CDA Welcomes New Executive Director Polly Byers

July 2017 | David Whittlesey

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We are pleased to announce that Polly Byers will become CDA Collaborative Learning Projects’ Executive Director on October 16, 2017. Polly brings her energy and enthusiasm to CDA to complement her strong substantive experience advancing international humanitarian and development aid.

My experience over the last twenty-five years has reinforced the vital importance of CDA’s work and provides strong support for the imperative of amplifying its impact and reach.” – Polly Byers

Polly currently serves as Acting Director of the Office of Policy, Bureau for Policy, Planning and Learning for the US Agency for International Development, having previously served as Deputy Director since 2015.

Polly has held numerous leadership positions in the State Department and USAID, working on issues ranging from conflict diamonds, to Sudan policy, and enhancing coherence between humanitarian and development assistance. She previously worked for the Congressional Select Committee on Hunger, and for several years was an independent consultant, undertaking a range of assignments for USAID, UN agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. Polly began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco.

Polly Byers holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Master in International Relations from Yale University.

Polly’s relationship with CDA started when she helped introduce CDA’s Do No Harm practices into USAID in the 1990s.

We are excited to have Polly joining the CDA team. Her leadership and extensive experience working with a broad range of agencies and groups in the humanitarian and development arena will strengthen CDA’s ability to deliver practically relevant answers to practitioners’ burning questions about how to improve their work in peacebuilding, development, humanitarian assistance, and responsible business.

The entire organization looks forward to joining Polly in taking up the important challenges facing us today.

David Whittlesey

Board Chair

CDA Collaborative Learning Projects


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