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 Chief Executive 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 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 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.


Fabienne Arminjon
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.


Scott Desmarais
Scott Desmarais, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships

Scott Desmarais has devoted his passion for economic and social development toward corporate strategy, business management and public sector consulting in Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and North America for nearly thirty years. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana and led USAID programs in the Congo and central Africa before getting his Masters in International Relations and MBA at Wharton.

Scott went on to become a partner with both The Boston Consulting Group (based in Boston, Paris, Jakarta and Buenos Aires) and with McKinsey & Company, helping to open and lead the firm’s office in Lagos in 2010 and co-leading McKinsey’s digital energy practice worldwide.

As a leader in the public and social sectors, Scott’s most recent work has focused on improving primary health care, education and agriculture in developing countries – including helping Nigeria to eradicate polio transmission and Ebola. He joined VSO in 2019.

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 contact the VSO company secretary.

The current members of the International Board of Trustees are:

  • Sam Younger CBE – Chair
    Chair of CILEx Regulation and serves on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority; public interest observer of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Governance Committee member.

  • Chris Merry – Honorary Treasurer
    Group Chief Executive Officer, Stonehage Fleming. Audit and Risk Committee member.

  • Guus Eskens
    Board member, VSO Netherlands; Chair of Supervisory Board of I+ Solutions Woerdex; board member of Health Net TPO, Amsterdam.

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

  • Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE
    Founder of the Orchid Project NGO, leading campaigner against female genital cutting.

  • Christopher Muwanguzi
    Audit and Risk Committee member. Christopher is a Trustee of the Uganda Board for Child’s i Foundation, and a recipient of the Nelson Mandela Award at the International AIDS conference in Durban, 2000, for his contribution to the fight against AIDS.

  • Amanda Rowlatt CBE
    Senior Civil Servant. Governance Committee member and Audit and Risk Committee member.

  • Aditi Thorat
    Development Director at Global Witness; former Director of Development at Thomson Reuters.

  • Sue Wardell
    Leadership coach and former Director of Conflict, Humanitarian, Security, Middle East and North Africa at DFID; Chief Executive Director of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Trust; and Vice President of the African Development Bank.

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