International Leadership Team
With support from our Board of Trustees, our Chief Executive and International Leadership Team help guide and shape the direction of our organisation supported by a wider team who are committed to the ethos of Raleigh.
Stacey Adams — Chief Executive
Stacey Adams became Chief Executive of Raleigh International in 2007, having previously worked at a senior level in the public and third sectors.
Stacey has commissioned and developed a clear evidence base showing the impact Raleigh’s youth volunteers make across the countries they work in, as well as the lasting effects of Raleigh’s programmes on the volunteers themselves. Recently, Stacey led on the renewal of Raleigh’s strategy and clarified the organisation’s mission to focus on working with, and through, young people to deliver lasting sustainable development outcomes – in both the countries where Raleigh operate and in the volunteers’ own countries long after they return home.
Stacey’s career began producing educational TV programmes at the BBC. This was followed by a role running communications for UNICEF UK, where she oversaw the launch of children’s rights campaigns nationally and internationally. Stacey then spent ten years in the health sector promoting evidence and best practice for reducing health inequalities to practitioners, and within the NHS regulator managing stakeholder engagement with government, patients and health service management.
Why Raleigh? Raleigh’s aims and way of working match my passions: we’re all about giving young people the opportunity to change their world; building understanding across countries and cultures; and, working alongside people living in poverty to give them ways to build a sustainable, better life.
David Clamp — Director of Safety & International Operational Support
David joined Raleigh International as Director of Safety and International Operation Support in early 2014. He contributes his extensive experience in INGO safety and security.
David has worked in the international development sector in more than 40 countries since first volunteering with VSO in China in 1996. He later managed VSO’s education and disability programmes, before becoming their country director for West Africa, during which time he gained a master’s degree in international development with the Open University. David specialises in INGO security and safety management and in 2007 became VSO’s first global security advisor. He was first impressed with Raleigh when visiting the Costa Rica field base during a 2009 safety review for a Canadian volunteer organisation, Cuso International.
Why Raleigh? I have always been fascinated by the logistical side of international development and a highlight of my Raleigh career has been visiting projects in vastly different countries, especially when I joined Expeditions in Borneo and Costa Rica. Now I understand why our alumni all have a little gleam in their eye when they talk about their time with Raleigh – I’m developing it too!
Keith Mitchell — Director of Finance & Corporate Services
Keith joined Raleigh International in 2013. As Director of Finance and Corporate Services he has a wide variety of responsibilities across the organisation.
Keith is a qualified chartered accountant with wide experience in the charity sector, having worked for organisations that are active in life-changing experiences and learning for children and young people. As well as his charity finance specialism, Keith is responsible for corporate services including HR, ICT, tax recovery, premises management, governance (being the company secretary), insurance and VAT. He is also involved in the governance structure of alumni societies within operating countries; negotiation of contracts and applications for funding; and ensuring best value for money for administration services required by Raleigh.
Why Raleigh? I’m proud to be facilitating the delivery of our outcomes that are achieved through engaging with young people in countries where we work, throughout the UK and internationally.
Julian Olivier — Director of Programmes
Julian joined Raleigh International in 2001. He took over as Director of Programmes in 2016 and leads the team responsible for designing, developing, implementing and evaluating the organisation’s work, and ensuring Raleigh’s volunteers can make a significant impact on the lives of people around the world. Julian previously worked as Country Director for Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Julian has extensive experience in building long-term partnerships with local civil society organisations, national NGOs and governments to support the effective engagement of young people in development work. He first became engaged in addressing the serious challenges facing our planet during the Earth Summit in 1992. Five years later, he was elected as one of the chairs of the youth caucus at the UN Rio+5 conference. His first role was with Peace Child International, where he worked on projects supporting young people in Africa and the Caribbean. These ranged from creating monitoring tools for community social accountability, to supporting youth groups in setting up social enterprises.
Why Raleigh? I’ve been fortunate to work with thousands of inspiring young people of many nationalities and from many walks of life who are all committed to social change. This has made me determined to ensure that young people everywhere have the right to be leaders and partners in sustainable development.
Nick Parker — Director of Marketing and Volunteer Engagement
Nick joined Raleigh International in 2017. As Director of Marketing and Volunteer Engagement he oversees the marketing and recruitment of volunteers and the co-ordination of our work with alumni, including fundraising. He also leads on business development for Raleigh.
Nick has extensive experience in the voluntary sector including senior leadership roles in children’s literacy where he led the development of volunteering and school engagement. He continues to be a Chair of Governors at a London primary school. He has over a decade of experience in senior operational and commercial leadership at The Scout Association, where he led the successful development and commercial growth of the national centres. He has played a valuable role in helping to develop the outdoor learning sector in the UK as a board member of the English Outdoor Council and supporting the creation of the Wild Network which aims to bring nature and the outdoors to all children.
Why Raleigh? Young people have such great potential and when they are empowered they can create real, sustainable, lasting change. What is so great about Raleigh is that it takes young people from different backgrounds to different contexts, cultures and environments. It enables them to learn from each other while helping others – a double benefit on an international scale.
Brandon Charleston — Head of Countries
Brandon Charleston has been involved with Raleigh since 1992. He took over as Head of Countries in 2016. In this role, Brandon supports and oversees our Country Directors to ensure the delivery of the organisation’s strategic aims within the countries Raleigh work in.
Brandon has taken part in four Raleigh Expeditions as a volunteer, volunteer leader and researcher, and also led bespoke Expeditions and short youth development programmes. From 2008-2014 he worked at Raleigh’s London head office as research associate; training and development manager, and monitoring and evaluation manager. During this time he contributed to the development and understanding of the Raleigh pedagogy or the ‘Raleigh Way’; oversaw improvement and growth in selection and training delivery; and, developed the strategy, processes and methods which Raleigh use to measure the outcomes of its work. He has also worked overseas as the Country Director of Raleigh Borneo, leading the team in developing and delivering programmes in Sabah.
Why Raleigh? Young people bring a passion, energy and creativity to development that is crucial for its success. I am passionate about helping to enable volunteers, all our local partners and the wider Raleigh team to do this. It has been exceptionally rewarding to be part of Raleigh’s change and growth to date. I feel very fortunate to continue to work with great people, doing great work that we all care about.
Sue Hennessey — Country Director, Borneo
Sue joined Raleigh in 2016 as Country Director for Borneo, having originally started as a Volunteer Manager in Borneo two years earlier.
Before joining Raleigh, Sue worked with young people on livelihoods and employability initiatives with Oxfam in the UK, was head of programmes for Big Lottery Fund, and managed community based grant programmes with Voluntary Action Manchester. For the last ten years, she has worked as an independent consultant supporting organisational change and skills development within the voluntary sector, gaining exposure to a wide range of different projects, programmes and approaches. She has developed a personal commitment to supporting and inspiring young people, through taking civic action as a foster parent, school governor and community volunteer.
Why Raleigh? My experience as a Volunteer Manager with Raleigh was a revelation and life changing opportunity which strengthened my commitment to creating lasting change and enabling young people to be in control of their futures. I’ve embraced the co-operative spirit and values of Raleigh and my role in Borneo brings together my enthusiasm and commitment to empowering young people and the desire to contribute to making a real difference to defeating poverty and injustice in the world.
Ross McKenzie — Country Director, Tanzania
Ross joined Raleigh International in 2015 as Country Director for Tanzania.
Ross was originally a volunteer for Raleigh as a Logistics Manager in 2006. He has also worked as an Expedition Leader, Country Operations Manager, Programmes Manager and Country Director in Nicaragua & Costa Rica. Prior to his time with Raleigh Ross was employed in the education sector having worked as a teacher, in student support for a university and as an outdoor instructor both in the UK and overseas.
Why Raleigh? Raleigh has changed a great deal since I first joined and every year just gets better. I am passionate about my work and strive to ensure that our projects are the best they can possibly be. I am immensely proud of the impact our work has had and I feel truly lucky to be inspired everyday by the amazing people and partners I work with.
Ram Risal — Country Director, Nepal
Ram joined Raleigh International in 2015 as Country Director for Nepal.
Ram has more than two decades experience as a Development Practitioner with Helvetas, a Swiss NGO in Nepal. He was also Country Director with Helvetas in a number of locations including Mali and Ethiopia. Before becoming a Development Practitioner, Ram was a Researcher for more than a decade with a not-for-profit organisation in Nepal. He has also worked as an Advisor to the National Planning Commission of the Government of Nepal, and well as a freelance development consultant.
Why Raleigh? I was motivated to join Raleigh because we put young people at centre stage. After all, youth are the future of not only my country, but the world as a whole. I am delighted to have played my part in setting up the Nepal country programme. I look forward to driving sustainable development through youth, and making a difference to the lives of rural communities and young people in Nepal.
Rigoberto Shelevy — Country Director, Nicaragua & Costa Rica
Rigoberto joined Raleigh International in 2017 as Country Director for Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Before joining Raleigh he gained extensive experience working in the development and humanitarian sectors for 25 years on different projects including children’s rights, human rights, gender equality and youth rights. Rigoberto worked with Plan International, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), ActionAid International and Lutheran World Federation, who promote mutual collaboration with multilateral agencies such as UNICEF, USAID and, DFID. His time in programme management enabled him to travel frequently, both nationally in Nicaragua, and overseas in North America, Central and South America, Africa, Middle East and South East Asia for the purposes of strategic planning, management, monitoring, and the facilitation of workshops and training.
Why Raleigh? I am excited by the opportunity that Raleigh gives me to collaborate with young people in their development and growth. I feel enthusiastic about how our work with young people makes contributions across generations and shows how the work of youth today can make a difference to the societies of tomorrow.
Leonie McIlroy — Head of Marketing & Volunteer Recruitment
Leonie joined Raleigh in 2012. She was appointed Head of Marketing and Volunteer Recruitment in 2016. She is responsible for managing the volunteer journey from marketing and lead generation up until selection for Raleigh’s delivery programmes.
Previously, Leonie was Raleigh’s Marketing Manager working to attract the 1500 volunteers, volunteer managers and team leaders that are supported from our UK head office. She has visited our programmes is Nicaragua and Costa Rica. She still enjoys attending Raleigh’s assessment days and recruitment events to meet potential volunteers and hear their stories.
Prior to joining Raleigh, Leonie was working as a Senior Account Manager for a PR agency, where she was specialising in consumer technology. After a period of volunteering in East Africa she knew a change of direction was needed.
Why Raleigh? It’s a privilege to work with a group of people who are committed to creating change in the world. I love working for an international organisation with young people at its heart; young people who can achieve great things now and in the future.
James Sutton — Head of Corporate Partnerships
James joined Raleigh International in January 2015, and is also a Raleigh alumnus having previously volunteered in Costa Rica & Nicaragua in 2002. James leads on Raleigh’s Corporate Partnerships – both from the perspective of new business and service delivery.
Goal 17 of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development is focused on creating partnerships to deliver the goals and this is where his focus lies: in forging partnerships that not only deliver against Raleigh’s strategic mission, but that also create shared value for the corporate partner.
Before joining Raleigh, James worked in the advertising and marketing industries for just over a decade, where he led on accounts which won various awards which amongst others included a Euro Effie Award and a D&AD Impact White Pencil.
James is also a Teaching Fellow in Marketing at the University of Sussex. He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Why Raleigh? There is something special about Raleigh people – people with a shared mindset that together we really can make change happen. The special experience of a Raleigh programme stays with these people for a lifetime, and their burning passion for sustainable development is infectious and inspirational.
Matt Whitehead — Head of Programme Partnerships
Matt joined Raleigh International in 2015. The Programme Partnerships team collaborates with colleagues across the organisation to design Raleigh’s programmes and develop funding proposals for all our donor audiences. It helps set Raleigh’s thematic focus and leads on developing strategic partnerships, and our fundraising efforts from Institutions, Trusts and Foundations.
Matt brings over a decade’s experience of generating, developing and securing large-scale ideas and project funding in the International Development and Arts sectors. At Save the Children UK (SCUK) he honed his skills in programme development as a Proposal Writer across multiple themes and geographic contexts, and for a wide range of stakeholders. As Partnerships Executive, Matt led SCUK’s successful efforts to build consensus and partnerships with agencies and donors such as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). Matt has also held fundraising management posts in Arts and Environment focused organisations including the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Natural History Museum. From 2014 to 2016, Matt was a Trustee with the Bonny Downs Community Association in the London Borough of Newham.
Why Raleigh? I’m proud to work for an organisation which places youth at its core, and motivated by making sure that Raleigh’s programming maximises the possibilities for youth from different backgrounds to collaborate and achieve together. Its hugely inspiring to watch as youth help make positive and far-reaching changes in the lives of others.