Fresh start for Oxfam GB with new chief executive

Cropoxfam shop

Sriskandarajah is currently secretary general and chief executive of Civicus

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11th September 2018 by Graham Martin 1 Comment

Troubled aid charity Oxfam GB is hoping to usher in a fresh era by appointing a new chief executive.

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah will head the international agency, it was announced today Tuesday, 11 September).

Sriskandarajah is currently secretary general and chief executive of Civicus, the Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists with members in more than 180 countries.

He joined Civicus in 2013 and was previously Director General of the Royal Commonwealth Society (2009-13).

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah

Sriskandarajah takes over a crucial time in Oxfam GB’s history. He follows Mark Goldring, who stepped aside saying he believed fresh vision and energy were required to shape Oxfam’s future as it implements the lessons learned from past safeguarding mistakes.

The charity has been plunged into crisis following reports of the use of prostitutes by aid workers sent to provide relief after the Haiti earthquake that killed 220,000 people in 2011.

Trouble deepened with revelations of misconduct by aid workers in other countries and claims the charity covered up the abuse to save it reputation.

Haiti then banned Oxfam GB from operating there.

There were also claims abuse was rife in British high street shops as it emerged there have been 123 allegations of harassment including against girls of 14.

Sriskandarajah said: “I am excited by the opportunity of leading Oxfam at this crucial point in its history. It is an organisation which has spent more than three-quarters of a century doing amazing things to help people escape poverty and the hunger, disease and discrimination that come with it.

“At a time when hunger is once again on the increase, almost 70 million people have been forced to flee their homes by conflict and persecution and many countries are increasingly looking inwards, the UK and the world need a strong Oxfam more than ever.”

Born in Sri Lanka, Sriskandarajah – who is known as Danny - grew up in Australia and Papua New Guinea, before moving to the UK in 1998. He has been a British citizen for almost 10 years.

Caroline Thomson, Oxfam chair of trustees, said: “From a very strong short list Danny was clearly the right person to lead Oxfam on the path of change and renewal. He has a deep understanding of the challenges facing the sector as a whole, including on gender justice. He is a brilliant strategic thinker with a record of delivery.

“One of the next generation of leaders, he inspires those who work with him and has a global reputation for original thinking. Above all, we felt he would ask the difficult questions work well with colleagues across the Oxfam confederation to come up with the answers.”

Sriskandarajah is expected to take up his post around the end of 2018.

13th September 2018 by Ruchir Shah

Well done Danny on this appointment. Really good news.