David Humphries: 40 Under 40 2013

Director, Global Communications, Global Communities

David Humphries has revolutionized the communications function at international NGO Global Communities. He joined the organization – then known as CHF International – in 2008. He has been promoted four times in as many years. As director of global communications, he completely rebranded the nonprofit and enhanced its public profile.

With $250 million in revenue and 2,000 employees in 25 countries, which include some of the poorest and most dangerous parts of the world, Global Communities has major communications challenges. When the recession struck, Humphries was one of only two managers retained in the external relations department and was told to "do something useful with it." Within six months the team was restructured, a PR agency was hired, and graphic and Web designers were brought in to focus on digital media – all at a large cost saving.

In 2010 alone, Humphries achieved more positive media coverage than in the preceding 58 years of the organization’s history, gaining high-profile coverage in outlets such as The New York Times and CNN. Key achievements included a front page story in The Washington Post about one of the NGO’s projects. Its publication was followed by the immediate signing of a long-delayed $10 million contract with a major international donor.

Humphries masterminded the rebrand to Global Communities as a key initiative for the organization’s 60th anniversary, prompting an explosion in social media engagement. He has also been a key part of a team that has diversified funding for the NGO from being 95% US government to half government and 50% from donors.

"David is unique," says Amy Levey of Global Communities. "He has ferocious energy, is good humoured, and is able to balance being business-savvy, carefully influential, and mission-driven.

"Whether in the halls of Capitol Hill or slums of Haiti," she adds, "he brings a subtle, but irresistible style of leadership to effect meaningful change in the places it’s needed."

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