CEO and Founder, Motive International
2019 Speaker • 2020 Speaker • CU Alumnus

Washington, D.C.

Morgan Keay is the CEO and founder of Motive International, a Washington, D.C.-based social enterprise with a mission to mitigate conflict and enhance stability and sustainability in fragile societies around the world. She has held senior-level positions in the public, private and civil society sectors and has served in the departments of State and Defense, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

Prior to launching Motive, Keay was a policy officer with the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, serving as advisor to U.S. Africa Command. Keay also served at the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria. Earlier, as a foreign service officer with USAID, she directed a task force in Afghanistan responsible for strategies to transition governance to Afghans.

Keay previously spent ten years in Mongolia, first as the founder/executive director of the Itgel Foundation, an NGO focused on sustainable community transformation. She was then recruited by Rio Tinto to spearhead a $15 million annual corporate social responsibility portfolio for the world’s largest copper mine, in Mongolia’s Gobi Desert. 

Keay has authored numerous papers and policy documents and is a frequent speaker on international affairs, sustainability and civil-military coordination. She holds a master’s in international policy from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, and bachelor’s degrees in environmental biology and religious studies from the University of Colorado Boulder. Keay lives in Washington, D.C., and Westchester County, New York, with her husband, Zach Watson, and their son, Fox.