Q&A: Mercy Corps CEO on the NGOs of the future

Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive officer at Mercy Corps. Photo by: Manuel Lopez / World Economic Forum / CC BY-NC-SA

DAVOS, Switzerland — The Alpine village of Davos, Switzerland, is quite a contrast to the contexts where the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps tends to work. Chief Executive Officer Neal Keny-Guyer spent a few days at the World Economic Forum annual meetings there last month, in between trips to Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was his 10th year in Davos, and he makes sure to travel to the Swiss mountain town from one of the 43 countries where the NGO works to put things in perspective.

What brings Keny-Guyer back to Davos year after year is the opportunity to build new partnerships between government, business, and civil society. Violence has become the driving force behind most human suffering, he explains. And his call to action at the WEF meetings this year was to tackle the conflict reshaping the world by mitigating long standing grievances, supporting good governance, and promoting inclusive economic growth.

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    Catherine Cheney

    Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology and innovation in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported from all over the world, and freelanced for outlets including the Atlantic and the Washington Post. She is also the West Coast ambassador for the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit that trains and connects journalists to cover responses to problems.