Heifer International hires new President and CEO

International development organization, Heifer International, has appointed Surita Sandosham as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Since 1944, Heifer International has worked with more than 39 million families around the world to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way. Working with rural communities in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, including the United States, Heifer International supports farmers and local food producers to strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide strengthen local economies and build secure livelihoods that provide a living income.

As search partner, Society joined Heifer International’s Board on an in-depth Listening Tour. This highlighted the need for a culturally astute leader adept at distributing decision-making and enabling strategy in an inspiring, collaborative way for complex, global, multifaceted organizations. In addition to leading an international and multi-sector search, Society worked closely with Heifer’s talent team and search committee to design an inclusive assessment process that respected both candidate journey and balanced decision-making.

An experienced non-profit leader and executive, Sandosham will succeed Pierre Ferrari and assume responsibilities on October 1, 2022. Ferrari announced his retirement in January 2022 and will leave the organization at the end of September.

Sandosham was born and raised in Singapore and has more than two decades of senior leadership experience at global non-profit organizations. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of Heartland Alliance International, a humanitarian and human rights non-profit based in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to Heartland, Sandosham was Vice President of Programs at the global non-profit Synergos in New York, building multisectoral partnerships on behalf of smallholder farmers and other vulnerable populations. Sandosham is a lawyer by training who graduated from City University London and the School of Oriental and African Studies at London University. As an international development practitioner and human rights advocate, she has also served in leadership positions at Amnesty International, Equality Now and Rockefeller Foundation.

Doug Galen, Board Member and Chair of Heifer’s search committee, commented, “We are so excited for this next chapter of Heifer. Society’s commitment to all parts of the process was what we hoped for. You were deliberate to source broadly and specifically with our intent to reach people from the Global South or lived experience from the Global South, women, and people in in, as well as beyond, the NGOs of the world. You then created a communicative and kind experience for our candidates. You led an equitable process to evaluate candidates. And we found Surita! Thank you for all you have done. You should feel great pride as you see Heifer’s growing impact over the next decade under Surita’s leadership.”

Surita remarked: “Heifer International is a venerable organization with a long history of serving the world’s poorest farmers. I am excited for the opportunity to lead the organization into its next chapter of addressing global hunger and poverty, and caring for the earth, and to become a part of a team making an impact at such a scale.

My experience with Society and in particular Tanya Stevens has been an excellent one. From the initial interview and at every juncture of the search process Tanya exhibited professionalism and a deep understanding of the organization. She was not only informative but also genuinely interested in hearing how Society could improve the process. All of my references were similarly positive in the care she took to give a clear overview of the organization and its priorities and what they were looking for in a CEO.

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