The President is the highest personality within the IFRC, responsible for guiding the IFRC, ensuring it acts in line with decisions made by its governing bodies and exercises its functions as defined in our Constitution.

Kate Forbes

  • IFRC Secretariat, 17 Chemin des Crêts, Petit-Saconnex, 1209 Geneva, Switzerland
  • P.O. Box 303 CH – 1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland

The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is Kate Forbes, a humanitarian leader with more than 40 years of experience with the Red Cross and Red Crescent. She has traveled down the street, across the country and around the world to support philanthropic actions.

At the IFRC, Forbes most recently served as chairman of the organization's Audit and Risk Commission. Under her leadership, the commission has increased transparency and accountability to deliver life-saving assistance more efficiently around the world.

Kate’s Red Cross journey began in 1981 at her local American Red Cross Chapter in Phoenix, Arizona.

She worked to combat a surge of home fires impacting Indigenous communities, prevent drownings across the region and provide access to health services through special transportation programs. At local and regional levels, she improved safety and well-being through effective community engagement. Kate then served as the chairman of the local board of directors, regional chapter services board chair and then national chair of chapter services. In 2000, Kate assumed the role of Vice-Chairman of the American Red Cross Board of Governors and then the National Chairman of Volunteers. In these roles, she mobilized more than a million volunteers to deliver assistance, connect with local communities and provide training in their local communities.

In her professional life, Kate was most recently the Chief Financial Officer of Electric Applications Incorporated. With more than four decades of experience as a CFO, auditor and controller, she has held executive positions providing vision and inspiration to diverse groups. She specializes in managing complex, rapidly changing financial, utility and green technology businesses with geographically diverse multimillion-dollar operations, under strict financial compliance regulations.

In a volunteer capacity, Kate’s served as Chairman of the American Lung Association, a member of the Arizona State University Foundation Board of Directors, Chairman of the PSI Audit Committee, and on a variety of local and national boards.

Kate is the recipient of numerous awards, including the following: the Harriman Award, the American Red Cross premier award for outstanding volunteer service; Deborah Karr King Award Central Arizona Chapter, Red Cross Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Service; the Athena Award, the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Award for Outstanding Business Woman; Public Service Award American Institute of Certified Public Accountants Award for Public Service; and the Arizona State Society of Certified Public Accountants Award for Service to the Society.

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