OUR management team
Self Help Africa’s management team supports the Board in the achievement of its objectives.
A native of Limerick, he began his career as an Engineer with the Missionaries of Africa (‘The White Fathers’), and lived and worked in Uganda for six years in the 1990s. He was subsequently employed as head of Operations with GOAL – and was in charge of managing the logistics for all aspects of that organisation’s relief missions following Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998, following the war in Afghanistan in 2001, in Darfur, Sudan in 2004, in post-Tsunami Indonesia, and following the Pakistani earthquake of 2005.
Upon joining Self Help Development International as CEO in July 2007 he oversaw the successful merger of that organisation with UK development agency Harvest Help, to create Self Help Africa, and in Summer 2014 a merger with Ireland’s oldest overseas development agency Gorta.
Ray holds a Masters Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He has 16 years experience working at senior management level in international NGOs. Prior to joining Self Help Africa he worked as Head of Internal Audit and subsequently CFO in GOAL. He also undertook interim country management roles in GOAL including Malawi, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan.
In a voluntary capacity he has been Chairman of Show Racism the Red Card and Treasurer of the Carmichael Centre and currently serves on the Finance and Audit Committee of Clúid, one of Ireland’s leading social housing agencies. Peter has also worked in senior financial management roles in FTI and ESB International.
Peter holds a BA in Accounting and Finance from DCU.
After working in the commercial sector in IT and the hotel industry, David worked in Ethiopia with GOAL as Assistant Country Director in the mid-90s and later headed the organisation’s Human Resources department overseeing a staff of over 1,500 employees.
David then took on the role of CEO of Plan Ireland, an international children’s organisation and part of the Plan international federation, for more than nine years. He grew the organisation substantially and became a member of Plan’s Global Leadership Team.
David joined Self Help Africa as Executive Director in November 2016. David holds a Business Degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway as well as a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from University College, Dublin. He has also served as a board member of NGOs Dóchas and Comhlámh.
HEAD OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
In late 2009, Martha became Director of Business Development for Self Help Africa in the US and oversaw the successful establishment of the organisation in New York and Boston. In six years she grew the organisation’s US public funding, raising $11m between 2010 and 2015.
She is responsible for developing and implementing a fundraising strategy, overseeing a fundraising team, donor database and all fundraising activities in Ireland and the UK.
Martha graduated with a BA in History from Trinity College Dublin, and an MA in Development studies from University College Dublin. She is the recipient of the 40 under 40 Irish American Award from the Irish Echo in 2013.
Orla holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Development Management.
Laura Whitwell is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
She has worked with Self Help Africa for the past six years, and heads up the Programme Funding unit based from our offices in London.
Laura worked previously as Head of Programme Funding with FARM-Africa, was European Fundraising Office at Sabin Foundation Europe.
HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS
George studied journalism at college, and worked for more than 20 years in print media, including as chief reporter, news editor and assistant group editor with Ireland’s largest regional newspaper group.
He was responsible for overseeing the creation and roll-out of the ‘Self Help Africa’ brand in 2008, and since then has overseen the development of an in-house communications team that produces and manages all media outreach, print production and digital media across the group. In the past decade his communications team has produced award-winning websites, annual reports and other materials.