New Chief Operating Officer Catherine Kannam brings a wealth of knowledge to the newly developed role from her 15 years of international development experience, including 11 years with Chemonics.


Chemonics International is proud to announce Catherine Kannam as its first chief operating officer. Catherine, who joined Chemonics in 2010, has extensive experience in the international development sector, including stabilization, local economic development, municipal governance, gender equality, and social inclusion. As chief operating officer, Catherine has assumed oversight of the executive division, including the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team, Country Platforms team, and the Legal Office. She also oversees the Project Development and Support, Global Technology and Infrastructure, and Human Resources divisions to ensure close collaboration and efficiency across support unit priorities and activities.

Prior to her new role, Catherine served as the senior vice president for Chemonics’ Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan region as well as the senior vice president for Chemonics’ Gender, Equality, and Social Inclusion practice and Peace, Stability, and Transition practice. She also served as a member of the executive council on diversity and inclusion and as co-executive sponsor of ChemTea, Chemonics’ employee resource group that is committed to supporting, connecting, and promoting Asian and Pacific Islander talent at Chemonics.

“In addition to her vast experience in international development, Catherine is well known throughout Chemonics for her ability to operate effectively in difficult situations, her strong business ethics, and her tremendous commitment to our mission,” says President and Chief Executive Officer Jamey Butcher. “Catherine has already brought immeasurable contributions to our organization, and we are honored to continue our work with her in her new role as chief operating officer.”

“I feel honored and privileged to take on this new role at a critical juncture for Chemonics, and I am deeply appreciative of the trust that the organization is placing in me,” said Catherine. “I look forward to doing everything I can to help us further our mission of promoting meaningful change around the world and positioning ourselves to continue to have a lasting impact now and in the future.”

Catherine began her international development career in New Delhi, India. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Social Studies at Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in South Asia studies and international economics from The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.