International Alert appoints Director of Programmes and looks for new Executive Director

International Alert is pleased to announce the appointment of Jessica Banfield as its new Director of Programmes. She will join Alert from April 2019.

Jessica has decades of experience in conflict prevention and peacebuilding globally. She will be joining International Alert for the second time, having previously worked with Alert from 2002-13 as Africa Regional Manager and Uganda Country Manager, as well as leading Alert’s work on economic development for peace.

She is currently based at UNDP’s Istanbul Regional Hub, serving as Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding Specialist, working closely with UN country teams to advance regional initiatives in Europe and Central Asia. Prior to this she was an independent consultant, assisting among others the UK Stabilisation Unit and UNDP’s Africa Regional Hub.

Jessica holds a Masters’ degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies. She has published extensively on contemporary peace and security issues.

Carey Cavanaugh, Chair of the Board of Trustees at International Alert, commented: “We are thrilled to have Jessica returning to Alert as Director of Programmes. She is a recognised leader in the field of peacebuilding and conflict prevention, offering a wealth of experience gained working for NGOs, the United Nations, and the UK government. Her intimate knowledge of Alert’s values and mission will enable us to better help communities affected by conflict build lasting peace.”

Harriet Lamb has also announced her decision to step down as CEO of International Alert at the end of April. Harriet will be taking up a new post as CEO at Ashden, a UK charity that supports and promotes sustainable energy enterprises around the world.

Lamb became CEO of International Alert in November 2015, having previously been the Chief Executive of Fairtrade International.

Harriet said: “It has been a privilege to lead International Alert as we have sought to grow and deepen our impact from the Philippines and Tunisia to DRC and Rwanda. Since 2015, Alert has grown by 30%, and we certainly need more peacebuilding in these violent times. We are launching our new strategy: Breaking the Cycles of Violence, Building the Cycles of Peace which lays out our future plans to step up our impact and our influence.”

International Alert is therefore recruiting for a dynamic new Executive Director. Find out more information and how to apply.