AmeriCares President and CEO Curt Welling is resigning, announced on Tuesday, April 16, after 11 years at the helm.

Welling will continue to lead the organization until his successor is named. The board of directors will select an executive recruiting firm in the next few weeks to lead an international search.

"AmeriCares has never been stronger and is poised to take a significant step forward in the years to come," Welling said. "Over the past 11 years, we have focused on our mission to help many more people live longer, healthier lives and I am proud to say that we have accomplished this in an effective, efficient manner. We also have a new strategic plan in place that will enable AmeriCares to become an even more impactful force in global health by further strengthening health systems and increasing access to quality health services. We will achieve measurable outcomes for targeted populations, diseases and public health issues."

Dean Maglaris, chairman of the board, said: "Curt Welling has overseen dramatic growth at AmeriCares over the past 11 years and has done an extraordinary job leading the organization. Curt, who followed AmeriCares founder Bob Macauley has overseen the distribution of $9 billion in aid to people in need worldwide which translates into helping millions and millions of people live longer, healthier lives. This represents 80 percent of the total aid delivered since AmeriCares was founded in 1982.

"Under Curt's leadership, AmeriCares has grown into a highly professional organization and seen its donor base increase significantly. Curt has big shoes for us to fill, but I'm confident we will find a strong leader for the future."

During his tenure, Welling directed AmeriCares relief and recovery efforts for many large-scale disasters, including 2012 Superstorm Sandy, 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake in 2005 and the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami. At the height of the Darfur crisis in 2004, Welling launched a program that landed 11 airlifts of medical aid for clinics serving displaced people in Sudan and neighboring Chad.

He has also helped establish and deepen partnerships with many of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers that donate more than a half billion dollars worth of medicines and medical supplies to AmeriCares each year for distribution to hospitals and clinics serving resource poor communities around the world.

Over the past 10 years, AmeriCares expanded its work in the United States significantly. It increased access to primary health services for thousands of uninsured patients through three free clinics in Connecticut and delivered donated medicines and medical supplies to more than 400 charitable health institutions within its U.S. affiliate network. The U.S. is the largest recipient of humanitarian assistance of any country AmeriCares serves -- receiving $153 million in total aid in Fiscal Year 2012. Responding to domestic disasters is now a significant part of its emergency response work, including a continued response to Superstorm Sandy.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead AmeriCares over the past 11 years," Welling said. "To work with a top-notch staff totally dedicated to the AmeriCares mission, donors who make us stewards of their dollars and compassion, and companies who donate their life-saving medicines and humanitarian aid is a humbling and gratifying experience. But when the day is done, it's all about the individuals whose lives we touch. I have just returned from Japan where I visited with survivors of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and saw first-hand how our assistance continues to help in their recovery. I will carry their spirit of resilience and hope with me always."

More Information

Fact box