Sam Worthington

Sam Worthington is chief executive officer of InterAction, the largest U.S. alliance of nongovernmental international organizations, with more than 220 members and partners. Sam leads the U.S. NGO sector’s engagement at the highest levels with the UN, governments, and civil society groups around the world. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, routinely consults with the administration, speaks to boards and at universities, and is a regular contributor on numerous major national and international media outlets.

Sam is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; serves on the Advisory Committee for Voluntary Foreign Assistance (ACVFA) at USAID and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) at the UN; and sits on the boards of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Van Leer Group Foundation, FORUS, and The Alliance to End Hunger. His numerous leadership roles include serving on the White House Task Force on Global Development and Poverty, working as a founding board member of the ONE Campaign, chairing the global NGO Impact Initiative on behalf of UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery President Bill Clinton, and serving on the steering committee of the NGO Leadership Forum at Harvard University. He was a resident policy fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.

Sam holds a master’s degree with distinction from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont. As a Fulbright scholar he completed postgraduate research at the Institut Universitaire des Hautes Etudes Internationales in Geneva, and as a midcareer professional, an executive leadership program at the Harvard Business School. Among other awards, he has an honorary doctorate.

To Leverage NGO Resources, Partnerships with U.S. Government Must Change

Over the past year and a half, InterAction and the NGO community have successfully stood in solidarity to defend our values and maintain the role of development and humanitarian relief within U.S. foreign policy. Our values affirm the inherent dignity and rights of all people, including displaced persons or those who are marginalized. They also reflect a mandate to alleviate suffering and to promote human well-being and opportunity.
 

A Year for Global Activism

In response to the past year’s political and cultural flashpoints, more and more Americans, of many different stripes, have engaged in activism to stand up for their values. Disturbing news headlines hit with daily increasing frequency and one can see a world spiraling out of control. Yet we see an increase in individuals working to promote positive societal change both here and abroad. Some of these efforts make the news, most do not, but around the world individual citizens are organizing themselves to have a greater say over their lives and future.

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.

Leveraging Technology to Empower Vulnerable Populations

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak on humanitarian crises, displacement and refugees at the world’s largest technology conference in Lisbon, Portugal. The WebSummit convenes tech firms, startups, and venture capitalists to create the tools of the future. Conversations centered on how technology is transforming human life and the promises (and potential dangers) of artificial intelligence.

Condemning Hatred

Like many of you, I was deeply disturbed watching the events in Charlottesville last month and saddened and frustrated with President Trump’s response. Open displays of hatred and accompanying deadly violence should inspire full-throated condemnation and an invocation of the values of openness, inclusion, and compassion that inspires the United States at its best. Anything less runs the risk of further fraying the fabric of society.

Maintaining a Moral Argument for Foreign Aid

Thank you to everyone who joined us at InterAction Forum 2017. It is inspiring to come together as a community to reflect on and reaffirm the values and principles that tie us together and motivate us to change the lives of vulnerable and marginalized people.

InterAction Awards: Honoring Leaders Who Empower and Assist Vulnerable Communities around the World

“United We Stand” is the theme of this year’s InterAction Forum and a bedrock principle of our community. InterAction and its members are committed internationalists, working across borders to do good in the world. We share a deep belief that staying globally connected improves human wellbeing and makes each of us more effective in the global quest for a better world.

Maintaining Faith in the Future

The past twenty-five years have been the best time for overall human well-being. International cooperation and a widespread commitment to advancing human dignity and well-being has resulted in sharp decreases in global poverty, child mortality, interstate conflict, and many other barriers to human wellbeing. We all know that massive gaps remain but as wealth has spread, opportunities have increased for millions. The resulting economic, cultural and personal exchanges have opened up new windows of understanding between people in different corners of the world.

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.

Pages

Sam Worthington's picture
Title: 
CEO
Department: 
Executive Office