Structure and governance

VSO is governed by the International Board, which sets the strategic direction of the organisation.

International Board of Trustees

The International Board (IB) meets at least 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 committees, or to contact any of our trustees with respect to their involvement with VSO, please email the VSO company secretary.

The current members of the International Board of Trustees are:

Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE

Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE - Chair

Founder of the Orchid Project NGO, leading campaigner against female genital cutting. 

Governance Committee member.

Susan Hickey

Susan Hickey

Chartered accountant, Group Finance and Investment Director at igloo Regeneration, and former Chief Financial Officer at Peabody.

Audit and Risk Committee member.

Christopher Muwanguzi

Christopher Muwanguzi

Trustee of the Uganda Board for Child’s i Foundation, and recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award at the International AIDS conference in Durban, 2000, for his contribution to the fight against AIDS. 

Audit and Risk Committee member.

Janet Muir.

Janet Muir

Director of Finance with over twenty years working in the not for profit sector in international development and education. Member of Chartered Accountants Ireland and the Corporate Governance Institute.

Maryam Adefarati

Maryam Abisola Adefarati

Chief Financial Officer with Microsoft Africa Regional Cluster. Co-owner of a foundation that is supporting the community in the areas of health, education and poverty alleviation. 

Monalisa Sibongile Zwambila

Monalisa Sibongile Zwambila

Award-winning business executive widely regarded as one of South Africa’s top independent agency leaders. Founder and CEO of Riverbed South Africa.

Vincent Motholo

Vincent Mohau Motholo

Vincent Mohau Motholo is a Chartered Accountant (South Africa). He is the Chief Financial Officer at the University of Cape Town and serves as a Non- Executive Chairman of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Belay Addise

Belay Addise

Regional Manager at the Global Partnership for Education covering East and Southern Africa. Board Member of the Horn Center for Democracy.

Geoff Skingsley

Geoff Skingsley

Non-Executive Board Member of Médecins Sans Frontières Foundation. On the Global Leadership Council of the Said Business School in Oxford, UK; and member of the CBI's London Council.

Governance Committee member.

Executive Board

The International Board delegates VSO's day-to-day management to the Executive Board. The Executive Board has operational oversight of VSO's global work and holds responsibility for the quarterly setting and reviewing of objectives and budgets.

Philip Goodwin

Dr Philip Goodwin

Chief Executive

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 led the expansion of programme work into Ethiopia and Niger, doubling the overall number of beneficiaries the organisation 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

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

Kathryn Gordon

Executive Director, People and Organisational Development

Kathryn Gordon has been with VSO since 2009, after joining the People team on a temporary basis. She was appointed to the HR Director and Global Leader roles in 2020 and was appointed as an Executive Director in July 2015.

Kathryn has a range of operational experience across the private and not-for-profit sector. At VSO she leads on organisation development, people, governance and digital. She is based in London, UK.

Clare Sisson

Clare Sisson

Finance Director

Clare Sisson joined VSO in 2022 as the Head of Finance Operations moving into the Finance Director role in 2023.  

An auditor by profession, Clare has worked both in the not-for-profit and private sectors with a focus on developing strong internal controls and coherent financial reporting.

Strategic Leadership Group

The Directors on the Executive form part of a wider Strategic Leadership Group who have collective
responsibility for developing and delivering the VSO strategy and operating plan.

The members of the Strategic Leadership Group are:

  • Gillian Claugher - Head of Public Fundraising, working from the UK.
  • Papa Diouf - Practice Area Lead, Health, working from Cambodia.
  • Ezekiel Esipisu - Programme Design and Development Lead, working from South Africa.
  • Joyce Laker - Practice Area Lead, Inclusive Education, working from Cambodia.
  • Kaday Mansaray Sibanda - Operations Director, working from South Africa.
  • Kirit Naik - Head of Risk and Internal Audit, working from the UK.
  • Martha Newman - Head of People Operations and HR Business Partnering, working from the UK.
  • Tim Newman - Strategic Donor Partnerships Lead, working from the UK.
  • Geoffrey Odaga - Global Implementation Lead, working from South Africa.
  • Shaleen Rakesh - Volunteering for Development Engagement and Leadership Lead, working from India.
  • Alok Rath - Knowledge, Evidence and Learning, working from India.
  • Ruchi Tripathi - Practice Area Lead, Livelihoods, working from the UK.

Find out more about VSO

Community volunteer in Nepal

About VSO

VSO volunteers and partners reached over 10.9 million people last year.

Mangrove nursery project
Lisa Marie David

Vision, values and strategy

A fair world for everyone. Creating lasting change through volunteering.

Volunteer teacher, mentor and student
Paul Wambugu/Obscuramedia

Annual report

Read our full annual report from 2022-23, and download reports from previous years.