“For me, feminist leadership is an approach that empowers. That brings out the voices of those who are normally not at the table, or more marginalized – often women, but not only – to make sure I’m creating the enabling environment to bring the diversity of voices in the organization, in our work, in our communities, to the fore”.Abby Maxman, July 2019
Abby Maxman joined Oxfam America as the organization’s first female President and CEO in 2017. With more than 30 years of international humanitarian and development experience, she is responsible for leading Oxfam America’s strategy to address the policies and systems that perpetuate global poverty. Maxman has worked around the world including in post-genocide Rwanda, Haiti, Ethiopia, the Middle East and the Americas. Throughout her career, she has specialized in the role of gender and power in social change; humanitarian preparedness and response; and organizational development, behavior and culture.
Maxman also plays a leadership role in a variety of NGO sector organizations, including Inter-Action, the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, and the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which seeks to strengthen humanitarian aid coordination across UN and non-UN organizations. She currently also plays a leadership role within the global Oxfam Confederation and among US-based NGOs to improve safeguarding practices on sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse.
Prior to joining Oxfam in June 2017, Maxman served as Deputy Secretary General of CARE International in Geneva, providing leadership across the CARE confederation. She previously served as Vice President of International Programs and Operations for CARE USA, and in other country and regional leadership roles in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
Before CARE, Maxman had assignments with the US government development agencies, and UN World Food Programme. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Colorado College and a Masters of International Administration from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.