Our Leadership

CEO and Executive Leadership Team

Our Chief Executive and Executive Leadership Team are responsible for shaping our goals and ensuring we achieve them. They are guided by, and are accountable to our Board of Trustees.
Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save The Children.

Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive

Kevin joined Save the Children in September 2016, after spending three years as Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute.

Previously, he held a senior academic role at the Brookings Institution, and acted as an adviser to the UN Special Envoy for Education, before which he spent seven years at the United Nations, as director and lead author of UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report and UNDP’s Human Development Report.

He is a senior visiting research fellow at Oxford University’s Centre for Global Economic Governance and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the London School of Economics.

Sam Sharpe, Chief Financial Officer

Sam Sharpe, Chief Financial Officer

Sam joined Save the Children in September 2014 from Britain's Department for International Development (DFID). Immediately before joining, he spent four years in Delhi as the 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, India. Before joining Save the Children, he worked for nearly 30 years with the British Government's development programme. This included 13 years overseas, managing programmes in Zambia and Zimbabwe, and in India during the 1990s, before heading up DFID’s South Africa office (2000 to 2004), and India office (2010 to 2014).

Sam has also held a range of policy and corporate roles in London, including two secondments to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Nikki Feltham, Interim Executive Director

Nikki Feltham, Interim Executive Director

Nikki is acting as Interim Executive Director of Global Programmes, responsible for our humanitarian and development operations across the globe.

Joining Save the Children in July 2010 as a Project Manager, Nikki was part of the team responsible for the original creation of Save the Children International. Nikki subsequently moved to Global Programmes as Head of Government Partnerships, transforming the team into the Partnerships Development Team it is today.

Since then, she has held roles working with the Global Programmes Management Team, where her focus has been to develop our management capability, financial focus, and further enhance our partnerships with SCI and other Members.

Previously, Nikki worked for Accenture’s Public Service practice, focusing on large scale systems implementation and transformation change, specifically within the UK Government. She is a trustee of Bonny Downs Community Organisation, and holds a MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from Cass Business School.

Kirsty McNeill, Executive Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns

Kirsty McNeill, Executive Director

Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns

Kirsty leads teams to galvanise the public and influence policymakers on humanitarian action, global development and help for children here in the UK.

Previously, she founded a consultancy advising some of the world’s leading charities and spent three years as a Special Adviser in Number 10. She came to Downing Street having led the policy and influencing work of DATA, Bono and Bob Geldof’s advocacy organisation, in Britain, Germany, France, Italy and the EU institutions.

Before joining DATA she was on the board of Make Poverty History and managed the Stop AIDS Campaign, successfully negotiating a commitment to universal access to AIDS treatment from the 2005 G8. Today she is on the board of the Holocaust Educational Trust and is a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Claire Rowney, Executive Director of Fundraising and Marketing

Claire Rowney, Executive Director

Fundraising and Marketing

Claire joined Save the Children in March 2017, as Executive Director of Fundraising.

Prior to joining Save the Children Claire worked for 13 years at Cancer Research UK, leading Race for Life, the UK's largest fundraising event, Stand Up To Cancer, a televised fundraising campaign in collaboration with Channel 4, Innovation and Corporate Partnerships.

Claire has over 20 years of fundraising and marketing experience.

Clare Conaghan, HR Director

Clare Conaghan, Executive Director

Human Resources

Clare joined Save the Children in November 2013, as Deputy HR Director to transform HR Operations, leading on a number of major initiatives, including delivery of our new HR System.

Clare works closely with the CEO and the other Executive Directors to ensure delivery of our People Strategy, providing strategic and operational leadership to the HR department.

A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Clare has almost 20 years' experience and has held various HR roles within both public and private sector organisations. She has also provided consultancy on major initiatives, including a wide-scale transformational change programme for London Underground, to deliver improved performance through cultural change.

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