Our leadership group

Our leadership group is made up of our UK-based directors and our regional directors.

Toby Porter, Chief Executive Officer

Toby PorterIn October 2013, Toby became CEO of HelpAge International. In his time to date, Toby has visited HelpAge's work in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, the Philippines, Haiti and Myanmar, and spoken at the UN in New York.

Toby began his career as an emergency relief specialist working with first Merlin and then Oxfam, working in Eastern Europe, in and around Rwanda during the 1994 genocide, South Sudan, and in Central and South America. Since then, Toby has worked for USAID, for Save the Children UK as Director of Emergencies and as Director of Programme Partnerships, and for Save the Children India as Director of Programmes.

In June 2014, Toby accepted an invitation to join the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Ageing for 2014-16. The focus of the Global Agenda Council on Ageing in the current term is to capitalise on the economic opportunities presented by an ageing population by encouraging business and governments to adopt age-friendly practices.

Toby has represented HelpAge International at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos at the Annual Meeting in June 2014 and 2015.

Follow Toby on Twitter @tobyhporter.

Alex Bush, Head of Operations

Alex BushAlex takes responsibility for our six regional offices in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and for cross-organisational monitoring and evaluation.

He joined HelpAge in 1998 and was responsible for our Africa programmes for ten years.

Alex previously spent 12 years in a variety of posts at ITDG (now Practical Action), following a stint in the oil and gas industry. He was a VSO teacher in Sierra Leone in the early 1980s.

Mark Gorman, Strategic Development Director

Mark GormanMark is responsible for developing strategic approaches in both existing and new areas of HelpAge International's work. He joined HelpAge in 1988 as Development Officer with the task of developing the network. He became Director of Policy and Programmes in 1992 and Director of Policy Development in 1997.

Before joining HelpAge, Mark was Director of the primary healthcare agency, Health Unlimited. He has also worked for ActionAid as Desk Officer for Central Africa, and for VSO, first as Programme Coordinator in Nigeria and then in VSO's training department in the UK.

Mark started his career as an education officer for the North-Eastern State Government of Nigeria. Mark received an MBE in the 2008 New Year's honours list.

Follow Mark on Twitter @markhelpage.

Alison Gordon, Director of Resource Development

Alison GordonAlison joined HelpAge in 2007 to oversee the implementation of our organisation-wide resource development strategy and our fundraising relationship with our major donor, Age UK.

Previously, Alison was Head of Programme Funding for Practical Action (formerly ITDG). Earlier posts included Programme Funding Adviser for ITDG and Deputy Manager of IT Consultants, an international development consultancy.

Alison works with a team in London and fundraising staff in our country offices to secure funding from donors including multilaterals, bilaterals, trusts and foundations. More recently, the London-based team has led an exciting initiative to establish HelpAge International España, which will raise funds from the Spanish public for our work.

Jane Scobie, Director of Communications and Advocacy

Jane ScobieJane has been instrumental in positioning HelpAge as a global player in development and humanitarian relief and the leading source of information and expertise relating to older people in developing countries since she joined the organisation in 1999. 

Jane has led on communications initiatives including our Global AgeWatch Index, Ageing in the 21st Century report, Age Demands Action campaign, rebranding of the organisation, developing our online presence and overseeing our range of publications.

Before joining HelpAge, Jane developed and delivered strategic communication and advocacy strategies and training for a number of organisations, including ITDG (now Practical Action), BOND and Stop Disasters Campaign.

Frances Stevenson, Head of Emergencies

Frances StevensonFrances leads the Humanitarian Team based in London and advises and supports on humanitarian policy, strategy and programming.

Before joining HelpAge in 2009, she was a consultant in humanitarian policy and strategy and a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) where she led the Humanitarian Practice Network.

Her operational experience includes being Head of Programmes at Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) UK; Head of Mission for MSF Holland in Rwanda, DRC, Sri Lanka and Indonesia; Programme Manager with Marie Stopes International in South Asia and Former Yugoslavia; and a trek leader in the Himalayas.

Justin Derbyshire, Director of Programmes

Director of Programmes, Justin DerbyshireJustin joined HelpAge International from Save the Children UK, where he headed up the East Africa regional team, overseeing their interests and projects in their largest region.

He was instrumental in growing their programmes and increasing their portfolio in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania whilst ensuring the successful delivery of a complex and large projects.

He sat on their organisational risk committee and the programme board for the Humanitarian Leadership Academy.

Prior to Save the Children, Justin worked for Merlin in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and in London focusing on their East Africa programmes, initially supporting and then overseeing their five East Africa country programmes.

Asif Sawar, Director of Finance and Corporate Services

Biography to follow...

Regional Directors

Eduardo Klien, Regional Director, East Asia and Pacific

Eduardo KlienEduardo joined HelpAge as Asia/Pacific Regional Representative in September 2004. He has worked in Asia for the last 12 years. Previous posts included working for Oxfam GB as Regional Manager for the Horn of Africa and Regional Director for Mexico/Central America.

Eduardo has extensive experience of working in social and economic development with both governments and international organisations.

He is an economist by profession and has been a lecturer in Economics in the Universities of Mexico and Nicaragua. He has also been a Visiting Research Fellow in the Queen Elizabeth House of the University of Oxford.

Eduardo is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Ageing of the University of Oxford.

Marco Aviotti, Regional Director, Eastern Europe and Central Asia

Marco AviottiMarco joined HelpAge International in January 2013 as Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Director. Before this he worked as Country Director for Merlin in Pakistan.

Earlier experiences include both emergency and development work in Asia (Afghanistan, Tajikistan, India, Sri Lanka, Laos), and south-east Europe (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kosovo) for a number of international NGOs.

Marco is a rural development and local governance expert with extensive experience of participatory methodologies, particularly in the fields of impact monitoring and rural appraisals and working directly with marginalised groups.

Necodimus Chipfupa, Regional Director, Southern Africa

Necodimus ChipfupaNec has been with HelpAge International since 1992. He has more than 20 years of development experience with 16 years of them as a senior development manager in various countries in Africa.

Nec has extensive experience in emergency work, social and economic development with communities, civil society organisations and governments both at local and national levels.

Nec started off as a field officer with the then refugee programme and rose to the Country Programme Manager in Zimbabwe, then Programme Advisor in Tanzania, Country Director in Mozambique and most recently Tanzania, all with HelpAge International.

Other previous experiences include Country Director for Oxfam GB in Angola and Zambia and Administrator with the Ministry of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs in Zimbabwe.

Peter McGeachie, Regional Director, South Asia

Peter McGeachiePeter joined HelpAge in April 2014 as Regional Director for South Asia.

Peter has over 25 years experience with INGOs in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. He has worked in Country Director and Regional Director roles for a number of UK-based agencies including Health Unlimited, Oxfam GB, SightSavers International and latterly with CAFOD as Regional Director for the Horn and East Africa.

Peter has expertise in rural development, working with people with disabilities, NGO management and organisational development. He also has considerable experience in emergency preparedness and response work.

Prafulla Mishra, Regional Director, East, West and Central Africa

Prafulla MishraWith a professional career spanning over two decades, Prafulla has significant experience of leading country and regional programmes in both humanitarian and development work in the East Africa region. 

Before joining HelpAge International in June 2014, he worked for the International Rescue Committee and more recently the Norwegian Refugee Council.

Prafulla has also worked for 12 years in leadership positions with Oxfam in India and M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, India.

He has programmatic experience and expertise in a range of themes including ecology and natural resource management, disaster risk reduction, livelihoods, gender, governance and human rights, child and youth protection and primary health.

Joost Martens, Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean

Regional Director, Latin America and Caribbean, Joost MartensJoost is an economist from the Netherlands, with 30 years of working experience in the Latin America and Caribbean region, many of these with the United Nations system - ILO and UNHCR. His work with the ILO has focused on employment and income generation, local economic development, and productive organisation.

He has also been Regional Director of Oxfam Great Britain for Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, with a focus on sustainable development and humanitarian preparedness and assistance, and Director General of Consumers International, the global federation of national consumer associations.

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