InterAction Announces Patricia McIlreavy as New Vice President of Humanitarian Policy and Practice

McIlreavy to lead InterAction's staff delegation to the World Humanitarian Summit and representation at the Inter-Agency Standing Committee
Release Date: 
Apr 18, 2016

WASHINGTON – On April 18, 2016, InterAction officially announced the selection of Patricia McIlreavy as the vice president of humanitarian policy and practice. McIlreavy was chosen to head InterAction's humanitarian team after an extensive international leadership search.

Building on her previous experience as InterAction's senior director for humanitarian policy, McIlreavy will lead InterAction’s efforts to assist the humanitarian community—including work with member NGOs, UN agencies and key partners to address the needs of vulnerable populations. McIlreavy also will head-up InterAction's delegation to the May World Humanitarian Summit and its representation at the Inter-Agency Standing Committee—including the June session that InterAction will host in Washington, D.C.

McIlreavy’s previous positions include country director for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in Sudan, Tanzania and Burundi, and IRC’s regional director for the Horn and East Africa. Directly prior to joining InterAction, she was based in Amman, Jordan, working as an international management and training consultant with a diverse group of organizations, including humanitarian NGOs, the Red Cross movement, United Nations agencies and NATO.

Upon the announcement of McIlreavy's selection, InterAction President Lindsay Coates said, "Patricia's extensive experience both in field and working within the broader humanitarian community will be an invaluable asset for InterAction. She is highly qualified for this role, thoughtful and smart with a strong reputation as an honest broker who can bring disparate views together.  Patty is highly regarded within the InterAction community and by our partners."

First Person: A Quick Q&A with Patricia McIlreavy

Learn more McIlreavy and some of the upcoming opportunities and challenges the humanitarian community might face in her own words.

How did you first get your start in the humanitarian relief field?

Like many humanitarians, I more so fell into this career than chose it originally. While working at USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, I was twice assigned to serve on the response team for the Rwandan genocide. I realized that to truly understand and be of help, I needed to move to the field. A job offer from the IRC soon followed, launching my humanitarian NGO career.

What trends are you seeing in the humanitarian sector? What new challenges could these trends present to the NGO community?

The World Humanitarian Summit is identifying numerous shifts for the humanitarian sector as a whole. One that will impact the InterAction community is a call for more recognition of the role national NGOs can and do play within a response, and how we, international NGOs, can improve how we work together with national NGOs to improve overall humanitarian action for affected people.

What are your priorities in this new role at InterAction?

Through our access and engagement within the international humanitarian system, InterAction staff can advocate for NGOs on any number of issues. My priority is to work with the team and our members to identify how InterAction’s roles of convener and expert are best utilized.