Bond chief Tamsyn Barton steps down after one year

Bond CEO Tamsyn Barton at the Bond International Development Awards 2018. Photo by: Vicki Couchman / Bond / CC BY-ND

LONDON — The chief executive of U.K. aid network Bond is stepping down after only a year in the job, saying she leaves the organization “in a position of strength.” Tamsyn Barton, who officially took the reins last February, is said to be leaving the network of 450 civil society organizations for “personal reasons.”

The announcement comes just two weeks after Bond’s annual conference in London, where the Department for International Development named it as the first organization to receive funding through the U.K. Aid Connect scheme — a 4 million pound grant to tackle safeguarding.

Barton said she was proud to have overseen a series of reforms within the organization, including “the start of investment in the digital transformation of its services, as well as improving its regional and international reach, and helping Bond secure long-term organizational funding.”

“My remit for the past year was to put Bond on the right road after a period of change, and I am proud that I leave the organization in a position of strength,” she said in a statement sent to Devex.

Barton joined Bond having worked for DFID for more than a decade, including as head of DFID’s former European Union department. She also worked for the European Investment Bank, and for the NGO Practical Action.

Bond’s chair Caroline Nursey thanked Barton for her “service and leadership” and praised her as “particularly successful in enabling sector voice and advocacy with government,” especially in light of recent sexual abuse scandals ricocheting through the sector.

Under Barton’s leadership, Bond was able to play an “important role” in bringing U.K. aid players together to “reflect on what we need to do” at the conference last month, Nursey said. Bond was also instrumental in organizing last week’s Safeguarding Summit, co-hosted by DFID and the Charity Commission.

However, Nursey said there remains “much more that we need to do as a sector to challenge ourselves on use of power in our organizations and remind ourselves of the values that we espouse as organizations and individuals.”

Founded in 1993, Bond’s members include global organizations such as Oxfam and Christian Aid, as well as smaller, specialized NGOs, research institutions, and foundations focused on international development.

Barton will step down on April 25, and the board has started looking for an interim and a permanent replacement, the organization said.

About the author

  • Sophie Edwards

    Sophie Edwards is a Reporter for Devex based in London covering global development news including global education, water and sanitation, innovative financing, the environment along with other topics. She has previously worked for NGOs, the World Bank and spent a number of years as a journalist for a regional newspaper in the U.K. She has an MA from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA from Cambridge University.