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Penny Lawrence

Penny Lawrence

Areas of work

Deputy Chief Executive

Office Location: Oxford, UK

In her role as Deputy Chief Executive Penny works with the CEO and other Leadership Team members to lead Oxfam on people change and strategic alignment as Oxfam transforms to be more globally balanced, more relevant and impactful.  Her role is to ensure our change agendas enable us to develop an increasingly confident new organisational identity as Oxfam GB, as well as more influential OI. Thus ensure we develop more coherent aligned planning and business processes to improve our organisational performance and effectiveness. The role includes responsibility for people talent, HR, organisational development teams.

Penny joined Oxfam GB in March 2006 as International Programmes Director, the strategic and operational lead for Oxfam's programme teams, across 60 countries, who respond to humanitarian crises, engage in long-term development and address the causes of poverty through advocacy and campaigning around the world.

During that role Penny also provided strategic leadership across Oxfam and Oxfam International to influence the Oxfam-wide change which is shaping the confederation to become a more globally balanced organisation in order to increase its impact on poverty.  Penny combines an interest in organisational development with her passion for social justice.

Penny is Chair of the global NGO humanitarian network, International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and also sits on various advisory committees, e.g. at Oxford University, the Centre for the Study of African Economies and sustainability advisory bodies, e.g. IKEA, Unilever.

Penny started her career as a teacher and was International Programmes Director at VSO before joining Oxfam.  She has over 30 years experience in the development field and has lived and worked in Sudan, Zimbabwe and Ghana as well as the UK.

Her particular interests in development/humanitarian field include women's economic leadership, building resilience in vulnerable communities and cross-sectoral collaboration, e.g. big business deriving societal as well as economic value.

Penny Lawrence's blog posts