Arlington, VA, September 16, 2010 --(PR.com
)-- The board of directors of Counterpart International (Counterpart) today announced the appointment of Joan C. Parker as the nonprofit organization’s fifth President and Chief Executive Officer. Following an extensive international search, the Counterpart board selected Parker for her more than 20 years of development experience, which have been marked by her proven leadership in public and private sector programming, international team development and management, as well as development initiatives that have had global reach. Parker will begin her position at Counterpart October 1, 2010.
“The board is unanimous that Joan Parker is the perfect individual to lead Counterpart at this point in its history,” said Jeffrey LaRiche, Chairman of the Board. “We feel particularly fortunate that an individual with such a deep background in international development and proven ability to lead a mission-driven organization has agreed to lead Counterpart forward.”
Counterpart is a global development nonprofit that empowers people and communities to implement innovative and enduring solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. Established in 1965 as the Foundation for the South Pacific (FSP), the organization focused initially on helping the regions’ island nations rebuild after the devastation caused by World War II. Nearly 50 years later, Counterpart has done groundbreaking work in more than 65 nations worldwide, forging partnerships with communities in need to address complex problems related to economic development, food security and nutrition, and building effective governance and institutions. The organization is widely regarded as an international development pioneer and leader, known best for its unique approach to partnership and capacity building, and its commitment to learning and continuous improvement.
Parker comes to Counterpart from an independent strategic consulting practice serving both public and private sector entities, including USAID. Prior to that, Parker was a senior executive for DAI (Development Alternatives, Inc.), a 35-year old international development consulting firm known for intellectual leadership and project management for USAID. Over the course of her 14-year tenure at DAI, Parker developed and led several of DAI’s notable projects and rose to a position of Senior/Executive Vice President.
"Counterpart has an outstanding reputation in the international development community for working hand-in-hand with local partners and catalyzing local ownership of development,” Parker said. “I believe this is the key to long-term results in development. I am honored to be joining the Counterpart International team and their partners globally."
A native of Michigan, Parker’s early development experience began in Kenya with her Ph.D. research in Agricultural Economics for Michigan State University. Parker later joined DAI and went on to develop and lead several of DAI’s notable projects in microfinance, microenterprise development and HIV/AIDS response. She is known for working at the interface between technical areas, such as her pioneering work in HIV/AIDS and microfinance, and conflict recovery and market access. Over her last four years with DAI, she served on the Executive Team, leading functions of knowledge management, marketing and communication, new business development, human resources and strategy development. Since 2007, Parker has worked as strategic consultant to U.S. industry, expanding private sector investments to the international development arena.
“For nearly 50 years, Counterpart has been working in partnership with people and communities worldwide to build sustainable solutions to shared challenges,” LaRiche continued. “We are extremely proud of that history. And looking forward, with a newly articulated vision for our future, we are confident that Joan Parker is the leader with the right experience and passion to take Counterpart to new heights.”
About Counterpart International
Counterpart International is a global development organization that empowers people and communities to implement innovative and enduring solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges. For nearly 50 years, Counterpart has been forging partnerships with communities in need to address complex problems related to economic development, food security and nutrition, and building effective governance and institutions. With a presence in 19 countries, every day Counterpart works in partnership with people and communities worldwide to build sustainable solutions to shared challenges. Learn more at www.counterpart.org