Our people

Chief executive and senior management team

With support from our Board of Trustees, our Chief Executive and Senior Management 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

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 Clamp

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!

Rachel Harrison — Director of Marketing and Recruitment

Rachel Collinson

Rachel joined Raleigh International in 2005. As Director of Marketing and Recruitment Rachel is responsible for brand development as well as recruiting, selecting, training and supporting over 1,500 volunteers annually, from 30 different nationalities, to join Raleigh programmes and remain engaged post programme.

Rachel’s career has spanned the private and third sector in global roles specialising in brand management, new product development and marketing and communications. After graduating with a degree in modern languages and marketing, she joined The Boots Group and went on to work for United Biscuits, a multinational food manufacturer, before taking a career break to volunteer and work in South America, South East Asia and Australia. Rachel has also co-authored Lonely Planet’s Volunteer: A Traveller’s Guide and is a qualified performance coach.

Why Raleigh? I became aware of Raleigh International during my teenage years and I was really inspired by its powerful ethos of bringing young people and communities together around the world to create sustainable change.

Keith Mitchell — Director of Finance & Corporate Services

Keith Mitchell

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.

Gavin Salmon — Director of Programme Funding

Gavin joined Raleigh International in 2016. As Director of Programme Funding he oversees the growth and diversity of our funding and ensures that we build strong partnerships to help deliver our programmes.

Gavin has worked in the voluntary sector for 16 years, including 12 years in international development, building a broad range of experience and technical skills in fundraising, partnership development and project cycle management. He previously designed and implemented successful strategies for increasing funding across income streams at youth-focused organisations delivering programmes in the UK and in a number of countries across Africa, including Build Africa and the Starfish Greathearts Foundation. Gavin has also previously volunteered as a trustee for another NGO, and as a teacher in Nepal.

Why Raleigh? I have been enormously impressed by the passion, dedication and talent of Raleigh staff, as well as the quality and impact of our programmes across five countries.

Country Staff

Having full-time teams in the countries we work in is absolutely essential. They work directly with project partners, enabling Raleigh to build long-term, sustainable partnerships with local organisations and communities. This means every project not only responds to locally defined needs but that they are delivered safely and to a high standard.

Brandon Charleston — Head of Countries

Brandon Charleston

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 McKenzie

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 Risal

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.

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