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.

Ebola – A Fragile Healthcare System’s Ripple Effects

Four years ago I traveled over a deeply washed away and rutted dirt track to visit villages in the northern Liberian jungle, in what is now the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak. I focused on a network of small health clinics, which were dealing with the scourges of war and the impact of gender-based violence. Once the emergency of war eased, foreign assistance for these clinics was cut – and now what remains of these clinics are at the heart of an Ebola outbreak. 

NGOs Further Democratizing Aid and Development

InterAction members spending over $4 billion in private resources for community-driven efforts in Africa

U.S. NGOs investing to help children reach their 5th birthday

In 2015, InterAction’s member NGOs will spend over $450 million in private, nongovernmental funds on child health and survival, a substantial increase over this year’s spending. These dollars will allow children around the world to reach their fifth birthdays and lead healthy, productive lives. Having worked for years to advance the wellbeing of children, I know firsthand why these investments are so critical.

USAID And InterAction Sign Landmark Development Partnership - And Now The Work Starts

USAID and InterAction have just announced a first-of-its-kind agreement in a major effort to accelerate progress in the global fight against hunger and malnutrition. The agreement, signed May 19 on Capitol Hill, aims to maximize the impact of USAID and U.S. NGOs’ global food security and nutrition efforts – and it represents a landmark commitment by long-standing partners to collaborate in new ways to end hunger.

A Farewell to Peter Bell, an NGO Leader and Dear Friend

Last week the U.S. NGO community lost a friend and leader, Peter Bell, who in his lifetime helped shape the concept and direction of global NGOs. As the president and CEO of CARE for a decade, Peter had the opportunity to steer an organization that makes a difference in the lives of countless people, and for years after he continued to influence the work of NGOs as a thought leader. I was fortunate to know him as both a mentor and dear friend.

InterAction's Samuel A. Worthington: Stand With the People of Syria

It was just a few years ago that ordinary Syrian citizens were living their lives. Shops were open for business, bakeries were filled with warm Markook flatbread, schools were packed with children, and hospitals were sanctuaries for the sick.

A 30th Anniversary Wish List of Headlines for 2014

This is a critical time for those of us working toward a more equitable, peaceful and sustainable world. 2014 marks the run-up to reaching the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals, setting a new global development and sustainability agenda for post-2015 and achieving an accord to counter climate change. As we push for continued positive and lasting global change for the world’s poor, U.S. NGOs have an increasingly important role to play – one that is vastly different than 30 years ago when InterAction was established. 

Looking Back on 2013

For development and humanitarian actors, 2013 was a year of crisis, change and ambitious vision in which InterAction members continued to carry out their missions around the world while adapting to a rapidly changing funding and policy ecosystem.

A Letter from InterAction's CEO on Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines last week has triggered a massive and coordinated global response. As our community mobilizes and responds, I want to take a moment to share what we know so far, and to ask for your help.

Aiming High on the Post-2015 Agenda

Some degree of poverty will always exist in the world. But the end of extreme poverty—bringing the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day to virtually zero—is for the first time in history an attainable goal. To achieve it, we must redouble our efforts before the Millennium Development Goals expire, and we must enshrine this bold vision in the goals that replace them.

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