From its humble beginnings in the kitchen of its visionary founders in 1948, Direct Relief has grown and has become one of the country’s most effective humanitarian assistance organizations that, today, operates in more than 70 countries and provides critical help to millions of people each year.

Direct Relief’s impact overseas, as well as in communities in the U.S., is the result of many dedicated and compassionate people, each of whom plays a different but important role and contributes to the organization’s mission. Direct Relief is composed of a dedicated staff of more than 50 employees, and it draws vision, strength, and expertise from an outstanding Board of Directors, a distinguished International Advisory Board, and several hundred volunteers who contribute their time, talent, and energy to the organization in many ways.

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors provides oversight for Direct Relief’s strategic direction and ensures that it is programs are well-managed and consistent with the organization’s principles. Directors convene four times each year for general business meetings. In addition, the Executive Committee and other board committees convene more frequently to conduct business on important issues. All of Direct Relief’s directors serve as volunteers without compensation. Meet our Board Members.

International and Medical Advisory Board

Direct Relief engages a prominent group of leaders and experts to broaden its perspective and understanding of topics related to its many programs. The members’ extensive backgrounds and accomplishments in a wide variety of fields – including medicine, finance, manufacturing, public service, communications, and diplomacy – are an enormous resource for Direct Relief’s work. Learn more about Direct Relief’s International and Medical Advisory Board Members.

Direct Relief Staff

More than 50 staff members from diverse backgrounds and with an array of skills carry out Direct Relief’s mission on a daily basis and respond whenever the organization’s assistance is needed around the world. Our workplace is a 50,000-square-foot warehouse facility in Santa Barbara, California. Meet Direct Relief’s staff.


Direct Relief is fortunate to have a large contingent of dedicated volunteers who play many important roles and contribute to the organization’s success. They help with, among other tasks, packaging relief supplies, communicating with Direct Relief’s supporters, organizing fundraising events, and contributing their skills to various business operations. In 2011, Direct Relief volunteers donated nearly 10,000 hours of work at our headquarters Learn more about our volunteers.