Ruth Rhoads Allen

President and Chief Collaboration Officer

[email protected]


In a new role for CDA, Ruth is leading the organization into its next chapter as a collaborative platform. She is responsible for strategy design and ongoing co-creation of CDA’s vision, technical focus, and means for engaging its global network to address critical issues and common challenges across humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding fields. Ruth also works directly on several of CDA’s collaborative learning and advisory services partnerships.

Ruth has worked across these fields for nearly 20 years, with direct work experience in over 30 countries, forging her passion for community resilience in the face of inevitable social, political, and environmental systems-level challenges. Her own substantive work is on cross-sector partnerships, good governance, and civil society leadership, having published significantly for both practitioner effectiveness and policy influence. From 2004-2013 Ruth served in multiple positions at Mercy Corps, including leading the agency’s global technical portfolio as Director of Governance and Partnerships, and as Senior Advisor focused on strategic planning in sensitive environments. As Founder of ViewFinder International in 2013, Ruth continued technical consultations as well as expanded her expertise leading strategic organizational change process for INGOs, UN agencies, national organizations, and private funds.

Ruth previously worked with Human Rights Watch and Conflict Management Group and served on the board of Alliance for Peacebuilding. She joined CDA’s board in 2017 after collaborating as an advisor, trainer, or consultant with CDA for over 15 years. Ruth began her career in South Africa as an International Observer for the government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. She then lived in Kenya while a Rotary Foundation Scholar at the University of Nairobi and researcher at Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai’s Greenbelt Movement. Ruth earned her MSc from Clark University’s International Development, Community, and Environment program, where she has been a Department Instructor. Ruth serves on the Advisory Board of Global Oncology and blogs about humanitarian issues for US audiences at NPR’s Cognoscenti.

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