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

Diversity Makes America Great: We Are a Nation of Immigrants

Two and a half years ago, the world was arrested by an image—the body of three-year-old Alan Kurdi on a Turkish beach.  He and his family came from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic State insurgents and Kurdish forces at the time. Many Americans saw both the pain and the unnecessary suffering caused by dangerous and unsupported migration. Compassion and horror flowed in equal measure, though still not enough is changing today. As evidenced by recent U.S.

A Vision of 2018

I look towards 2018 with a sense of possibility that we, as a part of civil society, will be able to champion shared interests and deliver needed services with a new sense of purpose, as we advance human well-being in an ever-changing world. In spite of war, climate change, and dysfunctional politics, last year continued a generational trend of ever improving welfare across the globe. U.S. NGOs, each in their own way, contributed to this positive trend, particularly for more vulnerable populations.

The Art of Empowerment and Transformation From Within

Jesus' life was about strengthening the disinherited of the world so they could survive and empower themselves in the face of oppression and disenfranchisement from civic and economic power. Howard Thurman, the theologian, prophet and mystic wrote in his book Jesus and the Disinherited of a love rooted in the "deep river of faith," that would help oppressed peoples overcome persecution through belief in their own unique worth and dignity.

Devex | Aug 30, 2017
WASHINGTON — The pioneering NGO that lifted the lid on the the alarming number of cases of sexual abuse and harassment against female aid workers, and the humanitarian sector’s failure to support these victims, is set to close on August 20, after only two years in operation. Report the Abuse, which...
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...

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:

Caleb Zimmerman
Communications Coordinator
202.552.6564 (Office)
786.531.9770 (Cell)
czimmerman@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:

Caleb Zimmerman
Communications Coordinator
202.552.6564 (Office)
786.531.9770 (Cell)
czimmerman@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