Concern Worldwide U.S. Announces Appointment of Joanna Geraghty as Board Chair, Colleen Kelly As CEO

March 13, 2017

Historic milestone for the international humanitarian organization.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ed Kenney, Vice President of Communications
[email protected] / 212.557.8000; 914.414.7686

NEW YORK — Today, the Board of Directors of the non-profit international humanitarian organization Concern Worldwide U.S. announced two unanimous appointments at the culmination of a planned leadership succession process: current board member and JetBlue Executive Vice President, Customer Experience Joanna Geraghty succeeds Thomas J. Moran as Chair of the Board of Directors; and Colleen A. Kelly, most recently Managing Director at brand experience agency SET Creative, succeeds Jack Haire as Chief Executive Officer.

Ms. Geraghty said: “It has been incredibly rewarding to serve on the Board of Directors of this great organization, so it is an honor to be appointed as Chair. I recently traveled to the Mokuru slum in Nairobi where Concern is transforming lives through building access to better quality education and health care. I left changed, awed by the realization that it is just one of hundreds of communities that Concern is reaching across the world. My commitment is not only personal — it also goes hand in hand with JetBlue’s mission of inspiring humanity. I couldn’t imagine a better fit, and I am proud to represent the entire JetBlue team in this important work.”

“Our succession planning efforts could not have yielded a better outcome for the future of this organization.”

Mr. Moran had served as Chair since 2001, and will remain a member of the board. A tireless visionary, he presided over a period of exponential growth, multiplying annual income from less than $5 million to nearly $40 million through a diverse group of funders including individuals, private foundations, corporations, event supporters, and the U.S. government. This is above and beyond his massive personal financial support and his role as a global ambassador, traveling yearly to visit Concern’s programs in difficult and hard-to-reach environments in places like Somalia, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, among many others.

He commented, “I am honored to pass the torch to Joanna and we are thrilled that she will have a dynamic counterpart in Colleen Kelly as Concern Worldwide U.S. moves boldly into its next generation of continued growth and expanded impact in the lives of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. They share a relentless commitment to our mission and strong track records of innovation and transformational leadership in the private sector. Our succession planning efforts could not have yielded a better outcome for the future of this organization.”

“These are two singularly talented leaders, but more importantly they share with our team of 50 people in the U.S. and 3,000 around the world the humanitarian spirit and character that have come to define Concern.”

Mr. Haire will return to the Board of Directors, where he served for 18 years before joining as CEO one year ago. He added, “I could not be more confident in a successor than I am in Colleen. These are two singularly talented leaders, but more importantly they share with our team of 50 people in the U.S. and 3,000 around the world the humanitarian spirit and character that have come to define Concern Worldwide.”

Established in New York City in 1993, with offices in New York City and Chicago, Concern Worldwide U.S. is an independent affiliate of Concern Worldwide, founded in 1968, and headquartered in Dublin. Their shared mission is to work with people living in extreme poverty to achieve major improvements in their lives that will last and spread, ultimately without ongoing support from the organization.

Today, Concern Worldwide works in 26 countries in both emergency response and long-term development programming, including health, nutrition, climate resilience, livelihoods, economic empowerment, water and sanitation, and primary education. Last year, the organization directly reached more than nine million people.

Concern Worldwide U.S. has established itself as a leader especially in the areas of maternal and child health, and nutrition, with an increasing focus on developing innovative solutions across the spectrum of programming, as well as training the next generation of humanitarians.

“I look forward to adding value to our innovation efforts, as most of my career has been about pushing traditional boundaries and finding new solutions to achieve growth and greater impact.”

Ms. Kelly commented, “I am as excited as I am grateful to join this remarkable team.  I look forward to listening, learning, and ultimately leveraging my experience as a communicator to help bring Concern’s story, and most importantly the stories of the millions of people we work with to engaged and compassionate Americans to forge greater awareness, support, and impact. I also look forward to adding value to our innovation efforts, as most of my career has been about pushing traditional boundaries and finding new solutions to achieve growth and greater impact.”

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JOANNA GERAGHTY
Concern Worldwide US Chair Joanna GeraghtyMs. Geraghty joined JetBlue in 2005 and was named Executive Vice President, Customer Experience in 2014. She is responsible for Airports, Customer Support (Reservations), and Inflight Service, the airline’s main customer-facing teams. Ms. Geraghty served as JetBlue’s Executive Vice President, Chief People Officer from 2010—2014 and was previously the airline’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel and Director of Litigation and Regulatory Affairs.

Before joining JetBlue, she was a partner at Holland & Knight, in their Litigation Section located in New York. She received her B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross in 1994, her Masters in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 1997, and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law in 1997. She has served as a member of the Concern Worldwide U.S. Board of Directors since 2014.

COLLEEN KELLY
Colleen Kelly is Concern Worldwide US' new CEOMs. Kelly brings to Concern Worldwide U.S. more than three decades of experience and distinct achievement as a leader, innovator, and strategist. Most recently, she served as Managing Director of SET Creative, helping establish a rapidly growing New York practice for the leading Portland-based global brand experience agency.

Prior to that, she was for five years a partner and Managing Director of Triptent, where she was responsible for strengthening the agency’s advertising practice while leveraging its award-winning creative and production capabilities to meet clients’ growing content needs. It was an approach that ultimately drove 200% growth over just two years, winning key accounts such as Unilever and PetSmart.

Concurrently, from 2008—2013, she served as Managing Director of Product of the Year USA, engineering the North American launch of the world’s largest consumer-voted award for product innovation, which had been founded in France more than two decades earlier. Product of the Year’s mission is to guide consumers to the best products in their market and reward manufacturers for quality and innovation, and under Ms. Kelly’s leadership, the organization achieved its standing as a now widely accepted seal of approval. She served as lead sales and marketing strategist, forging media partnerships and winning the participation of leading consumer brands, and as public ambassador, representing the cause at conferences and in television appearances.

Earlier, Ms. Kelly spent more than a decade as a founding partner, Media Director, and ultimately Director of Business Development for the advertising agency Deutsch LA. The fourth employee hired, she was part of a dynamic team that drove the agency’s exponential growth from start-up to major industry force. Among her many achievements: building a 60-person media planning team from the ground up; generating more than $1 billion in new business billing; opening the agency’s Toronto office to manage growing Canadian business; and guiding the agency’s positioning, philosophy, and marketing strategies, ultimately establishing Deutsch as one of the boldest, most innovative voices in advertising.

Before joining Deutsch LA, and after graduating from Boston University’s School of Management, Ms. Kelly spent a decade working in media planning and direction at Vic Olesen & Partners and Dailey & Associates.

She is the former President of the Los Angeles Association of Advertising Agencies, as well as the former Executive Vice President and an originating board member of ThinkLA, a non-profit organization established to build awareness of the Los Angeles creative community, provide education and training, and create social and philanthropic events, with a focus on innovation, diversity, and multi-cultural representation.

Ms. Kelly is also a member of the Kelly Gang, a charitable organization that brings together prominent figures in the areas of media, publishing, business, sports, and politics, who all happen to share the surname “Kelly.” In honor of early member Michael Kelly, the longtime editor of Atlantic Monthly who died in 2003 covering the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Kelly Gang holds an annual benefit, which has to date generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes.

A native of Pinehurst North Carolina, Ms. Kelly now makes her home in New York City.

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