FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Alison Boak

International Organization for Adolescents
Co-Founder and President
Chicago, IL, USA


Alison Boak, MPH, Co-Founder and President, International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA)

Ali is a long time advocate of adolescent health and international expert on the issue of child trafficking and sexual exploitation.  She began her work on behalf of vulnerable young people when she served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Latvia from 1994-1996.  In 1997, she was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in public health with the Latvian Ministry of Health and worked to establish a network of 12 youth health centers across Latvia.

In 1999, Ali founded the International Organization for Adolescents (IOFA), a US based independent non-governmental organization formed to eliminate human trafficking and exploitation of vulnerable adolescents worldwide by designing innovative programs and solutions to protect youth.  She served as the organization’s Executive Director from 1999-2006 and currently chairs the Board of Directors and is active in program development, fundraising, and building strategic partnerships.  
Ali is a founding member of the Freedom Network USA for Trafficked and Enslaved Persons (co-chair 2004-2006), the New York City Task Force against Sexual Exploitation of Youth (co-chair 2000-2003), the New York City Human Trafficking Task Force (co-chair 2002-2004),and the Westchester County Anti-Trafficking Task Force (Advisor 2010-present).  She has served on several advisory committees including the Catholic Charities USA Advisory Task Force on Domestic Child Trafficking and the National Child Welfare Advisory Board organized by U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), the Advisory Committee of the New York City Anti-Trafficking Network, and the ChildRight: New York Steering Committee. 

Ms. Boak has authored several innovative training tools and curricula and has educated thousands of advocates, police, prosecutors, judges, border guards, and government leaders, from more than twenty countries about the issue of human trafficking.  She was executive producer of Smooth Flight, a documentary training film exploring young people’s experience going abroad to work. She designed and implemented the training for the first nation-wide anti-trafficking hotline funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services.   Alison’s work has been recognized by New York City’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for her contributions to the anti-trafficking effort in New York City and by the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

Ali received a B.A. English and Political Science from SUNY Albany graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1992.  In 1997 she received a Masters of Public Health (MPH) Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, the Division for Population and Family Health.

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