonprofit organizations and corporate philanthropy programs, will speak on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. at Indiana University Bloomington.

Aviv is being hosted by the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She will speak on the topic, "Public Policy Challenges Facing the Independent Sector," in the atrium of the school, located at 1315 E. Tenth St. The event is free and open to the public.

She also will visit the IU Center on Philanthropy on Feb. 19 in Indianapolis. She will meet with students, community leaders, faculty and center officials.

Independent Sector, a nonpartisan coalition based in Washington, D.C., collectively represents tens of thousands of charitable groups in every state in the nation. Its mission is to promote, strengthen and advance the nonprofit and philanthropic community to foster private initiative for the public good.

On Tuesday (Feb. 10), the organization adopted a statement of values and a code of ethics for nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and released it as a model for use by nonprofit organizations and foundations nationwide. Aviv released it with John Seffrin, chair of Independent Sector's board, CEO of the American Cancer Society and former chair of the Department of Applied Health Science at IU Bloomington.

"We are delighted to have this opportunity to host Diana Aviv at SPEA. Her vast experience with public policy and its implications for the nonprofit and philanthropic communities will provide exactly the kind of firsthand, professional perspective we try to share with our students," said Astrid Merget, SPEA's dean. "I suspect her visit will be of special interest to the students enrolled in our nonprofit management concentration, which has become one of our fastest- growing concentrations in recent years."

Aviv previously had been the vice president for public policy at the United Jewish Communities and director of its Washington Action Office. In that capacity, she worked closely with federations and national agencies concerned with the domestic health and welfare needs of vulnerable people. Her work focused on federal legislation, public policy and regulations concerning health and human service areas that have an impact on the work of their local health and human service organizations.

She formerly was associate executive vice chair of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs, director of programs for the National Council of Jewish Women, and director of a comprehensive program to serve battered women and their families. A native of South Africa, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in social work from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. She earned a master of social work degree at Columbia University.