International development organisation Transaid has appointed Caroline Barber, 37, to take over as Chief Executive with effect from 1 August 2017. She will replace Gary Forster, 35 who is stepping down after 11 years, including the last six as Chief Executive.
Caroline first became involved with Transaid whilst on secondment as a Project Manager for Wincanton. She undertook four overseas visits for Transaid between 2005 and 2008, helping to share best practice from the private sector with key programmes in post-Tsunami Sri Lanka and Ghana.
In 2008, she joined Transaid full-time, initially as Country Programme Manager in Zambia, where she led a project to develop the capacity and capability of the Industrial Training Centre in Lusaka. Three years later, in 2011, she was promoted to Head of Programmes with direct responsibility for managing a portfolio of projects in sub-Saharan Africa – primarily focused around rural transport, transport management for health fleets, and professional driver training in the commercial vehicle, passenger transport and materials handling sectors.
Commenting on her appointment, Caroline says: “In my 12-year engagement with Transaid I have developed a strong technical understanding of the many issues relating to transport and logistics in Africa and I’m excited about the opportunity to lead a fantastic team which is deeply committed to the people Transaid exists to support.
“I am incredibly lucky to be taking over an organisation which enjoys unprecedented levels of industry backing, and which has proven to be an essential ingredient in our success. Today our projects are transforming lives daily and attracting significant attention from international donors.”
Commenting on the appointment, Jo Godsmark, Chair of Transaid, says: “Gary’s hard work has transformed Transaid into a very strong organisation, which has the systems, processes and people in place to deliver enormous impact. We wish him every success for the future.
“We are extremely fortunate that in Caroline we have the ideal person to lead Transaid as we approach our 20th anniversary next year. She brings the ideal blend of experience, having spent time in the field and managed our entire project portfolio. Plus, Caroline enjoys excellent relationships with our member base and within the development sector.”
Gary joined Transaid as a volunteer from Procter & Gamble in 2006 and spent his first two years in Zambia, followed by two years in Northern Nigeria. He took over as Chief Executive in April 2011 and is stepping down to go travelling, whilst considering his next career move – possibly back into the field, working with the people and organisations making change happen on the frontline.
He says: “I would like to express my gratitude to the UK transport and logistics industry which, through their cycling, fundraising and corporate donations, have changed the lives of tens of thousands of people whom they’ll almost certainly never meet.
“The success we’ve enjoyed has been a true team effort, for which I’d like to thank my colleagues for their dedication, long hours and sheer energy – together with the amazing support from our partners across Africa.”
For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org.