Wendy Fenton has been the Coordinator of the Humanitarian Practice Network hosted by the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute in London since January 2009. Wendy has over 30 years of operational, management and advisory experience in humanitarian and development programming with NGOs (VSO and Save the Children) and donors (USAID/OFDA and CIDA) across a wide range of sectors primarily in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia. ODI regularly calls on her expertise on South Sudan to inform ongoing work there.
Wendy began her international aid career in Darfur in 1983 with VSO, joining Save the Children UK in 1985 as Deputy Field Director in Darfur before moving to the UK to work with an agricultural consultancy firm in 1986-87. She returned to Sudan in 1987-88 where she worked with the USAID General Development Office. Wendy worked for 10 years in Ethiopia in advisory positions with USAID/OFDA (4 years) and CIDA (4 years on Ethiopia and Sudan), and as Deputy Director with Save the Children UK (2 years). From 2000-2005 she was the Save the Children UK Country Director for the South Sudan programme as well as a founding and active member of the Sudan Advocacy Coalition and a leader within the South Sudan NGO Forum. Immediately prior to joining ODI, Wendy worked as an independent consultant for four years focusing on fragile states, specifically issues related to NGO programming, funding mechanism performance and safety nets.
Wendy has a BA (Honors) in English Literature from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and an MSc in Agricultural Development form the University of London, Wye College of Agriculture. She was a Co-recipient of the USAID Meritorious Service Award to USAID Ethiopia Mission in 1991 and the recipient of the Save the Children UK award for Distinguished and Meritorious Service for her work in Ethiopia and South Sudan.
Wendy also serves on the steering groups of the International Humanitarian Studies Association (IHSA) and the Livestock Emergency Guidelines (LEGS).