Who we are

Management Team, President and Trustees

Alison Wallace | CEO

Alison has been CEO of SOS Children’s Villages UK since January 2018. Prior to joining she was CEO of the European Council on Foreign Relations and global relief organisation at ShelterBox. She has held senior positions at Amnesty International, Friends of the Earth, and the Refugee Council, and has overseen relief operations for emergencies including Typhoon Haiyan and the Nepal earthquakes. She is also a trustee of Crisis.

Catherine Weston | Director of Communications and Brand

Catherine has been Director of Communications and Brand at SOS Children’s Villages UK since July 2019. She has worked in communications for different charities for more than 12 years, including at Amnesty International and Comic Relief. She is passionate about finding creative ways to engage with different audiences. She is also a passionate supporter of refugee resettlement and is a founding member of the Welcome Committee, a community group which resettled an Iraqi refugee family of 6 into London in November 2018.

Susanne Owers | Director of Fundraising

Susanne has been Director of Fundraising since early 2018. Prior to that she held similar senior positions at The Willow Foundation, Red Balloon Learner Centres, a leading NHS Charitable Trust, Camfed and Fauna & Flora International. She has worked in the non-profit sector at other leading UK charities for over 20 years, including WaterAid, Plan International, Crisis and other organisations. She is currently a trustee at Centre33 and at the City of Cambridge Symphony Orchestra.

Craig Mullaly | Director of Individual Giving

Craig joined SOS Children’s Villages UK in May 2018. He has over 20 years of professional fundraising experience, half of which at senior levels. As staff member or consultant, he has extensive experience of developing Individual Giving fundraising and setting up new fundraising programmes around the world including at EveryChild UK, Family for Every Child New Zealand, and the Lebanese Red Cross. He has previously served as a board director for 4 years at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association in the UK, and chaired its Communications & Engagement Committee.

Begay Jabang | Director of Finance & IT

Begay joined SOS UK as the Director of Finance & IT in January 2021. With over 17 years international development experience she has occupied various leadership roles in several UK and International development Charities including Oxfam GB, Water Aid, Shelter and the Brooke. Begay has worked as a senior manager at a regional, corporate and Board level in the areas of financial planning & management, risk management, internal audit, organisational planning, business performance and change management. Begay is a qualified accountant and a Fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) with over 25 years’ experience. She is also currently a Board Member of Action Aid The Gambia and Buzz Women Gambia.

Our Board of Trustees are vital to the work that we do at SOS Children’s Villages UK. They share our core values and work hard to help us maintain complete transparency with our partners and our supporters.

Dame Mary Richardson | President

Dame Mary is a former regular officer in the Women’s Royal Army Corps and later became a Headteacher of a secondary school in London. She was then invited to be the CE of HSBC’s Global Education Trust where the Trust supported SOS Children’s Villages.  She was Chairman of the English Speaking Union, continues on the board of many charities and foundations, is deputy chairman of Richmond University board and Vice President of the Marine Society and Sea Cadets.

Harpinder Collacott | Chair of Trustees

Harpinder Collacott is the Executive Director of Development Initiatives (DI) and a Board Trustee of WaterAid UK and the UK umbrella body, BOND.  Harpinder has a diverse background in development and international affairs. Over the last 25 years, she has held a variety of roles including the Political Advisor to the Prosecutor with the War Crimes Tribunal for Sierra Leone, Human Rights Programme Officer for the Oak Foundation, and South Asia Researcher for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Harpinder holds an undergraduate from Cambridge University and a post-graduate in international relations from London School of Economics.

Graham Budd

Graham has recently retired after 28 years of leadership at one of the UK’s most successful technology companies, where he was President and Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board. He serves as a trustee of a number of charities. He has supported SOS Children’s Villages for 10 years.

Matthew de Villiers

Matthew is CEO of Greenstone+, a sustainability software and services company, and has held senior positions at Accenture, IBM and FutureBrand. Previously, he spent five years working at our East Africa office where he supported our operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia.

 Don Haszczyn

Don has been the International Director for Fund Development at SOS Children’s Villages International since 2017. Previously, he held senior positions at VisionFund International and Habitat for Humanity, where he developed the first Housing Forum Alliance in Central Asia.

Nicola Robert

Nicola draws on 30 years’ experience in the private and charity sectors as an employee, finance director, trustee and consultant. She is Bursar at St Catharine’s College in the University of Cambridge where she is responsible for Finance, HR, IT and compliance.

Ian Briggs

Ian has over 20 years’ experience as a finance professional in the charity and public sector having worked for national and international organisations. These include the International Red Cross, Save the Children, International Planned Parenthood Federation, and RNIB. He is currently the Director of Corporate Services at Wood Green, the Animals Charity.

Susie Hargreaves

Susie is the CEO of the Internet Watch Foundation, the UK hotline for the reporting and removal of online child sexual abuse. The IWF provides global technical services to disrupt the distribution of child sexual abuse and these include IWF Reporting Portals in 40 countries without their own Hotline.

She has worked in the not for profit sector for over 30 years and works closely with internet companies, NGOs, governments and law enforcement across the world. Susie was awarded an OBE in 2016 for services to child online safety.

Solava Ibrahim

Solava Ibrahim is affiliated lecturer at the Centre of Development Studies at the University of Cambridge and director of the MA in International Relations at Anglia Ruskin University. For five years, Solava was Director of the MSc in Poverty, Inequality and Development at the Global Development Institute at the University of Manchester. She previously worked for Brooks World Poverty Institute, the Chronic Poverty Research Centre and held positions in Egypt at the American University in Cairo and UNDP. Her research focuses on wellbeing of vulnerable groups, poverty reduction and inequality, as well as the role of NGOs and grassroots organisations in development.

Stay up to date