Lindsay Coates

Lindsay Coates was the former 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 Health 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.

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.

Development: Beyond Governments to Communities

Recently, a friend who is a former diplomat and academic asked me a question about U.S. foreign assistance and its role in driving economic development and leading to better lives and greater stability. He asked, if two countries are candidates for aid but one has a better government and policies, do you work with the former, even if the inadequate country is more in need of stability and its people in need of better lives?

Why President Obama's Peace Corps is relevant

**Originally posted by Lindsay Coates in the Huffington Post

This month, my daughter left for Morocco, an eager volunteer in the Peace Corps, a U.S. program created exactly half a century ago by President John F. Kennedy with the goal of spreading peace and friendship.

About 200,000 volunteers have served in 139 nations and my daughter, Helen Rose Patterson, is one of more than 8,650 people this year who are working in 77 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere.

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