President & CEO, Oxfam America
“My career has led me to work in some of the most challenging parts of the world, seeing first-hand the impact of poverty, injustice, war and disasters and I’ve always been impressed by Oxfam’s commitment to facing tough challenges with high impact solutions. Today, the fight against inequality is more relevant than ever; I am honored to lead the Oxfam team through this next chapter.”
As President and CEO of Oxfam America, Abby Maxman seeks to create a future that is equal. She mobilizes people and resources worldwide to make positive social change and to provide lifesaving support to people in crisis.
Over 30 years, Abby’s approach has been informed by the everyday economic, climate, and gender injustices faced by the people she works with and for, as well as her experience living and working through social change movements, regional and geopolitical shifts and humanitarian and development challenges. These include: apartheid in southern Africa; the HIV/AIDs and Ebola epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa; chronic food insecurity and famine in Ethiopia; post-genocide relief and recovery in Rwanda; strengthening community organizations during the Rose Revolution in Georgia; and large-scale responses to humanitarian disaster in Haiti.
Abby strives for accountability by examining and changing the power dynamics within the aid sector. Since joining Oxfam America in 2017, she has transformed the Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors to be more representative of the diversity of people Oxfam works with and has elevated the organizational focus on gender and climate justice and fighting inequality.
Abby is a leader on safeguarding systems and cultures in the aid sector, as well as humanitarian and development policy, practice, and learning. She has been at the forefront of Oxfam’s response to the COVID pandemic; launching and leading the organization's ambitious 2030 strategy; championing accountability, and galvanizing action for vaccine equity.
Recognizing that long-term change to address the root causes of poverty and injustice requires joining with others, Abby plays an important role supporting, coordinating, and sharing efforts and expertise with NGOs and other organizations. This includes serving as Vice Chair of Interaction, Chair of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, Representative on the UN Inter Agency Standing Committee, and representing Oxfam on the boards of Frontline AIDS, Global Executive Leadership Initiative, and the Classy Leadership Council.
Abby has served as Deputy Secretary General of CARE International, Vice President of International Programs and Operations and in leadership roles in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and Middle East for CARE USA. She has also served with US government agencies, the German development agency, and the UN World Food Programme. Abby holds a BA in History and Political Science, a Masters in International Administration, and several Honorary Doctorate degrees. She is a mother of three and lives in MA with her husband and children.