Walking the Talk: Restless Development welcomes new members to our board!

In line with our power-shifting strategy and the principles of inclusivity, diversity and gender parity, we are proud to announce the new Global Chair, Deputy Chair and Trustees of our Global Board.

As an organisation truly committed to ‘walking the talk’ on powershifting, we now have one of the youngest, most diverse charity boards in the UK. Nearly 50% of our global board are people of colour, and more than 50% under the age of 35 – something we’re incredibly proud of!

We are proud to be ahead of the curve at Restless Development in our efforts to champion young people, women and people of colour at all levels. In welcoming our new Trustees, Chair and Deputy Chair, we are taking solid steps on our powershifting journey as a global development agency.

Alex Kent, Co-CEO of Restless Development

We say goodbye to Charlotte Eaton, Chief People Officer at Ovo Energy who has served as Restless Development’s Chair of Board for the past 6 years. We are immensely grateful to Charlotte for her solid oversight and support as we navigated through a communications crisis, a pandemic, funding cuts and leadership changes. She has also worked with the Trustees to ensure we transition to provide continuity as well as fresh new leadership.

Stepping up into the Global Chair role will be Jenny Wilson, Communications Officer at the UN World Food Programme and former Deputy Chair at Restless Development. At 30 years old, Jenny will be one of the youngest charity Chairs in the UK. Jenny is a long-term advocate for Youth Power-sitting on our Strategy Committee, having started her Restless Development journey as ICS team leader in Uganda, at the age of 23.

Taking over from Jenny as our new Deputy Chair is Mafipe Chunga. Mafipe joined the board last year (having previously been the Chair of the Zambia board) after coming across Restless Development as a KPMG accountant when he audited the accounts of Restless Development Zambia.

I’ve been with Restless Development since 2016 and it’s fair to say it’s been an extraordinary period, both for our sector and our agency. Over this time, we’ve taken massive leaps to ensure young people are at the heart of our strategy and the way we operate. I’m beyond delighted to hand over the next chapter to Jenny Wilson as Chair and Mafipe Chunga as Deputy Chair both of whom have a deep appreciation for what we’re trying to achieve, leading sector knowledge and strength in leadership. Congratulations to them both.

Charlotte Eaton

We’re also delighted to welcome five new trustees to the board; Nicola Dean, Francesca Bowen, Eshban Kwesiga, Justin Derbyshire and Pooja Singh.

Meet our new Trustees.

Nicola Dean

Nicola’s career in the International Development sector began with an internship for SPW/Restless Development in 2001 – she held a number of roles including helping to establish the organisation in Zambia in 2003 as well as Director of International Programmes in 2011. Since then she has had senior level roles with grant making foundations including Comic Relief and Dubai Cares and throughout this time has maintained a connection to Restless Development and a deep commitment to young people’s power and leadership. 

Francesca Bowen

Francesca is the Global Head of Partnerships for Darktrace, a global leader in cybersecurity AI for the past 5 years. Prior to this, she worked for Salesforce and in international development co-founding a social enterprise in Colombia. Francesca started working with Restless in 2016 before founding and chairing Generation Restless, a group of young professional leaders who are committed to using their resources, skills and passion towards unleashing the power of youth to change our world. In 2022 she spearheaded an initiative to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, leading a team of 17 to raise £175k from a target of £100k for Restless’ unrestricted funding. Francesca holds a MSc International Public Policy from UCL.

Eshban Kwesiga

Born in Uganda, Eshban has built experience applying deep systems thinking to an evolving development context. His early career was in the private sector during which he built on private sector assets to advance social justice work and to extend opportunities. His philosophy on development is premised on the idea that the forces of development are too complex, subtle, and insufficiently known to yield any simple and broad formulas.

He has published on agriculture, macro-financial policy, feminism, energy, and governance. Eshban has experience advising development organisations and governments on creative solutions to complex challenges. He also performs to “concert audiences” when he is driving alone in the car.

Justin Derbyshire

Justin has served as the Chief Executive Officer of HelpAge International since September 2016. He has driven the strategic review of the organisation and led the development of its current ten-year strategy which launched in 2020. This has shifted the organisation from a traditional NGO delivery model to working with, through and for a global network of over 170 organisations in 91 countries.

He frequently represents HelpAge International at meetings, including the G20, UN High Level Political Forum, the OECD Forum, World Health Assembly, and the Commission for Status of Women. He previously worked at Save the Children UK, where he headed up the East Africa regional team, and before that with Merlin in East and Central Africa and in London.

Pooja Singh

Pooja Singh is a young leader from India with seven years of experience in the social development sphere. She is passionate about ensuring meaningful inclusion of adolescent girls and youth in decision-making processes at all levels. Currently as the Girl and Youth Engagement Specialist at the Adolescent Girls Investment Plan (AGIP), and previously in her work with Pravah and She Decides, she has worked on several young feminist agendas including girl and youth leadership, power shifting, and safeguarding at local, national, and global levels.

Finally, we say goodbye to Hannah Bronwin – her term comes to an end this month, after sitting on the Board for 8 years. Hannah has been fantastic at asking the hard questions and picking up the phone, offering up advice whenever needed, and we will miss her energy and passion!

View the make of our full global board here.