Focus: People Management - The big appointment - Lymbery back as World Farming chief

Graham Willgoss,

The experienced animal welfare consultant returns after five years away.

Philip Lymbery has returned as chief executive at Compassion in World Farming, with a mission to strengthen its work in the European Union and expand a global programme to promote humane and sustainable treatment of farm animals.

He had been the charity's campaigns director until five years ago, when he left to become a self-employed international consultant on animal welfare, campaigning and policy. He joined the World Society for the Protection of Animals as director of communications in 2002.

'European institution'

Lymbery says CIWF has grown from a prominent national charity into an influential European institution since his departure in 2000. He describes the opportunity to come back and lead what he describes as "the biggest farm animal welfare organisation in the world" as one that was too great to pass up.

He says: "I will be placing greater emphasis on strategic planning, as well as growing our fundraising capacity and thereby increasing our ability to make further profound reforms to the lives of farm animals. I intend for CIWF to consolidate and strengthen its position in the European Union, while expanding a global programme to promote humane and sustainable farming."

Lymbery first joined CIWF as campaigns officer in 1990. "After ten years at CIWF, I felt it was time for a change," he says. "I wanted to deal with a wider range of animal welfare issues - I could do that independently and with WSPA."

Although Lymbery has the advantage of having previously worked at CIWF, trustee Valerie McCrea says the board was quite prepared to take on someone with no knowledge or experience of the charity, "as long as they were capable of getting the organisation to where we want it to be six months down the line".

She explains: "There is a value in Philip's experience as campaigns director. Knowing the organisation means he can be effective right from the start - but, most of all, it was his strength of character and skill as a strategic planner that led to his appointment."

McCrea says several "very strong candidates" applied for the position vacated by outgoing chief executive Joyce D'Silva, who will take up a new role as an international ambassador for CIWF.

"What we were looking for was someone with a strong strategic mind who could plan for the future and make things happen," McCrea adds. "This is something I believe we have gained in appointing Philip."

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