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Alison Hopkinson, Finance & IS Director

Alison Hopkinson

After I qualified (a few years ago!) as a chartered accountant at PwC, I joined a wide area network company called Telematics, where I learned the basics of my trade. Later I joined a small, new, entrepreneurial company called Dell, which grew into the world's largest PC company! What I enjoyed then - and still do - was the fast moving, responsive environment as well as the strong focus on people. But I wanted to make a real difference, not only by having an impact on the organisation I worked in, but also by improving people's lives. So after I had spent some time at the FD Centre advising a range of companies on their finances, I joined Tearfund, an international Christian development charity, as Finance and IT Director.

I feel very privileged to have joined Oxfam (in December 2015). I can make a real difference to people's lives across the world, and once again lead change and create simplicity around the services we provide to the organisation, removing any unnecessary complexity.

I have been happily married to Peter for 34 years and we have two children, two Labradors and four chickens.

Today Miriam is the leader of the local women's chicken producer group, thanks to some help from Oxfam. We provided the chickens and training in how to keep them healthy and happy.

Oxfam is helping farmers, particularly women, in Bahr el Gazal to earn an income through growing vegetables and breeding chickens, so they are better able to cope with droughts. Oxfam has helped the farmers to form groups of 15 members. They pool their resources and their produce. Most communities in the Bahr el Gazal region rely on their animals to generate an income to buy food. Successive droughts have reduced available food and pasture, and poor veterinary care has resulted in rising animal mortality, forcing already vulnerable people further into poverty.

Oxfam is helping families secure more food in the face of increasingly dry conditions, and the more gifts we get, the more people we can help.

Photos: Ella Dickinson

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Andrew Horton, Trading Director

Andrew Horton

I joined Oxfam GB as Trading Director in November 2011. I'm responsible for the organisation's 650 shops, 26,000+ strong volunteer workforce, and other commercial activities such as the Oxfam Online Shop, the Wastesaver textile recycling plant and Oxfam's 'boutiques'.

As an experienced retail industry professional, I spent my early retail career at Clarks before working for 10 years as a director of an international confectionery retailer. I then spent seven years as Head of Franchising at French Connection and Nicole Farhi, before becoming Group Retail Director at Ben Sherman. Prior to joining Oxfam GB, I was the Managing Director of footwear company Dune International Ltd. I have operated and developed shop networks in 47 countries and travelled to 40+ others.

I studied at UEA and have a degree in Development Studies. I'm originally from Liverpool and now live in Hampshire with my wife Jane. I joined Oxfam because I thought it would be a challenging role, where I could keep learning and have the chance to use my degree and retail experience together to make a difference.

Penny Lawrence, Deputy Chief Executive & Interim International Programmes Director 

Penny Lawrence

As Deputy Chief Executive, I work 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. I lead Oxfam GB's organisational change programme, known as Transform.

My role is to ensure that our change agendas enable us to develop an increasingly confident new organisational identity as Oxfam GB, as well helping Oxfam International to increase its influence. I work to ensure that we develop more coherent and aligned planning and business processes to improve our organisational performance and effectiveness. I also manage our people teams (talent, HR, organisational development). This element of my role will move to a new People Director in spring 2017.

I joined Oxfam GB back in March 2006 as International Programmes Director, the strategic and operational lead for Oxfam's programme teams across 60 countries. I 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. My career with Oxfam GB has combined both my passion for social justice and my interest in organisational development.

Outside Oxfam I am Chair of Refugee Action and also sit on various advisory committees, e.g. the Oxford University's Centre for the Study of African Economies, and IKEA's sustainability advisory board. I was Chair of ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies) from 2012-2015.

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

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