Joel Charny

Joel R. Charny retired in June 2021 as the Executive Director of Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) USA. He was responsible for providing overall leadership to the organization, which focuses on fundraising and humanitarian advocacy in the United States on behalf of Oslo-based NRC. NRC is one of the leading humanitarian agencies in the world, responding to forced displacement due to conflict and natural disasters. Mr. Charny is currently serving on the advisory group of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC), which is affiliated with NRC. Prior to joining NRC USA in March 2016, Mr. Charny was the Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice at InterAction, the alliance of U.S.-based relief and development organizations. He was responsible for leading InterAction’s work on humanitarian response, which involved engaging with the U.S. government, the United Nations, and member non-governmental organizations on both practical and policy matters, including funding availability, impact and effectiveness, reform efforts in the sector, and the impact of counter-terror measures on humanitarian action. Prior to joining InterAction in October 2010, Mr. Charny held senior positions with Refugees International, the UNDP CARERE project in Cambodia, and Oxfam America. He first worked inside Cambodia with Oxfam America during the famine emergency in 1980 in the immediate aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide and continued to develop and manage programs in the country throughout the following decade. Mr. Charny is the author of Acts of Betrayal: The Challenge of Protecting North Korean Refugees in China, published by Refugees International in 2005. He is also the author of articles on humanitarian issues in volumes published by Kumerian Press and the Brookings Institution, as well as articles for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Economist, The Asian Wall Street Journal, The Christian Science Monitor, Forced Migration Review, Harvard International Review and War on the Rocks. He has an A.B. degree in European History from Brown University and a Masters degree in international education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.