How new chief's people-centered approach can drive change at VSO

Philip Goodwin, VSO International’s new chief executive. Photo by: VSO

The Voluntary Services Overseas International has been quietly implementing wide-ranging changes over the past few years.

The aid agency has been putting in place measures to diversify its sources of income, and save up where it can. It moved its headquarters from Putney to Kingston (both in southwest London), allowed several staff members to work remotely, and increased its fundraising budget to 10 percent as part of its goal to expand its donor base and reduce reliance on strategic grants coming from the U.K. Department for International Development.

The aid agency has also decided to put much of its resources where it believes it can have more impact, opening an office in Myanmar and shutting its doors in Burkina Faso, and lower-middle-income countries Cameroon, Indonesia, Laos, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

And today, after months of searching, it is welcoming new CEO Philip Goodwin, whose portfolio boasts years of experience at the British Council as well as heading U.K.-based charity Tree Aid for the past four years. Goodwin will permanently replace Marg Mayne, who stepped down as CEO in July, and will replace Jim Emerson, who took on the job on an interim basis.

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.