The following statement may be attributed to the American Red Cross for the election of Kate Forbes to president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC):
“The American Red Cross is pleased that Kate Forbes has been elected as president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as she stepped into office on December 11, 2023. The IFRC is the world’s largest humanitarian network supporting local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 191 countries, bringing together almost 16 million volunteers for the good of humanity.
Kate Forbes’ election is a historic moment, making her only the second woman to hold this prestigious position. This milestone underscores the global Red Cross and Red Crescent’s continued commitment to diversity and gender equality in its leadership and further strengthens our steadfast dedication to our international mission delivery around the world.
This election marks a pivotal shift toward addressing the complexities of the modern world. As IFRC president, Kate Forbes is committed to addressing the impacts of the climate crisis, geospatial tensions, migration and health emergencies - issues that have also become front and center here in the U.S.
Kate Forbes’ journey with the Red Cross and Red Crescent began over 40 years ago as a local volunteer at the American Red Cross chapter in Phoenix, Arizona and then moved into roles at the regional and national levels. She served as the vice chairman of the Red Cross Board of Governors and then the national chairman of volunteers. In those roles, she mobilized more than a million volunteers to deliver assistance, connect with local communities and provide training. As an auditor by training, Kate Forbes has been a member of the IFRC board since 2018 and she currently serves as the chairman of the IFRC Audit and Risk Commission where she has increased transparency and accountability to deliver lifesaving assistance efficiently around the world.
As a businesswoman and humanitarian with more than 40 years of volunteer experience with the Red Cross and Red Crescent, her extensive experience makes her incredibly well-prepared and a fantastic match for the volunteer position of IFRC president. We know that Kate will bring a focus of integrity and accountability to the position, and we look forward to seeing strong progress for our global humanitarian Movement under her leadership.”
For more information on the recent election In Geneva, please see the IFRC press release.
For information on the global movement and our international structure, please review how we work together to help people in need.