Thomas Tighe: President & CEO, Direct Relief

Thomas Tighe has served as President and CEO of Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian medical organization, since October 2000. Since Tighe's arrival, the organization has provided cash grants of more than $40 million and furnished more than $4 billion essential medicines, equipment, and supplies to support health services for low-income people in 88 developing countries and in all 50 U.S. states, where the organization conducts the country's largest nonprofit charitable medicines program.

During Tighe’s tenure, Direct Relief has been named among the world’s most innovative nonprofits by Fast Company, has been rated by Forbes as being 99 percent efficient or better in fundraising since 2001, won the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation, the CECP Director’s Award, the Esri President’s Award for GIS innovation, the Office of the Surgeon General’s National Leadership and Partnership Award, and become the first U.S. nonprofit to obtain VAWD accreditation and a license to distribute Rx medications in all 50 U.S. states. From 1995 to 2000, Tighe served as Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer of the Peace Corps, overseeing day-to-day operations of the agency’s worldwide programs and a resurgent growth of the agency to a 27-year high. From 1993 to 1995, Tighe served as Associate General Counsel of the Peace Corps, negotiating bilateral agreements to initiate Peace Corps programs in South Africa and China. From 1989 to 1993, he served as Associate Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, conducting oversight and developing legislation related to veterans’ mental-health care, special disability programs, drug and alcohol treatment, and services for homeless veterans. Tighe also handled collateral duties related to foreign aid and the Peace Corps..