International Alert appoints Michael Young as new Chief Executive Officer

London, 17 June 2019 – International Alert is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Young as its new Chief Executive Officer. He will join Alert in September.

With over 25 years’ experience working alongside people impacted by violence and displacement, Young is replacing outgoing CEO Harriet Lamb. He has worked in an impressive range of senior management roles in the field and at headquarters level with leading global aid organisations, including the International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps.

His focus since the 1990s has been on active conflict and post-crisis peacebuilding and recovery, taking him to Afghanistan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, DRC, Iraq, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, and beyond.

Michael said: “There are three big reasons why I’m thrilled and honored to take up the CEO role with International Alert. One, at a time when conflict is resurgent, fragility is rising and international law seems to be breached with impunity, peacebuilding has never been more important. Two, getting peacebuilding right is the key that unlocks so many other global goods – like building a truly effective humanitarian aid system or achieving real progress on the Sustainable Development Goals. And three, I am joining a great organisation and team that have proven themselves time and again to be able to rise to these grave challenges. Together, we aim to deliver for people and communities caught in the violent conflict trap with ever greater impact.”

Young comes to Alert having most recently been leading the development of new approaches to crisis analysis – marrying human insight with ‘big data’ analytics – and supporting the humanitarian response to the devastating war in Yemen with Mercy Corps. He is committed to leveraging technology to deliver greater accountability into the hands of people in crisis; to adaptive leadership that maximizes impact; and to building the case for peacebuilding as an essential component of any crisis and post-crisis response.

Throughout his career he has been a keen advocate on crisis response policy, briefing the UK government, the US Presidential Administration and Congress, and multi-lateral agencies. Michael studied human biology at the University of Aston in the UK and international relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University in the USA.

International Alert’s Chairman Carey Cavanaugh said: “We are excited to have Michael Young coming on board as our next CEO to lead our efforts across the globe advancing peace. He brings an exceptional combination of energy, sensitivity, commitment and proven leadership to the challenges of helping people in conflict.”

“Having worked at both the coalface and in senior management positions in the humanitarian and peacebuilding sectors, Michael knows first-hand the vital role civil society can play to protect human rights, reduce violence and build support for peace.”


Notes to editor:

For media inquiries, contact: Ilaria Bianchi (

About International Alert:

International Alert is a leading peacebuilding organisation that works with people directly affected by conflict to build lasting peace. Founded in 1986, International Alert works in over 25 countries and territories.