Saleh Saeed OBE

Chief Executive

Saleh’s role at the DEC is to provide strategic leadership and management to ensure that the charity is run to UK legal and best practice standards. He is responsible for reporting to the Board of Trustees and enacting their decisions - while also representing the DEC with major partners, at key events and meetings.

Prior to joining DEC in 2012, Saleh’s work in the NGO sector included heading Programmes, Fundraising and Communication teams.

Saleh also has valuable NGO experience in disaster response interventions – and with the DEC he has led appeals for Syria, the Philippines, Gaza, Nepal and around the Ebola crisis.

Outside the charity sector, Saleh led in the management of Microsoft’s major digital inclusion projects and has also worked for the West Midlands Regional Assembly and local government authorities. He currently sits on the Boards of the RSA and One World Media Trust, is a member of the Humanitarian Memorial Steering Committee, and acted as Chair of the Emergency Appeals Alliance in 2016.

Simon Beresford

Director of Fundraising and Marketing

Simon leads the Fundraising & Marketing Department at the DEC. He is responsible for all fundraising, including high value partnerships, individual giving, online and offline marketing, and supporter care. Simon also coordinates the DEC Fundraising Directors Group, bringing together the senior fundraising and public engagement leaders from across our member charities to collaborate on maximising DEC appeals for disaster affected communities.

Simon joined the DEC in May 2018 from the Methodist relief and development charity All We Can, where he led their fundraising and marketing team. He has over 15 years’ experience in fundraising for a range of causes, including children and young people’s services, palliative care, international development and humanitarian relief. Simon holds an MSc in NGO Management from Cass Business School and the Institute of Fundraising Certificate in Fundraising Management.

Outside of his internationally focussed work with the DEC, Simon remains a committed advocate for improving children and young people’s services in the UK. He sits as an independent trustee on the board of Children England, the national membership body for children’s charities, whose mission is to change the world for England’s children by harnessing the energy, ingenuity and expertise of the voluntary organisations that work on their behalf.


Madara Hettiarachchi

Director of Programmes and Accountability

Madara leads the DEC’s portfolio of humanitarian programmes and ensures that DEC funding delivers highly effective programmes to help crisis-affected communities. She provides direction to the DEC’s accountability, quality and learning functions and supports the Chief Executive and Trustees on matters of DEC membership.

Madara has 18 years’ experience in humanitarian and development programmes. She has held senior humanitarian leadership positions with three DEC member agencies, at UK and global levels. Between 2015 and 2019 she was Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes for Asia and the Middle East. Prior to Christian Aid, Madara worked with Concern Worldwide and World Vision and has been deployed to 13 large-scale humanitarian responses. 

Nicola Peckett

Director of Communications

Nicola leads the communications activity of the 13 DEC member agencies during an appeal. She oversees media relations, digital activity and celebrity liaison as well as supporting the DEC's broadcast, corporate and other partners during and between appeals.

Nicola has worked in the not-for-profit sector in the UK and Africa for more than 20 years in a wide range of communications and external relations roles. Before joining the DEC in September 2016, Nicola was Head of Communications at CARE International UK, where she coordinated communications activity in response to humanitarian emergencies including the Syria crisis and 2015’s Nepal earthquake, as well as promoting CARE’s longer-term development work. Nicola also led the communications team at Samaritans, worked for ActionAid UK and was a VSO volunteer in Nigeria.


Nick Waring

Director of Finance and Resources

Nick is a Chartered Accountant with broad experience in strategic & operational finance in non-profit organisations, both in the UK and Africa. Prior to joining the DEC, Nick was Director of Finance at Women for Women International, where he was the strategic lead for finance & ICT as well as supporting the global organisation (based in the US) in these functions.

Nick was formerly Director of Corporate Services at Lumos Foundation where he helped the Europe-based NGO expand globally. Earlier in his career, Nick enjoyed a challenging role with the Refugee Council as the director responsible for Finance and Resources, leading on financial strategy to transition from government funding dependency to a long-term sustainable model. Nick has also held senior financial roles at the Prince’s Trust International and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Nick was Head of Finance at Christian Aid during a period that spanned the 2004 Tsunami Earthquake.

Nick also spent four years earlier in his career as finance director of a hospital just outside Nairobi, Kenya. Nick is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales and holds a MSc in International NGO Management from Cass Business School, as well as a Diploma in Charity Accounting (ICAEW). He is a trustee of a faith-based INGO as well as a local boys club. He lives in Essex and is married with four children, a dog, two cats and two tortoises.