The Big Hire: Danny Sriskandarajah, Oxfam GB

The international aid charity hopes its new chief executive will help put a difficult year behind it

Danny Sriskandarajah
Danny Sriskandarajah

Oxfam GB will be hoping that the appointment of Danny Sriskandarajah as its next chief executive will enable it to put a difficult period firmly in the rear-view mirror.

The charity announced this autumn that Sriskandarajah, secretary general and chief executive of Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists that works to strengthen citizen action and civil society, would succeed Mark Goldring, who announced his resignation in the wake of the charity’s safeguarding scandal earlier this year.

London-based Sriskandarajah comes with a strong voluntary sector pedigree, having been at Civicus since 2013 and previously working as director general of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

Before that he was interim director of the Commonwealth Foundation and deputy director of the Institute for Public Policy Research. He is a trustee of Comic Relief and a panel member of Civil Society Futures, the independent inquiry into the future of civil society.

Sriskandarajah was born in Sri Lanka, but grew up in Australia and Papua New Guinea before moving to the UK in 1998.

Caroline Thomson, chair of Oxfam, describes Sriskandarajah as a "brilliant strategic thinker with a record of delivery" and the right person to lead Oxfam on the path of change and renewal.

"He has a deep understanding of the challenges facing the sector as a whole, including on gender justice," she adds. "One of the next generation of leaders, he inspires those who work with him and has a global reputation for original thinking.

"Above all, we felt he would ask the difficult questions and work well with colleagues across the Oxfam confederation to come up with the answers."

An Oxfam spokeswoman declined to confirm how much Sriskandarajah will be paid but said it would be less than Goldring, who was paid £146,247 in the year to the end of March 2018.

The charity, which had an income of £427.2m in 2017/18, employs about 5,000 staff and has tens of thousands of volunteers.

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