Mari McNeill has been appointed as Head of Wales for Christian Aid.
Christian Aid is the leading development agency for British and Irish Churches. Its aim is to support sustainable development, stop poverty and support civil society in South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The organisation is seeing a lot of growth in partnerships with the private sector, government bodies, academic and research institutions, and membership bodies such as cooperatives and trade unions. Its work is founded on Christian faith, inspired by the belief that poverty can fundamentally be ended through human action. It acts where the need is greatest, regardless of race or religion.
Society was thrilled to assist the Supporter and Community Partnerships team in their recent search for an experienced Welsh-speaking leader to drive forward their critical work across Wales. The key components of the role are community fundraising, advocacy and campaigning, and managing relationships with church networks and other stakeholders. Our search was broad, targeting the public, private and third sectors for candidates with expert leadership, management and relevant external engagement experience. With Welsh language being a requirement of the role, we ensured that we engaged heavily with charity leaders in the Welsh-speaking community to gain advice, insights and recommendations that would assist in our search.
The appointed candidate ultimately came from inside the organisation. Mari McNeill started her journey with Christian Aid as a campaigner back in 2009. Since then, she has spent the majority of her career with the organisation and has held a number of positions, most recently as Deputy Head of Wales. During this time she has excelled at managing a dispersed national team and nurturing key partnerships with the likes of the Welsh media and the Wales National Committee. With her proven strategic abilities, passion for alleviating poverty and her in-depth knowledge of international development, Mari is extremely well placed to see out the ambitions of Christian Aid in Wales.
On the appointment, David Pain, Director of Supporter and Community Partnerships commented:
"There’s a lot at stake in making an appointment like this one; it was great to work in partnership with Society to ensure we reached a strong pool of suitably skilled and experienced candidates. Sometimes you find what you are looking for close to home! It gave me, the trustees and Mari confidence in the appointment to know we had thoroughly searched the relevant market. Looking forward to working with Society again."