ActionAid Ireland Board of Directors

Anna Lee – Chair

Anna Lee joined the board in October 2018 and became Chair in January 2019. She has a long track record of working on anti-poverty strategies and local development at a community level in Ireland and is enthusiastic to bring that experience to bear in the international development and social justice work carried out by ActionAid.

Anna Lee ActionAid board



Claire Callanan – Company Secretary

Claire Callanan was appointed to the board in December 2018 and became Company Secretary in June 2019. Claire is a partner in Beauchamps’ litigation & dispute resolution team, where she works with major financial institutions, owner-managed businesses, multinational companies and State bodies, and has extensive experience in the financial services, healthcare, and public sectors. She has strong expertise across a range of areas including administrative and constitutional law, banking, contractual disputes, company law, insurance law, construction, employment and equality law.

Claire is known for her work in regulatory law and was involved in several significant cases including the first prosecution under the Charities Act 2009.

She holds a Bachelor of Civil Law from University College Dublin and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators since 1999. She is a founder mentor of the joint Law Society and Bar Council ‘Law and Women’ mentoring programme which is in its third year. She obtained a Certificate in Charity Law, Governance and Trusteeship from the Law Society, and the course was run by the Law Society and The Wheel.

She was appointed chairperson designate of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board in January 2019.

James Foley picture

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 recently retired from the ESB, where as Manager of ElectricAid (the ESB and Eirgrid’s staff social justice and development fund) 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.

Aggie Kalungu-Banda

Aggie Kalungu-Banda joined the ActionAid Ireland Board in 2014. She works as the Managing Partner for a consulting company which focuses on Organisation Development and prototypes new initiatives to solve complex societal issues. Aggie has extensive skills and experience in the areas of Programme Management, Process Design & Facilitation, Organisational Management and Managing Change Processes. She holds a Graduate Diploma and Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the Development Studies Centre, Kimmage, Dublin 6

ActionAid Ireland Board

Makena Mwobobia

Makena Mwobobia is a development programmer with 20+ years of progressive experience in programme development, policy formulation, campaigns and advocacy and people management.

She has a strong track record of working on women rights and has delivered programs that have addressed violence against women and girls, leadership and economic justice. Makena is a founder member and was instrumental in the establishment of Sauti ya Wanawake (Women’s Voices) in Kenya, a local movement that fights for rights of women and girls in Kenya. She has supported the establishment of various farmers initiatives across Kenya. These initiatives gave rise to fundamental changes in the management of agricultural production leading to increase in production for farmers and more importantly, led to the emergence of women leadership, their occupying strategic spaces and their access and control of the productive resources at individual and agency level.

Makena was Executive Director of ActionAid Kenya for three years until April 2020; prior to that she was their Head of Programmes and Policy and worked with ActionAid for a total of 17 years. As Executive Director she was responsible for leading and inspiring a strong workforce to deliver on the organisation’s strategy.

She chaired ActionAid’s Humanitarian Platform which brought together 35+ countries within the ActionAid Federation and helped them to network, engage with the humanitarian agenda and bring learning and external engagement to shape ActionAid’s politics.

Makena served as a board member of the Core Humanitarian Standards Alliance an alliance of 200+ humanitarian organisation that network for learning and exchanging experiences to improve the delivery of the humanitarian response across the globe. Makena holds a degree in Marketing from Oral Roberts University, USA and has professional qualifications in development programming, people management and gender learning.  She is a trainer, a mentor and an enabler of communities and especially women living in poverty and exclusion to access justice and equity as well as unlock their potential.

Dan Ryan

Dan Ryan is a child sponsor with ActionAid Ireland in Nepal since April 1987.

He became interested in joining the ActionAid Ireland board after reading the 2018 Annual Review and  attending a supporter event.

Dan has a strong commercial background, having spent his working life in senior roles in retail (Selfridges, Brown Thomas, LifeStyle Sports, Shop Direct, Primark/Penneys and more).

Greg Maher

Greg Maher is Marketing Manager for Portakabin Ireland, having previously worked with DairyGlen, Waterways Environmental, and Abbott Consulting. As a marketing professional Greg has worked within a diverse range of industry sectors including FMCG, construction, insurance, finance, hospitality. He has a high level of entrepreneurial acumen gained from working on a range strategic marketing projects that delivered on both communications and commercial objectives.  Greg holds a Master’s Degree in Marketing and is a member of the Marketing Institute of Ireland.

CHY Number 6888, Company Registration Number 95403, Charity Reg. No. 20013790

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