Management team

OUR senior management team

Self Help Africa’s senior management team supports the Board in the achievement of its objectives.




Ray Jordan has been Chief Executive of the organisation since 2007.

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.




Peter joined the organisation as Chief Financial Officer in March 2009.

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.




David is the Executive Director, responsible for day-to-day operations and management of the organisation.

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.




Martha is from Dublin but grew up in Brussels and has spent most of her adult life in New York. She spent several years in Sri Lanka and Guatemala, where she worked in overseas 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 has 16 years professional experience in project management, including 12 years in emergency and development in South America, Asia and Africa. She has provided project management support in the successful implementation of a varied portfolio of programmes, covering agricultural production, natural resource management, nutrition, community mobilization, value-chains, post-harvest technology, construction and support to people with disabilities as well as in the private sector across mobile telecommunications projects. Orla joined Self Help Africa in 2010 and has held a number of roles, becoming Programmes Director in October 2015 with overall responsibility for the strategic direction and management of SHA country programmes.

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.





George Jacob has worked with Self Help Africa since 2003.

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.




Malachy Cardiff is the Company Secretary.

He joined Gorta in January 2013 as Head of Finance & Administration, and following the merger with Self Help Africa in July 2014 Malachy moved to his current role.

Previously, Malachy had worked in both the UK and Ireland in various finance roles in the private sector, being responsible for financial management and the development/ implementation of strategy. Malachy has experience of many different types of companies having worked in large UK and Irish firms, US subsidiaries and SMEs.

Malachy has a degree in Economics from UCD, Postgraduate Diploma in Business Studies, Certificate in Company Law & Company Secretarial Law, Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and is a CIMA qualified accountant.




Siobhan Hanley has almost 20 years’ experience in the not for profit sector in both international development NGOs and local charities in ROI, UK and USA.

She has held senior management positions over the past 12 years including various Head of Fundraising/Income Generation roles. Her key areas of experience are in strategy & organisation development, income generation (public, private & institutional), governance, project design, staff development, budget management, brand & marketing (leading two re-brands processes in the last 6 years), and communications.

She graduated from UL in 1999 with BA in Business and Marketing. She is currently studying International Development Management with Open University. On a voluntary capacity she has held Board positions with Institute of Fundraising NI, MyLegacy in ROI, and currently with the Centre for Global Education.