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 Brasil 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, president of the Asociación Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de Promoción al Desarrolllo, 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), joined the board in May 2022, she has been active in feminist and social justice movements in her country, Zimbabwe, the African continent and globally for over 30 years. Sheimplemented campaigns and designed education and community programmes withZimbabwean feminist organisation, Women’s Action Group, and worked across 24+ African countries with the Pan-African Women in Law and Development in Africa, (WiLDAF). EJ 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.
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.
James Foley – Treasurer
James Foley joined the board in April 2018. He has a strong interest in development issues and development economics. 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 joined the board in July 2020. She 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. She has vast experience in programme 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 and has also lived in Sweden where she volunteered with a local organisation working with people seeking political asylum.
Makena is a founding memberof Sauti ya Wanawake (Women’s Voices), a local movement that has become a powerful voice of women and girls in Kenya. 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. Makena has served on several boards including the CHS Alliance where she represented the ActionAid Federation. Makena holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oral Roberts University, USA.
Moira Leydon joined the board in February 2021. She 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 was a co-founder of the Irish Forum for Global Education, which 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 was on the Board of Aontas, supporting adult learners from 2017 to 2022. She chairs a Gael Scoil in Trim, Co. Meath.
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, through his roles with Oxfam Ireland, Oxfam International, World Vison Ireland, Concern Worldwide and Amnesty International.. He is currently Marketing, Communications & Fundraising with Special Olympics Ireland.
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 joined the Board in February 2021. He relocated to Dublin from London 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.
Sadhbh O’ Neill
Sadhbh O’ Neill joined the board in March 2023. She is Climate Campaign Coordinator with Stop Climate Chaos. 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. 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.
Bríd read law in University College Dublin (1993-1996) and attended the Kings Inns for the years 1996-1998 obtaining a Barrister-at-Law degree. Brid is a practising barrister with over 25 years’ experience and a CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) accredited mediator since 2007. Brid’s practice encompasses all areas of civil law including Constitutional, human rights and equality cases. She has regularly appeared before statutory bodies including the Hepatitis C and the HIV Compensation Tribunal and the Residential Institution Redress Board. Bríd is a Chairperson for Mental Health Tribunals conducted under the Mental Health Act 2001. She was appointed by the Minister for Justice to the International Protection Appeals Tribunal in 2017 which determines appeals relating to application for refugee and subsidiary protection under the International Protection Act 2015.
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