CARE USA, one of the world’s largest private agencies for international development and relief, has announced that its board of directors has elected Peter Bell, the current chairman, to be president and CEO in October.

In an interview with Globalfax, Mr. Bell said that one of the largest challenges he faces is the “flagging commitment on the part of the U.S. government in relation to support for international development.” This reduction in foreign assistance has been targeted for places like sub-Sahara Africa, an area of great need, added Mr. Bell.

What Mr. Bell finds particularly distressing is not only declining direct foreign aid on the part of the U.S. government in relation to our GDP, but also the threat of budget cuts that CARE and other development

assistance and

humanitarian aid programs face.

“We need to do what we can to inform members of Congress and the executive of the importance of our mission and our program,” Mr. Bell said. But we also need to expand and diversify the sources of our support.”     

This expansion would include greater personal and corporate sponsorships of CARE, which currently receives 60% of its $400 million annual budget from the federal government.    

CARE USA has operations in approximately 40 countries. The organization engages in developing and supporting small enterprises, family planning,  sustainable agriculture and increasingly  women’s education. They are primarily in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, with the largest in Bangladesh.

Mr. Bell said that moving CARE from New York to Atlanta, in September, 1993, has been an extremely positive one, allowing the organization to cut costs and for its personnel to cut commuting time. The agency has also benefited, Mr. Bell added, from Atlanta’s Centers for Disease Control, Carter Center, the university community, and “the internationally-oriented corporate community.”

Mr. Bell lives in Scarsdale, N.Y. He succeeds Philip Johnston who has led CARE 15 years.

                                                                        by Nicholas Babaian