Concern Worldwide U.S. announced the appointment of Jack Haire as successor to Joseph Cahalan as Chief Executive Officer.
A former Executive Vice President of Time Inc. and President of the Fortune/Money Group, Haire has been a board member of the international humanitarian organization for the past 18 years.
“A long time ago I met Tom Moran from Mutual of America, probably 20 years ago, and he introduced me to Siobhan Walsh,” Haire told IrishCentral. “She and Father Aengus were the first people on these shores for Concern. They had a compelling story and they were compelling people and I was thrilled to get involved.”
Previously working with groups looking after the welfare of orphans in Chicago and similar organizations to help the disadvantaged, Haire saw his meeting with Concern as the perfect opportunity to get involved in humanitarian work on moving to New York, especially happy be play of part in an organization that had such strong links with his own Irish roots.
A proud Irish-American, Haire’s great-grandparents on both sides emigrated to America in the 1860s, in the wake of the devastating Great Hunger. His mother’s grandparents were from County Monaghan; his father’s grandmother was from the Bantry Bay area of County Cork, and his grandfather was from County Antrim.
“There has not been a day that I've not been impressed with the quality of the work carried out by Concern,” he continued.
With 28 years experience at Time Warner Inc., Haire was also publisher of “TIME” magazine and engineered a partnership with CNN on the launch of CNNMoney.com, one of the world's most successful finance websites. More recently, he was the CEO of Parade Media Group from 2009 until its acquisition by Athlon Media Group in December 2014.
Although the position he will hold in Concern has its similarities with these previous roles, the end goals of Times Warner Inc. etc., are quite different to those of an humanitarian aid group, but Haire explains that this change in direction is exactly where he feels he needs to be at this stage in his career.
“The end goals are quite different,” he states, “but I had a nice run on the corporate side and in the media world.”
“When I sold Parade - the business I was running - a few years ago, I’d had a positive experience there but I didn't want to go back to doing something else like that at this stage in my career.
“The people of Concern are a committed group of believers and when I heard about it [the CEO position] I had to take the opportunity. I hope to add some value to this organization.”
Haire’s own family history helps him to understand the great needs that Concern have as they carry out their humanitarian work throughout 29 of the world’s poorest countries.
“As a person whose grandparents came to the US after the hell of Great Famine, I can relate to these people trying to find a better place,” he tells IrishCentral of the Syrian refugee crisis.
“Personally for me that’s one that strikes,” he adds, noting, however, that it is hard to say that one country’s crisis should be given any kind of presidence over a crisis in another suffering country.
Haire has also previously had the opportunity to visit some of the programs undertaken by Concern, traveling to to Ethiopia for a “memorable” experience where he visited a school house supported by the organization; a local entrepreneur developing a nutritious and long-lasting kind of granola bar that was a great source of sustenance for the local people; and a favela where engineers brought a source of clean water closer to areas of population, eradicating the need for women to travel five to ten miles for clean water.
“We’re doing a lot of tremendous work in Africa, in Asia, in the Caribbean and in the Middle East but there's no shortage of need,” he states.
Effective from April 1, 2016, Haire succeeds the three-year tenure of Joseph Cahalan, a tenure characterized by a growth in programs and services by over 35 percent.
“Jack brings a wealth of experience to his new role,” said Cahalan, who has worked with Haire for the last eight years on the organization’s board.
“He is an accomplished businessman, savvy about media, digitally literate, and a great leader. Perhaps most importantly, he has been a longtime presence on our board, is passionate about our work, and is a role model of our values.”