Kathy Evans is the Acting Vice President for Global Programs. She is responsible for providing vision, leadership, and strategic direction for all IREX programs worldwide. She ensures that the design and implementation of IREX’s programs translate into meaningful change by achieving the greatest possible impact for beneficiaries and advancing IREX’s mission and strategic objectives. She is responsible for the oversight of over 300 staff worldwide and IREX’s five global program practices: Communities and Governance, Education, Information and Media, Leadership, and Youth.
Kathy has held leadership and management positions supporting international development and advancing human rights across countries in Africa, Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East, with oversight of programs and initiatives in civil society strengthening, promoting good governance, independent media, access to information, community engagement, women’s and youth leadership, conflict mitigation, and strengthening local institutions. She has provided leadership to diverse, multinational teams on high-impact programs and played strategic roles to improving development outcomes through ensuring innovative program design and effective program execution.
Previously, as IREX’s Associate Vice President for Communities and Governance, Kathy provided strategic leadership and direction to a team that designs, leads, and implements a collection of civil society and governance programs. These programs focus on civil society strengthening, institution building, women’s and youth leadership, and community engagement, in Africa, Europe, Eurasia, and the Middle East. Kathy had responsibility for ensuring achievement of project implementation and results, practice operational systems, and staff oversight. She also had overall responsibility and accountability for providing leadership in long-range planning, program development, and constructive engagement across IREX. As a member of the IREX senior management team, Kathy played a role in strategic planning, the review and consultation on policies and practices, and high-level operational challenges.
As the Director of IREX’s Democracy, Governance and Media Division, Kathy oversaw an extensive portfolio of government and privately funded programs around the world, including in fragile environments, to support civil society organizations, independent and open media, access to information, and equal opportunity. These initiatives included supporting civil society leaders, strengthening civil society organizations, promoting good governance, and employing gender and inclusivity frameworks.
In addition to her work at IREX, Kathy has worked on community development, gender, youth development, HIV/AIDS, and health programs at international development organizations, USAID, the US Embassy in Ghana, and the World Bank. Kathy has an MS in ecology and a BS in zoology from Brigham Young University and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania.