Ray Offenheiser announces he will transition from his role as CEO and President of Oxfam America

By Oxfam

Boston – Today Ray Offenheiser announced that he will be transitioning from his position as CEO and President of Oxfam America, a Boston-based, global organization that works to address the root causes of poverty, hunger, and injustice. He will depart after a successor has been identified over the next year.  

Offenheiser joined Oxfam America as President and CEO in 1996 and under his leadership, the organization became one of the strongest members of the global Oxfam confederation – promoting a social justice approach to the fight against global poverty. Among various achievements, he grew the organization eightfold, established its influential presence in Washington, DC, and built a private sector department which has been leading within the NGO community on corporate practices in developing countries. In particular, Ray helped establish Oxfam America’s expertise on the impact of oil and mining companies on the land and communities in which they operate. During his tenure, Ray expanded Oxfam America’s policy and advocacy profile in the United States while also supporting exceptional long term development programs across the globe.  

He has also made significant contributions to the wider field of social justice and development as a founding board member of the One Campaign, the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network and the Food Action Network.  In addition, he has represented Oxfam on numerous advisory bodies at Harvard, Cornell and other universities as well as with the World Bank, World Economic Forum, and the Obama administration’s New Alliance for Agriculture and Nutrition in Africa.   

“Ray has served Oxfam America brilliantly – with enduring passion for its mission and sound judgment in guiding the organization,” stated Joe Loughrey, Chair of Oxfam America’s Board of Directors. “The board appreciates all of Ray’s dedication to creating lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and social injustice. We are grateful that he will remain fully engaged as president until his official departure, and be available to advise his successor once that individual is on board to allow for a smooth transition.”

Ray Offenheiser said, “After twenty years leading Oxfam America’s fight against global poverty, I have decided to transition on to a new professional chapter once my successor has been selected and installed next year.  I have every confidence that an exceptional individual will follow in my footsteps and will do all I can to assist in that process and allow for a smooth transition.

I am honored to work with extraordinary colleagues who are taking on many of the most profound challenges of our time with deep commitment Sadly, our efforts are more critical than ever.  From responding to the world’s tragic humanitarian crises such as those in Syria, South Sudan, and Yemen, to exposing the impact of inequality on poor people both in the U.S. and abroad, and exploring new areas for innovation and good public policy to take on climate change, we are making a difference.  

One of the most profound elements of what Oxfam does in tackling natural and man-made tragedies around the globe is our promotion of human rights solutions to intractable injustices at home and abroad. I will remain dedicated to the mission and our staff as I begin this new chapter.

My tenure with Oxfam has been rewarding far beyond my expectations. It is a rare privilege that one is given the opportunity to build an organization with such a far-reaching and compelling mission.   While I inherited a rich tradition of field and advocacy work at Oxfam, it has been exciting to see it grow some eightfold, establish a strong presence in Washington, DC and globally and take on so many major issues across a much wider geography. As we now put the final touches on the integration and strengthening of the $1 billion Oxfam confederation, it is an exciting time for new leadership.  

I look forward to another busy and fulfilling year in service to our mission of creating lasting solutions to hunger, poverty and social injustice. And I embrace the new challenges that await.”

A blog from Ray Offenheiser


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