Oak Foundation is governed by a six-member Board of Trustees that includes: Natalie Shipton (Chair), Kristian Parker (Vice Chair), Caroline Turner (Vice Chair), Christopher Parker, Sebastian Turner, Jette Parker and Alan Parker.
An Advisory Panel also supports the Foundation’s work on a range of grant-making issues. Current members are Douglas Griffiths (President of Oak Foundation), Barbara Rothschild, Julie Sandorf and Susan Tierney.
Our working environment is diverse, inclusive and engaging. Our team of approximately 80 staff members has a mix of expertise and experience in philanthropy and other sectors including: not-for-profits, finance, development, government, media, law and academia, among others. Together we represent over 20 nationalities.
Our main administrative office is located in Geneva, Switzerland. We also have offices in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zimbabwe.
We respect both the privacy of our partners and our staff. Below represents a selection of team members across our foundation, including the directors of programmes.
New GMS project managerInformation technology
Adolfo joined Oak Foundation in 2020 as a project manager for the Grants Administration unit. He started managing the new Grants Management System (GMS) proof of concept project in 2020, and since the beginning of 2021 he is part of the IT team managing the Full Build project of the GMS system.
DirectorInternational Human Rights
Adrian started the International Human Rights Programme on joining Oak Foundation in February 2003. In its first year of operation, the programme had an annual budget of USD 2 million and largely focussed on supporting international NGOs. Since then, it has expanded to a programme with six staff and an annual budget of around USD 30 million, operating in diverse geographies with both local and international organisations.
Senior Adviser for Capacity Building and Organisational Development
Adriana leads Oak’s organisational development and capacity building work, which she established after joining Oak in 2013. She advises and helps grantees with their organisational strengthening journeys, recognising that strong organisations enhance the effectiveness and impact of both the foundation and our partners. Capacity building is an essential part of Oak’s support to our partners, with approximately 15% of the annual budget invested in this area of work.
Anne joined Oak Foundation in 2007 as a programme officer for the Environment Programme. In her role, she oversees grant portfolios in the food systems sub-programme, with a focus on fisheries, and leads the foundation’s work on climate justice.
DirectorPrevent Child Sexual Abuse
Chief of StaffPresident's Office
Cheryl joined Oak Foundation as Chief of Staff in 2019. In this role, she supports the president, coordinates organisational strategy and planning, and serves as a liaison between various foundation functions.
Chris is campaigns lead for the Environment Programme. He works across both energy and food, with a focus on single use plastics reduction and tackling food injustices across Europe especially via healthy, sustainable and just food environments. He joined the Oak Foundation in late 2019 after leading international campaigns with NGOs and politics. See Chris profile on LinkedIn.
Doug joined Oak Foundation in January 2019. In his role as President, he is thrilled to knit together his professional experiences advocating for human rights, humanitarian relief, social development and environmental protection. The president’s office includes a team of six that work to ensure that we have: robust monitoring, evaluation and learning systems; efficient communication practices; and a strong foundation working to achieve our mission.
DirectorOak Foundation Denmark
Esther joined the Oak Foundation Denmark programme in 2007. The programme currently has an average grant-making budget of USD 6 million and has two staff. The Oak Foundation Denmark Programme supports innovative solutions to improve the lives of socially vulnerable and marginalised groups at the community level. As well as supporting not-for-profit organisations in Denmark, it also support organisations in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
Head of FinanceFinance
Géraldine joined Oak Foundation in 2021 as Head of Finance. She is responsible for leading Oak’s global finance function which includes managing budgeting, planning, reporting, compliance, tax filings and audits for the Foundation. She oversees all aspects of financial due diligence of grants.
Programme OfficerInternational Human Rights
Greg joined Oak Foundation in 2009 as a consultant and has been a programme officer in the International Human Rights Programme since 2011. He works across the entire human rights portfolio, with a particular focus on the strategic grant-making priority areas of pre-trial detention and torture, corporate accountability and the countries of Brazil and India.
Heather joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Learning Differences Programme in December 2017. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 30 million in 2022 and has five staff. The programme envisions a world in which schools unlock the creativity and power of every young person and equip each one to shape more just and equitable communities.
Head of the Solutions sub-programme, Prevent Child Sexual AbusePrevent Child Sexual Abuse
Helena joined Oak Foundation in 2017 as a programme officer for the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme. She currently holds the position of Head of the Solutions sub-programme. The Solutions team focuses on building the evidence base on what works to prevent child sexual abuse and ensuring that solutions are widely implemented and impactful. The solutions team is funding predominantly in East and Southern Africa, as well as Europe. The Prevent Child Sexual Abuse programme has an annual budget of USD 45 million per year.
DirectorIssues Affecting Women
Katharina joined Oak Foundation in 2013 as a programme officer for the Issues Affecting Women Programme. She currently holds the position of director. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 32 million and has six staff. The programme envisions a world where women have the rights, capacity and opportunity to live their lives free from violence and enjoy their full and equal human rights.
AdministratorOak Foundation Denmark
Lotte joined Oak Foundation Denmark in 2008 as administrator. Her duties include all administration from the first applications to the final reports from the grantees.
Senior Advisor, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
Marta joined Oak Foundation in January 2019 to create Oak’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning function. She supports programmes and their partners to use evidence, evaluation and reflection for more impactful grant-making. She also drives organisation-wide efforts to improve learning practices and build a culture of enquiry, curiosity and knowledge sharing.
Masego joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Environment Programme in 2021. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 70 million and has thirteen staff. The programme seeks to safeguard our future by restoring our connection to nature, and help change the ways we feed and fuel our world.
Programme OfficerIssues Affecting Women
Medina joined Oak Foundation in 2010 as a programme associate for the Issues Affecting Women Programme. She was promoted to programme officer in 2015. In this role, Medina works with partners around the world who are focused specifically on ending trafficking and exploitation and advancing women’s rights movement building.
Office Logistics Coordinator - ReceptionistAdministration
Programme OfficerIssues Affecting Women
Nevin joined Oak Foundation in 2018 as a programme associate for the Issues Affecting Women Programme. She was promoted to programme officer in 2021. In her role, she manages grant-making in Brazil and the women’s funds sector, in addition to leading the programme’s Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation, and Communications.
Rachel joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Special Interest Programme in 2014. The programme has an average grant-making budget of over USD 60 million and has six staff. Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts. They are made to organisations whose activities the Trustees wish to support, irrespective of country or region.
DirectorHousing and Homelessness
Raji joined Oak Foundation in 2020 as the director of the Housing and Homelessness Programme. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 30 million and has six staff. It partners with organisations working both nationally and locally in Boston, New York and Philadelphia in the United States and in London, Belfast, South Wales, Glasgow and Birmingham in the United Kingdom.
Vinit joined Oak Foundation in 2006 as director of Administration. Vinit currently holds the positions of Director of Administration, Foundation Secretary and Director of the India Programme at Oak Foundation. Vinit leads the teams responsible for Finance, Grants Administration, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Organisational Development & Capacity Building and oversees real estate and facilities. He also manages the India Programme, focussing on supporting acutely marginalised populations living in the tea gardens of North Bengal and in the Sundarbans.
Head of communicationsCommunications
Virginia joined Oak Foundation as a communications officer in 2011. Her current position is head of communications. In this role, she works in collaboration with staff, Trustees and partners to develop communication strategies that support internal and external goals. She is the main media contact for the Foundation. There are also two other full-time staff members in the communications team (Rachel McKee and Mia Moore).