Fall 2021

Creative Life

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Benjamin Feit began his career as the Berlin Wall was coming down and the ColdWar was ending, making him feel that the possibilities to support change were endless. “I could think of nothing more exciting than working in countries in transition to support development and positively impact people’s lives,” says Feit. Nearly three decades later, he remains optimis- tic about the potential of development and has the experience to follow through on his early wish of supporting transitioning countries. A new era of business development Feit was recently named Creative’s first Chief GrowthOfficer. He will lead the company’s business development strategy, oversee proposal development and coordinate among other divi- sions to ensure continued growth. Feit has a talent for looking forward and is building a strategy for Creative that reflects a changing development landscape. “One of the most profound trends is a shift in how international development is financed and implemented,” says Feit. “We have been seeing this happen for some time and it will pick up steam in the next five years.” According to Feit, this shift includes a commit- ment to local ownership, as well as aid increas- ingly flowing to and through international financial institutions, multilateral organiza- tions and host country governments. “The companies that recognize, prepare for and adapt to these changes and find ways to engage even as they continue with traditional aid ap- proaches will be the successful ones,” says Feit. “This will require continued focus on traditional aid approaches to development, while remaining adept at serving amultiplicity of clients, bilateral donors, multilateral agencies, multi-donor trusts, host country governments, foundations, corporations and other private actors.” Staying true to developments ideals Feit’s belief in the potential of international development has guided him for over 25 years. “What has kept me interested throughout my Benjamin Feit Expanding Creative’s global reach Staff Spotlight

Ben Feit is ushering in a new era of business development, both at Creative and in the international field at large.

Finding his next inspiration at Creative Feit joins Creative after successful years as CARE USA’s Associate Vice President for Institutional Funding and Strategy inWashing- ton, D.C., where he developed and led a growth strategy focused on the U.S. government and multilateral clients like the World Bank. He also held roles at Palladium, Deloitte Con- sulting, Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) and USAID. Feit was inspired to join Creative by its suc- cessful track record, potential for growth and compelling origin story. “The vision of four enterprising women of diverse ethnic backgrounds and nationalities who founded Creative in 1977 has led the orga- nization to become a major player in interna- tional development today,” says Feit. “Creative’s story speaks to the values that motivate me professionally – commitment, perseverance, diversity and a passion for social justice and improving the lives of others.” n

career is a deep-seated passion for the work, a belief that international development is about social justice and the idea that everybody de- serves an equal opportunity to prosper.” He has applied this philosophy to his work in the private, public and nonprofit sectors, including during his time in post-apartheid South Africa. He supported work to narrow the education gap and ensure Black students had the same oppor- tunities and resources as their white peers. His work in the field has also taken him to Niger during a coup, postwar Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Romania before it joined the European Union. Feit draws fromhis extensive experience across the sector to informa business development approach that balances client relationships and the best interests of the people served. “Just as we need to be responsive to client needs and wishes, we need to have integrity so that we respect our own professional expertise and judgments about what is good internation- al development, what is innovative, and how we can best solve a problem,” he says.

Photos by Skip Brown (Ben Feit, TomWheelock)

26 | Think Creative | Fall 2021

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