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We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...

Meet our Trustees

Chair: Margie Buchanan-Smith

Senior Research Associate, Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI & Visiting Fellow, Feinstein International Center of Tufts University

Chair: Margie Buchanan-Smith

Senior Research Associate, Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI & Visiting Fellow, Feinstein International Center of Tufts University

Margie Buchanan-Smith has worked in the humanitarian aid sector for over 30 years, in a range of different capacities from operational programme management to policy research and evaluation. Margie has been head of ActionAid’s Emergencies Unit, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University, and coordinator of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute in London where she was also a Research Fellow. Now a freelance policy researcher and evaluator, Margie is currently a Senior Research Associate with the Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI and a Visiting Fellow at the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University. Margie is deeply committed to supporting organisations in improving and strengthening their humanitarian action, and in listening to those affected by crises to know how we can serve them better. As a well-published researcher, her concern is ensuring that research findings make a difference, and reach practitioners and policy-makers. Margie is also a qualified and experienced coach, with a particular focus on leadership development.

Matt Clancy

Governance Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Matt Clancy

Governance Adviser, UK Department for International Development (DFID)

Matt Clancy has moved between research, communications, and policy roles for humanitarian and development organisations for the past ten years. Currently working in DFID’s education team in London, he was most recently the ICRC’s Humanitarian Policy Spokesperson where he led the development of communication strategies and content across ICRC’s humanitarian policy teams.

He has lived and worked in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sudan, Lebanon, Australia, Switzerland, and the UK.

While Matt is currently employed by DFID, his involvement with Elrha is purely in a personal capacity.

Wendy Fenton

Coordinator of the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) & Senior Research Fellow, ODI

Wendy Fenton

Coordinator of the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) & Senior Research Fellow, ODI

Wendy Fenton is the Coordinator of the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) hosted by the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Institute in London, and a Senior Research Fellow.

She has over 30 years of operational, management, advisory and research experience in humanitarian and development programming with NGOs and donors across a wide range of sectors and topics primarily in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Immediately before joining ODI in 2009, Wendy worked as an independent consultant focusing on fragile states, specifically issues related to NGO programming, funding mechanism performance and safety nets. ODI regularly calls on her expertise on South Sudan.

Most recently Wendy served as the head of the ODI Secretariat to the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers and has initiated and managed follow on research on cash transfers. She also serves on the steering groups and boards of a number of humanitarian organisations and associations.

Andy Katz

Global Strategy Service & commercial Innovation, PA Consulting

Andy Katz

Global Strategy Service & commercial Innovation, PA Consulting

Andy Katz leads PA’s work on Growth and Innovation strategy. He is a recognised leader in strategic growth and innovation consulting, supporting the leaders of major organisations to conceive of, make sense of, qualify and take to market new, growth initiatives whether new products, services or stand-alone businesses. Andy also aids business leaders as they seek to develop innovative and agile innovation capabilities.

Andy has advised executives in businesses globally and particularly in the UK, across Continental Europe and in the United States. While Andy has worked extensively in many industries, those that are core include energy and utilities, business information and media, healthcare and life sciences, consumer packaged goods and defence.

Andy has aided his clients in securing $ billions of new value through new business development, commercialising innovation and technology and providing an entrepreneurial, action-oriented and pragmatic perspective.

Treasurer: Andrew Shellard

Partner, Alantra

Treasurer: Andrew Shellard

Partner, Alantra

Andrew,  a chartered accountant, brings to our Board a strong knowledge on financial leadership and UK-charity governance. Before joining our Board, Andrew was the Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee for EveryChild, a UK based charity at the head of a 30 country alliance focused on childcare and protection.

In his professional life Andrew has held a number of senior roles in investment banking through a 25-year career in finance. Andrew is currently a board member and Partner in a London based financial advisory boutique called Alantra

 

 

Toby Smith

Partner & General Counsel, Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Toby Smith

Partner & General Counsel, Arcus Infrastructure Partners

Toby is one of the Partners and the General Counsel at Arcus Infrastructure Partners, having been part of the team that founded Arcus in 2009. Arcus is an independent infrastructure fund manager focused on transport, energy and telecoms in Europe. As General Counsel, Toby has oversight of all legal matters relating to Arcus and its managed funds. Toby was elected to the Arcus Management Committee in 2016 and is also a representative on the board of a number of Arcus and fund related companies in the UK and other jurisdictions.

Toby qualified as a solicitor in 1999 and has extensive experience in advising on and implementing infrastructure projects and transactions, gained both in leading law firms and in industry.

Toby has a long-standing keen interest in development issues and recognises the importance of research and innovation in finding solutions to humanitarian issues. He brings to our Board a high degree of expertise in governance and, more generally, in legal, compliance, structuring and general commercial matters.

Karen Twining Fooks

Associate Africa Director at Oxford HR

Karen Twining Fooks

Associate Africa Director at Oxford HR

Karen brings over 30 years’ experience in international development and humanitarian work and latterly international executive search for these sectors. Born in the Sudan, her previous roles include 10 years with Oxfam GB in Ethiopia, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and Kenya leading humanitarian programmes; Head of the Rwanda Secretariat at International Alert after the Genocide; Africa Regional Coordinator at ActionAid, covering 18 countries; and the first CEO of IDE UK, supporting market development programmes in Africa and Asia. An Oxford graduate, Karen is Vice-Chair of SOS Sahel International UK.

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