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Tearfund Ambassadors

These are a small group of high-profile supporters who use their platform to raise awareness of Tearfund’s work. Our Ambassadors commit to helping us achieve our goals by supporting campaigns, fundraising and events.

Tearfund Executive Team

These are Tearfund’s most senior staff members who provide strategic and operational leadership. They set goals, develop our strategy and ensure it is executed effectively.

Nigel Harris

Chief Executive

Nigel became Tearfund’s chief executive in November 2015. Previously, he was chief executive of Farm Africa, a rural development NGO focused on east Africa. Before that he was chief of staff at Save the Children UK. Nigel is married to Teresa and they have two children. He is an active member of St Michael's Church, Southfields in London.

Jane Pleace

Global Fundraising Director

Bringing her experience of developing fundraising and communications strategies, Jane is responsible for raising the income that enables Tearfund to work with churches and partners in poor communities around the world. Before joining Tearfund, Jane led fundraising teams at charities including World Vision, Oxfam and United Bible Societies. She lives in Somerset and enjoys worshipping at Bath Abbey.

Myles Harrison

International Director

Previously, Myles was with World Vision where he served in various leadership capacities in programming and overseeing operations across the world. Myles is responsible for Tearfund’s work with partner-focussed and operational programmes. He provides leadership, strategic direction, financial and resource management for Tearfund’s International Group. He attends a local church with his family.

Ruth Valerio

Global Advocacy and Influencing Director

Ruth’s group mobilises churches around the world to tackle poverty and injustice by pushing for change at a governmental and institutional level. She was previously Churches and Theology Director at A Rocha UK. An in-demand speaker and author, Ruth lives in Chichester with her family and is a member of Revelation Church.

Karen Brown

Director of People and Talent

Joining Tearfund in February 2017, Karen’s role includes oversight across HR, talent management and learning and development. Karen spent the majority of her career at PWC, the professional services firm, and has also worked at HSBC plc and Prudential plc. Karen is married to Andrew and worships at Neighbourhood Church, Beckenham.

Catriona Dejean

Director of Strategy and Impact

Catriona previously headed up the Impact and Effectiveness Team at Tearfund. Before this, she was a consultant in the social enterprise sector, providing advice to UK and international clients. She has also worked for World Vision on strategy and development programmes. Catriona and her husband worship at Trinity Church in Lewes.

Nigel Gavin

Director of Finance

Previously, Nigel was Director of Financial Governance with Save the Children International. For some of 2017 he was based in Dakar, Senegal. Nigel has also had financial and commercial leadership roles within an international energy company. He is married to Claudine, has three children and attends St Nicholas' Church in Sevenoaks.

Board Of Trustee Directors

Tearfund relies on the counsel of our board members, who come from a range of backgrounds and share our passion for seeing people released from material and spiritual poverty wherever we work.

Anna Laszlo

Chair of the Board

For more than fourteen years, Anna was a civil servant in the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, including posts in Zimbabwe and Mozambique. She is married to David, they have six children. They worship at Christ Church, Cheltenham, where Anna also holds the role of Team Leader for Youth and Children’s Work.

Antony Barnes

Treasurer designate

Antony has spent 35 years in international finance, mainly with Toyota, Amersham and GUS.  A Chartered Accountant and Corporate Treasurer, he is currently Director of Corporate Finance at Experian, and a trustee of two of their pension schemes.  He has been a trustee and treasurer of The Stewards’ Trust and is currently trustee and chair of the Finance & Investment Committee at Stewardship.  Antony and his wife Caragh have previously lived in the Netherlands and Ireland, and are active in their parish church in Hazlemere, Buckinghamshire.

Stephanie Biden

Chair of the Safeguarding Committee and Member of the Audit Risk and Finance committee

Stephanie is a partner in the charity and social enterprise team at Bates Wells, one of the leading law firms in the UK advising NGOs. She has extensive experience as a charity trustee, having served on the boards of a range of organisations, from small start-ups to larger Christian charities and mission agencies, such as Stewardship and OMF International (UK).

Jayakumar Christian

Chair of the Theology Committee

Jayakumar is well known for his 30-year involvement with World Vision. He was National Director for World Vision India for eleven years, before becoming World Vision's global Partnership Leader for Faith and Development from 2015 to 2017. He is the author of the book God of the Empty-handed and many articles related to poverty, urban missions, powerlessness, leadership and integrity. He has also taught in a number of theological seminaries. Jayakumar and his wife Vidhya are based in Chennai (India) and worship in Emmanuel Methodist Church. 

Ian Curtis

Ian spent 17 years overseas in Kenya, Nepal, Mozambique, India and most recently (until May 2015) in South Sudan. This included almost 20 years with the Department for International Development – at country level and also in Whitehall, ultimately as a senior civil servant. Ian and his wife Marian live in Wiltshire and are active in their local rural parish. They have three adult children and eight grandchildren.

John Davidson

John has more than 30 years of practice in international corporate and commercial law, including 15 years as a partner in Hogan Lovells, and ten years as a member of the group executive committee of SABMiller plc. John is currently Chair of The MacDaibhidh Charitable Trust and a trustee of the Tisbury Telegraph Trust. He and his wife have been financial supporters of Tearfund for more than 30 years. Since January 2020, John has also been a trustee of Tearfund USA, a member of the Tearfund family.

Bishop Harold Miller

The Right Revd Harold Miller has been a Bishop in the Church of Ireland since 1997. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and St John's College, Nottingham. He has been involved with Tearfund since its inception and was part of the Northern Ireland Advisory Committee for more than twelve years. He is married to Liz and they have four grown up children and three granddaughters.

Sally Jones-Evans

Chair of the International Impact Committee

Sally enjoyed a 30 year career in retail banking. During a career break, she had two life changing assignments including volunteering in Tanzania with Tearfund, which led to a Masters in International Development. Since then she served as a non executive member on the Board of the Department for International Development (DFID), through to its merger with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in September 2020. She is also a Non Executive Director on the boards of the Principality Building Society, Hafren Dyfrydwy Ltd (a Welsh water company, part of the Severn Trent Group), Saga Services Ltd (the Insurance broking part of the Saga Group), and Delio Ltd (a new fintech company).

Rosemary Nuamah Williams

Rosemary’s career over the last two decades has been in international policy, advocacy and government relations.  She has worked in Westminster as an international policy adviser, as a policy adviser and speechwriter for the head of a UN agency, and for foundations and non-profits.  For four years Rosemary ran her own international policy and career coaching business. Rosemary currently serves as a senior policy adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Harry Phinda

With a background in International Relations, Harry has worked as a Policy Advisor to the UK Government, Parliament and numerous international organisations. Harry served on the UNICEF UK board for eight years as their special advisor on youth. He is a co-founder of Youth for Change, a global youth advocacy organisation which tackles Female Genital Mutilation and Early Forced Marriage. Harry and his wife are members of Hillsong Church in Croydon and play an active role in the leadership team.

John Shaw

Honorary Treasurer and Chair of the Audit, Risk and Finance Committee

John is a retired finance professional with more than 40 years' experience in the public and charity sectors. He became Oxfam’s Finance and IS Director in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. John is married to Elizabeth and they have two grown up daughters, Katy and Helen. They live in Wendover, Buckinghamshire, and he and Elizabeth are members of Wendover Free Church.

David Wesson

Chair of the Global Fundraising and Comms Committee

David is Managing Director of the Legatum Institute. He has worked in the private sector for most of his career, where his roles focused on brand, marketing and customer experience, including as Trading Director for Virgin Retail. David has also served as the CEO of City Gateway, a non-profit organisation, and he remains on their Board also. David attends St Luke's church in Kentish Town with his wife Fatima and their three children.

 

Tearfund Cluster Leads

Veena O'Sullivan Asia

Veena O'Sullivan has been with Tearfund for 20 years. She is currently leading Tearfund's work in Asia. Veena is from India and worked in the HIV sector there prior to joining Tearfund. Veena is married to Gavan and they have two sons. They are members of the Corrymeela community in Ireland.

Rosa Camargo de Bravo

Rosa has been with Tearfund since 1998. She started out working for the Andean countries, and became the cluster leader for Latin America and the Caribbean in April 2018. Prior to Tearfund, Rosa served as a consultant for various international organisations and as a manager for NGOs. Rosa is married to the pastor and missionary Hernan Bravo and has two children and two grandchildren.

Douwe Dijkstra

Douwe has been working for Tearfund for a number of years in Afghanistan, Sudan and Nepal. Since 2018 he has been based in Kigali, Rwanda as the Regional Director for East and Central Africa. Douwe lives with his wife and four children. He loves networking and supporting the teams working with him.

Martin Leach

Martin joined Tearfund in June 2020 as Head of the Eurasia and North Africa Cluster. Previously, he worked for the Department for International Development, for the last few years focused on Syria and the Middle East, and before that based in Kenya and Bangladesh.  He has also lived in Malawi, Ethiopia and Fiji. He is married to Juliet and they have four children, and attend The Point Anglican Church in Burgess Hill. He hopes to soon be based in Amman, Jordan.

Gbati Kossi AGBO

Kossi became the West Africa Cluster Lead in May 2019. He joined Tearfund in 2013 as the Programme Coordinator for Mali, and subsequently became the Country Director for Mali. Previously, he has held leadership positions in a small Christian NGO and Compassion International in Togo, and has also held several consultancy roles for SEL France. Kossi is married to Pascaline and they have three children. He attends the Assemblies Of God Church, Temple des Oliviers, Cocody-Palmeraie in Abidjan.

Jennipher Sakala

Jennipher joined Tearfund as the cluster lead for Southern & East Africa (SEA) in September 2018.