UNICEF UK appoints Philip Goodwin as Chief Executive

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UNICEF UK appoints Philip Goodwin as Chief Executive

Monday 3 June 2024 – The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Philip Goodwin as Chief Executive of the charity with effect from 16 September 2024.

Philip brings considerable experience at an executive level in the sector and joins UNICEF UK from VSO, the international development organisation which works through volunteers to deliver lasting change, where he has been Chief Executive since 2015.  He was previously CEO of TREEAID, the charity working with communities in the drylands of Africa to tackle poverty and the effects of the climate crisis. Prior to that, he spent 11 years with British Council and held leadership positions in Kenya, Uganda, Pakistan, and Belgium including Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa.

Philip has also been a researcher on poverty issues at the Overseas Development Institute, has a PhD and MSc in rural resource planning and environmental policy and a degree in agricultural economics.  Philip is currently a Trustee of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and a non-executive director of the International Civil Society Centre based in Berlin.

Shatish Dasani, Chair of the Board of Trustees at UNICEF UK said: “We are delighted that Philip is joining UNICEF UK as Chief Executive in the autumn. The appointment follows an extensive selection process conducted by the Board, with input from our Youth Advisory Board, members of staff, the Executive team and UNICEF.  We were impressed by Philip’s values-based leadership skills with a proven track record of delivering organisational vision and strategy.

“Philip brings a wealth of experience as an established leader within the international development sector, and we look forward to working together to deliver UNICEF UK’s ambitious strategy to deliver impactful change for children in the UK and around the world.”

Philip Goodwin said: “I am honoured to be joining UNICEF UK to help deliver its lifesaving work for children and promote and protect their rights across the UK and around the world. Right now, children all over the world are facing a magnitude of challenges including coming under attack in conflict, the impact of humanitarian crises and the climate crisis. The work of UNICEF has never been so vital in supporting children to not just survive but reach their full potential.

“It is an immense privilege to be joining UNICEF UK at this critical time and I look forward to working alongside a talented group of colleagues to help create a better world for every child.”

Philip will join UNICEF UK on 16 September 2024 and takes over from Jon Sparkes OBE, who leaves the charity later this month.

The Board has appointed Girish Menon as Interim Chief Executive for UNICEF UK from 6 June 2024. Girish has been Chief Executive of STiR Education UK since 2021 and was previously Chief Executive of ActionAid UK. Prior to that, Girish held roles at WaterAid UK, Plan International and the Department for International Development.


For more information, please contact [email protected]


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work for children. We also promote and protect children’s rights in the UK and internationally. We are a UK charity, entirely funded by supporters.

United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), Registered Charity No. 1072612 (England & Wales), SC043677 (Scotland).

For more information visit unicef.org.uk. Follow UNICEF UK on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.