Chief Executive


Theo Clarke, Founder & Chief Executive

Theo is our first Chief Executive and was previously Director of the Conservative Friends of International Development. She is also an entrepreneur and previously set up and sold her own business. She has led the Conservative Party's social action project in Sierra Leone. Theo has delivered education, enterprise and employability training in several African countries including as a volunteer with VSO, Restless Development, Survivors Fund and Street Child.




Steve Brown, Finance Director

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Libby Smith, Head of Advocacy and Events

Libby is our Head of Advocacy and Events and has a background in parliament, lobbying and international development. She previously worked on UK and EU advocacy at the NGO WaterAid leading on engagement with Government Departments, parliament and utilising WaterAid’s influential partners for advocacy purposes. Prior to this, Libby worked at the public affairs agency Portland Communications working on high profile clients in the corporate communications and public affairs team. She has also worked in parliament for the MPs Margaret Hodge MP and Emily Thornberry MP.


Lauren Pizzey, Advocacy and Events Officer

Lauren is our Advocacy and Events Officer. She graduated with a First-class degree in French and Spanish from the University of Manchester in 2017, and then worked at International Development campaigning organisation Global Citizen for a year. Alongside her work at the Coalition, Lauren is an active ambassador for the ONE campaign and sits on the Executive Committee for the Labour Campaign for International Development (LCID).

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Alex Zur-Clark, Operations & Evaluation Coordinator

Alex is our Operations and Evaluation Coordinator. Before entering international development, Alex worked in broadcast television and advertising with Pinewood Group and Sky. Alex was the UK’s youth representative at the World Forum for Democracy 2017 in Strasbourg. He studied Democratic Theory and Journalism as part of his degree at the University of East Anglia, graduating with a First in English Literature. Outside work he campaigns for democratic reform with Make Votes Matter (MVM).





Simon Bishop, Chair

Simon Bishop is Chair of our board of trustees and currently Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Plan International UK. He has also been Special Adviser to the UK Government’s Secretary of State for International Development, an advisor to HRH The Prince of Wales on his charitable activities, and completed a number of roles with The Shell Foundation, The United Nations Foundation and the BBC. As a Fulbright Scholar, Simon completed Masters degrees in International Relations and Journalism from Columbia University and also has a Masters in Economics and Geography from Edinburgh University.




James Dray

James is a partner at the Brunswick group.

James joined Brunswick after earning a Doctorate as a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford University where he also taught Politics. His Doctorate, which made use of advanced econometric analysis to study political behaviour across Sub-Saharan Africa, was awarded the Political Studies Association prize for the best thesis on elections, electoral systems and representation. He is a former President of the Oxford Union and World Universities Debating Champion.


Carolyn Esser

Carolyn is responsible for designing and executing the communications strategy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Europe and the Middle East. She leads a team who drive communications aimed at raising awareness of the foundation and the initiatives that it supports as well as working with a broader community of external stakeholders to build support for international development commitments from European and Middle Eastern governments. Carolyn has a BA Hons. Journalism and BA Value and Policy Studies from Stellenbosch University, South Africa and is also a Trustee of the Orchid Project, the UK NGO which is campaigning for the end of female genital cutting.


Christian Guy

Former Special Adviser for UK poverty and life chances to Prime Minister David Cameron, Christian is now the CEO of an international anti-slavery and trafficking NGO. Prior to working in No.10, he was CEO of the Centre for Social Justice think tank, and a speechwriter to its Chairman Iain Duncan Smith.

Christian was a member of the UK Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission under Alan Milburn, the Assistant Director of Jonathan Aitken’s Westminster Forum, and serves as a Trustee for a number of other UK charities.

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Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi

Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi is Director of Investments at The Power of Nutrition, a charity which helps children to realise their full potential. A political economist by training and private sector development specialist, Mavis has over 20 years experience in international development that include the management of large economic and social development portfolios in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean.

She has also served as Director of Programme Policy and Quality for Save the Children UK, and was previously the Head of Profession for Private Sector Development at the UK’s Department of International Development. Mavis is a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow with an MPhil from the University of Sussex.


Kirsty McNeill

Kirsty McNeill is Save the Children's Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, leading a team of 100+ to influence public policy on humanitarian action, global development and UK poverty. 

Today she is on the boards of the Holocaust Educational Trust, the Brown Archive Trust and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. She co-chairs the Jo Cox Foundation and is a regular public commentator on power, politics and policy, having written for outlets including the Telegraph, Observer and New Statesman. 



ADVISORY council

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Tom Cargill

Tom Cargill is Executive Director of the British Foreign Policy Group, an independent not for profit organisation established to support a more inclusive national discussion on the UK’s place in the world. He has worked in various roles in the public, private and NGO sectors, including at the charity for children in care Believe, as well as 10 years at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) followed by 4 years at the engineering, procurement and construction multinational Bechtel. He is the author of numerous reports, chapters and articles on international and foreign policy issues.

James Cowan

James Cowan

James Cowan was a soldier. He joined The Black Watch from Oxford in 1986, serving in Berlin, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Hong Kong. He helped plan the Kosovo operation in 1999. He commanded in Iraq in 2004, fighting around Basra and latterly Fallujah. He returned to Iraq in 2006 and commanded in Helmand in 2009-10. He planned the military Olympic security operation of 2012. As a major general, he commanded the 3rd Division. In 2015 he become Chief Executive of the HALO Trust.

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Louise James

Louise James runs Accenture Development Partnerships, a not for profit unit in Accenture that provides consulting to the international development sector including iNGO’s, Donors and Foundations.  Louise’s focus areas include cross-sector partnerships and digital transformation. Louise is the co-author of “The Convergence Continuum: Towards a 4th sector in global development?”

Prior to Accenture Development Partnerships, Louise consulted within Accenture’s supply chain practice across a number of industries including chemicals, consumer goods and retail.


Lt Gen (Retd) Phil Jones CB CBE DL

Phil Jones served for 36 years in the British Army, departing the service as a Lieutenant General. With over 15 international deployments, including three secondments to the UN and two to NATO in leadership roles, he gained operational experience in most of the major military campaigns of the past 30 years. Senior positions included Brigade Commander in Northern Ireland, Military Advisor to the UN in Afghanistan, Military Attaché in Washington D.C., Director of the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme, the first Chief of Staff to the new UK Joint Forces Command within the Ministry of Defence, and Chief of Staff for NATO’s Supreme Headquaters Allied Command for Transformation. Phil has extensive experience in planning and managing comprehensive civil-military campaigns, counter-insurgency, governance, stabilisation and peace-building.  He is now the Managing Director of Othrys Ltd, an ethical International Security Consultancy.

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Dominic McVey

Dominic McVey became a millionaire at 15 selling collapsible mini-scooters from his bedroom and was named a Pioneer for Enterprise by Her Majesty the Queen at 18 years of age.  Dominic has gone on to become a global ethical business leader and created Hela Clothing.  Hela employs 15,000 people, with revenues of almost $200 million USD and operations in Kenya, Ethiopia & Sri Lanka.  According to Dominic he was able to achieve this, because he put people and community first. 

Dominic has been an adviser on entrepreneurship to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment of the Irish Government, and has consulted for a wide group of institutions and organisations including the former Department for Trade and Industry and the Department for Education and Skills.  In 2009, Dominic was named Britain's second most influential business person under the age of 30 in The Sunday Times '‘Top 30 power players under 30’. 

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Tim Morris

Tim has had a long career as a British diplomat, specialising in Africa, international organisations, and  trade and investment promotion. He has been Ambassador to Morocco and Mauritania, temporary Head of Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan during the conflict in that country. He has worked as Coordinator on the Sahel and Special Representative on South Sudan and most recently was Senior Trade Advisor for Africa in the FCO.

Tim’s early career was spent working in Japan and Europe and he directed the British Government’s inward investment programme in Japan. He was also Deputy and Head of the FCO’s International Organisations Department. Tim now advises on trade and investment in Africa and conflict and development issues.


Bishop Precious Omuku

Bishop Precious is the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Special Representative on Conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa. Before being ordained as a priest in 2002, he enjoyed a 33-year career in the private sector. He started his vocation with church-planting in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2014, he joined the Lambeth Palace team as the Archbishop’s Advisor on Anglican Communion Affairs. He was consecrated Bishop of South Sudan and Sudan in 2016. Bishop Precious is involved in dialogue to end conflict in South Sudan and other regions in sub-Saharan Africa. He also serves in London as an assistant bishop in Southwark diocese and an honorary assistant priest in Morden.

Myles Wickstead

Myles Wickstead CBE

Myles is the Acting Chief Executive of Wilton Park, a position he took up at the beginning of April 2017. He has had a long career in the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Myles has inter alia been Head of DFID’s European Community and Food Aid Department and Head of the British Development Division in Eastern Africa, responsible for British Government development programmes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. He coordinated the 1997 Government White Paper ‘Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century’; served on the Board of the World Bank (and as Development Counsellor at the British Embassy) in Washington; and was British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union. He was from early 2004 to late 2005 Head of Secretariat to the Commission for Africa (CfA). The Commission’s Report ‘Our Common Interest’ formed the basis of the G8 Gleneagles Communique on Africa.

Having left Government service in late 2005, Myles is now Visiting Professor (International Relations) at King’s College London and Associate Professor at the University of Exeter. He is Non-Executive Director at ‘Development Initiatives’ and on the Advisory Board of IPE Africa. He is a member of the Advisory Council of Wilton Park; Honorary Vice-President of VSO; and is on the Boards of a number of other NGOs, Trusts and Foundations. His book ‘Aid and Development: A Brief Introduction’ was published by Oxford University Press in June 2015.