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.

Previously, Sam served as chief executive officer of Plan International USA (1994-2006), a large child-focused development NGO. Sam also sat on Plan’s global executive management team and chaired Plan’s national CEO team.

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, CIVICUS, 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 Pres. Bill Clinton, and serving on the steering committee of the NGO Leadership Forum at Harvard University. Recently, he was a resident 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.

Sam and his wife Renée live in Bethesda, Maryland. They have three grown children Rachel, Jamie, and Lindsay.

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.

Add Your Photo to Our History

For 15 years, InterAction’s photography contest has focused on incredible humanitarian and development work. Once again, we encourage you to submit your most powerful photos that illustrate innovative, effective, and inspiring efforts in humanitarian assistance and international relief and development.

Thankful for Partners

As the holiday season begins in the U.S. with families and friends gathering around tables for Thanksgiving, I am beginning to reflect on this past year. A lot was quite sobering. Some citizens are voting to have their countries turn inwards and embracing fear at a time when we are facing global crises that require collective action. Humanitarian crises continue unabated and children still die from hunger. Thankfully there are also many positive trends that you might want to share with family and friends.

Embracing a Legacy of Foreign Policy Leadership

Every four years, the United States government and its citizens participate in one of the world’s most profound and peaceful transitions of power. Such opportunities present all of us with a choice in leadership – at the executive and congressional levels – as we think about the kind of country we wish to be, and the kind of world we wish to be in. The latter is most relevant because our elections impact so much beyond our borders.
 

American Support for Humanitarian Assistance Reflected in $1.2 billion Pledge

I've often traveled to New York for the opening week of the UN General Assembly, but this year I'm honored to join other civil society leaders at President Barack Obama's Leaders' Summit on Refugees. And U.S. civil society, once again, has stepped up to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to helping affected people lift themselves out of hardship in a time of historic humanitarian need.

Honoring Michael Elliott – An Innovative Leader And Friend

Michael Elliott lived his life to the fullest. He was a friend, a colleague, and a dedicated champion in efforts to increase the collective ability of civil society to make the world a more peaceful, just, and prosperous place.

It is with a heavy heart that I learned of his passing July 14. He will be sorely missed within the InterAction community, but his legacy will live on. He left the world a better place.

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