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. Mr. Worthington leads the U.S. NGO sector’s engagement with the UN, governments, and civil society groups around the world. He testifies before the U.S. Congress, routinely consults with the administration, speaks to boards and at universities, and is a regular contributor on numerous national and international media outlets. Mr. Worthington 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. Previously he served as chief executive officer of Plan International USA (1994 to 2006) and as a policy fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.

Solutions Over Pessimism: A Key to Global Progress in 2019

A new U.S. Congress was sworn in on January 3rd, and despite the current government shutdown, these new members are bringing fresh ideas and new energy to American leadership and policymaking. With this comes a new opportunity to positively influence U.S. foreign assistance and build upon the progress that has been made over the past year to improve the lives of those living in the poorest and must vulnerable places around the world.

Why Multilateral Institutions Still Matter

Earlier this month I, along with Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, represented the InterAction Community at the meeting of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in Geneva. The meeting brought together the heads of 11 UN agencies — from UNHCR and UNICEF to the World Food Program and World Health Organization — along with the leadership of the International Red Cross and other major international NGO platforms, to discuss the ongoing humanitarian crises taking place around the world.  

Mounting Challenges Won't Deter NGO Community

The environment in which the U.S. NGO community and its global partners operate in has been rife with changes and challenges over the last two years. Yet, in the face of growing international crises associated with fragility, decreased tolerance of civil society, increased hatred and racism, and political threats to budgets, our community has persisted and stood together in solidarity.

Holding Private Donors Accountable

U.S. global engagement and humanitarian assistance continues to garner broad bipartisan support.

To Protect the World’s Humanitarians, Real Reform is Needed in the NGO Community

World Humanitarian Day, celebrated on August 19th, was started to commemorate those who died at the Canal Hotel Bombing in Iraq on August 19, 2003. It is an annual occasion for us to recognize the sacrifices made by humanitarian aid workers. Unfortunately, their challenges and sacrifices are not limited to the extreme risks they face in the pursuit of efforts to save lives.

As government policies affecting immigrants and asylum seekers worsen, InterAction Community must be the example of American compassion

InterAction is an American coalition comprised of a globally minded community of organizations. Over generations, our member NGOs were founded by communities in the United States that were called to service, informed by both secular and religious values, to advance human dignity and compassion. This Independence Day marked a time when many Americans may be questioning whether our country is willing to be compassionate to others, particularly towards marginalized individuals who are asking for our help.

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.

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