Chris Bessenecker, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Chris Bessenecker is an international public health and development specialist. Over the last 30 years his work has taken him to all regions of the world to address some of the most pressing problems faced by the global poor.

His vocation in international development began as a rural Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, Central America. Since that time Mr. Bessenecker has worked or consulted for various organizations including UNICEF, International Rescue Committee, and Project Concern International serving in capacities as varied as research investigator, field director and vice-president of programs.

In addition to development work, Mr. Bessenecker has led organizational efforts in responding to numerous natural disasters and complex emergencies including the 1994 Rwandan genocide, 1998’s the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. For the last 10 years, Chris has led efforts to empower communities around the globe to strengthen their resiliency. In particular, he has focused efforts over the last 5 years assisting pastoral communities of east Africa by integrating satellite and mobile technology to improve herd and rangeland management.

He currently resides in San Diego, California and serves as the Vice President for Strategic Initiatives to Project Concern International where he leads, among other initiatives, the organization’s effort to embed innovation. In 2001, Mr Bessenecker took a 2 ½ year hiatus from his work to sail 14,000 nautical miles across the Pacific in a traditional wood sailing vessel with his wife. Mr. Bessenecker has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology and a Masters in Public Health.

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