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.

Foreign Assistance, Even In Tough Times, Is A Good Investment

Investing in overseas development is sometimes a hard sell when our own country is focused on economic recovery and job creation. Sustainable development creates stronger economies, with more consumers to trade and do business with in our interconnected global marketplace. This, in turn, creates growth opportunities at home and abroad. Effective development directly improves the lives of the world's poor and contributes toward a thriving international economy that serves our shared economic interests.

Foreign Aid Makes Fiscal Sense

Originally published on CNN.com on Nov. 22, 2011. 

Not A Watershed, But Progress At G20 In Cannes

CANNES – The end of the G20 summit in Cannes was a blur of activity as an army of reporters scoured through piles of official documents to make sense of the outcome. It was a scene made all the more surreal by the décor in the media center – fluorescent lime carpeting and rows of puce green tables.

Joining reporters trying to figure out the results were about 100-plus accredited NGOs, including InterAction. After days of rumors over what might be in the communiqué, we finally had something firm to respond to.

Getting The NGO Message Heard By President Sarkozy

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy was clearly in his element as he pointed a finger at the French NGO leader:  "You and I understand each other,” he said.

NGO leaders representing civil society from the North and South, met the French president on Wednesday to discuss core development priorities ahead of the two-day G20 summit in Cannes, which starts today (Thursday). A team of InterAction staff is at the G20 in  Cannes, seeking to get our issues heard and the meeting with President Sarkozy is part of that mission.

U.S. Must Learn From Britain And Not Cut Foreign Aid

While the U.S. debt talks are making the headlines, the battle over the 2012 budget is already under way and the NGO community fears cuts to crucial foreign aid programs.

Fighting Poverty and Balancing Budgets

Government budgets worldwide are under pressure and we have to make sure every penny is well spent. Nowhere is this more apt than with foreign assistance budgets, which are targets of scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic. Aid spent well can literally change millions of lives, and balancing budgets at the expense of the world's poorest people makes no sense for a whole host of reasons.

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