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Structure and governance

VSO operates internationally through a series of international fundraising and recruitment hubs, and a strong network of programme offices in developing countries.

VSO is governed by the International Board and Executive Board.

Executive Board

The Executive Board is the main decision-making group within VSO. It holds responsibility for quarterly setting and reviewing of objectives, budgets and the strategic direction of VSO.

VSO CEO Philip Goodwin

Dr Philip Goodwin, Chief Executive, VSO

Dr Philip Goodwin joined VSO as Chief Executive in March 2015.

Prior to taking up this position, he was Chief Executive of TREE AID from June 2010, where he lead the expansion of programme work into Ethiopia and Niger, doubling the overall number of beneficiaries the organization reaches.

He was also with the British Council for more than a decade, conducted research into poverty issues with the Overseas Development Institute and was a community development volunteer in Mali.

Donne Cameron, Executive Director, Programmes

Donne Cameron, Executive Director, Programmes

Donne Cameron joined VSO in 2012 as regional director for Southern Africa, having spent the previous 10 years with Habitat for Humanity International in South Africa.

She was appointed as director of Africa Group in November 2013, moving to her current executive director role in 2015, and is based in Pretoria.


Kathryn Gordon, Executive Director, People and Organisational Development

Kathryn Gordon, Executive Director, People and Organisational Development

Kathryn Gordon joined VSO in early 2010. She was appointed to her current position in July 2015 and has responsibility for human resources, organisational learning and international volunteering.


Fabienne Arminjon, Executive Director, Finance

Fabienne Arminjon joined VSO in May 2017 as Executive Director in charge of Finance, IT, Procurement and Facilities management. She brings over 20 years’ experience in Finance leadership positions both in the Charity Sector (Christian Aid, Save the Children, Médecins Sans Frontières) and in large private sector companies.

Scott Desmarais, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships

Scott Desmarais, Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships

Scott has devoted his passion for economic and social development toward corporate strategy, business management and public sector consulting in Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and North America for nearly thirty years. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana and led USAID programs in the Congo and central Africa before getting his Masters in International Relations and MBA at Wharton.

Scott went on to become a partner with both The Boston Consulting Group (based in Boston, Paris, Jakarta and Buenos Aires) and with McKinsey & Company, helping to open and lead the firm’s office in Lagos in 2010 and co-leading McKinsey’s digital energy practice worldwide.

As a leader in the public and social sectors, Scott’s most recent work has focused on improving primary health care, education and agriculture in developing countries – including helping Nigeria to eradicate polio transmission and Ebola. He joined VSO earlier this year.

International Board of Trustees

The International Board (IB) meets at least three times a year, three times a year in person and four times a year via telephone. For further information on the roles and responsibilities of the International Board of Trustees, of any of the IB committees, or to contact any of our trustees with respect to their involvement with VSO, please contact the VSO company secretary.

The current members of the International Board of Trustees are:

  • Sam Younger CBE – Chair
    Chair of CILEx Regulation and serves on the Council of the Advertising Standards Authority

  • Chris Merry - Honorary Treasurer
    Chief executive officer, Ipes Group

  • Charles Abani
    Chief of Party of the USAID Civil Society project "Strengthening Advocacy and Civic Engagement (SACE)"

  • Guus Eskens
    Supervisory Board VSO Utrecht Netherlands, Board I+ Solutions (Woerden Netherlands), Board Healthworks (Amsterdam Netherlands)

  • Hardeep Jhutty
    Senior Strategy Advisor at NHS England

  • Dr Noerine Kaleeba
    Patron and founder, TASO Uganda and Vice Chair, Uganda National Health Research Organisation

  • Stephen Pidgeon
    Fundraising consultant (UK) and VSO volunteer

  • Amanda Rowlatt CBE
    Chief Analyst at the Department for Transport

  • Biranchi Upadhyaya
    Regional Director of Hivos for Southeast Asia based in Jakarta, Indonesia

Youth Advisers to the Board

VSO's Youth Advisers attend VSO International Board meetings and ensure the thoughts, opinions and perspectives of young people are included in decision-making. Youth Advisers do not have voting, legal or fiduciary responsibilities.

The current VSO Youth Advisers are:

  • Takyiwa Danso

  • Felix Owino

Find out more about our Youth Advisers here.