ActionAid Ireland Board of Directors
We are governed by a Board of Directors whose principal responsibilities are the setting and monitoring of the strategic direction of the organisation, monitoring compliance, ensuring the efficient and effective use of resources and the establishment of policy. No remuneration is paid to Directors for their services on the Board.
Anna Lee – Chair
Anna Lee joined the board in October 2018 and was appointed Chair in January 2019. She has a distinguished track record over many decades of working at community level in Ireland on anti-poverty and social inclusion strategies and local development. She has served on several non-profit and public sector boards; she was appointed as Chair of the Combat Poverty Agency serving two terms. Combat Poverty was a state agency established to lead the national fight to eliminate poverty, which lead to the creation of a National Anti-Poverty Strategy and a series National Action Plans on Social Inclusion. Anna brings this rich experience to bear in the international development and social justice work carried out by ActionAid.
Silvio Caccia Bava
Silvio Caccia Bava joined the ActionAid Ireland board in November 2022. Silvio is based in Brazil and is a sociologist with a master’s degree in political science. He graduated from the University of São Paulo. He is the founder, and was coordinator for 20 years of the Pólis Institute, an NGO focused on research, training and advice on public policies, focusing on strengthening social movements in their relationship with local governments. He was president for two terms of the Brazilian NGO Association – ABONG, president of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de Promoción al Desarrolllo – ALOP, was global coordinator of Logolink – Learning Initiative on Citizen Participation and Local Government, a network of NGOs that operated globally.
He is currently chairman of the Board of Directors of ActionAid Brasil, president of the NGO Palavra Livre, Executive Director of the newspaper Le Monde Diplomatique Brasil, member of the Strategic Council University-Society of the Federal University of São Paulo – UNIFESP.
Everjoice J. Win
EJ, (as she is popularly known), has been active in feminist and social justice movements in her country, Zimbabwe, the African continent and globally for over 30 years. She started her development career with a Zimbabwean feminist organisation, Women’s Action Group, where she designed and implemented popular education and community-based development programs as well as national policy advocacy campaigns. From there she moved on to the Pan-African Women in Law and Development in Africa, (WiLDAF). There, EJ worked collectively with other feminists, transforming and shaping the women’s human rights landscape across some 24+ African countries. This includes the passing of new laws and policies on domestic violence, inheritance as well as shifting societal norms and values. Everjoice was part of the first Women’s Leadership Institute held at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University, which conceptualized the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
EJ served as ActionAid International’s Global Head of Women’s Rights between 2002 and 2011, which resulted in the transformation of that INGO’s work across some 45 countries to be feminist and rooted in women’s human rights. She was also Oxfam-Canada’s Associate Country Director in Zimbabwe. Between 2014 and 2020, EJ served as ActionAid International’s Director for Programs and Global Engagement. In this role she led and oversaw the organization’s programs, advocacy, and campaigns, and supported the whole AAI Federation in its programs with local movements, partners, and particularly with women’s rights and young people’s organisations, across some 45 countries.
Everjoice is a graduate from the University of Zimbabwe where she studied Economic History. In 2020 Everjoice was appointed Professor of Practice-Women’s Rights, by the School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS), at the University of London. EJ contributes as an advisor to feminist organizations, and movements, including the African Feminist Forum and Just Associates. She co-founded and served on the Boards and leadership of several civil society and women’s rights organizations in different parts of the world, and in Zimbabwe. A writer, blogger, and active social media influencer, EJ contributes to various print and online publications.
EJ is currently the Executive Director of The Shine Campaign, (www.theshinecampaign.org).
James Foley – Treasurer
James Foley has a strong interest in development issues and development economics. He frames development and aid as a “rights and justice” rather than a charitable endeavour and believes in the need to address the structural causes of global inequity, rather than trying to build fences and walls ever higher. James was Manager of ElectricAid – the ESB and Eirgrid’s staff social justice and development fund – until 2018 during which time he oversaw the growth of ElectricAid to become Ireland’s premier occupationally based charity, raising and disbursing a fund of €1.2 million a year. James holds a BA (Mod) in Economics & Sociology from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MBA from the Open University.
Makena is a multi-skilled development practitioner with over thirty years in senior leadership in the civil society sector. She has both local (Kenya) and international field experience from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Somaliland, India and South Sudan.
Makena holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University, USA. She has vast experience in program design, implementation, evaluation, and people management. A capacity builder, a mentor, and an enabler especially to young people and especially vulnerable girls and women. She has led and inspired multi-cultural, multi-diversity strong teams with three International NGOs (ActionAid Kenya, VSO Kenya and Plan International). She has also lived in Sweden where she volunteered with a local organisation working with people seeking political asylum.
Makena has served on several boards including the CHS Alliance where she represented the ActionAid Federation and currently the Board of ActionAid Ireland. Makena is a founder member instrumental in building and establishing Sauti ya Wanawake (Women’s Voices), a local movement that has become a powerful voice of women and girls in Kenya. She is a feminist leader who believes in women leadership and gender equality as a sustainable approach to development across all sectors. Makena is a former Executive Director with ActionAid Kenya before she retired in 2020 and is currently the Executive Director at the MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation in Arusha, Tanzania.
Moira Leydon is Assistant General Secretary at the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI). Her role at the ASTI is focused on education and research, including curriculum and assessment, education policy, education for sustainable development, teacher professionalism and global education issues.
She is familiar with ActionAid International’s campaigning and work with civil society organisations through her long-standing engagement with the Irish Forum for Global Education, of which she was a co-founder. The IFGE is affiliated with the Global Campaign for Education which with ActionAid International is actively engaged. Moira represents the ASTI on the Research Network and the Solidarity and Co-operation Committee of Education International. She also represents ASTI on the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD’s Education and Skills Working Group.
Moira is on the Board of Aontas, supporting adult learners since 2017, her second and final term ends in 2022. She chairs a Gael Scoil in Trim, Co. Meath. Moira joined the Board in February 2021.
Graham Roe joined the Board in February 2021; he is a professional in the International Development sector and a supporter of ActionAid Ireland. Graham has extensive experience working within a public engagement context on International Development, with integrated communication, campaigns, advocacy, and fundraising. He is keen to bring this expertise to add value within the context of income diversification and income generation channels.
Graham works with Oxfam International since 2018, previously he worked with Oxfam Ireland, Concern Worldwide and Amnesty International in a range of fundraising leadership roles. In his current role he undertakes income and public fundraising audits across multiple contexts and countries.
Graham is a leader in the Irish fundraising market; he has been involved for many years with Fundraising Ireland – now Charities Institute Ireland – contributing on fundraising regulation and where he delivers modules for CII’s education courses. He holds a Diploma in Fundraising Management (honours) from Fundraising Ireland/Charities Institute Ireland, a Certificate in Charity Law, Trusteeship and Governance (with distinction) from the Law Society of Ireland, and an MA (honours) in Law.
Ben Burton relocated to Dublin in 2018 and now works for the Communications Function of the Central Bank of Ireland. He is a highly experienced strategic communications advisor and brings a blend of his journalism and communications agency experience to the Board. Ben was previously Managing Director Corporate, Financial & Public Affairs with Weber Shandwick in London, prior to that he also worked for Edelman in London. Between 2002 and 2008 he was a political correspondent and producer for ITV Meridian. Ben joined the Board in February 2021.
Sadhbh O’ Neill
Sadhbh O’ Neill will be joining Friends of the Earth as its Climate Campaign Coordinator. She has held positions as a lecturer and researcher at the DCU School of Law and Government and UCD School of Politics and International Relations. She is currently lecturing at TUD in EU and national energy and climate law as part of its MSc programme in energy management, as well as completing a research project for the Climate Change Advisory Council.
She previously held the position of policy coordinator for the Stop Climate Chaos coalition in 2020-1. A former policy advisor to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action between 2018 and 2020, she also acted as coordinator and spokesperson for Climate Case Ireland during 2019 which took a successful legal challenge to the State’s National Mitigation Plan. She is currently a member of the EPA Advisory Committee and writes a monthly column on climate change for the Irish Times.
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