The halls of Capitol Hill were buzzing Wednesday morning with news that one of the world's most sought-after women, actress Jessica Alba, would be dropping by to launch a new education initiative.
Alba, who is regularly listed near the top of lists of the "hottest" women in the world, was joined at a press conference by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), 26 fourth-graders from Rockcreek Valley Elementary School, and more than a few admiring male congressional staffers.
The actress is teaming up with Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and South African President Jacob Zuma to launch 1GOAL, a campaign aimed at making education the lasting legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament, being held this summer in South Africa.
"Around this World Cup, we can make education a reality for boys and girls around the world," Alba told reporters. She said she recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Ghana, Senegal, and South Africa, where she asked herself, "How many of us take our educations for granted? What if I couldn't go to school because I was a girl?"
Lowey used the occasion of the actress's visit to unveil legislation she plans to introduce, which would create a Global Fund for Education similar to the existing fund for AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.
Photo and additional reporting by Alexis Smith