At Relief International, we’re always looking for new solutions to today’s problems. And we know that we don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. That’s why we created the Humanitarian Leadership Assembly.
Launched in June 2016, the assembly is a group of international humanitarians who swap ideas on how to tackle the most pressing challenges facing vulnerable communities. Invited to join by the chairperson of Relief International’s Board of Directors, assembly members engage RI staff, board members and one another on trends and techniques emerging in the humanitarian and development fields. Together, we identify special program initiatives for the coming year. Members also serve as ambassadors to broaden public awareness of RI and to advance the RI Way.
The Assembly also periodically bestows the Humanitarian Leadership Award, a distinction created by Relief International to honor inspirational individuals who embody humanitarian values and the RI Way. These individuals may come from any background. They might be globally recognized leaders, or community members in remote villages. What they have in common is the ability to inspire others to make a difference.
Retiring RI board member and former U.S. congressman James “Jim” Powers Moody received the inaugural award in November 2016. Born in southwestern Virginia, Jim has been a humanitarian almost since birth. As a young child, he accompanied his parents to China, where they worked with the Red Cross serving refugees. His adult life took him to Yugoslavia and Iran where he worked for Care, and to Pakistan and Bangladesh where he established programs for a fledgling Peace Corps.
As a five-term member of Congress from Wisconsin’s 5th district, Jim called out human rights violations in places such as Kashmir and worked to protect Yugoslav nationals during the 1990s war in the Balkans. He was a co-founder of the National Security Archive, which endures today as a force for open government. Jim has served as CFO of the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development and as president and chief executive officer of InterAction, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of humanitarian organizations.
Jim served on the Relief International board of directors for more than two decades, retiring in 2016. Jim lives in Maryland with his wife, Janice, and their family.