Direct Relief International

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Direct Relief International

"In 1945, William Zimdin, an Estonian immigrant who had amassed significant wealth in pre-war Europe, began sending thousands of relief parcels containing food, clothing and medicines to relatives, friends, and former employees who were rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of WWII. These efforts served as the cornerstone for the William Zimdin Foundation, established on August 23, 1948 as a California not-for-profit corporation.

"After Zimdin’s death in 1951, Dezso (Dennis) Karczag, a Hungarian immigrant and close business associate of Zimdin assumed management of the organization. In 1957, the organization changed its name to the Direct Relief Foundation. In 1982, the organization formally adopted the name Direct Relief International...

"Throughout its history, Direct Relief has provided assistance in response to natural disasters and to refugee populations. Beginning with postwar refugee assistance in Eastern Europe and Greece, Direct Relief has also provided support for more than 40 years to Tibetan refugees, and has consistently responded with targeted medical aid to major natural disasters since the Peru earthquake in 1970.

"Since its inception, Direct Relief has provided appropriate and specifically requested medical resources to community-based institutions and organizations in over 140 countries including the United States.

"In 2006, Direct Relief provided $201 million in direct aid through medical material assistance and targeted cash grants serving 23.8 million people in 56 countries worldwide." [1]

They are partners with Global Partners for Development. [2]

Medical Product Donors

Board of Directors 2007 [3]

Honorary Board

International Advisory Board [4]

  • Henry E. Catto - Former Vice Chairman and President, H & C Communications; U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain and El Salvador; Director, United States Information Agency
  • Lawrence R. Glenn - Chairman Chairman, J.W. Goddard & Co., Former Chairman, Citicorp Credit Policy Committee
  • E. Carmack Holmes, M.D. Professor and Chairman, Department of Surgery UCLA School of Medicine
  • S. Roger Horchow - Founder – Horchow Collection; Broadway Producer
  • Stanley S. Hubbard - Chairman and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc.; Former Chair of US Satellite Broadcasting Co., Inc.
  • Jon B. Lovelace - Chairman Emeritus, Capital Group International, Inc.
  • John D. Macomber - Chairman, JDM Investment Group; Former Chair, Export-Import Bank; Chairman & CEO, Celanese Corp.; Sr. Partner, McKinsey & Co.
  • Frank N. Magid - Chairman and CEO, Frank N. Magid Associates, Research and Consulting Firm
  • Donald E. Petersen - President and Chairman (retired), Ford Motor Company
  • Richard L. Schall - Vice Chairman Emeritus, Dayton Hudson Co.; CEO (retired), Josten’s Inc. Vice President and Controller, General Mills, Inc.
  • John W. Sweetland - Chairman and Director, The Winsford Corporation



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. History, Direct Relief International, accessed July 20, 2007.
  2. Meet our African Partners, Global Partners for Development, accessed July 20, 2007.
  3. Board of Directors, Direct Relief International, accessed July 20, 2007.
  4. International Advisory Board, Direct Relief International, accessed July 20, 2007.