Meet the Board.
A K Dube
Chair of Trustees
Andrew Kudakwashe (AK) Dube, Chief Executive Officer of the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA), brings 30 years' experience of designing, managing, evaluating and monitoring development and disability programmes with international and grassroots community organisations.
His previous roles include working as an independent consultant with governments and Regional Programmes Director of Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD). AK has worked on provincial, national and inter-sectoral disability strategies, and was also involved in the implementation and evaluation of development programmes in the region of Southern Africa, Swaziland, Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia; playing a key role in the establishment, funding and strengthening of organisations of disabled people.
Deborah Botwood Smith
Deborah is a communications expert who has worked for international companies advising executive management on: corporate reputation and governance issues; building corporate culture; corporate social responsibly; thought leadership and crisis management. She also has experience in the public policy, political and regulatory environments and in evidence-based advocacy gained working for a leading not-for-profit European membership body. Deborah has an MA in law from University of Cambridge, with an academic interest in constitutional law and human rights. She is also a Trustee of Women and Children First, a charity that addresses the unacceptably high levels of maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity in poor communities in the developing world.
Kieran has spent 30 years working in the development sector with agencies such as Save the Children, VSO, CUSO International and ADD International, as Country Director in Ethiopia and Tanzania, Regional Director in East Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean and Senior Director Global Programme. He was the CEO for the Child Brain Injury Trust and is currently the CEO of Leicestershire Cares, which specialises in developing private, public and third sector partnerships to tackle poverty and inequality. He has focused on social action with children and young people, and working with disadvantaged and excluded groups to secure their livelihoods, including pioneering work to make markets work for poor people in East Africa and LAC region. Kieran enjoys film and music and trying to persuade his daughter that his jokes are funny.
Sarah manages her own consulting group, Pamodzi Consulting, in Melbourne Australia. She works with a global network of practitioners on international and Australian Indigenous development issues with a particular focus on human rights, social inclusion and disability inclusive development. Her experience includes:
- Programme Manager for UNDP in Afghanistan (2004 - 2006), leading the design and management of a national programme on disability inclusion working with government and civil society.
- International Deputy Director for Leonard Cheshire Disability in the UK (1999 - 2004).
- Trustee and current member of the Resource Network for Linguistic Development (2013- 2014) that works to advance the sustainability of Indigenous languages.
Sarah loves the outdoors and tries to find time outside work for hiking (or “bushwalking” as it is called in Australia), yoga retreats, pilates and cycling.
Matthew is passionate about social change and has nearly 20 years’ experience in programmes, communications and advocacy at several national and international charities. These include Oxfam, Y Care and Scope, where he helped set up the Queen’s Young Leaders Programme, developed their ‘End the Awkward’ campaign and led campaigning and advocacy work on social care, employment and inclusive education. Matthew is currently the Director of Comic Relief’s Sustainability Lab, a new initiative exploring how technology, social enterprise and innovation can make projects more sustainable and impactful.
Louise James is the Co-Director of Accenture Development Partnerships. Louise leads ADP’s work globally with donors and international NGOs with a particular focus on cross-sector partnerships between the private sector and civil society. Prior to Accenture Development Partnerships, Louise consulted within Accenture’s supply chain practice across a number of industries including chemicals, consumer goods and retail
Louise has held a number of positions including:
- Board member of Bond
- Voted one of Devex’s top international development leaders in London under age of 40 (2011)
- Independent Review Panel Member for INGO Accountability Charter
- Blueprint for Better Business Initiative: Steering Committee member 2013/14.
- Advisory Council for the INGO Techo
Ken lives in Nairobi where he is Chief Operating Officer of TradeMark East Africa, an aid-for-trade programme which he helped establish in 2009. He has gained extensive experience over the past 20 years working on development programmes in 15 countries. This includes coordinating the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Service Delivery Initiative and leading the establishment of the Centre for Good Governance for the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
Ken is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy, and the Institute of Consulting. He is also an experienced auditor and programme manager. In his spare time Ken enjoys travel, theatre, philately, and tea.
Trustee and Treasurer
Stuart is the Director of Finance at Bradford Council, in England. His previous roles include senior posts in the UK's welfare benefit system, including Finance Director at the Pension, Disability and Carers Service, management consultant with Deloitte, and Finance Director of a further education college in Leeds.
Stuart's interest in disability issues stems from personal experiences.
Sally is a gender equality and social inclusion consultant with expertise in conducting research and evaluation to generate evidence on sensitive issues and to capture impact in relation to complex social change. Working both internationally and in the UK, Sally’s work has primarily focused on gender inequality, but also on other forms of marginalisation and exclusion. Her expertise is primarily in qualitative methods of data collection and analysis and is particularly passionate about research ethics. Sally has extensive knowledge of DFID’s policies and practices having provided long-term cover as a Social Development Adviser in DFID’s former central research department, a Gender Adviser in DFID’s former Equity and Rights Team and as DFID’s joint lead on Violence Against Women and Girls. She is currently a Senior Social Development Advisor on DFID’s £350 million Girls’ Education Challenge Fund where she works with a range of NGOs and private sector partners. Her international development career began in India and she has since worked in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe.
Bob Niven CBE
Deputy Chair and trustee since 2009
Bob is adviser to Alfanar, the Arab-led major private-public initiative to boost Arab employment in Israel, as well as to Masira, the leading organization of Arab disabled people in Israel. Other experience includes:
- Board Member of the Abraham Fund UK
- Resident adviser to the new Equal Employment Opportunities Commission in Israel (2010-2012)
- Deputy Chair at the Equal Rights Commission
- Non-Executive Director at a leading English NHS Hospitals Trust
- Chief Executive of the Disability Rights Commission
- Director of Equal Opportunities legislation and policy (gender, race in employment and education, and disability)
- He also held senior posts in the Cabinet Office and the UK’s Representation to the EU in Brussels
Jillian has over twenty years of experience in policy strategy and operations in international development in Africa and Asia. She has worked in leadership, management and advisory roles with a focus on poverty, development and human rights, especially child development, gender equity and disability rights. Jillian played a part in unleashing the girl effect movement in Ethiopia and has held a number of roles with the UK’s Department for International Development, following an early career with NGOs. She currently lives in China, where she works with the government on child poverty and social policy reform for children.
David is Chief Executive of the policy and research agency Equality Challenge Unit. He was a practicing solicitor for 21 years; latterly as Director of Legal Policy at the Equality and Human Rights Commission of Great Britain and before that as a Partner at and founder of the department of Education, Equality and Disability Law at Levenes Solicitors. He is a member of the Advisory Group of the Office for Fair Access, an equality adviser to the English FA Premier League and an independent panel member for The Equality Standard for Professional Football Clubs.
David has published and taught widely on education, disability and equality law and has been involved in numerous voluntary organisations. He was winner of RADAR’s People of the Year Award for Achievement in the Furtherance of Human Rights of Disabled People in the UK, 2002.
Phillimon is the Executive Director of the Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust in Zimbabwe. He has 30 years’ experience working with disabled people’s organisations at both national and regional levels. This includes working for the Southern African Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD) in Zimbabwe as Regional Programmes Manager, where he was responsible for the Small Scale Economic Development (SEED) Programme. His previous experience includes working for the Development Initiative Services (DIS) as a development consultant for Southern and Eastern Africa, and Rehabilitation Manager at the Workers Compensation Fund Control Board.
Phillimon is also an associate member of the Southern Africa Institute of Fundraisers based in South Africa, the CIVICUS World Alliance of NGOs and the Zambia Agency of Persons with Disabilities. He is the Board Chairman of the Childcare Ministries Zimbabwe, Board Member for VSO RAISA, and a member of the Regional African Health NGO Forum.
Balakrishna Venkatesh, universally known as Venky, joined the development sector in 1980 and pioneered mainstreaming disability into existing rural development initiatives in South India way back in 1987.
In 1989 he founded Action on Disability and Development India (ADD India), now entirely managed by Indians with disabilities. He is the current chair of the organisation. To date, ADD India has partnered with about 180 NGOs to work with over 100.000 disabled people impacting their lives and the lives their families. This model has been replicated widely.
Since 1997, he is a consultant and trainer on disability rights, development and organisational development, and has worked in 29 countries.
Venky is a member of the WHO core group on the Community Based Rehabilitation Guidelines and he is the lead author for the component on Empowerment.
Jan’s career in international development began as a VSO volunteer in Bangladesh; since then she has developed a comprehensive track record, with 25+ years of international development experience, working with INGOs and DFID. The focus of Jan’s organisational development support has been to strengthen capacity to advocate on behalf of the voice of poor and marginalised people and to influence positive change through the adoption of a rights based framework. Key successes in this area have brought about change to both policy and practice in disability and gender inclusion. Jan was on the Board of African Initiatives as both Trustee and Chair for 10 years. Following her work with ADD in the 1990s, disability rights has remained a focus of Jan's inputs and she has provided support to strengthen inclusion in countries of Central Europe, Africa, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. As an advocate for the social model of disability to achieve social and political change, and in an effort to remain informed of the current thinking around this ideology, she has recently completed an on-line course with the London School of Health and Tropical Medicine on ‘Global Health and Disability’ which focuses as much on equity as equality.