This November, Simon Etherington will join the team at SOS Children UK. Until recently, Simon was serving in Kenya with the Eastern Africa British Peace Support Team. He has previously worked in several other African countries, including Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Southern Sudan, Sierra Leone and Uganda. He is familiar with our work in these countries, and was impressed when he recently visited SOS Children's Village Nairobi. Simon explains why he considers his new position as CEO at SOS Children UK a privilege:
"My service in the British Army has taken me to various parts of the world where I have witnessed, at first hand, the terrible impact upon societies - and on children in particular - of both conflict and natural disasters. Knowing that one had helped bring a degree of stability and security to a community - in order that the process of reconstruction could take place - was immensely fulfilling. I am both honoured and delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead the SOS Children UK team at this exciting time. I believe that my previous experience will allow me to be a powerful advocate for SOS Children, and I consider it an absolute privilege to work for an organisation whose aims and values I share, and whose model is, I believe, simply the best".
At the conclusion of his assignment as the British Defence Attache for Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, Simon was awarded the OBE. He also received a European Union Commendation for his work in Africa, the United States Bronze Star Medal for his work in Iraq, and the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service for his work in Bosnia. Simon is currently completing his MBA at Cranfield Business School, and holds MAs from Cranfield and King’s College.
Mary Maynard, Chairman of the Trustees of SOS Children UK, says:
"We are delighted to welcome Simon to lead our activities in the UK. Simon is an effective leader and communicator, who shares the SOS family’s passion about helping orphaned and abandoned children. His experience of working in Africa, Europe and the Middle East with a wide range of people from very different backgrounds and cultures and his business understanding and expertise will be invaluable in helping us to spread our message of hope for the most disadvantaged children in the world within the UK."