From Crisis Management to Feminist Leadership at Oxfam America

Case Study


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.

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Attribute NameValues
Document Type
  • Case Study

  • Sara Gaviser Leslie

  • Barbara Durr

  • Ray Offenheiser

Date Created
  • 2022-02-14

  • Keough School of Global Affairs

  • crisis management

  • feminist leadership

  • international humanitarian aid

  • NGO management

  • organizational leadership

  • sexual exploitation and abuse

  • sexual harassment

  • systems thinking

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