Marie Staunton CBE
Marie has over 25 years international development and human rights experience. She is Chair of Raleigh International, the Equality and Diversity Forum and also of Crown Agents. Prior to this she was the Chief Executive of two international charities, Plan UK and Interact Worldwide. Marie has extensive leadership and executive experience in major organisations in the international development sector focusing on education, human rights and young people. She also has added insight into the Raleigh experience as her daughter took part in an expedition in 2011.
Karen works for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She is currently British Ambassador to Morocco and non-resident Ambassador to Mauritania, based in Rabat, Morocco.
Karen has worked for the Foreign Office for 15 years. In that time, she has covered mostly Middle East, conflict and security, counter-terrorism and European issues in Brussels, Baghdad, Washington DC and in the Foreign Office in London. She has also worked in the Cabinet Office on Iraq and Afghanistan.
Before joining the Foreign Office, Karen worked as a litigation lawyer for Clifford Chance in London and Hong Kong. She studied Medieval History and Art History at St Andrews University, and law at the College of Law in Guildford.
Karen was a venturer on a Raleigh expedition to Namibia in 1993 and joined Raleigh as a member of staff in Chile in 1997. Her experiences with Raleigh, and subsequently working overseas for government, have taught her the importance and power of engaging young people in both their own and their countries’ futures.
Stan is a chartered accountant with experience in the commercial and charity sectors. Starting his career as a management consultant, Stan has held senior roles in various industries, including as finance director of operating subsidiaries in FTSE-listed Lattice Group and Close Brothers Group. He now works as a consultant on senior level finance assignments across both the commercial and charity sectors, and Chairs Raleigh’s Finance and Risk Committee.
Stan is particularly interested in sustainable communities. Stan is currently a trustee director of Power to Change, a £150m charitable trust set up to support, develop and grow community businesses across England. At Power to Change, he chairs the Audit & Risk Committee as well being on the Grants and People & Governance Committees. Stan has also been the treasurer at St Martin-in-the Fields church, a unique configuration of charitable, commercial and cultural initiatives rooted in a vibrant Church of England congregation.
Stan attended Operation Raleigh in 1985 as a Venturer on Zebu, sailing from Panama via the Galapagos Islands to Hawaii, where he worked on natural resource management projects. Stan has taken lessons learnt from Raleigh into all his roles since and is keen to ensure that other young people are able to have similar developmental experience whilst delivering sustainable change.
Jeremy is Managing Director of Nationwide Platforms (part of Lavendon Group plc), the UK’s largest provider of powered access platforms and working at heights training. Beforehand, Jeremy spent 9 years at Aggreko, the temporary power provider, where he was latterly Managing Director of the Emerging Markets & Major Projects Division, overseeing businesses in South East Europe, Turkey, Russia and the CIS and the Middle East. At the beginning of his Aggreko career Jeremy was based in Houston, North America as a Vice President tasked with overseeing a profit improvement programme. Jeremy’s earlier career was at Misys, the FTSE100 software company and GEC, where he held several commercial and change management roles.
Jeremy attended Operation Raleigh in 1987 as a venturer to Indonesia and then in 1988 as a staff member to Guyana. As well as offering a commercial perspective, Jeremy is a keen advocate of the role that Raleigh plays in developing the leaders and managers of tomorrow as well as the transformational effect that Raleigh has on young people. Jeremy holds an MBA (with distinction) from Warwick Business School and an MA in Marketing from UCE. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and a Fellow of the British Computer Society.
Amy Holmes OBE
Amy is a senior civil servant in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. She has led a series of projects to ensure the sustainable development of our marine environment within the UK and across Europe. She has had a wide ranging career across the Department’s responsibilities and Whitehall, including working on the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks in 2001 and 2007. Amy took a career break in 2008 and joined several Raleigh expeditions in Borneo first as a Project Manager, and then as Deputy Programme Manager on expedition 09B, and the subsequent Summer programme. Since coming back to the UK and the civil service in 2009 Amy has continued her involvement with Raleigh including returning to Borneo as a Bespoke Project Leader. Before joining the civil service Amy spent time in the charity sector funding community based projects in the UK. She has a degree in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge.
Meg Kneafsey has recently graduated with a BA in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Durham. Youth empowerment is extremely important to Meg and she has worked with several organisations which hold this value at their core, including vInspired as a Team v Leader, Youth Employment UK as an Ambassador and Step up to Serve as an #iwill Ambassador. Meg has also campaigned for social issues in the UK such as food poverty, young carers and youth vote power.
Meg is a Raleigh ICS alumna, having completed her placement in Nicaragua in 2013 working on water and sanitation projects. Since then she has also volunteered in Tanzania and led a volunteer placement in India. Meg has focused on campaigning for a number of development issues, raising awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals and presenting policies at the United Nations on Sustainable Development Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.
Polly is a Chartered Accountant with experience in the commercial and charity sectors. Having qualified at PwC in 2001, Polly worked as a Commercial Analyst with GlaxoSmithKline before taking a career break to spend 8 months working as a member of volunteer staff for Raleigh in Namibia. Responsibilities included everything from preparing the expedition accounts and meeting with project partners to digging wells and trekking dry river beds in the hope of spotting desert elephants. After returning from Raleigh Polly worked for a mixture of commercial and public sector organisations including 6 years as Deputy Treasurer for TRH The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall where she acted as Finance Director to the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. Polly is currently Director of Finance and Corporate Services for Breast Cancer Now and a Director of the English Lacrosse Association.
Jack is a director at professional services network PwC, where he leads the company’s private sector development work within international development business. His focus is on the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and other bilateral and international donor agencies.
Working for more than 20 years’ in international development, he has led programmes across a range of sectors including supporting access to finance, access to business support services, market linkages and investment readiness. Jack also trained as a chartered accountant and worked in the commercial and development sectors.
He has extensive experience working in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world, with two years based in Malawi and a year in Kenya, and many short term assignments across the African continent and in other DFID priority countries.
Mavis Owusu-Gyamfi is the Director of Investments at The Power of Nutrition. She is responsible for ensuring the quality and quantity of investments that The Power of Nutrition makes to help children to realise their full potential. A political economist by training and private sector development specialist, Mavis has an extensive career in international development that includes extensive experience running economic and social development projects and programmes in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Prior to joining The Power of Nutrition, she served as Director of Programme Policy and Quality for Save the Children UK, and was previously the Head of Profession for Private Sector Development at the UK’s Department of International Development. Mavis is a Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow with an MPhil from the University of Sussex.
Graduating from Oxford University in 1983, Sam Parker started his career in business, working for 6 years in the agrochemical industry, with a focus on Latin America. After a two-year break, working as a volunteer with street children in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sam returned to business with 11 years at a UK-based commodity trading company. Following posts in London, Caracas, New York and Singapore, Sam was appointed Managing Director of the company’s Asian business. In 2002, he returned to the development sector with a role at the International Save the Children Alliance, leading the organisational development of its 30 national members.
2006, Sam joined Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), as its first CEO. WSUP is a not-for-profit company, which brings together private sector and NGO expertise to address the pressing global challenge of delivering water and sanitation services to the growing number of people who live in urban slums, informal settlements and shanty towns. In 2014 Sam was appointed Director of the Shell Foundation which supports social enterprises to deliver solutions to global development challenges.
Ben Robinson is studying for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham. He has just started his career in sustainable development and is currently heavily involved with two projects: Live to Love UK creating a ‘build back better’ scheme in Nepal after the devastating earthquake; and Enactus, a worldwide NGO which specialises in sustainable development through social enterprise. At Enactus, Ben leads the Beyond Waste project, which creates housing out of recycled plastic bottles, empowering local communities to make long-term change.
In 2013 Ben volunteered in Nicaragua & Costa Rica on a Raleigh Expedition, which included working in Carara National Park. He has since encouraged others to become part of the Raleigh International family. Later that year Ben worked at a remote school in Kenya helping to develop essential infrastructure. These experiences inspired him to become involved in sustainable development.