Chris Bessnecker

Senior Director, Innovation

Over the last 20 years, Chris Bessenecker has led efforts to improve the resiliency of communities around the globe. Most recently he has worked with the pastoral communities of east Africa by integrating satellite and mobile technology to improve herd and pasture management. Chris currently resides in San Diego, California and serves as the Senior Director of Innovation at Global Communities. He leads the organization’s effort to embed innovation in numerous programs.   

Chris’ vocation in international development began in Honduras where he served as a rural Peace Corps volunteer. Since that time, Chris has worked or consulted for various organizations including UNICEF, International Rescue Committee and Project Concern International serving in capacities as varied as research investigator, field director and vice-president of programs. In addition to development work, Chris has led organizational efforts in responding to numerous natural disasters and complex emergencies including the 1994 Rwandan genocide, 1998’s Hurricane Mitch, the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake.

Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and Sociology and a master’s in public health. In 2001, Chris took a 2.5-year hiatus from his work to sail 14,000 nautical miles across the Pacific in a traditional wood sailing vessel.