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.

A Legacy of Leadership: Recognizing David Beckmann

As CEO of InterAction – the largest coalition of U.S.-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and partners – I have met many uniquely impressive leaders.

These individuals inspire others, both from within the NGO sector and outside of it, to advocate for a more equal and just world. They spark innovation and encourage partnerships across physical and intangible borders. They make a lasting impact.

Reflecting on Gayle Smith’s Message of Hope

One of the things I enjoy the most as CEO of InterAction is the chance to bring together the NGO community and its partners each year at our annual Forum. It's always a tough task in deciding how to allocate the limited amount of time we have available, though each year we are thrilled and grateful for the insightful dialogues that ensue over the three days.

This year we had a special honor and treat – a keynote address by recently appointed USAID Administrator Gayle Smith. Her remarks were not only poignant and captivating, but timely.

The Forgotten Crises

We must ensure that all people – regardless of where they are born – have the ability to live happy, healthy, and safe lives. It is critical for the media, governments, and individuals to focus on the massive scale of human suffering in Middle East and Europe. But we must not limit our focus. We must not ignore people in Africa who are forced to flee from their homes due to violence and conflict.

To Improve Human Wellbeing, It’s Time to Get Serious about Transparency

Community and collective action matter. The dream is for all civil society organizations to look beyond their individual projects and work collectively to advance human wellbeing everywhere.

The Right Balance: Reducing Risks while Advancing Human Wellbeing

We usher in a new year where, due to recent terrorist attacks, living in Paris today feels different than it did just a few years ago. And far from a western capital, risks for NGOs are on the rise. Bombings, kidnappings, and gunfire exchange between armed groups makes working in Syria significantly more dangerous than prior to the Arab Spring. No one will deny that the risks we face today are very real and growing.

The Fight to End Hunger: The Role of U.S. NGOs and Global Leadership

This September, global leaders from 193 countries came together to agree on an ambitious set of universal goals to reduce poverty and inequality. The goals recognize that to build inclusive prosperity, the world must tackle hunger and malnutrition, particularly for the most vulnerable. The goals – called the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs for short – commit us towards zero hunger worldwide by 2030.

NGOs Must Evolve, Realign, and Reinvent

In a meeting with a group of international nonprofit CEOs, one organization recently stated that all of its programs frequently impact 100 million people per year worldwide. This is indicative of the significant influence one large U.S. NGO has amongst thousands. So what is the role of U.S. NGOs in addressing critical global challenges over the coming decades? This summer at our annual Forum, I addressed the broader community with a set of overarching recommendations.

What We Mean by “Civic Space” and Where We’re Pushing Back

What is civic space? It’s the ability for health clinics to operate freely towards eradicating polio in Pakistan, it enables humanitarians to rapidly deliver shelter after a hurricane in the Philippines, and it is imperative to the fight for greater justice and equality in South Africa, and here at home. Or, for that matter, it is the ability of people-based organizations to fight against injustices or for human well-being anywhere.

Providing Aid to the People, Needing Peace as the Crisis Continues

This July marks the 4 year anniversary of independence in South Sudan. However, in its current state there remains very little to celebrate in the young country.

Forum Takeaways and Future Action

This June, InterAction held its 31st annual Forum. More than 1,000 attendees from over 350 organizations participated in the three-day event.
 
In an effort to synthesize three days of stimulating conversations, brainstorming sessions, and building connections with many of you at InterAction’s Forum 2015, let’s reflect on some key takeaways:
 

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