Mercy Corps' Chief Innovation Officer, Ann Mei Chang, will be leading the U.S. Global Development Lab as its first executive director.
"As Chief Innovative Officer, Ann Mei Chang has led the development of Mercy Corps’ technology initiatives and new business models to positively impact the lives of people facing the world's toughest challenges," said Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer. "Not surprisingly, Ann Mei's passion for bold, innovative approaches and invaluable experience at Google, the U.S. State Department and Mercy Corps caught the attention of top leaders at USAID and within President Obama's administration."
From the USAID blog announcement:
In the eight months since its launch, the U.S. Global Development Lab has brought great energy, ideas, and evidence towards our goal to end extreme poverty. From starting the $200 million Global Innovation Fund, to bringing data analytics and science to bear to increase biodiversity in Brazil, the Lab has worked closely with global and local partners to achieve impact better, cheaper, faster, and more sustainably.
This has meant doing business differently – co-creating through the new Development Innovation Accelerator and hiring technical experts through flexible personnel authorities. Solving challenges differently – crafting a statement of the problem and then opening it up to the brightest minds around the world to solve, such as the 1000 ideas submitted through the Ebola Grand Challenge. Engaging differently – bringing universities, corporations, and governments together at TechCon, and including hundreds of inspiring innovations at Frontiers in Development’s Innovation Marketplace. Aspiring to take ideas that work – like electronic payment systems - to more markets quickly, enabling them to reach hundreds of millions of people.
This is an unbelievable opportunity and a dream job for me, bringing together what I believe are the most important tools for a next generation approach to development at an agency that has the clout and reach to move the needle," said Chang.