For Immediate Release

At nearly $1B raised, GiveDirectly sets sights on bigger goals with Rory Stewart taking the helm

August 29, 2022

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  • Recently named the world’s fastest growing nonprofit, GiveDirectly is now on the brink of hitting $1 billion fundraising total
  • This scale paves the way for a new phase – with a proven model offering a route to eradicating extreme poverty in entire regions and countries
  • Former UK International Development Secretary Rory Stewart joins to lead this phase as new President, with co-founder Michael Faye moving to Executive Chair of GiveDirectly while remaining in his ongoing role as CEO of Taptap Send.

GiveDirectly has been a major player in scaling the use of unconditional cash transfers, helping build consensus amongst the international community that it is the most effective approach to tackling extreme poverty.

Now, as they approach the $1 billion fundraising milestone, GiveDirectly has appointed Rory Stewart as President/CEO – to lead the next phase for the charity. The organization is currently launching some of its most ambitious projects ever in Malawi and Liberia. This is part of a larger scale-up to contribute to the U.N. sustainable development goal of eradicating extreme poverty worldwide by 2030. 

In this role Rory will work closely with co-founder Michael Faye – who has moved to the role of Executive Chair.

Commenting on the appointment co-founder, former President, & current Executive Chair Michael Faye said:

“It’s been more than a decade since we started GiveDirectly with the goal of shifting resources and choice into the hands of the poor, and improving the effectiveness of the traditional >$170B development sector in the process.  Cash transfers were considered experimental or even crazy.  Now, over 180 governments implemented cash programs during COVID19 alone; the U.N. Secretary-General has called for ‘cash to be the default’ and GiveDirectly alone has reached over a million people, developing new technologies for targeting and delivery in the process.  

We’re proud of how far we’ve come, but keenly aware of how far there is to go. With 711M people left in extreme poverty, and the number increasing for the first time in two decades, there’s much left to do.  

Today, that ambition seems just a bit more realistic with the introduction of Rory Stewart as President. Rory has not only run one of the world’s largest aid budgets, but also deeply exemplifies GiveDirectly’s core values.  I couldn’t be more excited for him to lead us in this next phase.”

Commenting on his appointment new President Rory Stewart said: 

“People have talked about ending poverty for decades – but GiveDirectly gives us the model that can deliver it. 

Unconditional cash transfers have been proven to deliver support to those that need it with unprecedented speed and scale, meaning we now have the opportunity to do something really historic.  

I am beyond excited to take on the role of President as we embark on this endeavor – at a time when climate change and the pandemic make global poverty more urgent than ever.”

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Left to right: Michael Faye and Rory Stewart meet with the mayor of Rwanda’s Gisagara district, Rutaburingoga Jerome, in April 2022
Right to left: Rory Stewart and GiveDirectly’s Ivan Ntwali talk with a refugee households in Rwanda’s Mugombwa refugee camp in April 2022
Rory Stewart, Ivan Ntwali, and Michael Faye sit in on a community welcome meeting in Nyamagabe, Rwanda in April 2022