DEC appoints new Chief Executive

22/05/2012

The Disasters Emergency Committee has today announced that Saleh Saeed, former Chief Executive of Islamic Relief Worldwide, will take over as its new Chief Executive from September 2012.

Mr Saeed led DEC member agency Islamic Relief for nearly four years through a major period of growth and organisational change.  During this time he was ultimately responsible for 1,500 staff based in 24 countries and oversaw an increase in income of 45% from £48m to £70m. He also played a leading role in Islamic Relief’s responses to disasters, including those in Gaza, Haiti, Pakistan and East Africa - all part-funded by the DEC.
 
Prior to working in the development sector, Saleh Saeed had a background in the management of major digital inclusion projects, working with the Microsoft-backed Black Country Consortium and for Sandwell Council.  He has been working as a freelance management consultant since leaving Islamic Relief in early 2012.
 
The Disasters Emergency Committee brings together the leading UK aid agencies to raise money in times of humanitarian crisis in poorer countries.  It does this through a unique partnership with broadcasters including the BBC, ITN, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 as well support from organisations including BT, Royal Mail, the Post Office and the British Bankers Association.  
 
New DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said:
 
"I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to lead the DEC. I am especially keen to add to the DEC’s collective strength and public reputation by further developing our digital fundraising and enhancing our approach to accountability.  
 
“I would also like to pay tribute to my predecessor Brendan Gormley for his superb work in leading the DEC over the last 12 years and I am particularly grateful to him for leaving behind a great team of dedicated staff."
 
DEC Chairman Clive Jones said:
 
“We are very pleased to have appointed a leader of Saleh’s calibre as Chief Executive of the DEC. His experience in the humanitarian sector at one of our member agencies means he is already intimately familiar with many of our key partners as well as the opportunities and challenges we are facing. Having led Islamic Relief through an extraordinary period of growth he also has the experience to help the DEC maintain the trend towards larger appeal totals and manage the resulting pressures.
 
“Brendan Gormley has been an outstanding Chief Executive and has helped the DEC raise more than £900m for the many appeals he has led.  He will be a hard act to follow but we are confident Saleh is more than up to the task.”
 
Brendan Gormley, 65, is not planning to take another full-time role when he steps down but is now sitting on the Lead Expert Group for the Improving Future Disaster Anticipation and Resilience Project, part of the Foresight work of the Government Office for Science. He will also continue his work as a trustee at the Noel Buxton Trust and One World Media Trust.
 
To stay up to date with the latest emergencies follow the DEC on twitter at http://twitter.com/decappeal or become a fan of Disasters-Emergency-Committee-DEC on Facebook.
 
Notes to editors
• Saleh Saeed plans to settle into his new role before giving any media interviews.
• The DEC consists of: ActionAid, Age UK, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Plan UK, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision.