Jenny McAvoy

Director of Protection

Jenny McAvoy joined InterAction as Director of Protection in 2011. With over 25 years’ experience, Jenny is an expert on protection in armed conflict and is passionate about ensuring coherence between field-level realities and policy-making for strategic outcomes.


Prior to joining InterAction, Jenny was a policy advisor with the OCHA Protection and Displacement Section in the U.N. Secretariat where she coordinated country-focused and thematic policy initiatives with U.N. Member States, shaped the Security Council’s Protection of Civilians agenda, and led on analysis and advice for field operations on strategies to increase humanitarian access and address other protection concerns, including through humanitarian negotiations with parties to conflict in contexts such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen.


Jenny previously worked for 13 years with local, national, and international NGOs in Southeast Asia and in Sudan, including several years with Oxfam GB as Humanitarian Coordinator in Indonesia and subsequently as Oxfam’s first Humanitarian Protection Advisor. Jenny pioneered Oxfam’s work in Southeast Asia on the protection in conflict and displacement settings, including the development of analytical, planning, and training tools to enhance humanitarian programming and policy on protection.


Jenny was born in Bangkok, raised in Southeast Asia and Japan, and currently resides in Washington, D.C. She has a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University, with a focus on international security policy.