Saleh Saeed Chief Executive
Saleh Saeed joined the Disasters Emergency Committee as Chief Executive in September 2012 bringing over 20 years of successful experience providing strategic leadership in creative and challenging situations.
Prior to this he led DEC member agency Islamic Relief Worldwide for nearly four years through a major period of growth and organisational change. During this time he was ultimately responsible for 1,500 staff based in 24 countries and oversaw an increase in income of 45% from £48m to £70m. He also played a leading role in Islamic Relief’s responses to disasters, including those in Gaza, Haiti, Pakistan and East Africa – all part-funded by the DEC.
Before working in the development sector, Saleh led in the management of major digital inclusion projects, working with the Microsoft-backed Black Country Consortium and for Sandwell Council.
He has a variety of expertise including NGO governance, organisational development, project & programmes management, marketing and fundraising at an international level.
Annie Devonport Head of Programmes and Accountability
Annie was educated at Guy’s Hospital and Plymouth and Exeter Universities.
She joined the DEC in 2007 shortly after returning from a two-year posting in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo where she was Country Medical Coordinator for GOAL, the Ireland-based international humanitarian agency dedicated to alleviating the suffering of the poor.
Before moving to work overseas for the Voluntary Services Organisation (VSO) in 2000, Annie was a health service nurse manager in Torquay where she also practiced as a Health Visitor in the 1980s and early 90s.
Brendan Paddy Head of Communications
Brendan studied politics at Auckland University and Voluntary Sector Management (MSc) at the LSE.
He trained as a journalist in New Zealand and worked as reporter on the provincial daily newspaper, the Nelson Evening Mail.
He moved to NGOs and became a press officer and later media unit director for Amnesty International, a senior media officer for Save the Children and head of media at Childline and Age UK.
During the Kosovo war and refugee crisis in 1999 he worked in Kosovo, Montenegro and Albania for Amnesty International.
He also led Save the Children UK’s emergency media work during the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Liberia and helped the organisation highlight the 2002 food crisis in Southern Africa. He also worked in Iran after the 2004 Bam earthquake.
Brendan has been the Disasters Emergency Committee’s communications manager since October 2009.
On his first day at the office he took overall responsibility for the media work of 13 of the UK’s leading aid agencies as they responded to the two typhoons and an earthquake that had just hit South East Asia.
He has since led the media work of the DEC member agencies in the immediate aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, Pakistan floods and the East Africa food crisis.
Richard Dye Head of Finance and Business Development
Richard Dye is the DEC's Head of Finance and Business Development. He studied finance at Warwick University before training as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in London. He later moved with the firm to Hong Kong and then on returning to the UK took his first role in the charity sector with Community Service Volunteers.
Richard has worked in a wide range of charities and social enterprises, in both consultancy and staff roles, including with Save the Children, Arts & Business, Cafedirect, TimeBank, FareShare and Beanstalk. Richard joined DEC February 2013.
Sarah Maynard Office Administrator (Maternity Cover)
Sarah Maynard is the DEC’s temporary Office Administrator (Maternity Cover). Sarah is responsible for the efficient running of the DEC Secretariat Office and is the first point of contact for the general public and member agencies.
Sarah volunteered with the DEC for 14months after graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2011 in Environmental Science. Sarah joined the DEC in this role in September 2012.
Zoe Wilson Young Head of Fundraising
Zoe Wilson Young is the DEC’s Head of Fundraising, with responsibility for leading Secretariat fundraising and donor stewardship.
Her previous role was the Director of Fundraising and Communications at Y Care International, the YMCA’s international relief and development agency working across the developing world to respond to the needs of the most disadvantaged young people.
She studied business and marketing and, later, development studies at the University of London and has over 15 years of fundraising, marketing and communications experience. She worked initially in commercial marketing on campaigns for some of the UK’s largest brands including Sainsbury’s and the National Lottery. Since moving into fundraising in 2003, Zoe has worked for several international development charities, as well as in the environmental and refugee sectors.
Zoe joined the DEC in March 2013, on the same day as the launch of the Syria Crisis Appeal.
Leon Green Digital Content Editor
Leon Green is the DEC’s Digital Content Editor responsible for managing the website, social media - including Facebook and Twitter - in addition with liaising directly with member agencies to showcase the work they does on the ground with appeal funds.
His background is in political campaigning having worked for nearly a decade for the anti-racist organisation Operation Black Vote where he helped develop the online presence on top of his project management of a number of mentoring programmes. He developed a highly successful educational resource which has been taught to over 20,000 students across the UK and advised the Electoral Commission and Birmingham University regarding youth engagement with in hard to reach communities.
He has advised a number of government departments including the Home Office, Ministry for Justice and the Department for Communities and Local Government on communicating and engaging with black and minority ethic communities.
In addition with managing the day to day website content and social media channels Leon oversees the ongoing digital media strategy. He joined the DEC in July 2011.
Matthew Warnock-Parkes Senior Database Officer
Matthew Warnock-Parkes is the DEC Senior Database Officer responsible for handling all donor support and data coming into and out from the DEC. In addition to working with Suppliers and Member Agencies he is charged with maximising efficiency and discovering new ways to target donors and increase income.
Prior to this his background was also working with databases at the NSPCC for 3 years. Prior to which he has worked at Barclays as a staff Auditor and in a Press Office, working with the media. He joined the DEC in August 2012.
Frances Crowley Learning and Accountability Officer
Frances Crowley is the DEC’s Learning and Accountability Officer, responsible for working on all aspects of programme management, accountability and learning activities that the DEC undertakes with its member agencies.
Before joining the DEC in February 2013 Frances worked in Haiti, Gaza and Burma for a number of major international NGOs including HelpAge, Christian Aid and Oxfam, focusing principally on improving the accountability of the agencies towards disaster survivors and on programme funding and grant management.
Frances graduated with a degree in French from the University of Sheffield and lived and worked in Spain and Peru before beginning her career in the Humanitarian sector.
Adrian Walker Executive Support Officer
Adrian Walker joined the DEC in 2013 as Executive Support Officer, providing logistical and organisational support to the Board of Trustees, Member Agencies, the CEO and Secretariat staff.
Since graduating from the University of Sheffield with a degree in French and Russian, Adrian has worked in a number of office management, administrative and personal assistant roles in the not-for-profit sector including at Working Families, the Institute of Child Health, Shape and Scope.
He has been a regular and long-standing volunteer for arts charity Scary Little Girls, the London Feminist Network’s Reclaim The Night rally and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
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