Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, has been elected to the board of directors of the global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps, headquartered in Portland. Crocker, a highly decorated career diplomat who served nearly 40 years in the Middle East, held ambassadorial posts in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, and Iraq.
Mercy Corps had its beginning as Save the Refugees Fund, co-founded in 1979 by Dan O’Neill as an emergency relief task force assisting Cambodian refugees following the infamous “Killing Fields” catastrophe. In 1981, Mercy Corps was incorporated with a mission to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people to build just, secure, and productive communities.
Since then, the global aid agency has generated billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries, assisting children and families with cost-efficient, high-impact relief and development programs through a broad range of services and innovative strategies.
Mercy Corps CEO Neel Keny-Guyer said that Crocker’s unique and extensive diplomatic experience and insight will be a significant asset to the organization.
“Ambassador Crocker has been widely recognized as one of the State Department’s most experienced South Asia and Middle East hands: few people in the world have his knowledge and networks,” Keny-Guyer said. “As the Middle East, Pakistan, and Afghanistan struggle with ongoing conflict and economic uncertainty, he brings an invaluable perspective to Mercy Corps.” “I have seen first-hand the importance of international development and diplomacy in the Middle East,” Crocker said. “Mercy Corps performs outstanding work in the region, and I am honored to join the organization’s board.”