Oxfam America’s staff are available for comment and background briefings for the media on a wide range of issues. Please contact any member of the media team listed on this page.
President & CEO, Oxfam America
Meet Abby Maxman
Abby Maxman joined Oxfam America as president and CEO in 2017. With more than 30 years of experience in international humanitarian relief and development, she brings a strategic focus on addressing the policies and systems that perpetuate global poverty. Maxman has particular experience in gender and power in social change; humanitarian preparedness and response; and organizational development, behavior and culture. Throughout her career she has also focused on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse within the aid sector, and currently plays an important role within the Oxfam Confederation and among US-based NGOs to improve safeguarding practices.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Maxman served as Deputy Secretary General of CARE International in Geneva, providing leadership across the CARE confederation. She previously served as Vice President of International Programs and Operations for CAREUSA, and in other country and regional leadership roles in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Middle East.
Before CARE, Maxman had assignments with the U.S. Peace Corps, German Agency for Technical Cooperation, UN World Food Programme, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Colorado College and a Masters of International Administration from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Maxman has witnessed the impact of poverty, injustice, war and disaster first hand, and has said she believes the fight against global poverty and inequality is more relevant now than ever before. She is married and lives with her husband and three children in Winchester, Mass.
Migration and Protection Campaign Lead
Meet Isra Chaker
Isra Chaker leads Oxfam America’s Migration and Protection Campaign, managing a dynamic team that works to defend and support refugees, Temporary Protected Status holders, and asylum-seekers. Isra leads efforts to influence public opinion and policymakers, often collaborating with NGO coalitions and partners across multiple sectors.
Isra previously served as the Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator at Syria Relief and Development; a humanitarian NGO working in Syria, where she consulted on gender justice and spoke at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. Isra is a Public Advocate for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency USA (UNRWA USA) and an active social media influencer, reaching more than 200,000 people of people on her platform, @Israspeaks.
Isra has been interviewed on Democracy Now, ABC News, Al Jazeera, CNN, the Associated Press, AJ+, and NowThis, among others. She was recently chosen by the Amplifier Foundation as one of the ten faces of the We the Future campaign, which will bring educational resources on social justice topics into more than 20,000 schools across the country.
From 2008-2012, Isra served as a Fellow and grassroots organizer for President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns in Colorado. Isra received her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado Boulder and her master’s degree in Global Affairs and Public Policy from George Mason University.
Vice President, Oxfam America. On secondment to Oxfam International to co-lead Global Coronavirus Advocacy
Meet Paul O'Brien
Paul O'Brien is the Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at Oxfam America where he oversees our research, policy, advocacy, and campaigning work to influence the US government and US corporations. Before joining Oxfam in 2007, he lived in Afghanistan for five years where he worked in the office of the President and the Ministry of Finance as an advisor on aid coordination, development planning, and policy reform. Prior to that, he worked for CARE International as their Afghanistan Advocacy Coordinator and Africa Policy Advisor.
Previously, Paul was the President of the Echoing Green Foundation and a litigator in New York for Cravath, Swaine and Moore. He is the co-founder of the Legal Resources Foundation in Kenya and the founder of the Human Rights Research and Advocacy Consortium in Afghanistan, both of which are thriving organizations today. Paul has juris doctorate from Harvard Law School and has published on humanitarian policy, human rights, and emerging trends in development.
Humanitarian Policy Lead
Meet Scott Paul
Scott Paul leads Oxfam America’s policy advocacy on a number of emergencies and cross-cutting humanitarian issues. During his tenure at Oxfam, Paul has spearheaded the organization’s work on a number of acute crises, including those in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Bangladesh. His advocacy in these emergencies often focuses on the political drivers of violence and vulnerability, as well as the financial exclusion of vulnerable individuals and the remittance companies and charities that serve them.
Paul is a frequent media commentator with outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Al Jazeera and has testified before Congress. His published work focuses on international humanitarian law, the use of force, and bank de-risking, among other issues. Apart from his work on humanitarian emergencies, Paul is also responsible for formulating Oxfam America’s approach to US foreign policy as it relates to multilateralism and global governance.
Before joining Oxfam, Paul was the UN representative for CIVIC and led campaigns at Citizens for Global Solutions to strengthen the US government’s commitment to international cooperation and the rule of law. As a student and young professional, he was a co-founder and the first Chair of SustainUS. Paul graduated from New York University Law School and did his undergraduate work at Columbia University and St. Petersburg State University.
Head of Research
Meet Kimberly Pfeifer
Kimberly Pfeifer is the Head of Research at Oxfam America, where she oversees the production of research and trends analysis. She serves as the editor of Oxfam America's Research Backgrounder Series and is a member of the organization’s Gender Resource Group. Kimberly co-founded and co-leads the Oxfam Confederation’s Research Network.
She has written a number of Oxfam International Policy Briefing Papers focused on trade and agricultural issues, and has managed numerous research projects, including on issues of biotechnology, the future of agriculture, food security, agricultural innovation, trade, extractive industries, and economic inequality.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Kimberly worked for the AFL-CIO as a researcher with the Center for Strategic Research in Corporate Affairs. She has also worked for the Aga Khan Foundation in Zanzibar, Tanzania. While in Tanzania, Kimberly held a Research Fellowship with the Institute of Development Studies, University of Dar es Salaam. She received her MA and PhD from the University of Florida in Political Science and African Studies. She has a number of publications and papers critiquing models of development, and on land and natural resource politics.
Humanitarian Policy Manager
Meet Shannon Scribner
Shannon Scribner has been with Oxfam America since 2003 and is currently leading the humanitarian policy team in Washington, DC. She has worked on Oxfam’s humanitarian responses in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.
In 2009, Scribner testified on the US strategy in Somalia before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa. Scribner was also invited to present the nongovernmental organization perspective at the Obama administration’s policy review on Somalia at the National Defense University in 2010.
From 1997 to 1999, Scribner served as a Peace Corps health care volunteer in a small, rural village in the Republic of Zambia. Following that, she earned a master’s degree in public administration from American University and worked at Amnesty International USA.
She has been interviewed on a range of humanitarian topics for The Christian Science Monitor, Congressional Quarterly, NPR, PBS, and Fox News.
Advocacy Manager, Private Sector Department
Meet Robbie Silverman
Robbie Silverman is the Advocacy Manager in Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department, where he manages a team focused on engaging and challenging for-profit corporations to advance Oxfam’s mission of combating poverty and injustice worldwide.
In his role at Oxfam, he has worked to launch a new produce certification label, the Equitable Food Initiative, that prioritizes farmworkers’ rights, helped to establish an impact investing fund to support women’s entrepreneurship in Guatemala, and led company engagement for a successful campaign against US poultry processors regarding their treatment of workers. He is currently focused ensuring free and equal access to all Covid-19 vaccines and treatments, implementing Oxfam’s global campaign against inequality, with a focus on stopping corporate tax avoidance, and advancing Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes campaign challenging America’s largest supermarkets to improve conditions for workers in their global supply chains.
Prior to Oxfam, he spent several years working on affordable housing policy advocacy in the United States, including two years as a Skadden Legal Fellow in Chicago. He holds a BA and MBA from Harvard and a JD from Yale.
Director of US Domestic Program
Meet Minor Sinclair
Minor Sinclair directs Oxfam’s US regional office and the domestic program on Decent Work, which seeks policy and workplace solutions for low-wage workers in America’s food system. He serves as co-chair of the Equitable Food Initiative, a consortium of major food buyers, growers, farm worker groups and consumer advocates working to improve working conditions and food safety.
Prior to his current role, Minor co-founded Oxfam International’s Cuba office and worked for many years on human rights and global issues including overseas service with the Mennonite Central Committee.
Vice President of Global Programs
Meet Fatema Z. Sumar
Fatema Z. Sumar is Vice President of Global Programs at Oxfam America where she oversees Oxfam America's regional development and humanitarian response. Fatema comes to Oxfam with a distinguished career in the U.S. government, leading U.S. efforts to advance sustainable development and economic policy in emerging markets and fragile countries. Most recently, she served as Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America at the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), where she managed investments focused on international growth and poverty reduction. Prior to MCC, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia at the U.S. Department of State and as a Senior Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Fatema holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University. She studied abroad at the American University in Cairo.
Director, Private Sector Department
Meet Irit Tamir
Irit Tamir is the Director of Oxfam America's Private Sector Department. In her role, she is focused on working with companies to ensure that their business practices result in positive social and environmental impacts for vulnerable communities throughout the world. Irit leads Oxfam America’s work on business and development including shareholder engagement, value chain assessments, and collaborative advocacy initiatives, such as the successful “Behind the Brands” campaign.
Irit is co-author of Community Voice in Human Rights Impact Assessments and has contributed to numerous reports at Oxfam focused on business and human rights issues. She is a frequent commentator on agricultural policies, labor, human rights and their intersection with business in major news outlets including NPR, The Guardian, and the New York Times.
Tamir has a JD from Boston College Law School and a master’s in international law from the University of Miami Law School where she was a Ford Foundation fellow. A devoted human rights activist, she has spoken publicly about human rights, climate resilience, and the food system. Tamir has had years of experience in government relations and is a former prosecutor who supervised civil rights prosecutions and hate crimes.
Senior Policy Advisor, Climate Change and Energy
Meet Sasanka Thilakasiri
Sasanka Thilakasiri is a Senior Policy Advisor for Climate Change and Energy at Oxfam America. He works on issues of energy poverty and clean energy access, in shifting international financing towards more pro-poor clean energy investments. He is the energy policy lead for Oxfam International and co-led the development of organization’s global energy policy. Previously he was Oxfam International’s economic justice policy lead for international financial institutions, leading on advocacy efforts toward the World Bank Group and IMF on climate, energy, land and agriculture.
Prior to joining Oxfam, he worked at The Energy and Resources Institute in New Delhi, working on domestic climate policy, industrial energy efficiency, and distributed rural off-grid renewable energy projects, as well as the international UNFCCC negotiations. He has also has extensive experience in the Australian mining sector having worked on environmental and energy policy and projects. He received a Master’s of Natural Systems Engineering from the University of Western Australia in 2008 and a Bachelor’s of Chemical Engineering from Curtin University of Technology in 2002.
Policy Lead, Climate Change
Meet Jesse Young
Jesse Young focuses on global multilateral engagement on climate issues and defense of the Paris Agreement. He previously served as a senior advisor in the office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. State Department in 2015 and 2016. Prior to that, he spent several years as a senior policy advisor to U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (CT), where he worked on environment, energy, and transportation issues, as well as speechwriting. He holds a master’s degree in global policy from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor
Meet Noah Gottschalk
Noah Gottschalk is senior policy advisor for humanitarian response at Oxfam America, where he focuses on Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria as well as broader conflict and human rights issues. He has over a decade of experience working with children, families, and communities affected by conflict in these countries and elsewhere in Africa and the Middle East. He specializes in gender issues in forced displacement and in the return and reintegration of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
In addition to policy work, Gottschalk’s experience includes managing humanitarian programs and providing legal assistance to refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs, and immigrants. Prior to this role, he worked in Brussels where he led Oxfam’s humanitarian advocacy at the European Union level.
Gottschalk has been quoted in numerous media outlets including National Public Radio, BBC World Service, Christian Science Monitor, and the Guardian. He holds an MA in International Human Rights Law from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies.