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Paul O'Brien made chair of voluntary organisation

At a meeting of its General Assembly in Geneva on 4 February, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies elected Paul O'Brien as the chair of its executive committee. Paul is the Overseas Director for Concern Worldwide.

Founded in 1962, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) is a global network that brings together various humanitarian and human rights organisations. Focusing on humanitarian and refugee policy issues, ICVA draws upon the work of its members bringing their experiences to international decision-making forums, including the UN.

From the south and north

“It is an honour to be elected to this position,” said O’Brien. “ICVA has a vital and influential role to play in international advocacy with a view to securing the adoption of decisive and action-oriented policies that can have real meaning and substance at local and individual level. It provides a key platform both for discussion and for the formulation of effective advocacy positions for its 75 member organisations – who are, crucially, from both the global south and the north. Its focus is very much founded in a realistic approach to meaningful advocacy.” 

Three-year term

As chair of the executive committee, Paul will serve a three-year term. He will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of ICVA’s mission. He will also ensure the effective functioning of the executive committee. Find out more about the work of ICVA here.

Paul O’Brien has worked in the sector for 24 years, the last 19 of which have been mainly in the field for Concern, including Kenya, Sudan, Liberia, Bangladesh and Tanzania. He has studied agriculture and development and holds an MBA.