From Crisis Management to Feminist Leadership at Oxfam America

Authors: Sara Gaviser Leslie, Barbara Durr

Publication info: Keough School of Global Affairs, February 2022

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Oxfam, the international nongovernmental organization, was rocked by press revelations in 2018 of sexual misconduct in its 2011 Haiti humanitarian operations following the devasting earthquake there. The scandal, which occurred amid a crescendo of the #MeToo movement, challenged the new leader of Oxfam’s American affiliate with not only managing the reputational crisis, but also with pressing the organization and the larger NGO sector to make a systems change and a cultural shift on sexual exploitation and abuse. The case raises questions about how a leader can change a long-held culture of ignoring sexual misconduct, how and why changing perceptions mattered in that change, and what leadership approaches were effective.

Recommended citation

Gaviser Leslie, Sara, and Barbara Durr. From Crisis Management to Feminist Leadership at Oxfam America. Keough School of Global Affairs Case Study Series. South Bend, IN: Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame, 2022.