Season 3, Episode 2

Donors and Disasters with Patty McIlreavy

In the second episode of season three, hosts Phil Buchanan and Grace Nicolette are joined by Patty McIlreavy, president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), to discuss disasters, philanthropy’s responsibility for both prevention and recovery, and the most common pitfalls for donors responding to disasters. Patty shares her deep expertise on what can make disaster giving successful (or unsuccessful), discusses examples, including natural disasters in Haiti and Houston, and delves into issues of equity in disaster prevention and response.

Guest Info:
Patricia ”Patty” McIlreavy is president and CEO of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, an organization that works with funders, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other partners to mobilize a full range of resources that strengthen the ability of communities to withstand disasters and recover equitably when they occur. With more than 25 years of experience in international humanitarian policy and practice, she brings a unique blend of operational and strategic expertise to disaster philanthropy. Throughout her career, she has focused on improving the effectiveness and impact of the aid sector.  

Patty’s experience in the humanitarian field began in 1993 when she joined USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance. Prior to joining CDP in March 2020. She has more than 17 years of overseas experience, primarily in Africa and the Middle East, working in direct support of response and recovery operations, and prior to joining CDP, Patty served as vice president of the humanitarian team at InterAction.

A frequent writer and sought-after speaker on humanitarian leadership, equitable recovery, and philanthropy in disasters and humanitarian crises, Patty has also served on multiple inter-agency committees, including the U.S. Department of State’s Stabilization Advisory Council, the UN OCHA Change Management Advisory Group, and the CSIS Task Force on Humanitarian Access. She is currently a member of the Global Executive Leadership Initiative Technical Advisory Committee, the Forbes Nonprofit Council, and a Leap Ambassador, as well as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

Executive Producer: Sarah Martin
Audio engineer: Kevin O’Connell
Additional editing: Isabel Hibbard
Music: “FasterFasterBrighter” and “Kid Kodi” by Blue Dot Sessions
Artwork: Jay Kustka

Center for Disaster Philanthropy
From Rapid Response to Sustainable Solutions: Disaster Response and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Haiti – Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Report
Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Where Crisis, Conflict, Climate, and COVID Meet” – Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Disasters, Dollars And Decisions: Lessons For Nonprofits To Prioritize Where And How To Help – Forbes
Unprecedented Times Call For Unprecedented Actions – Forbes
Asset-Based Framing: Trabian Shorters