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Samuel A. Worthington
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Samuel A. Worthington is the CEO of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international non-governmental organizations with more than 190 members operating every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and suffering by helping to improve their quality of life.

Entries by Samuel A. Worthington

A Legacy of Leadership: Recognizing David Beckmann

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2016 | 9:39 AM

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...

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Reflecting on Gayle Smith's Message of Hope

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2016 | 12:44 AM

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,...

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The Forgotten Crises

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2016 | 3:46 PM

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...

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To Improve Human Wellbeing, It's Time to Get Serious About Transparency

(0) Comments | Posted March 23, 2016 | 9:58 AM

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.

To make this vision a reality, it is imperative for all civil society organizations, and this includes U.S. NGOs, to share information about their projects with all potential partners. At the click of...

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The Right Balance: Reducing Risks While Advancing Human Wellbeing

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2016 | 3:21 PM

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...

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

(0) Comments | Posted October 14, 2015 | 5:45 PM

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...

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Building a New Role for U.S. NGOs as Active Global Citizens

(0) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 4:15 PM

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...

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What We Mean by "Civic Space" and Where We're Pushing Back

(0) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 2:15 PM

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....

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

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2015 | 4:38 PM

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

Since fighting broke out in December 2013, thousands of civilians have been killed, and an estimated 2 million people have been displaced, including more than...

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InterAction's Forum 2015 Takeaways and Future Action

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 6:49 PM

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:
1. During...
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Why We Exist and How We Can Evolve

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2015 | 2:24 PM

Effective development is ultimately local. It is driven by market economics, the private sector, and shaped by effective governance institutions, namely host governments. If this is true, our goal as international nonprofits working across borders is to “work ourselves out of a job.” Does this make sense? It does not...

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Nepal: A Call to Action

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 2:32 PM

Six months ago many in the humanitarian system wondered if it was the worst it has ever been, with crises in Syria, South Sudan, and the Central Africa Republic. Then came Ebola. And Yemen. And now Nepal. The thing is, we are all part of a larger system. And that...

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A New Strategic Framework

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 1:42 PM

I have returned from a relaxing and rejuvenating three-month sabbatical. I would like to thank Lindsay Coates for her strong and effective leadership as acting president & CEO during my absence. After fruitful discussions with InterAction members, staff, leadership, and various stakeholders, both Lindsay and I...

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Ebola Crisis: We Are in This for the Long Haul

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2014 | 12:52 PM

Since my letter regarding the Ebola crisis in September, 5,160 people have died with a total of 14,098 cases due to the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The actual numbers are probably far worse. Local, regional and international partners, including 30 InterAction members, are

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A Tradition Worth Feeding

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 10:35 AM

This Thanksgiving as I look forward to enjoying a meal with friends and family, I remember a very different meal that I shared years ago with a young girl named Nalini.

The year was 1993, and as the head of programs at Plan International USA, I traveled to southern India...

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Dispelling the Myth: An Evolving Relationship Between NGOs and Private Businesses

(1) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 3:45 PM

A common misperception regarding NGO-private sector relations is one based on mutual distrust and occasional confrontation; or with the advent of corporate social responsibility funding, one solely based on donor-recipient transactions. With the international development landscape rapidly evolving, some historical and present-day assumptions are simply inaccurate.

The following statements are...

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Travel Restrictions Are Obstacles to Fighting Ebola

(3) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 9:56 PM

The NGO community is getting mixed messages. At the same time humanitarian organizations are being encouraged to rapidly scale-up efforts to contain the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, increased political rhetoric on travel restrictions threatens to create new barriers to the NGO community's response to this crisis.

Currently, over 30...

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Ebola -- A Fragile Health Care System's Ripple Effects

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2014 | 5:54 PM

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...

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U.S. NGOs Investing to Help Children Reach Their 5th Birthday

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 5:59 PM

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...

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Stand With the People of Syria

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 5:06 PM


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.

March 15...

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