Chief Executive

 
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Theo Clarke, Founder & CEO

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.

 
 
 

COALITION TEAM

 
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Libby Smith, Senior Public Affairs & Policy Manager

Libby is our Senior Public Affairs and Policy Manager 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.

 
 
 
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Alex Zur-Clark, Operations & Programmes Officer

Alex is our Operations and Programmes Officer. He has a background in broadcast television and advertising, having worked with Pinewood Group and Sky before moving into account management. Alex studied Democratic Theory and Journalism as part of his degree at the University of East Anglia, graduating with a First in English Literature in 2016. He was the UK’s youth representative at the World Forum for Democracy 2017 in Strasbourg.

 

 

Trustees

 
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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.

 
 
 
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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.

 
 
 
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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.

 
 
 
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Christian Guy

Former Special Adviser for UK poverty and life chances to Prime Minister David Cameron, Christian is now the UK and Europe Director 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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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.