Our Staff

Our Staff

Chief Executive 

Kim West
Chief Executive

Kim joined African Initiatives as Chief Executive Officer in August 2018. Fifteen years ago, she moved into the international development sector after reaching the level of Associate Vice President in the Canadian arm of an international financial services organisation. Her expertise up to this point in her career included marketing, new product development and managing large scale organisational change. Since then, Kim has worked for VSO International, CUSO International and United Purpose. She managed programmes and teams as Country Director in Guyana, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and more recently Nepal,  as Regional Director in the Caribbean and in International Programmes Leadership roles. She led high performing teams across multiple geographies and sectors including education, health, livelihoods; with a focus on women, indigenous communities and people living with disabilities.

Kim is most passionate about supporting individuals, organisations and communities to not only reach and sustain their full potential but to thrive. She believes empowered decision-making, collaborative ways of working, innovative thinking and accountability mechanisms are key to achieving this. These themes are woven through everything she does.


Becky Mallows
Programme Officer

Becky joined African Initiatives in June 2018 as Programme Officer, focusing on livelihoods and health projects. Prior to joining African Initiatives, Becky worked in the global humanitarian team of an international NGO, where she worked on responses in Haiti, Bangladesh and Nepal. Becky has spent time volunteering in eastern Uganda, and completed a post-graduate research project in north-west Uganda. Becky has a BA in Politics from the University of Leicester, and an MSc Distinction in International Development and Economics from the University of Manchester.

Fundraising and Communications


James Treasure-Evans
Director of Funding and Partnerships

James joined African Initiatives in February 2019. After completing his Master’s in Development Policy at the Centre for Development Studies in Swansea in 1999, James started his career in international development as an intern at Christian Aid. Over the last 20 years, he has held programme development, management and fundraising jobs at a wide variety of international charities including Raleigh International, War on Want, Oxfam, WaterAid and most recently, Concern Universal (renamed United Purpose). His international experience spans work in Africa, Asia and Latin America, with over 6 years living in South East Asia and Latin America. At African Initiatives, James is responsible for our Fundraising Strategy and for establishing new strategic partnerships. If you would like to work with African Initiatives do feel free to email James as he’d love to hear from you.

Karen Ellison
Volunteer Communications Officer

Karen joined African Initiatives as a volunteer in 2013, following a 25-year career in publishing, which spanned everything from education to farming (via finance). She is passionate about sharing stories of the women and girls who benefit from our overseas projects and is proud that BBC broadcasters Mariella Frostrup and Jonathan Dimbleby are supporters of our human rights work. She is living proof that you can make a career change after 50 (although it might not be paid)! She says she’d love volunteers of all ages to come join the team and change lives.

Finance and Operations


Obi Ofokansi
Director of Finance and Operations

Obi has 17 years’ experience of working on global business and international development programmes across Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Caribbean with project partners including Accenture, World Bank, European Commission, USAID and UBS. Areas of proficiency include: stakeholder management; leading, supporting and motivating multi-disciplinary teams; third party supplier management; business case development; financial management and reporting; strategic planning; risk, assumption, issues and dependencies management; championing best practice; quality assurance and working on projects life cycle.

Lizzie Danford
Admin Officer

Lizzie joined African Initiatives in January 2019. Lizzie has travelled to sub-Saharan Africa since 2009, and has volunteered in Ghana, Cape Verde and Cameroon. Since 2013, Lizzie has been working with Self-Reliance Cameroon, an NGO that runs educational and sustainability projects for the local community. She has volunteered for refugee support groups in the UK, and written articles for international peace-keeping organisations. Lizzie has a BA in Music from Goldsmith’s University of London and an MA in Music and International Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. She has continued to travel and carry out independent fieldwork since completing her MA, with a focus on women and children’s rights, cultural policy and conflict resolution.