Lindsay Coates

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, the executive committee for Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), and the boards of Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) and United State Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC).  She also served on the Obama administration’s task force on Global Poverty, was a Trustee for her alma mater the University of the South at Sewanee, and a board member for the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project and the Global Heath Council.

Before joining InterAction in 2008, she was the COO of Population Action International, a leading international NGO advocating for access to family planning services. Prior to her work in the nonprofit sector, Lindsay practiced civil rights law in various capacities. She began her career in Mississippi, and then served as chief of staff for the U.S. Department of Education, and an equal employment opportunity attorney at the National Gallery of Art.

From 2008-2009, Lindsay was a nonresident fellow of Seminar XXI, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for International Studies. She holds a JD from the University of Mississippi, a B.A. magna cum laude from Sewanee, and has studied at the London School of Economics.

Ebola: The Fight to Reach Zero and the Road to Recovery

This spring we mark the one year anniversary of the onset of the largest Ebola outbreak in history. The crisis has resulted in over 25,551 cases and over 10,588 deaths. It has highlighted the immediate challenges community members and response workers face operating in fragile healthcare systems and its broader effects on local economies, food security, and cultural norms.

Women as Leaders in Peaceful Transition

Women are often disproportionately affected by armed conflict, yet are also often excluded from peace processes and seen as helpless and vulnerable victims in need of protection. This month we mark International Women's Day 2015 by celebrating women's progress toward greater political, social, and economic freedoms.

Invest to Save Lives and Build Sustainable Communities

The collective contributions of the U.S. government and civil society have led to significant progress in addressing global poverty. But the world is complex - new challenges emerge and considerable work remains.

Advocating for Civil Society Space in 2015

As we move into 2015, advocating for civil society space and voice will remain one of the leading priorities. This is a seminal year for development, a moment that calls on us to envision the world we want to see, and to act to create that world for future generations. As dialogue among member states for the post-2015 agenda begins, civil society is called to press forward with new ideas and take on the root causes that limit progress on development outcomes.

113th Congress Sets Politics Aside for Critical Development & Humanitarian Issues

2014 has been a busy year for the international humanitarian and development communities. From the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria, 2014 saw an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises around the globe. At the same time, this year's midterm congressional elections brought partisan tensions to new highs inside the Washington Beltway.

Civil Society Engagment Crucial at IMF-World Bank Meeting

In our media moment, even the smallest demonstration, charitable effort or advocacy campaign can go global in an instant. Yet, the sum of modern civil society is more than a collection of breaking news headlines, viral videos or hashtags trending on Twitter. 

Supreme Court Stands With NGOs in Landmark Free-Speech Ruling

Today, NGOs scored a major legal victory when the Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that a USAID policy requirement infringed upon Americans’ right to free speech. The case, USAID v AOSI, challenges a 2003 law that requires all groups receiving U.S government funds for international HIV and AIDS work to have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution.

Nutrition for Growth: An Historic Moment for Global Nutrition Efforts?

World leaders gathered Saturday in London at the Nutrition for Growth summit and pledged an impressive total of $21.9 billion to be spent between now and 2020 to combat undernutrition. Just as significant as the amounts pledged was who was pledging: governments, foundations, businesses and NGOs all made commitments that resulted in billions of dollars.

Citizen Engagement Forms the Backbone for Good Development

A democracy truly founded on participation requires strong citizen engagement and feedback. In many contexts, civil society organizations are the most common conduits to include the voice of citizens. Citizen engagement, when it works, encourages greater transparency and accountability and may reduce corruption. NGOs, which often have a strong history of working in communities, are crucial in this endeavor.

The Gold Friends

When I was 8 years old, my grandmother decided that I needed to learn to cross stitch. She treated everything as an opportunity to improve me, so I was not allowed to pick the motto for my sampler myself, as I might not have chosen a worthy lesson. It said, “make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold,” and when I finished, it was framed and hung on my bedroom wall.

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Lindsay Coates's picture
Title: 
President
Department: 
Executive Office