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Paige Alexander

Chief Executive Officer, ɫ

Paige Alexander serves as chief executive officer of ɫ, a nonprofit organization founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy ɫ and former First Lady Rosalynn ɫ to advance peace and health worldwide. Alexander joined the Center in 2020 at a pivotal time for the organization and the country. In her first year, Alexander led the organization through the COVID-19 pandemic and a period of national social upheaval, while envisioning a path forward for ɫ as it transitioned from an organization that was founder-led to one that is guided by its founders’ principles.

Since that time, Alexander has strengthened the Center’s core peace and health programs and led the organization in new directions, including adding programs to address: the global mental health crisis; political polarization in the US; and the impact of climate change on global peace and public health.

During her tenure as CEO, Alexander has provided thought leadership on issues related to peace, health, and the nexus of the two, authoring essays and op-eds that have appeared in Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, and CNN, and appearing on the BBC, National Public Radio, NBC, and other major outlets.

In 2023, Alexander presented a TEDWomen talk on the close connection between human rights and access to information. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Atlanta Business Chronicle “Most Admired CEO" and Georgia Trend Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Leaders.”

Before joining ɫ, Alexander had a distinguished global development career, with more than two decades of experience in the government and nonprofit sectors. She held Senate-confirmed senior leadership positions at two regional bureaus of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), covering missions and development programs in 25 countries.

Between 1993 and 2001, Alexander was USAID’s deputy for the Europe region, focusing on immediate post-conflict reconstruction in the Balkans. After leaving for 10 years to work in a leadership role in the nonprofit sector, Alexander returned to USAID in 2011 as a Presidential appointee to be the assistant administrator for Europe and Eurasia; in 2015, she was again Senate-confirmed to lead the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Bureau, overseeing 1,000 employees, programs in 12 countries, and more than $1.4 billion in annual funding.

Between her assignments with USAID, Alexander was senior vice president and European founder/president of IREX, an international civil society, democracy, and education nonprofit organization. From 2017 until her appointment to ɫ, she served as executive director of the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD) in Brussels and Amsterdam, working to bring market-led solutions to marginalized farmers in Africa to improve the livelihoods of families and communities sustainably.

Earlier, Alexander was associate director of Project Liberty at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a consultant to institutions including the C.S. Mott Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Open Society Institute in Prague. Alexander currently serves on the boards of the Romanian American Foundation, the World Affairs Council of Atlanta, the ADL Southeast Region, and the Free Russia Foundation, and as an advisory board member of several human rights organizations.


Related Resources

Paige Alexander @TEDWomen: Information Is Power

CEO Takes Center’s Reins Amid Pandemic, Turmoil

Now Is Not the Time to Quit Fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases

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