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Our senior staff

Nigel Harris, chief executive

Nigel has a strong background in finance, relief and development. Before joining Farm Africa, he was chief of staff at Save the Children UK. A former chief executive of New Philanthropy Capital, he has also worked for Tearfund and the Department for International Development.

He spent the earlier part of his career as an investment banker for Schroders.

Claire Allan, head of programme quality and impact 

Claire leads our impact measurement and learning function. Responsible for ensuring tools, systems and skills are in place to measure our impact on the ground, Claire's work is instrumental in obtaining robust evidence of what drives success in different contexts, helping us to expand our future impact. Claire has a background in development economics and previously worked as an economist and policy analyst in the governments of Scotland and South Sudan. She believes that a strong evidence base, grounded in practical experience, will be vital to achieving our ambitions of stimulating macro level change for smallholder farmers.

Rachel Beckett, head of direct marketing

Rachel has over ten years’ fundraising experience at UK and international organisations. Prior to this she spent the early part of her career working as a volunteer in Malawi and working within the private sector. Alongside her marketing role Rachel also manages the running of Farm Africa USA Inc. and is a trustee of Project Harar.

Ngaio Bowthorpe, head of communications

Ngaio leads the communications team and is responsible for Farm Africa’s communications strategy and media relations activity. Ngaio has a background in public relations in the private and public sector. Prior to working at Farm Africa she worked at the charity Sense, Film London, the British Film Institute and Premier Public Relations.

Natasha Clayton, director of resources

Natasha had 10 years’ experience in the audit practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) before joining the charity sector. She has worked in Tanzania as programme director for Trade Aid, and has also had roles at Save the Children, PwC Australia and Diabetes UK. Natasha is also a trustee of the Pesticide Action Network.

Mark Failes, head of finance

Mark leads our UK finance function and has over 20 years experience in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Before joining Farm Africa he spent eight years at WaterAid, where he led the finance assurance team. Prior to moving to the international development sector Mark worked for film, media and arts organisations in England and Scotland.

Ellie Fujioka, head of programme funding 

Ellie has a background in environment, development and policy. Before Farm Africa she was head of fundraising and communications at Womankind Worldwide and has also worked for Y Care International and the Institute of Development Studies, researching gender and health equity. She lived in Japan for five years, including a year teaching at Waseda University.

Nadia Martinez, director, Kenya

Nadia has 15 years of international development experience focusing on policy, economic interventions, and capacity building of local NGOs. She has worked in several countries in Latin America and Africa, and has managed large donor funded projects. Before joining Farm Africa, Nadia worked at Fintrac Inc, where she was responsible for management and compliance of multi-year, multi-million dollar agriculture programmes supported by USAID in East and Southern Africa. 

Cathy Wentworth, head of corporate & community fundraising

Cathy leads the Corporate & Community Fundraising team which is responsible for encouraging and supporting a wide range of fundraising activities and events from volunteer-led fundraising, corporate partnerships, schools and faith group fundraising and our portfolio of challenge and sporting events. Cathy started her fundraising career at Dementia UK and before joining Farm Africa, she worked for five years in WaterAid’s Community Fundraising team.

Cathy is currently on maternity leave. Ciaran Biggins is managing the role in her absence.

Pam Williams-Jones, director of fundraising and communications

Pam has held senior roles with GAP Activity Projects, ORBIS UK, Sense International and the Fred Hollows Foundation in New Zealand. Pam also has a commercial background with Unilever and Yoplait. She is a trustee of Vision 4 Children.

Michelle Winthrop, director of programmes

Prior to her appointment as Director of Programmes, Michelle led our programme work in Ethiopia. Before that, Michelle was at the Department for International Development (DFID), most recently as climate change advisor. Other work experience includes two years as technical lead for the UK on UN gender reforms and three years in Ethiopia seconded to the World Bank working on rural livelihoods, as well as leading programmes in Nicaragua, Central America and Indonesia. 

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