Greenpeace UK appoints joint executive directors for the first time

02 Aug 2022 News

Areeba Hamid and Will McCallum are the executive directors of Greenpeace UK

Jack Taylor Gotch / Greenpeace UK

For the first time in the organisations' history, Greenpeace UK has appointed two people to the role of executive director. 

Areeba Hamid and Will McCallum will take over from interim executive director Pat Vendetti in October. They succeed John Sauven, who retired earlier this year after 30 years in post. 

Both will be paid a salary of £90,000 per annum. A Greenpeace UK spokesperson told Civil Society News: “Given the urgency of the issues now facing us and the breadth of our campaigning programme, we feel having two EDs is commensurate with the scale of the crisis. 
“With such a short amount of time to bring about the huge change we need in society, two people will allow Areeba and Will to run Greenpeace UK making the best use of resources, while also looking outside of Greenpeace, listening, learning and collaborating with as diverse a range of people and organisations as possible.”

First woman and person of colour to lead the organisation

Hamid joins from The Sunrise Project, a global climate change campaign group that works to end the financial support for fossil fuels. 

She will be the first woman and first person of colour to lead Greenpeace in the UK. Hamid is also a board member of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Migrants. She has worked in senior roles in several Greenpeace offices around the world. 

McCallum will be promoted from head of oceans at Greenpeace UK, a role he has occupied since 2015. During his time in post he spearheaded a campaign to secure a Global Oceans Treaty and helped make the government act on destructive fishing in Marine Protected Areas. 

He oversaw the first major Greenpeace campaign on plastic. He has been a trustee for Kaleidoscope Trust, an LGBT+ charity, since 2018.

Andrew McParland, chair of the Greenpeace UK’s board, said: “We’re really excited to have found such a dream team to lead the organisation. Areeba and Will are both smart, brave, dynamic campaigners with a fantastic track record of running campaigns that have made a real difference. 

“They’ll bring their combined experience, skills and energy to one of the most challenging jobs in the environmental sector. As the impacts of the climate emergency escalate all around us, we need a new, compelling vision for how Greenpeace UK can achieve the change we so badly need – Areeba and Will have shown they have that vision. We wish them best of luck in their new roles.”

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