Forum 2017 CEO Track

Forum features a track for InterAction member CEOs, allowing leaders of our member organizations to meet as peers, discuss strategic issues, and engage with experts from various fields and the leadership of InterAction. The breakout sessions in this track are open only to InterAction member CEOs.


9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Registration, Breakfast & Networking

10:30 a.m.-12:00 pm

Opening Plenary Session: United We Stand

12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.

CEO Lunch: A Conversation with Joyce Banda and Mary Robinson

1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session: NGO Futures - The Changing NGO Ecosystem and Peer Learning on Adaptation

Broad, deep political, economic, environmental, and technological shifts greater than our sector has ever experienced simultaneously put at risk meaningful and often successful efforts by U.S. NGOs to resolve development and humanitarian relief challenges. Organizations that act on this disruption and actively identify where they can add value over the coming decades will position themselves for the future. In this workshop we collaboratively examine the trends and what they mean to achieving our missions. Pre-identified peer organizations will share their experiences adapting to the future and we will hold table break-out conversations and full-room synthesis to learn from each other.

3:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Plenary Session: The Changing Dynamics of Migration


8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.

Breakfast, Exhibits & Artisan Trade Fair

9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Breakout Session: A Conversation with the Executive Office

This will be a candid, informal exchange on policy, leadership, and trends that are shaping our community and InterAction’s role. During this session, where any topic is welcome, InterAction’s Chief Executive Officer Sam Worthington and President Lindsay Coates will explore collective solutions to our common concerns, share lessons learned during the last year, and examine the priorities guiding InterAction’s future course.

10:45 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Plenary Session: The Human Side of Technology

12:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m.

Annual Members Meeting & CEO Lunch

InterAction member CEOs or their designated representatives are invited to attend the Annual Members Meeting. This is your opportunity to hear a high-level overview of InterAction’s activities, including issues under consideration by the Board of Directors and the election of new Board members. The meeting will feature a conversation with the InterAction Executive Committee, Chief Executive Officer Sam Worthington and President Lindsay Coates. A quorum is required.

1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.

Breakout Session: NGO Futures - Transformational Change Leadership: Stories from the Field

The concept of “transformational change leadership” is being embraced across sectors. What can it mean for you and your organization? With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, Lina Srivastava identified seven characteristics that scaffold the process of creating transformational change through community-centered leadership. In a Ted Talk format followed by Q&A, Lina will place this endeavor in the context of CEOs' work and larger global trends, and exemplify transformational methods via stories of change from leaders in the field. She will also teach us how to embody and employ the transformational leadership core characteristics.


  • Lina Srivastava, CIEL

2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.

Breakout Session: Innovative Finance

This session will present key findings from a recent survey conducted by InterAction and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, with the objective of understanding how some INGOs are applying innovative finance. The CEOs and key stakeholders have seen that while impact investing and other approaches beyond grants have greatly expanded over the past decade; the adoption, testing, and evaluation of innovative finance models for development seem to have remained low amongst INGOs. A moderated discussion with an INGO and a private sector representative will highlight how they engaged in developing an instrument from ideation to evaluation.


  • Bulbul Gupta, Social Innovation Advisor
  • Alicia Phillips Mandaville, InterAction
  • Jonathan Nash, Millenium Challenge Corporation

3:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m.

Breakout Session: Diversity in the Development and Humanitarian NGO Sector

Diversity is a key value for many organizations and is also a recognized challenge in foreign affairs for the US. While many CEOs want to take steps to improve diversity at their organizations, there are few senior level settings in which the topic is addressed and discussed openly. This session allows leaders to learn more about how diverse teams serve organizations well, and more importantly, how one can take practical steps to increase diversity within one's own organization.


  • Ambassador Reuben E. Brigety II, Dean of the Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Sheila Herrling, The Case Foundation
  • Mirah Horowitz, Russell Reynolds Associates

4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m.

InterAction Awards Reception

6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

InterAction Awards Banquet


8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.


9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.

Breakout Session: What’s next in Philanthropy: A Shifting Paradigm for a Shifting Landscape

It’s 2017 and all bets are off. The ground beneath INGOs’ feet is shifting, and organizations that have relied on government and traditional foundation funding (often slow, inflexible and restrictive) face a new and uncertain landscape. A hard look at our fiscal health is what is needed, and with that comes evaluation of old habits, legacy systems, and unaddressed staff capacities that keep organizations from maximizing their potential. While the future is out of our control, what is within our control is how we can strengthen our organizations so that we can demonstrate to funders that we are worth the investment, worth the risk. Join us for a conversation with leading edge funders who are bravely breaking the mold in the name of real global change and progress, and what they see as necessary steps for themselves and for INGOs.


  • David Abramowitz, Humanity United
  • Ellen Dorsey, Wallace Global Fund
  • Laurie Michaels, Open Road Alliance
  • Rakesh Rajani, Ford Foundation
  • Alex Toma, Peace and Security Funders Group

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Closing Plenary Session: Navigating the New Washington

12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.

CEO Lunch: Working with the New Administration

Highlights from:  Forum 2017 | Forum 2016 | Forum 2015 | Forum 2014 | Forum 2013