Penny Lawrence

Deputy Chief Executive, Oxfam GB

As Deputy Chief Executive, Penny works with the CEO and other Leadership Team members to lead Oxfam on change and strategic alignment as Oxfam transforms to be more globally balanced, more relevant and impactful. She leads Oxfam GB’s organisational change programme, known as Transform.

Her role is to ensure that Oxfam GB’s change agendas enable it to develop an increasingly confident new organisational identity as Oxfam GB, as well helping Oxfam International to increase its influence. She works to ensure that Oxfam GB develops more coherent and aligned planning and business processes to improve its organisational performance and effectiveness. She also manages Oxfam GB’s people teams (talent, HR, organisational development). This element of her role will move to a new People Director in spring 2017.

Penny joined Oxfam GB back in March 2006 as International Programmes Director, the strategic and operational lead for Oxfam’s programme teams across 60 countries. She also provided strategic leadership across Oxfam and Oxfam International to influence the Oxfam-wide change which was shaping the confederation to become a more globally balanced organisation in order to increase its impact on poverty. Her career with Oxfam GB has combined both her passion for social justice and her interest in organisational development.

Outside Oxfam she is Chair of Refugee Action and also sits on various advisory committees, such as Oxford University, Centre for the Study of African Economies, and IKEA sustainability advisory board. She was Chair of ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies) from 2012-2015.

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

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