Unicef UK appoints VSO boss as next CEO 

04 Jun 2024 News

Philip Goodwin is the incoming CEO of UNICEF UK


Unicef UK has appointed Philip Goodwin as its next permanent chief executive.

Goodwin will join from Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), where he has been CEO for nine years. 

He takes over from Jon Sparkes, who left the charity after two years this month to become CEO of Mencap. 

Goodwin will join Unicef on 16 September, with former STiR Education UK and former ActionAid UK CEO Girish Menon appointed as interim leader until then.

Menon had announced in April that he was leaving STiR Education UK.

‘Immense privilege’ 

Goodwin is currently a trustee of the RNLI, president of VSO USA, and a member of the VSO Netherlands board. 

Previously, he was chief executive of Tree Aid from 2010 to 2015, and before that he spent 11 years at the British Council in various senior roles. 

On his appointment at Unicef, he said: “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.” 

Unicef UK chair Shatish Dasani said: “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.” 

Goodwin will lead VSO until September, and the charity said its executive would work with trustees to “put in place the plan for how VSO organises itself to deliver on its mission going forward”.

VSO chair Julia Lalla-Maharajh said: “During his time as our chief executive, Philip has made an exceptional contribution to the development of VSO and our role in supporting marginalised and vulnerable people around the world to have improved quality of life and well-being.

“We are sad to see Philip move on and wish him all the best in his new role at Unicef UK”.

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