Introducing our new CEO, John Robbins

(Alexandria, VA) November 1, 2021 – Penny Appeal USA today announced that John Robbins, Ph.D., will be leading the organization as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective December 1, 2021. Dr. Robbins’ appointment comes after a thorough national search led by the Board of Directors.

“We are proud to name John Robbins as the new CEO of Penny Appeal USA,” said Shaun Ahmad, Chair of the Board. “After an extensive and thorough process, the search committee unanimously agreed that John has the experience, leadership, and commitment to lead Penny Appeal USA as we strive to serve vulnerable communities here in the U.S. and globally.”

“I have spent my life and career working on behalf of the marginalized. Leading Penny Appeal USA at this moment of profound transformation in the humanitarian sector is truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” said John Robbins, incoming CEO of Penny Appeal USA. “I am so grateful to Penny Appeal USA for their faith in me, and am excited about the opportunity to work with our staff, volunteers, donors, and partners as we continue the fight against the injustice of poverty.”

“John Robbins has proven himself to be a successful leader and advocate for disadvantaged communities. John stood out to the Search Committee as the top choice to lead Penny Appeal USA due to his inspiring and bold vision, intellectual depth, and track record of institutional leadership,” said Prianka Alam, Global Talent, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader at Deloitte and Penny Appeal USA Board Member. “We are confident that John is the right leader for Penny Appeal USA at this critical moment as COVID-19 has reversed decades of progress on poverty, healthcare, and education.”

“I am delighted to welcome John Robbins to the Penny Appeal USA family at a time when the organization has never been stronger,” said Oussama Mezoui, Founder of Penny Appeal USA. “John has committed his career to representing and serving disadvantaged communities. Most importantly, he has an abundance of the most important qualification to lead Penny Appeal USA: kindness. I look forward to witnessing the great things he will accomplish in the years ahead.”

Dr. Robbins brings diverse experience in nonprofit leadership to Penny Appeal USA. He currently serves as the founder and Executive Director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Concurrently, he is the Social Impact Advisor at the Harvard Innovation Labs, within the Harvard Business School. He is a former academic, having earned a Ph.D from Cornell University.

Penny Appeal USA’s founder and current CEO, Oussama Mezoui, will continue to act as the CEO until John joins the organization in December 2021.

Naiel Iqbal, Board Secretary said,“Oussama has been an exemplary CEO and leader. In under six years, his vision and hard work has taken us from being a brand new organization in the US to an exemplary organization that has positively impacted the lives of over a million people around the world. We will miss Oussama’s thoughtful leadership and wish him and his family the best.”

Penny Appeal USA is a national 501(c)(3) social services, relief, and development organization based in Alexandria, VA. Alongside other members of the global Penny Appeal family, our vision is to create the best societies we can and to break the cycles of need and poverty for good.