Keynote speaker Mohamed Abdel-Kader (second from right) addresses the audience May 2 at the USAID LASER PULSE Research for Development Learning Summit at Howard University in Washington, D.C. Abdel-Kader is chief innovation officer and executive director of the Innovation, Technology, and Research Hub of the U.S. Agency for International Development. With him (from left) are Purdue’s John Glover, executive director of Global Development and Innovation in the Purdue Applied Research Institute; Yuehwern Yih, academic director of LASER PULSE; and Pallavi Gupta, LASER PULSE program director.
LASER (Long-term Assistance and SErvices for Research) PULSE (Partners for University-Led Solutions Engine) is a $70 million program, funded through this USAID hub, to deliver research-driven solutions to USAID partner countries. Purdue leads a consortium with Catholic Relief Services, Indiana University, Makerere University and the University of Notre Dame to implement the LASER PULSE program through more than 3,000 researchers and development practitioners in 74 countries. Consortium members attended Tuesday’s event to hear about the program’s progress and discuss other pressing topics such as food security and nutrition, education, economic growth, and private-sector development.