My Week: Clare Algar leads a dialogue on humanitarian action

The executive director of Reprieve, the charity that works on death penalty cases and tackles human rights abuses, recounts her week

Clare Algar of Reprieve, who have recently opened a new office in New York
Clare Algar of Reprieve, who have recently opened a new office in New York

Monday: We have opened an office in New York, which took an astonishing amount of work. But we now have an amazing woman in charge, and today we have recruited an operations person who will make her life easier. Our founder, Clive Stafford Smith, is over there, talking about our Stop Lethal Injection Project, which is working with pharmaceutical companies to prevent death rows in the US obtaining the drugs they need to kill people.

Tuesday: Today I'm searching for a space for our November fundraising event. Why are there so many boring banqueting rooms but very few cool, affordable spaces in an accessible part of London? We've just expanded our press office from two to three people and I spend time working with the new comms officer. It's better to have an in-house communications team than to outsource it.

Wednesday: I'm looking at staff feedback for a salary review that we are undertaking. We have an almost Marxist structure, in which everyone is paid more or less the same amount. I initially thought this was crazy, because I came from the corporate world. But I am now sold on the idea - you don't have people constantly arguing about salary and there is a unifying effect. Looking at the review, I see staff are happy with the structure and I'm working out how to preserve it while attracting great people.

Thursday: Wonderful news. Ahmed Belbacha, one of our Guantanamo Bay clients, has finally been released to return to his home in Algeria after 12 years of being imprisoned without charge. Our team reduces the number on their "still in Guantanamo" whiteboard from 155 to 154.

Friday: I work a four-day week, so today I'm at home with kids and planning house renovations. I also work on the media planning before a debate in parliament about the Home Secretary's planned citizenship-stripping powers - a proposal that passed the House of Commons with little fuss, but I hope will receive greater scrutiny in the Lords.

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