International Leadership Team
The Chief Executive and International Leadership Team, with support from our Board of Trustees, help guide and shape the direction of our organisation supported by a wider management team who are committed to the ethos of Raleigh.
Chief Executive Officer: 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.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer: Julian Olivier
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.
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!
Head of Volunteering (Expedition & Alumni): Brandon Charleston
Brandon Charleston has been involved with Raleigh since 1992. In his role as Head of Volunteering (Expedition & Alumni) he has overall responsibility for the Raleigh Expedition Programme and for our Alumni strategy and engagement.
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 (2014-2016). From 2017-2018 he was Head of Countries supporting our Country Directors to deliver of the organisation’s strategic aims within the countries Raleigh work in.
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.
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.
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.
Country Director, Nicaragua & Costa Rica: Rigoberto Shelevy
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.
Head of Marketing & Volunteer Recruitment: Leonie McIlroy
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.
Head of Corporate Partnerships: James Sutton
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.
Head of Programme Partnerships: Matt Whitehead
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, leads our fundraising efforts from Institutions, Trusts and Foundations, and develops Raleigh’s strategic partnerships.
Matt brings over a decade’s experience of developing ideas and securing project funding in the International Development and Arts sectors. At Save the Children UK (SCUK) he honed his skills in programme development across multiple themes and contexts, and for a wide range of stakeholders. Matt also worked to build consensus and partnerships between SCUK and organisations such as the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Global Partnership for Education. Matt has held fundraising 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.