Senior Director of Development Operations
The organisation was founded in 1979 as Save the Refugees Fund, a task force organised by Dan O’Neill in response to the plight of Cambodian refugees fleeing the famine, war and genocide of the ‘Killing Fields’. This fledgling organisation helped focus attention on the humanitarian crisis and provided lifesaving aid to hundreds of thousands of Cambodians. In 1982 it was renamed Mercy Corps International, becoming Mercy Corps a few years later and establishing its headquarters in Portland, Oregon, USA. The organization shifted its focus from simply providing humanitarian relief to focusing on longer-term solutions to hunger, poverty and conflict.
Since then, Mercy Corps has grown and evolved, gaining national and international recognition for quick-response, high-impact, cost-effective programmes around the globe. In 1996 Mercy Corps merged with Scottish European Aid, and later opened European Headquarters in Edinburgh.
Over the years, our work has reached families and communities in more than 122 nations across the world. We have delivered more than $3.7 billion in lifesaving assistance, including food, shelter, health care, agriculture, water and sanitation, education and small business loans.
Today, Mercy Corps helps more than 28 million people each year recover from disasters, build stronger communities and find their own solutions to poverty. We have been an international leader in responding to the massive tragedy of the Indian Ocean tsunami, wars in Syria and Yemen, food crisis in South Sudan, displacement in the Democratic Republic of Congo and earthquakes from Indonesia to Haiti.
Mercy Corps was among the first humanitarian groups to use relief and development programmes to strengthen civil society. Simply handing out food, building a school or immunising a child is not enough — especially in countries torn by ethnic conflict and economic transition. Just a few weeks of armed conflict can destroy roads, schools, businesses and health systems that took years of traditional development work to build. Working side by side with the poor but hard-working families, we bring diverse groups together to create societies that are more peaceful, open, democratic and economically strong.