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

Recent Executive Order Runs Counter to America's Values and Interests

Vivid stories and images of suffering and struggle from around the globe— Syria, North East Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen along with families caught in the global migration crisis—are fueling compassion and a will to act among Americans. In response to the administration’s proposed budget cuts to USAID and the Department of State, we see renewed bipartisan support for development as a key aspect of U.S. foreign policy.

Now, More Than Ever U.S. Must Lead

Today, roughly 20 million people in four different countries face the specter of starvation, including an already declared famine in South Sudan. This disaster puts an all too human face on one of the most morally compelling reasons the U.S. must retain its ability to be positively engaged with the rest of the world. 

What Trump Means for International Development

Last November’s presidential election in the United States was one of the most consequential and divisive in recent history. With both parties playing to very divided political bases and strong anti-establishment sentiments in many parts of the nation, the question of what role the United States should play as a global leader received scant discussion on the national stage.

NPR Goats & Soda | Feb 15, 2017
International humanitarian aid organizations say the travel restrictions issued by President Donald Trump on Saturday could have a dramatic impact on how they operate. The Trump executive order temporarily bars all refugees and suspends — for the next 90 days — entry to the U.S. by citizens of Iran...
L.A. Times | Feb 15, 2017
Boasting a host of accomplishments, the head of the government’s foreign aid agency presented President Obama with an exit memo Thursday that highlighted the administration’s development initiatives over the last eight years. But she warned that many challenges remained and “the road ahead won’t be...
Tronc | Jan 27, 2017
This year will bring many changes to the halls of power in Washington, but America's longstanding, bipartisan commitment to global leadership in the fight against hunger and malnutrition should remain a point of pride all of us can support. And, with more-controversial issues dominating headlines,...

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, Communications
202.552.6554 (Office)
703.861.8237 (Cell)
bedwards@interaction.org

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, Communications
202.552.6554 (Office)
703.861.8237 (Cell)
bedwards@interaction.org

An Open Letter To The Next President Of The United States

InterAction members have expressed deep concern about the stakes for our community in the current political climate and the level of extreme rhetoric being seen both in the press and in conversations on social media about core principles that we all hold dear. In response to these concerns, we developed an open letter that has now been signed by over 50 NGO leaders, including ourselves.

We have affirmed a common position as individuals committed to advancing the missions of our respective organizations, and as leaders representing the broad diversity of our coalition. Each person signed as an individual and organizations are only listed for identification purposes.

- Sam Worthington and Lindsay Coates

"Alleviating poverty and suffering is not only possible, it is the morally right thing to do and vital to our own national interest. Every war and every unstable country, every region stricken by disease or crop failure, every city hit with flooding or famine is a potential source of instability. In today's interconnected world America cannot afford to sit on the sidelines and hope for the best."

Read the full letter