Our Leadership

InterAction was founded on October 22, 1984, the same day U.S. television first broadcast pictures from the Ethiopian famine. We now take for granted that so many people and institutions are working to fight poverty around the world. This was not always the case.

Over the past several decades NGOs have multiplied in number and in size. Some have budgets in the hundreds of millions or even billions, with the majority of the sector’s funding coming from private sources. Some NGOs have become donors in their own right, empowering local NGOs around the globe. And some transformed their business models to blur the traditional lines between civil society groups based in North and global South.

InterAction members have been and continue to be at the center of this dramatic transformation. As part of that effort, we hope to offer a deeper look here at what the leadership team at InterAction is working on as well as provide resources for InterAction CEOs and other leaders and thinkers working on how NGOs can evolve to meet the challenges of the 21st Century.

Sam Worthington
CEO, InterAction
On Twitter @SamInterAction

Lindsay Coates
President, InterAction
On Twitter @lindsaycoates

American Support for Humanitarian Assistance Reflected in $1.2 billion Pledge

I've often traveled to New York for the opening week of the UN General Assembly, but this year I'm honored to join other civil society leaders at President Barack Obama's Leaders' Summit on Refugees. And U.S. civil society, once again, has stepped up to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to helping affected people lift themselves out of hardship in a time of historic humanitarian need.

Honoring Michael Elliott – An Innovative Leader And Friend

Michael Elliott lived his life to the fullest. He was a friend, a colleague, and a dedicated champion in efforts to increase the collective ability of civil society to make the world a more peaceful, just, and prosperous place.

It is with a heavy heart that I learned of his passing July 14. He will be sorely missed within the InterAction community, but his legacy will live on. He left the world a better place.

Congress Takes Bipartisan Stand Against Global Hunger

Seeing that your family has a steady and stable supply of healthy and nutritious food is a fundamental commitment—and mission—of all mothers and fathers around the globe. It's a value, a need and an imperative that crosses cultural, geographic, and gender lines. And today it's a principle that crosses partisan lines in Congress, with the final passage of the Global Food Security Act (H.R. 1567/S. 1252).

NPR Goats & Soda | Aug 24, 2016
There was the 7-member all-male panel discussion on energy and climate at the European Commission in February. There was the 7-member all-male panel on counterterrorism at the U.N. in March. And then there was the 15-member all-male panel on infrastructure at the World Bank in April — with one lone...
Humanosphere | Aug 03, 2016
In a rare act of bipartisanship, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Global Food Security Act (S. 1252). It bolsters efforts by the U.S. to eliminate hunger and malnutrition globally by providing backing to existing programs, including the Obama administration’s Feed the Future program. “...
In a move that is being celebrated around the world, the US House of Representatives passed the Global Food Security Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation that will aim to strengthen the US's efforts to eradicate global hunger and malnutrition ... "The need to address global hunger is an urgent...

Sam Worthington at U.S. Capitol #WithSyria

Samuel A. Worthington is chief executive officer of InterAction, the nation’s largest U.S.-alliance of international nongovernmental organizations. As InterAction’s chief executive, Sam strengthens the impact and collective voice of the U.S. NGO sector and leads its engagement with the UN, governments, and civil society groups around the world. He sits on the board of the Van Leer Group Foundation and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Previously he served as chief executive officer of Plan International USA (from 1994 to 2006) and as a resident fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center (2015).

To learn more about Sam, please see his full bio.

Download Sam's official photo.


To schedule and interview or for speaking requests with Sam Worthington, please contact:

Burt Edwards
Director, Media & Web Strategy
202.552.6554 (Office)
703.861.8237 (Cell)

Lindsay Coates is the president of InterAction, overseeing all management issues and institutional outreach to InterAction members and partners. A life-long advocate for human dignity, Lindsay currently serves on the steering committee of the World Bank Global Partnership for Social Accountability and the boards of Episcopal Relief and Development and MFAN. Before joining InterAction, she served as the COO of Population Action International and practiced civil rights law.

To learn more about Lindsay, please see her full bio.

Download Lindsay's official photo.


To schedule and interview or for speaking requests with Lindsay Coates, please contact:

Burt Edwards
Director, Media & Web Strategy
202.552.6554 (Office)
703.861.8237 (Cell)

Call to Action: Building a New Role for U.S. NGOs

On June 22, 2015, Sam gave an address at Forum 2015 outlining a series of six steps that the NGO community can take to significantly advance the sector’s collective relevance and effectiveness in the decade ahead. To expand the conversation beyond those in attendance at the Washington conference, InterAction has released an edited and expanded version of his remarks as a special White Paper. 

Listen the original address, as given, at Forum 2015:

Read the white paper: "Building a New Role for U.S. NGOs as Active Global Citizens"