CARE International UK announces that Laurie Lee will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer
Laurie joined CARE in 2014. During Laurie’s leadership, CARE’s team in the UK, and globally, have campaigned for gender equality. This has included leading 10,000 people to March4Women through London in 2018 calling for a new global law to ban sexual harassment at work; this was signed by 186 countries in 2019 and subsequently ratified by the UK this year. This will protect 500 million women in over 50 countries that had no domestic legislation against sexual harassment at work.
More recently, Laurie has helped to navigate CIUK through deeply challenging times for the international development sector in the UK, following the Government’s decision in 2021 to breach its legal and manifesto commitment to the 0.7% GNI aid target. Working with other INGO Heads, Laurie has campaigned tirelessly against that breach.
In announcing the news, Laurie said: “I am proud of all we have achieved at CIUK over the last eight years, in partnership with communities, local organisations and our colleagues around the world and in the UK. We have supported millions of people in humanitarian emergencies including in Zimbabwe, Syria and Yemen and now, this year, Ukraine.
Thousands of children in Somalia and Afghanistan have received an education. Community Health Entrepreneurs reduced the number of deaths of pregnant women in Bangladesh. Community Development Forums have improved working conditions for women and men in garment factories, hospitality, tea and cocoa farming. We have worked with banks and mobile phone companies to help over one million people get access to informal financial services. And, we have, and continue to, put gender equality at the heart of action on climate crisis.”
He added: “After eight years, this is the right time to move on. I would like to thank all of my colleagues in CARE, both in the UK and around the world, including our Trustees, that I have worked with over the last eight years for their friendship and the amazing impact they have achieved.”
CIUK’s Acting Board Chair, Nigel Chapman, said: The CARE UK Board would like to thank Laurie for his outstanding service to CARE and its many beneficiaries over the past eight years. Under his leadership, CARE has grown to be a formidable force in responding to international disasters and emergencies, developing long terms plans for communities to leave poverty behind and arguing persuasively for women’s and girls’ rights. He represented CARE very well in numerous ways including within the wider CARE Federation, (where he spent a period as Acting General Secretary,) and as a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee. Laurie is widely respected in the international NGO community and as an advocate for finding new ways to fight global injustice and poverty.”
He added: “On behalf of our Trustees, we wish Laurie and his family all the very best wishes for the future. We will announce shortly the process for appointing a new CEO.”
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