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Structure and governance

VSO operates internationally through a series of international fundraising and recruitment hubs, and a strong network of programme offices in developing countries.

VSO is governed by the International Board and Executive Board.

Executive Board

The Executive Board is the main decision-making group within VSO. It holds responsibility for quarterly setting and reviewing of objectives, budgets and the strategic direction of VSO.

VSO CEO Philip Goodwin

Dr Philip Goodwin, Chief Executive, VSO

Dr Philip Goodwin joined VSO as Chief Executive in March 2015.

Prior to taking up this position, he was Chief Executive of TREE AID from June 2010, where he lead the expansion of programme work into Ethiopia and Niger, doubling the overall number of beneficiaries the organization reaches.

He was also with the British Council for more than a decade, conducted research into poverty issues with the Overseas Development Institute and was a community development volunteer in Mali.

Donne Cameron, Executive Director, Programmes

Donne Cameron, Executive Director, Programmes

Donne Cameron joined VSO in 2012 as regional director for Southern Africa, having spent the previous 10 years with Habitat for Humanity International in South Africa.

She was appointed as director of Africa Group in November 2013, moving to her current executive director role in 2015, and is based in Pretoria.


Kathryn Gordon, Executive Director, People and Organisational Development

Kathryn Gordon, Executive Director, People and Organisational Development

Kathryn Gordon joined VSO in early 2010. She was appointed to her current position in July 2015 and has responsibility for human resources, organisational learning and international volunteering.

Sam Bridger

Sam Bridger, Interim Executive Director, Business Development

Sam Bridger joined VSO as interim Executive Director of Business Development in December 2017, with responsibility for volunteer recruitment, marketing, and public & institutional fundraising.  She is an award-winning commercial director and marketing strategist with almost 30 years’ experience gained in the public, voluntary and private sectors. 

Fabienne Arminjon, Executive Director, Finance

Fabienne Arminjon joined VSO in May 2017 as Executive Director in charge of Finance, IT, Procurement and Facilities management. She brings over 20 years’ experience in Finance leadership positions both in the Charity Sector (Christian Aid, Save the Children, Médecins Sans Frontières) and in large private sector companies.

International Board of Trustees

The International Board meets at least three times a year, three times a year in person and four times a year via telephone. For further information on the roles and responsibilities of the International Board of Trustees, of any of the IB sub-committees, or to contact any of our trustees with respect to their involvement with VSO, please contact the VSO company secretary.

The current members of the International Board of Trustees are:

  • Mari Simonen – Chair of the Board of Trustees
    Deputy Executive Director, UN Population Fund (UNFPA)

  • Sam Younger – Vice Chair
    Chair of CILEx Regulation and serves on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority

  • Chris Merry - Honorary Treasurer
    Chief executive officer, Ipes Group

  • Charles Abani
    Chief of Party of the USAID Civil Society project "Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE)"

  • Baroness Hilary Armstrong
    Member of the House of Lords, former VSO volunteer in Kenya

  • Hardeep Jhutty
    Senior Strategy Advisor at NHS England

  • Dr Noerine Kaleeba
    Patron and founder, TASO Uganda and Vice Chair, Uganda National Health Research Organisation

  • Stephen Pidgeon
    Fundraising consultant (UK) and VSO volunteer

  • Anjali Sen
    Regional Director for South Asia, International Planned Parenthood Federation (India)

  • Amanda Rowlatt CBE
    Chief Analyst at the Department for Transport

Youth Advisers to the Board

VSO's Youth Advisers attend VSO International Board meetings and ensure the thoughts, opinions and perspectives of young people are included in decision-making. Youth Advisers do not have voting, legal or fiduciary responsibilities.

The current VSO Youth Advisers are:

  • Takyiwa Danso

  • Felix Owino

Find out more about our Youth Advisers here.