Development careers with Oxfam: A conversation with GB HR chief David Benson

A member of Oxfam at a camp for displaced people in Haiti. Photo by: Ana Caistor Arendar / Oxfam / CC BY

They’ve worked with the British group Arctic Monkeys to release a single exclusively through their U.K. shops. They’ve been unafraid to campaign in controversial areas, pressuring the mighty Starbucks Coffee Co., for instance, to recognize Ethiopia’s ownership of its specialty coffee names. These are the kind of qualities that have earned Oxfam the reputation as one of the premier development and advocacy groups in the world.

Founded in Oxford, England in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, the organization was originally set up to persuade the British government to allow food to be sent to people starving in occupied Greece. Oxfam GB was born directly out of that effort; today, there are 14 affiliates around the world led by the Oxford-based Oxfam International Secretariat, which leads and facilitates collaboration between these country affiliates.

About the author

  • Glenda Cooper

    Glenda Cooper is based in London, where she covers U.K. aid reform and the vibrant NGO sector for Devex. Glenda has worked for the Washington Post and several other publications, as well as for Save the Children as the U.K. team's media manager. She has spent a year's fellowship at Oxford University researching the relationship between aid agencies and the media, and has since been pursuing a doctorate examining how new media is changing the reporting of disasters.