InterAction: A United Voice for Change Digital Press Kit

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InterAction is a convener, thought leader, and voice for international nongovernmental organizations (NGO) working to eliminate extreme poverty, strengthen human rights and citizen participation, safeguard a sustainable planet, promote peace, and ensure dignity for all people.

Our mission is to be the convener and unified voice of the NGO community, so that no one ever stands alone when trying to change the world.



Our regular field mission reports, white papers, and publications provide timely updates on global affairs and issues faced by the global development and humanitarian assistance sectors.

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Annually, we host the InterAction Forum, CEO Retreat, and over 800 meetings bringing together our Members, future leaders, outside experts, government officials, and stakeholders to discuss ongoing issues, encourage cross-sector collaboration and evaluate the sector’s progress.

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We amplify the voice of the sector and complement Member and partner efforts with traditional and digital communications strategies, including press referrals, Member media alerts, blogs, content production, sign-on letters, and promotion through social media channels.

Every day, InterAction Members are working all over the world to combat poverty and alleviate suffering. Amid COVID-19, this work is more important than ever. As a platform for advocacy and engagement, InterAction features their most recent updates, blogs, and reports that highlight their new and ongoing efforts. This page is updated weekly. We hope that you are as inspired by their work as we are.

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We mobilize Members to work with government officials at all levels to highlight our Members’ work and guarantee ongoing political and financial support.

Our Members receive timely information on legislative, policy, and budgetary movement that both directly and indirectly impacts their work.

Lead Change

We help Members tackle salient issues including International Humanitarian Law, preventing sexual harassment and abuse and gender-based violence, managing risk, and countering disinformation.

Our NGO Futures initiative convenes Members and leaders to adapt to rapid political, environmental, technological, and economic sector shifts.

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We represent NGO perspectives through involvement in the United Nations Inter-Agency Standing Committee. We lead NGO engagement through our role on the Grand Bargain Facilitation Group for effective information sharing and collective positioning between donors and aid providers.

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Our Members are premier international global development, humanitarian, and sector-supporting organizations that work in almost every country around the globe and manage more than $15 billion in programs worldwide.

InterAction is managed by a committed and active board of directors. Diverse in representation, we seek variety in NGO size, geographic representation, a mix of faith-based and secular organizations, CEO gender, a balance of new and returning board members, and experience.

InterAction is a team of more than 50 policy advocates, researchers, practitioners, fellows, and communicators.


Sam Worthington, CEO

For over a decade, Sam Worthington has served as CEO of InterAction, the largest U.S. alliance of international nongovernmental organizations focused on people around the world.

Sam strengthens the impact and collective voice of the U.S. NGO sector and leads its engagement on a wide range of policy and programs with the highest levels of the U.N., governments, philanthropies, and civil society actors. Previously, he served as CEO of Plan International USA, a large global child rights NGO, and was a resident policy fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. He is currently a trustee of the Van Leer Foundation; sits on the U.N. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC); USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aide (ACVFA); Brown University’s Advisory Board on the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies; the boards of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Forus, Religions for Peace and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a recipient of numerous awards including an honorary doctorate.

When not reading a book or enjoying city life, Sam has a deep personal affinity for high alpine ridges and healthy coral reefs. Sam grew up on three continents and has worked in over 50 countries. He lives with his wife, Renee, in Bethesda and travels to visit his three adult children.

Carolyn J. Aeby, Vice President

Membership and Public Engagement

Carolyn Aeby joined InterAction in November 2016 as the Director of Membership. She is an expert in membership recruitment and retention strategies, developing programs and events to enhance member engagement, and organizational branding. In June 2018, Carolyn was promoted to Vice President of Membership and Public Engagement, adding NGO Futures, Communications, and the Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse program to the MPE portfolio.

Prior to joining InterAction, she was the Director of Membership and Strategic Planning for Chief Executives Organization (CEO), a global community of corporate leaders hosting educational events. Prior to CEO, Carolyn was a consultant for more than 12 years assisting organizations to develop performance-driven objectives; partner with outside sources for enhanced programs and member benefits; create organizational strategic plans encompassing short- and long-term objectives; and partake in operational changes to reduce expenses and ensure potential growth. As a divergent thinker, she has a keen ability to generate innovative, successful solutions and recognize hidden opportunities.

Carolyn has a degree in marketing from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin and holds the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives. She has a 13-year-old son who tries her patience, and she enjoys international travel.

Noam Unger, Vice President

Development Policy, Advocacy, and Learning

Noam Unger is Vice President for Development Policy, Advocacy and Learning at InterAction. In this role, he leads efforts to strengthen the voice and role of civil society in global development, international relief, and associated policy deliberations. Noam oversees work with Members and partners to: enhance their impact through networked learning; align common interests; and mobilize together to influence U.S. and international policies and practices.

Prior to joining InterAction in 2018, Noam served as the Acting Chief Strategy Officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Noam also previously served as the Director of USAID's Office of Policy, and as an Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning. His early career additionally included service at the State Department and USAID in roles focused on international conflict and humanitarian assistance.

In the non-profit sector, Noam served as Vice President for Partnerships and External Affairs for Global Citizen Year, an education-related social enterprise committed to building the next generation of leaders. From 2007 to 2012, he worked at Brookings as a Global Economy and Development Fellow, where he directed the Foreign Aid Reform Project, co-founded the Development Assistance and Governance Initiative, and managed the annual Brookings Blum Roundtable. Noam was also a founding member and principal of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN), and his background also includes consulting work with Save the Children in Haiti and with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

Noam received his bachelor's degree from Swarthmore College and then spent a year on a solo, around-the-world project in Central America, South America, West Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia as a fellow of the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. At the start of his career, he worked in the private sector as an analyst and inventor for a software company. He holds a master's degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Julien Schopp, Vice President

Humanitarian Policy & Practice

Julien joined InterAction as the Director of Humanitarian Practice in April of 2012, before being promoted to Senior Director in 2019, and Vice President of Humanitarian Policy and Practice in July 2020. Julien represents InterAction in different global forums focused on the humanitarian system and its governance. His ultimate goal is to ensure that field realities are better understood in order to inform conversations and decisions made by policymakers and institutions.

Before joining InterAction, Julien worked as a Senior Policy Officer for the International Council of Voluntary Agencies, focusing on Forced Displacement issues. As such, he was the primary NGO focal point at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Julien has substantial field experience managing humanitarian operations, primarily for the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Over the years, he has worked as IRC country director in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, and Uganda, also serving the agency in Congo-Brazzaville, Sudan, and Chad.

Julien holds an M.A. in literature from Paris X University.


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President of InterAction: Foreign Aid will Continue to Deliver (posted 08/22/19)

Washington, DC—Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction issued the following statement in response to the administration’s announcement to not cut foreign aid:

“Throughout the past two weeks, InterAction and our members have collaborated in multiple ways and at various times in response to the administration’s announcement to put a hold on congressionally approved foreign aid funds and a possible rescission of funds.

“Today, we received the excellent news that OMB’s rescission attempt to cut foreign aid is over.

“Foreign aid will continue to deliver. Data tells us that America’s small investment has worked. Global poverty is at an all-time low, hunger has been cut in half, and safe water is increasingly available.

“InterAction would like to thank House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders for their bipartisan support for U.S. foreign assistance and thank you to our members for ensuring that America continues to help transform lives around the world.”

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CNN: Coronavirus pandemic could contribute to surge of other deadly diseases, experts warn

"Our community's concerned about the impacts in countries that are battling measles, cholera, polio, outbreaks like that at the same time that they have to contend with the spread of Covid-19," said Noam Unger, the vice president for development policy, advocacy and learning at InterAction, an alliance of international NGOs and partners.

The Daily Beast: Foreign Aid Groups Fighting COVID-19 Can’t Buy PPE With USAID Money

The NGO umbrella group InterAction told The Daily Beast, “Humanitarian organizations have a duty to protect their staff. If new regulations impede the purchase of masks and other PPE materials in countries around the world where the U.S. government is trying to beat back this global pandemic, then they are putting first responders’ lives, and U.S. backed efforts at risk.”

Foreign Policy: Pentagon Asks for More Cash to Cut Down Civilian Deaths

“What intelligence can be gathered about vulnerable civilians when you’re privileging airstrikes,” ... “Information coming from third parties is valuable to flesh out their intelligence picture. It’s almost taken for granted that they have superior situational awareness.”

The Hill: COVID-19 — 'America first' policy may mean more Americans sick

Op-ed by Sam Worthington, InterAction CEO
We know the world is catching COVID-19. We will either beat it everywhere or nowhere. Americans rightly look forward to the day when we can open the economy. But, our health and livelihoods depend on reopening the world.

Devex: Despite flexible USAID funding guidance, aid groups face long-term challenges

The process for making changes to grants or contracts appears to be going pretty smoothly, but there are some concerns that over time, grant officers will struggle to keep up with the requests, said Jenny Marron, director of public policy and government affairs at InterAction.
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For all press inquiries, please contact Morgan Martinez, Director of Communications.

Morgan Martinez | Director, Communications mmartinez@interaction.org | 202.552.6556

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