Executive Directors at Save the Children

We have an ambitious strategy to help save the lives of millions of children and give them the chance to fulfill their potential. Our directors are responsible for shaping our goals and ensuring we achieve them. Our directors are guided by and are accountable to our Board of Trustees.

Read about our Board of Trustees

Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive

Justin started his career with Oxfam as a Policy Adviser on South Africa during the dying days of apartheid, a cause that had been close to his heart as an activist. At Oxfam, he rose through the ranks and helped build campaigns on debt cancellation, Africa, Make Trade Fair and access to medicines.

In 1995 Justin went out to Washington DC to set up Oxfam International, before returning in 1999 as Policy and Campaigns Director. He helped build Oxfam as a global campaigning force.

In 2004 Justin was recruited to Number 10 by Tony Blair where he led efforts on poverty and climate change, and was one of the driving forces behind the Make Poverty History campaign.

He stayed on under Gordon Brown, becoming his Strategic Communications and Campaigns Director, helping to use new communications strategies to reach the British public on a range of issues, from knife crime to climate change. Justin became Chief Executive of Save the Children in September 2010.

As Chief Executive, Justin has increased our impact for children, increasing income in the past five years by over £150m, recruiting hundreds of thousands of new supporters, pioneering new innovative strategies for change from the Humanitarian Leadership Academy to the No Child Born to Die campaign - enabling Save the Children to more than double the number of children it reaches from 8m to 17.4m in recent years.

Jennifer Geary, Chief Operating Officer

Jennifer joined Save the Children in September 2015 as Chief Operating Officer. She works with the Chief Executive focusing on the delivery of our current strategy, Ambition 2015, and developing our post-2015 strategy, in collaboration with Save the Children International and through maximising relationships across the Save the Children movement. She is responsible for a number of our support functions including legal, risk, insurance, internal communications, technology and child safeguarding.

A qualified chartered accountant, Jennifer has almost 20 years’ experience in roles covering risk, technology, finance, governance and control, and has substantial experience in supporting executive management in the planning and execution of strategy and change.

Kitty Arie, Acting Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns

Kitty has worked as a humanitarian and development expert for the last ten years, as a public-policy writer for the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and as an editor for Reuters AlertNet, the organisation’s global humanitarian portal. Before accepting the job at Harvard, Kitty worked for the Atlantic Monthly magazine, based in Boston, Massachusetts. She first worked as an assistant to the fiction editor, and then as the first fiction editor for the magazine online. She studied English literature, and holds a Master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She joined Save the Children’s Humanitarian Department in 2007 and has held several jobs at the organisation since then.

She lives in London with her husband and three children.

Sam Sharpe, Chief Financial Officer

Sam joined Save the Children in September 2014 from the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID). Immediately before joining, he spent four years in Delhi as Head of DFID’s programme in India. From 2007 to 2010 he was DFID’s Director of Finance and Corporate Performance.

Sam’s first experience of development came as a student volunteer in Kolkata. Before joining Save the Children, he worked for nearly 30 years with the UK Government development programme. He spent 13 years overseas – managing programmes in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and in India during the 1990s, before heading DFID’s South Africa office (2000 to 2004), and India office (2010 to 2014). He also held a range of policy and corporate roles in London, including two secondments to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Paul Cutler, Director of Human Resources

Paul joined Save the Children in January 2013. He began his career with Procter & Gamble. After his first commercial assignments in digital marketing and eCommerce Paul followed his passion into HR through a range of Learning & Development and HR Business Partner roles.

Paul left P&G in 2009 to start his own coaching, organisational effectiveness and career consultancy, whilst partnering with his brothers to open a restaurant and nightclub in west London that is still going strong today. In 2011 he joined GlaxoSmithKline’s Consumer Healthcare division to become the Business Transformation Director of a major £40million business intelligence and performance management initiative.

Fergus Drake, Director of Global Programmes

Fergus joined Save the Children as Director of UK Programmes in 2009 and is now the Director of Global Programmes managing humanitarian and development operations across the globe.

Prior to this Fergus worked for the Office of Tony Blair in Rwanda advising President Kagame and his Cabinet in achieving their Millennium Development Goals. Before that he worked for Deloitte Consulting for 5 years in their Strategy & Operations practice during which he was seconded to HM Treasury as a Policy Advisor. Fergus was based in Africa from 1999-2003 working for the international NGO, Tearfund, firstly as Programme Director for their Disaster Response Team in Liberia before developing the South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia programmes as Regional Director for East Africa.

Tanya Steele, Director of Marketing, Fundraising & Communications

Tanya Steele Save the Children

As Executive Director, Marketing, Fundraising & Communications at Save the Children, Tanya is responsible for earning the support of the UK public and raising vital funding to deliver dramatic change for children across the world.

Tanya works to ensure that Save the Children is a mainstream cause for millions of people throughout the UK and world. She leads on emergency appeals, Christmas Jumper Day and high value partnerships, as well as the development of Save the Children’s global brand and digital transformation. Tanya has also been a trustee at the Institute of Fundraising since 2009 and is Chair of the Standards Board.

Before joining Save the Children, Tanya spent over 15 years working in marketing and communications, holding senior roles at Siemens and BT.