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Volunteer Management Committee

DiA is, and always has been, managed by volunteers. Each year, a committee of dedicated young people is elected to lead our programmes.  By learning these roles and responsibilities from their peers, young people gain the skills and experience needed to create change in the wider world. For this year's committee, please see below:



Sarah Burns - Chair

Sarah became involved with DiA as a 2010-2011 five-month volunteer at Seva Mandir, Udaipur. Since her return to the UK Sarah has continued to commit her spare time to voluntary work, from pulling pints at an annual charity beer festival to organising regular community kitchen events to reduce food waste. Sarah joined the Management Committee in September 2011 as Secretary and was election as Chair in September 2012. Sarah is currently working for The Community Action Group (CAG) Project in Oxfordshire as CAG Project Impact Modeller.


Leisha Beardmore - Vice Chair

Leisha joins the DiA team as the new Vice-Chair. She has worked in International Development for over eight years within both local and International NGOs developing programs in the field of social policy, human rights and community development, with expertise in extreme poverty reduction and gender equality. She is currently engaged in operational resourcing for a DfID funded health project in South Sudan, and is working with UN Island State Ambassadors to highlight their achievements in socio-environmental development for the United Nations International Conference on SIDS in 2014.



Rianna Kelly - Treasurer

Rianna recently graduated from the University of Warwick where she was President of the Student Volunteering Society. After returning from a volunteering placement in Ghana during Summer 2013, she began a graduate training programme in London and became involved with DiA as their Treasurer. This is Rianna's first year on the DiA committee.


Phoebe Taylor - Secretary

Phoebe was a 2012 summer volunteer at Ecosphere in the Spiti Valley and Deep Griha Society in Pune. She graduated from the University of York in 2013 and as well as Development in Action is on the Management Committee for national charity People and Planet, and involved in a variety of voluntary work. Her interests include making music, words of all kinds and travelling.


 Harish Lokhun – UK Manager

Harish joined the DIA management committee as the new UK programme manager developing UK global citizenship workshops in schools.  Harish brings a wealth of experience in working with schools and young people having been Welfare and Community Officer at University building partnerships with pupils in schools across Nottingham and university volunteers through mentoring schemes, working as School Recruitment Officer for The Citizenship Foundation and supporting a school linking programme for international development charity Link Community Development. Harish also has international experience having taught English as a foreign language in China and volunteered for an NGO in Uganda.  Harish has a great passion for development issues and is highly committed to working with young people, empowering them to make a difference within their community. 



Hannah Weston - Volunteer Support Officer

Hannah joined Development in Action in autumn 2013 as both UK Volunteer Support Officer and a Workshop Leader. After graduating from University of Kent in 2012, Hannah fund-raised for Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. In spring 2013, she volunteered in Zambia for 3 months with VSO-ICS, where she ran workshops for young people on issues such as HIV/AIDS and Gender Equality, and also organised community events to promote youth friendly services in clinics. Throughout summer 2013 Hannah worked for The Challenge Network as a mentor to young people in the UK, engaging them in charity work and campaigns in their local communities. Hannah is passionate about pursuing a career in International Development and Youth Work, her goal being to encourage young people to take an interest in global issues and get involved with sustainable development programmes.


Lisa Steciuk - Development Education Resources Officer

Lisa has been involved with DiA since she took part in a 5 month placement in 2010-2011 at Seva Mandir in Udaipur. Since leaving India, Lisa has spent time working abroad in South Korea, Palestine and Vietnam. She returned to the UK this summer and is now studying for PGCE in Secondary Geography at the University of Oxford. Lisa's role is to help develop new resources to be used in DiA's Global Citizenship workshops.



Harriet Swann – India Manager

Harriet volunteered with DiA in summer 2009 at Volontariat in Pondicherry. After that she moved to Japan for 2 years and taught English on the JET Programme. Now working at British Red Cross as part of the fundraising department, her position on the committee is India Programme Manger.     




Emily Bowyer - India Officer 

Emily has joined the DiA team as India Project Officer. Having volunteered in Uganda for three months with Little Big Africa and having travelled for six months including two months in India, she is keen to get involved in the India Project and is passionate about volunteer projects. She recently completed an internship at Progressio and now works as a staffing coordinator at The Challenge. Apart from travelling and volunteering, Emily enjoys playing the drums, trekking and going on adventures. 



Tal Gurevich - Communications and Marketing Manager

Tal was a 2010 summer volunteer at Deep Griha Society, Pune, where she taught English and helped to organise a Wake Up Pune matrimonial event for HIV positive people. Since graduating from Warwick University Tal has worked at a healthcare turnaround company, and following a month volunteering with a women’s empowerment group in Peru, she is now working as a change management consultant at Atos Consulting. Tal joined the Committee as the Marketing and Communications Manager in September 2013.  


Isobel Wilson-Cleary - Social Media Officer

Isobel was a 2012/13 volunteer at Deep Griha Society where she co-ordinated their volunteer program and assisted with fundraising strategy. After returning from India, she interned with an international sustainable tourism company in Paris and is currently studying for an MA in Cultural Heritage and International Development at the University of East Anglia. Aside from her love of travel, she is enthusiastic about the role of social media in engaging people globally in a variety of issues.

Louisa Jones - Blog Editor

Louisa volunteered with DiA for 5 months in 2012 at Deep Griha Society, Pune, where she devised a music curriculum and carried out a gender equality analysis for the English-medium Deep Griha Academy. An Oxford music graduate, she is currently teaching English in Quebec as a British Council Language Assistant before returning to the UK to complete a masters in Social Anthropology. Aside from her interest in international development she enjoys cooking, textile crafts and spending time in the great outdoors.

Richard Moran - Blog Editor

Richard joins Development in Action as blog editor. He has five years experience for young people at Get Connected and as a trustee at YouthLinx UK.

Richard holds a MSc in Development Administration and Planning from UCL and is currently studying the MA Investigative Journalism at City University.

He is interested in the role of communication and the media in international development and engaging young people with development issues.


Jake Anderson - Website Officer

Jake has previously volunteered in Uganda and Ecuador and in summer 2013 spent 3 months volunteering in Tanzania. He currently studies International Development at the University of East Anglia where he used to be project leader for a branch of a UK charity working to improve access to education for students and teachers in Tanzanian secondary schools. He is excited to be part of the DiA committee this year and help spread the good work that they do.


Paul Nguyen – Fundraising Manager

Paul is currently reading a masters degree in Public Management and Governance at London School of Economics (UK). He undertook a 6-month internship at the World Federation of United Nations Associations, at the United Nations headquarter (Geneva, Switzerland) and a 2-months internship at Conseil Général de la Charente-Maritime (La Rochelle, France). His current interests are Foreign Affairs, International Development (Economic Development & Political Development), Governance, Development Aid & Diplomacy. He has not had the chance to volunteer in a developing country but is ready to make an impact by managing the fundraising team to develop and diversify DiA’s fundraising strategy.   


Sophia Hendrickson - Fundraising Officer (Events)

Sophia is responsible for DiA's various fundraising events. After graduating from the University of York in 2010 Sophia spent 4 months travelling in South America, including a month volunteering in schools in Cusco, Peru. On her return to the UK she interned with the British Red Cross, and now works for an ethical fashion company based in London.



Arlen Pettitt - Fundraising Officer (Trusts and Grants)

Arlen is part of the fundraising team, with a focus on trusts and grants and is looking forward to being involved this year. He recently completed a masters in Public Policy at UCL, having studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics with the Open University. He was previously a Director of a cooperatively-run policy and research consultancy.