2014 World Citizen Award
Our World Citizen for 2014 is Dan O’Neill, founder of Mercy Corps. Today Mercy Corps is one of the most respected NGOs in the world helping millions of people recover from disasters, build stronger communities and find their own solutions to poverty. In 1979, Dan co-founded Save the Refugees Fund, an emergency relief task force assisting Cambodian refugees following the infamous “Killing Fields” catastrophe. In 1980, he attended White House Cambodia Crisis Committee events at the request of then-First Lady Rosalynn Carter, who has continued to lend her support and encouragement over three decades. In 1981, Dan incorporated Mercy Corps with a mission to alleviate suffering, poverty, and oppression by helping people to build just, secure, and productive communities. Since then, the global aid agency has generated billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries, assisting children and families with cost-efficient, high-impact relief and development programs through a broad range of services and innovative strategies. Dan was born in Olympia, Washington, in 1948. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington and in 2008 was named among its top 100 graduates. He has received honorary doctorates from Warner Pacific College (2004), Willamette University (2007) and the University of Portland (2009).