Concern Worldwide US
Concern Worldwide is a global humanitarian organization focused on the world’s most vulnerable. They specialize in emergency response, health & nutrition, climate resilience, education, and livelihoods.
Since its founding in 1968, Concern Worldwide has saved countless lives, relieved suffering and provided opportunities for a sustained better living standard for millions of people. They work primarily in the world’s poorest countries, and within those countries, we seek out the most vulnerable and overlooked.
Concern implements emergency response programs, has been a leader in health and nutrition issues, and has been in the forefront of helping communities develop resilience to high-impact climate extremes. They also work in education, livelihoods and water and sanitation.
Mission & Vision
Our mission is to help people living in extreme poverty achieve major improvements in their lives that last and spread without ongoing support from Concern. Our role is to ensure that people living in extreme poverty are able to meet their basic needs, achieve their rights and manage their own development. We do so by working with communities and by using our shared experience and knowledge to address the root causes of extreme poverty. To achieve this mission, we engage in long-term development work and respond to emergency situations.
Concern’s work is informed by a vision for change. We envision a world in which no one lives in poverty, fear, or oppression; in which all have access to a decent standard of living and the opportunities and choices essential to a long, healthy, and creative life; and in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
Chief Executive Officer
Concern Worldwide, U.S.
Colleen Kelly has been CEO of Concern Worldwide U.S. since 2017. Her prior three decades of advertising and marketing leadership experience include organizations such as Deutsch, SET Creative, Triptent, Product of the Year USA, and ThinkLA. She leverages that experience to drive the organization’s ongoing strategic growth and income diversification, and track record of program effectiveness and efficiency. This involves a strengthening of Concern’s U.S. government funding portfolio and evolving private funding strategies, including corporate partnerships, social impact investing, and new streams of individual donor engagement at all levels. In addition to leading a team of 50 professionals in the U.S., she is a member of the Board of Directors, as well as the global senior management team, ensuring coordination, efficiency, and programmatic impact. She has traveled to Concern programs in Lebanon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Bangladesh to strengthen ties and help expose donors directly to the work their generosity makes possible.
Sustainable Development And Poverty Reduction
By Colleen Kelly
Over many years, organizations like ours have been striving to design poverty reduction programs that will be sustained in our eventual absence — by those for whom they are designed. In effect, we’re in the business of putting ourselves out of business.
And we’ve been getting better at it, primarily by focusing on local partnerships. The days of top-down aid and outside-in charity are rapidly and thankfully disappearing.