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Public affairs strategist and longtime journalist Andrea Koppel joins Mercy Corps

June 20, 2011

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The global humanitarian agency Mercy Corps announced today that Andrea Koppel has joined the organization as the Vice President of Global Engagement and Policy. A seasoned television journalist and media professional, Koppel brings almost 25 years of communications, journalism and advocacy experience to this newly created role and will be based in Mercy Corps’ Washington, D.C. office. Koppel begins her tenure on June 20th.

“We are excited to welcome Andrea. With her in-depth knowledge of policy and her demonstrated ability to make the most complex issues accessible and compelling to broad audiences, she is a perfect fit for this role,” said Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO, Mercy Corps. “Andrea has the energy, passion, understanding and commitment to humanitarian issues that exemplifies the Mercy Corps culture.”

Prior to joining Mercy Corps, Koppel served as the Director of International Communications at the American Red Cross, where she led the organization’s communication strategy for the Haiti Assistance Program following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Prior to joining the Red Cross, Koppel was the Senior Vice President of Communications at M+R Strategic Services, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs firm that helps nonprofits and foundations build and implement advocacy campaigns. At M+R, Koppel also led the firm’s media relations efforts on a range of issues including energy efficiency and renewable energy as well as transportation reform.

Earlier in her career, Koppel spent two decades working as a journalist in the United States and in Asia. From 1993 until 2007 she was a correspondent at CNN, during which time she covered the State Department, Capitol Hill and served as the network’s Beijing Bureau Chief and Tokyo correspondent. Koppel secured exclusive interviews with world leaders including Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and China’s then President Jiang Zemin, and reported extensively on issues ranging from Arab-Israeli peace talks to the humanitarian crises in Ethiopia and Haiti.

In her new role with Mercy Corps, Koppel will lead policy and advocacy strategies, and engage the public on issues that most affect Mercy Corps’ programs and beneficiaries. She will leverage her experience in journalism and humanitarian campaigns to advocate for policies that advance the organization’s mission, as well as convey the policy insights that Mercy Corps has gained through its humanitarian, development and civil-society work in 40 countries around the world.

“Mercy Corps is a world class organization which is leading the field in conceptualizing and building innovative programs with real grassroots impact," said Koppel. "I am thrilled to join such a talented group of individuals and am inspired by Mercy Corps’ commitment to alleviating suffering and providing hope in some of the most desperate, troubled places in the world.”

Koppel is an internationally renowned journalist who has earned accolades for her work including an Emmy Award for a documentary entitled, “Haiti and the Coup,” a Peabody Award for contributing to CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina, and a DuPont Award for contributing to CNN’s coverage of the 2004 South Asian tsunami.

Koppel attended Middlebury College and earned a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Asian studies, and is proficient in Mandarin Chinese.