Anne Lynam Goddard '77

Anne Lynam Goddard ’77, HD’09

Anne Lynam Goddard '77, president of ChildFund International, gave the Commencement address and received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Assumption College in 2009. Christian Children's Fund is now ChildFund International. Visit it at www.childfund.org

From the spring 2008 issue of Assumption Magazine:

As a leading international child-development organization, Christian Children's Fund assisted more than 13.2 million children and family members in 31 countries worldwide in 2007. More than half a million children are supported through monthly contributions and more than 650,000 children are enrolled in CCF’s programs. Domestic and international donors sponsor children through ChildFund Alliance, a global network of 12 child development organizations of which CCF is a member.

Anne Lynam Goddard '77 came to Assumption from New Jersey, interested in a career in social work. She was attracted by the College’s size, location and its social rehabilitation program. It seems as if time has not clouded the memory of her Assumption experience. “I remember evening study breaks in the dorms with friends where we would munch on the cookies we had brought back from the cafeteria; writing too many papers in long hand and spending twice as long typing those papers—how I wish personal computers were available back then; school dances in the student hang-out— and all the females in the bathrooms before getting ready; cold New England winters and warm springs around the duck pond— including the freshmen tug-of-war over the pond, and many occasions of falling asleep while studying late into the evenings in a classroom, and having security wake me up and send me off to bed!” Anne credits David Siddle, associate professor of human services and rehabilitation studies, as a major influence. “He encouraged me to take over leadership of Assumption’s chapter of the National Rehabilitation Association, which was a great student leadership opportunity for me.”

She also mentioned Ken Moynihan AP’62 , professor emeritus of history, for his guidance when Anne was a student and a young alumna, as well as the late Bro. Robert “Bro” Beaulac, A.A. and Father Peter Precourt, A.A. ’70 as positive sources of support for her. Reflecting on her Assumption education and experience, Anne stated, “First and foremost, Assumption taught me how to think and write—how to analyze something and write my opinion on it in a convincing manner. Second, Assumption developed my leadership skills in a variety of ways—being a resident advisor for three years certainly contributed to that. Third, some courses certainly encouraged my creativity and looking at things from a new angle. Finally, the whole atmosphere and experience at Assumption, in particular my major, fostered in me a sense of service to others. All of this provided me with both a valuable skill set as well as a strong foundation for my career and life.” She “fell in love” with Worcester and the area while at Assumption, so Anne decided to stay local and spent two years as a social worker in the city after graduation, where she focused on child protection issues.

Anne then decided to pursue her long term dream of becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. She spent two years in Kenya living in a mud house in a very small and remote village working on health and nutrition problems with women and children. Her positive Peace Corps experience encouraged Anne to focus her career on international development and to return to graduate school and pursue a master’s in public health at UNC Chapel Hill. “My master’s degree builds upon what I had learned as an undergraduate—although the emphasis changed from working with individuals to working with communities to bring about positive change.” After finishing graduate school, Anne spent 20 years living and working in developing countries— Somalia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Egypt.

During most of that time she was with CARE, an international development organization. “When I started my international career my focus was a technical one— managing health projects focused on women and children,” she said. “Over the years my responsibilities shifted to more a management role.” When Anne left CARE a year ago, she was its chief of staff, working at its headquarters in Atlanta with a wide range of responsibilities over the organization’s entire global operations. She joined Christian Children’s Fund in January 2007 as the organization’s eighth president and CEO. “I am thrilled and honored to serve CCF,” Anne stated. For 70 years, CCF has been dedicated to meeting the needs and rights of deprived, excluded and vulnerable children in some of the poorest communities around the world. CCF is dedicated to both the development and protection of children—helping them grow into contributing and productive young adults. Much of CCF’s funding comes through individual sponsors who support individual children. This relationship provides financial support for the services received by the child and their family, and also lets the child know that someone cares about them and wants them to succeed. Anne explained the growth of international development. “ It was really born after WWII and it has grown from a focus of charity to an emphasis on addressing the underlying or root causes of poverty—the causes that keep generations of a family in poverty. CCF firmly believes that childhood is the most opportune and effective moment to break these ongoing cycles of poverty. By supporting the full development of a child—physical, mental, emotional and social—and protecting children from harm, CCF believes that these children, as adults, will have the capability and opportunity to bring positive change to their lives and the lives of their families, communities and even nations.

Anne’s well traveled-life has been a challenge to family life, which has had to move around the world with her. She and husband Andy were married in Kenya. Son Colin was born years later in Kenya, while they were living in Somalia, and they adopted daughter Emma in Indonesia. “Balancing family and career is never easy, but is even more difficult when you move around the world,” Anne said. “What has made it possible are the values that my whole family shares. Except for being far from my extended family, raising a family overseas has been excellent. My family shares a love and pride for America and deeply values the opportunities that come with being an American. We also have become global citizens with a deep appreciation for the diversity and dignity of people around the globe and a commitment to a world that values and protects the rights of all, regardless of where they were born. “Having lived in some dangerous places, it was ironic to us that the place that brought violence into our home was the small college town of Blacksburg, VA. My son was shot four times at Virginia Tech (during the April 2007 tragedy that left 32 shooting victims dead) and survived, for which I am grateful beyond measure. I am proud to say that my husband has become an activist for sensible gun laws, with support from Colin and myself.” Anne has accomplished much in one year at CCF. “During my first year, I have been able to visit our staff and programs in Ecuador, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Viet Nam and Thailand. From early childhood education programs to projects focusing on youth, I have seen first hand positive changes in the development of children and in the quality of life for their families.” She hopes that with continued support from generous donors—CCF received $209 million in public support and total revenue in 2007—the organization can continue its life-transforming work to strengthen children, families and communities so they can become self-sufficient and build for the future.

Last updated 7/6/11