Shaping the future: Our strategy for research and innovation in humanitarian response.

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We are pleased to announce key changes to our board of trustees and leadership. Dr Jane Cocking OBE becomes chair as Margie Buchanan-Smith steps down, along with Andrew Shellard, Treasurer, and Andy Katz, Trustee. We look forward to announcing our new trustees stepping into these roles in the coming months. 

Outgoing Chair, Margie Buchanan-Smith, Senior Research Associate with the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI and a Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University, has been an inspiring leader, shaping the course of Elrha with dedication. Buchanan-Smith has offered consistent and astute guidance, and the organisation welcomes her continued involvement as a trustee until the end of the year.

Reflecting on her tenure, Buchanan-Smith remarked, “It has been such a privilege to chair Elrha’s Board over the last four years. Although they have been challenging years, with the Covid pandemic and international aid cuts, Elrha has successfully navigated these times, continuing to make important contributions to improve humanitarian action.”

Incoming Chair, Dr Jane Cocking OBE, assumed the role in January 2024. Dr Cocking brings a wealth of experience in humanitarian action having held a range of senior positions including Humanitarian Director at Oxfam and CEO at MAG (The Mines Advisory Group). She will work with the nine-strong board as we embark on our new long-term strategy, launched last year.

Dr Cocking expressed her optimism, stating, “I have been a supporter of Elrha since it began, and I believe Elrha has an exciting new strategy for promoting research and innovation in the global humanitarian system in the coming years.”

At the same time as the handover of the Chair role, we say farewell to Andrew Shellard, Treasurer, and Andy Katz, Trustee, both of whom have completed two three-year terms. We look forward to announcing our new trustees in the coming months.

Jess Camburn, our CEO, said “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all departing trustees for their dedication and contributions to the organisation’s mission.”

Meet the rest of our Board here.

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