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:
Sam Younger CBE – Chair
Chair of CILEx Regulation and of the Consumers' Association. Governance Committee member.
Chris Merry – Honorary Treasurer
Group Chief Executive Officer, Stonehage Fleming. Audit and Risk Committee Chair.
Board member, VSO Netherlands; Chair of Supervisory Board of I+ Solutions Woerdex; board member of Health Net TPO, Amsterdam.
Chartered accountant, Group Finance and Investment Director at igloo Regeneration, and former Chief Financial Officer at Peabody. Audit and Risk Committee member.
Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE
Founder of the Orchid Project NGO, leading campaigner against female genital cutting. Governance committee member.
Regional Director, Ford Foundation Office for Eastern Africa; with experience in strategy development and execution, team and leadership development spanning legal practice, public service, civil society and philanthropy.
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.
Finance Director, Google UK & Ireland. Experience working in four continents across commercial disciplines for Goldman Sachs, Bridgewater Associates and Climate Change Capital, the Boston Consulting Group and Rio Tinto.
Amanda Rowlatt CBE
Senior Civil Servant. Audit and Risk Committee member.
Non-Executive Board Member of Médecins Sans Frontières Foundation. Chairman of L'Oreal UKI and its Pension Boards; on the Global Leadership Council of the Said Business School in Oxford, UK; and member of the CBI's London Committee. Governance Committee member.
Development Director at Global Witness; former Director of Development at Thomson Reuters.
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. Governance committee member.
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.
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, 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 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, 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 and Médecins Sans Frontières) and in large private sector companies.
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.