Board of trustees

Julia Palca

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Chair of Trustees

Chair of Council at City, University of London
Julia is a solicitor by background and remains a part time judge. She is currently also the Chair of City, University of London, and has chaired Macmillan Cancer Support and The Royal Free Charity. She has served as a trustee for several other charities. For many years she was a partner at Olswang LLP (now part of CMS LLP) and before that she started up the in-house litigation department at Mirror Group Newspapers.

I wanted to join MAG because what MAG does transforms the lives of war-torn communities and gives them a better future. It is such a special organisation because it is entirely focussed on putting communities and people (both those we help and our staff) first.

Anthony Collier

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Trustee (treasurer)

Chartered accountant and insolvency practitioner 
Anthony is a chartered accountant and insolvency practitioner with over 15 years of experience in advising corporates and stakeholders in times of financial or operational change. He uses his transaction and restructuring experience to deliver projects to improve, preserve or restore value for clients. Anthony joined the board in January 2017 and has recently visited the Lebanon project to see first-hand MAG’s humanitarian mine action work.

MAG saves lives and provides a platform for other NGOs to deliver humanitarian relief in some of the most hostile environments in the world.

John Malik

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Vice Chair

Chief Operating Officer
John is currently Chief Operating Officer at Rothschild Wealth and has 17 years' experience in advising emerging and developing market corporates, financials and sovereigns. Previously, John practiced law at Allen & Overy.

MAG's mandate is practical: the benefits to impacted communities are real and there is a palpable sense of the contribution that one can make. That's both unique and motivating.

Judith Greenwood

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Chair of the Governance, Nominations & Review Committee

Independent Consultant
Judith is an independent consultant and was the first Executive Director of the CHS Alliance. Based in Portugal, she has over three decades of experience in the humanitarian sector. Between 2002 and 2015, Judith held senior management positions at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva and in the field, including in the Occupied Territories, Sudan, and Chad. She has worked for Concern Worldwide in Sudan, Angola and for the International Rescue Committee in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, East Timor, Indonesia and Afghanistan. A health professional by training, she holds a Master’s degree in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics.

Having worked in Angola, I have seen first-hand that before during and after a conflict, landmines and other unexploded ordnance can devastate the lives of people and communities affected by crisis. The work of MAG helps to save lives, build futures and above all, gives hope to people who have had to endure so much suffering.

Harbinder Kaur

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Trustee

Senior HR and organisational development specialist
Harbinder Kaur is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and is a senior HR and organisational development specialist. She has worked with Care International UK, Care India and Christian Aid.  She is a trustee at Shelter and provides support to the Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. Harbinder is also member of a small group that is working to set up a permanent memorial to humanitarian workers who have died in the course of their work.

I admire MAG’s highly technical and professional work in complex environments and want to contribute to its continued success. But it sees beyond the purely technical work to the wider impact on communities and livelihoods. It has great expertise and is highly respected in the field.

Nesta Hatendi

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Trustee

International development consultant 
Nesta holds an M.A. (University of Michigan) and extensive work experience in international development and humanitarian sectors. In Sub Saharan Africa, Nesta worked in the Ministry of Education and US Peace Corps in Zimbabwe. She was also Country Director with Voluntary Service Overseas and Regional Director with HelpAge International. A former Expert Advisor on Ageing to the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa, Nesta is currently a resource person for the INIA Satellite Centre on Ageing for Sub Saharan Africa. Her INGO board experience includes World Animal Protection and Conciliation Resources.

Due to my lived experiences, I can relate to the organisation's vision of a safe future for men, women and children affected by conflict and insecurity. Without organisations like MAG, our contribution to international development and humanitarian work would be less rewarding and successful since MAG is a crucial player in building more harmonious societies recovering from violent conflict.

Peter Jones

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Trustee

Former chief operating officer at the UK Government Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Peter is a Distinguished Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute. He served in the British Diplomatic Service for over thirty years, including as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Chief Operating Officer and Defence and International Security Director. Overseas, Peter served in the UK Delegation to Conventional Arms Control Negotiations in Vienna, British Embassies in Germany and Italy, and as British High Commissioner to Ghana, and non-resident British Ambassador to Togo and Burkina Faso. Much of his diplomatic work was concerned with the international security agenda.

MAG’s work matters. Landmines have a profound impact on communities affected by them. I’m proud to have been involved in arms control work earlier in my career, and delighted to have the chance to contribute to MAG’s success.MAG is a dedicated organisation, engaging highly talented and committed people in the UK and around the world. Its work makes a positive difference to communities affected by conflict and its legacy.

Renata Dwan

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Trustee

Deputy Director and Senior Executive Officer of Chatham House
Renata Dwan is Deputy Director and Senior Executive Officer of Chatham House and is a former Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva, with over 15 years’ experience working in peacekeeping and crisis management.

Chris Kemp

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Trustee

Director Group Security, News UK
Chris is the Group Director of Security for News UK (the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun newspapers). He has over 30 years of safety and security experience. Chris is a former Army Officer and then Senior Security Advisor for the UK Government’s Stabilisation Unit and most recently spent three years as the head of the BBC High Risk and News Safety team.

MAG makes a difference to the lives of people struggling to forge futures in the aftermath of war and violence.

Jane Marriott

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Trustee

UK High Commissioner, Kenya. Jane is a British diplomat and is currently the High Commissioner to Kenya. She is an expeditionary diplomat with a background on security issues, the Middle East and South Asia. Immediately prior, she was the director of the UK’s Joint International Counter Terrorism Unit and has served as HM Ambassador to Sana’a, Yemen and as Deputy Ambassador to Tehran, Iran. She has been posted to Afghanistan, twice to Iraq, and to Washington DC as an advisor to the US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke. She joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001 and has also worked for the Ministry of Defence, Cabinet Office and Home Office.

I believe MAG’s work is incredibly important. In my day job, it can takes years to see the (hopefully positive) impact of some of our work. The fact that MAG makes lives better on a daily basis is a wonderful contrast.

Frances Milner

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Trustee

Executive Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Cancer Research UK

Frances has a wide experience of senior leadership, fundraising and marketing success over 25 years including Philanthropy, Major Giving, Corporate Partnerships, Events, Regional Fundraising, Volunteer Management and fundraising strategy.

Listed in Fundraising Magazine’s “25 Most Influential” in 2018, Frances is a strong, passionate fundraising development professional and has led several pioneering fundraising initiatives within the UK and internationally.

Khaleel Desai

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Trustee

Head of Governance, IRW

Khaleel is IRW’s Head of Governance and Company Secretary.  He sits on the Board of Directors and is an advisor to the Trustees, to whom he has a direct reporting line.  Khaleel joined Islamic Relief in January 2018 where he has headed up a newly created department within IRW which includes IRW’s legal team, internal audit function and the compliance and security group. 

He joined IRW from Save the Children International where he was a member of their Legal and Compliance Team focusing on compliance and managing risk.

Prior to that, Khaleel was a legal advisor to various central UK government departments over 10 years in the UK Government Legal Department (as it became) including the Departments of Health, Education, the Treasury Solicitor’s Department and the Home Office. As a public administration lawyer he advised on policy, regulation, legislation and human rights.  He was also the assistant solicitor to the Leveson Inquiry, a judicial inquiry into the UK press.  

Khaleel qualified as a lawyer with Allen & Overy LLP in 2004, a global commercial law firm operating out of London.

Sonia Bate

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Trustee

Managing Director of EDIT Development and Founder of EDIT Mentoring Exchange.

Sonia is a global business leader with over 20 years experience in leadership, working cross culturally with specific experience in Europe, Africa and India.

Sonia has held senior leadership positions in both retail and the financial services sector and therefore bring broad commercial and operational experience to the organizations I work with. A keynote speaker, facilitator and executive coach, Sonia is committed to making a difference to the demographic and performance landscapes of the global businesses that the EDIT team work with.

Prof. Bertrand Taithe

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Trustee

Executive Director Humanitarian And Conflict Response Institute, University of Manchester
Bertrand Taithe studied in the Sorbonne and Manchester and has been working at the University of Manchester since 2000. Bertrand researches humanitarian practices and organisations. He founded the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute in 2008 and is a trustee of UK-Med and a scientific committee member of the MSF think tank CRASH in Paris. He has worked and is working with IFRC, Save the Children, HI and ALNAP in the humanitarian sector. His writings are on the history and the current policies of the humanitarian industry. Bertrand co-edits a book series on humanitarian affairs with Manchester University Press and an open access journal, Humanitarian Affairs.

MAG is an organisation with a specific mandate, a clear role in the world and considerable ambitions. It is a growing organisation at a crucial phase in our changing understanding of wars and conflicts. The work it does is extremely technical and necessary. In terms of clarity of purpose and significance it stands proud among very few organisations of the humanitarian world.

Leadership team

Darren Cormack

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Chief Executive

Darren joined MAG in 2008 and was appointed as CEO in 2020. Darren has worked for both the private and non-profit sectors in the UK and internationally, including in Cambodia, South Sudan, Sudan, Philippines and Indonesia.

Samantha Wakefield

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Interim People and Organisation Development Director

Sam has worked for more than 25 years in the international development sector and has held both strategic and operational roles with Save the Children, Oxfam and others in the UK and overseas. In addition to her leadership of MAG’s human resources team, plays a leading role in the organisation’s safeguarding and equity, diversity and inclusion work. Sam has extensive experience of management and team leadership in complex and challenging international environments.

Ria Alder

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Interim Director of Finance

Ria joined MAG in 2018 from a practice background where she specialised in the not-for-profit sector. She has worked in Finance for more than a decade at an operational and advisory level. In addition to her leadership of MAG’s Finance team, Ria plays a leading role in the organisation’s treasury management and global tax compliance work.

Greg Crowther

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Interim Director of Programmes

Greg first joined MAG as a Project Coordinator in 1999 and was appointed Director of Programmes in 2021. Before his appointment, Greg worked as Country Director, Regional Programmes Manager, and Regional Director with MAG, with extensive experience working internationally in countries, including Angola, Cambodia, Mali and Vietnam. Greg has also worked as a research and policy consultant with Action on Armed Violence.

Jules Mason

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Director of Governance and Business Transformation

Jules has more than two decades’ experience working in senior management and leadership roles for a variety of national and international not-for-profit organisations. He is a former chair of school governors and has served as a trustee; he is currently a trustee at INASP. Jules is Fellow of the RSA, has a BA in Accountancy and a MSc in NGO Management.

Jon Brown

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Director of Engagement

Jon is a former daily newspaper journalist who ran newsrooms on large evening newspapers in the UK and subsequently established a strategic communications consultancy, advising public and private sector clients on a diverse range of campaigns in relation to issues such as economic development, regeneration and public health. He leads MAG’s external relations, communications and fundraising activity.