Counterpart International

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Counterpart International is a not for profit international development organization. Established in 1965, Counterpart International is a global development organization that empowers people and communities to implement innovative and enduring solutions to social, economic, and environmental challenges. For nearly 50 years, Counterpart has been working in partnership with communities in need to address complex problems related to economic development, food security and nutrition, and building effective governance and institutions." [1]

Mission Statement

The mission of Counterpart International is: Working in partnership to empower people, communities and institutions to drive and sustain their own development.

Brief History

The idea of starting a Foundation grew out of the friendship of Elizabeth Silverstein, and Australian actress, and an Australian Marist Missionary priest, Stanley Hosie. On behalf of the Marist Society, Hosie had done an extensive field study of its Pacific Islands missions in Melanesia and Polynesia in early 1963. Elizabeth, known as "Betty", and Stan began The Foundation for the Peoples of the South Pacific (FSP) with the focus of equipping the people of post-World War II South Pacific with the tools and resources to address the needs of their community and ease the post-war devastation.

Stan and Betty ran FSP out of a New York City thrift shop, where Betty's film industry friends donated clothing to help raise money for the programs. In the island nations of the South Pacific, FSP provided local institutions with skills to rebuild infrastructure while offering sustainable solutions to poverty. FSP improved the capacity of local organizations and developed a model of international aid that would become generally accepted as the best practices in development. This form of capacity-building continues to be the framework for the work Counterpart does around the world.

FSP became Counterpart International in 1992. Since then, Counterpart has expanded to over sixty nations of Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and especially the former Soviet Union.

Counterpart's values statement is a reflection of how the organization works as individuals, as an entire organization and as partners with external stakeholders. Counterpart holds its employees accountable to practicing all core values on each of these levels and seeks partners that share similar values. Counterpart believes in integrity, respect, commitment, teamwork, adaptability and accountability.

  • In 1991, President George Bush awarded FSP co-founder Betty Silverstein with the U.S. Presidential End Hunger Award for Individual Achievement.
  • Betty Silverstein received more recognition for her work when then First Lady Hillary Clinton commended Betty at Counterpart’s 500th humanitarian Airlift at Andrews Air Force Base in Virginia in early 1998
  • The current Chief Operating Officer at Women for Women International, Karen Sherman, served as Executive Vice President of Counterpart International prior to moving to her present position.
  • Humanitarian award to Counterpart: Then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton presents humanitarian service awards to Elizabeth Silverstein and Stanley Hosie in March 2000.
  • Katherine M. Swanson Equality Award awarded to Counterpart, as part of The Tech Museum Awards - celebrates Counterpart's Data Warehouse tool used in response to deadly crises around the world. [2]
  • Counterpart granted Leader with Associates Global Civil Society Strengthening Award: 5-year Cooperative Agreement with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Through this Leader with Associates (LWA) agreement, USAID has expressed its confidence in Counterpart to implement the "Global Civil Society Strengthening" (GCSS) program that simplifies designing and delivering civil society programs overseas. [3]


Their total revenue in 2005 was just over $116 million.

  • US Government grants $21,735,910
  • Federal pass-through programs $3,737,410
  • Non federal grants $2,009,237
  • Contributions $450,529
  • Contributed Services and Materials $88,318,636
  • Investment income $154,329
  • Miscellaneous Income $146,696

Total support and revenue $116,552,747 (see 2005 annual report)

Senior Management

  • Joan C. Parker, President & CEO: A native of Michigan, Parker's early development experience began in Kenya with her PhD research in Agricultural Economics for Michigan State University. Parker later joined DAI (Development Alternatives, Inc.) and went on to develop and lead several of organization's notable projects in microfinance, microenterprise development and HIV/AIDS response. She is known for working at the interface between technical areas, such as her pioneering work in HIV/AIDS and microfinance, and conflict recovery and market access. Over her last four years with DAI, she served on the Executive Team, leading functions of knowledge management, marketing and communication, new business development, human resources and strategy development. Since 2007, Parker has worked as strategic consultant to U.S. industry, expanding private sector investments to the international development arena. The Counterpart Board cited her proven leadership in public and private sector programming, in international team development and management, as well as in development initiatives that have had global reach as key reasons for her selection.
  • Mary Au, Vice President, Finance & Compliance: Mary comes to Counterpart from MSI International, where she served as Deputy Chief Financial Officer for over two years, managing annual revenues of over $170 million, primarily with USAID contracts. Mary brings significant experience in the not-for-profit world to Counterpart. She served as the Chief Financial Officer/Director of Finance for the Eurasia Foundation, Inc. from 2006-2008. Before that, she was the Chief Financial Officer for Wild Aid, Inc, an international environmental non-profit. Mary also brings domestic non-profit and government financial experience, serving as Director of Operations and CFO for the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance in Boston, MA. Mary holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston College and an MBA from Arizona State University. She is also certified in corporate compliance and ethics and is a certified fraud examiner.
  • Sibel Berzeg, Vice President, Sibel Berzeg has more than 18 years experience designing, implementing, assessing, monitoring and evaluating a wide range of civil society programs spanning the Middle East, Eurasia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa. Sibel brings to Counterpart the valuable perspective of having worked for USAID, and for the private and non-profit sectors on international development programs. Sibel has eight years project design, management and development experience in the field (7 years Chief and Regional Executive) in seven countries spanning the former Soviet Union and Iraq, managing more than 130 expatriate and local staff and approximately $4 million annually in funding for more than 50 different projects. As Director for New Initiatives (2005-2009) for Counterpart's Civil Society practice area, Sibel was Proposal Lead for approximately $15 million annually in successful civil society proposals to USAID and other donors; specialized in monitoring and evaluation systems for proposed and funded programs; was responsible for set-up of new programs in the field, including the development of work plans, performance frameworks and operational launch; among other responsibilities. In her current position, Vice President for Civil Society Development, she leads Counterpart's civil society new business development, and serves as a member of the company's Executive Team which determines and assesses the overall direction and strategies for management and growth of the organization. Sibel concurrently serves as Director for the $207 million USAID-funded Global Civil Society Strengthening program, and as such is responsible for program development, management and implementation of a wide range of civil society programs around the world and for managing nine world class consortium partners and five resource partners. As a specialist in Monitoring and Evaluation, Sibel is the principal designer and implementer of a wide range of assessment and performance monitoring systems and tools to measure performance against targets. She has intimate knowledge of USG and EC development programs, regulations, management systems and priorities. She also currently sits on the Boards of Directors of two non-profit organizations in Georgia and Ukraine.
  • Arlene Lear, Senior Vice President: Ms. Lear has been with Counterpart since 1992, leading the organization into Eurasia, the Middle East and Vietnam. Prior to coming to Counterpart, she consulted with USAID, led the Washington office of Project Concern International and was the development and liaison officer for American ORT for which she established USAID's first NGO umbrella project in the Congo (then Zaire). Under her leadership, Counterpart recently was awarded the Global Civil Society Strengthening Leadership with Associates Award (GCSS LWA) providing Counterpart and its world class team of institutional associates an opportunity to serve USAID Missions around the world.
  • Tim Ogborn, Senior Vice President: Tim has over 28 years experience in the international development field. He spent much of his early years working with farmer and grass-roots community groups on building capacity for agricultural, pastoralist, and livelihoods development in different regions around the world, with particular time in East Africa. His comes to Counterpart from Save the Children, where he served as Associate Vice President, Livelihoods, and was responsible for technical leadership and new business development around all livelihood and food security programs. Prior to Save the Children, he held leadership roles and served on the executive team of Heifer International for five years. He holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K. and a MSc in Agricultural Engineering from Silsoe College, Cranfield Institute of Technology, U.K. At Counterpart, Tim oversees the practice areas of Livelihoods and Economic Development (LED) and Nutrition Health and Human Services (NHHS). He also leads the consolidation and development of Counterpart’s cross-cutting thematic expertise in gender, health and climate change.
  • Alex Sardar, Vice President: Alex Sardar is a senior development expert with more than 10 years experience in designing and implementing USAID-funded civil society programs. He currently serves as the Vice President for Civil Society Program at Counterpart International, and Chief of Party for the Civic Advocacy Support Program (CASP) in Armenia. He directly overseas the management of a $100 million portfolio of USAID-funded civil society programs in Africa, the Caucasus, South Asia and the Middle East, and provides direct technical management of CASP, Counterpart’s $9 million USAID-funded program focused on NGO development, advocacy capacity building, civic electoral activities. Prior to joining Counterpart, Alex served as the Deputy Chief of Party for the Armenia Legislative Strengthening Program, a 2-year USAID-funded initiative focused on parliamentary reform, civil society building, and capacity building at unicameral national legislature. He has both domestic and international management experience directing and developing non-profit sector programs, international development projects, and direct advocacy and community organizing. His main areas of specialization include organizational development, political management and advocacy, high level policy engagement and legislative process; management of deliberative institutions, with emphasis on constituent relations and public outreach, as well as external policy interaction. Alex has experience working in the former Soviet Union, Middle East, Central Asia, Eastern and Central Europe. He holds a MA in International Relations from American University, a BA in English/German language literature and is fluent in Armenian, German and Farsi.


International Advisory Council

President’s Council

2005 Annual Report Pdf, p.29



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Phone: (703) 236-1200
Fax: (703) 412-5035
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