Q&A: Getting to know Danny Harvey, our new Executive Director

Danny Harvey, Concern Worldwide (UK) Executive Director.
Danny Harvey, Concern Worldwide (UK) Executive Director.

So that we can get to know her a bit better, our new Executive Director Danny Harvey answers our most burning questions. From what inspired her to work in international development to how she relaxes at the end of a hard day, all is revealed, along with some very valuable advice…

Hi Danny!

What made you apply for this role?

I was interested in the role because I wanted to bring the experience of Concern’s work in Africa and Asia back to those who support us. I think the work we do as Concern with people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty is really important; to be able to contribute to raising funds and influencing others to adopt the approaches we use that are successful is an amazing opportunity.

What are you most looking forward to about your new role?

Sharing stories and getting people inspired about the work we do.

What is first on your to-do list?

Getting to know everyone in the office and working out what they do. It is a really different world to a Country Office like Zambia where I was for the past six years.

What inspired you to work in international development in the first place?

My route into international development was through volunteering with Concern in Cambodia. I initially worked in microfinance, supporting people in poor communities with small loans, which increased in size as their businesses succeed. We helped them identify ways to earn a living and worked alongside them to manage their income so that they could provide for their family. It was wonderful to see how some people were able to transform their lives with such a small initial investment.

You’ve worked overseas for many years. What aspect of your work was most rewarding?

The fact that you can see the difference you’re making is very satisfying. In how many jobs can you say that?

It is amazing that people only need a little support and follow up to unleash their potential. In Zambia, I met women who went from growing nothing to becoming the most incredible farmers and kitchen gardeners, cultivating more than 50 different varieties of fruit, vegetables and cereals. They were able to provide nutritious meals for their children, and sell any surplus at market. Their efforts inspired others and their community.

What do you think makes Concern a special charity to work for?

What stands out about Concern is that the staff work so hard. When you’re working in a village every day – sometimes seven days a week – it can be challenging and demanding. For me, Concern staff are the heroes. They are so dedicated, and many of them stay in their jobs for years because of their commitment.

Concern has such a clear focus on working with people living in extreme poverty – those who are the most vulnerable. We work in places where you often don’t see other charities, the places that are difficult to reach and challenging. What motivates us in our belief that no one should be left behind.

If you could sum up Concern Worldwide in three words, what would they be?

Driven, caring, committed.

What is the best piece of advice you have been given in your professional career?

That it is all about good, clear communication and involving people in the decisions that affect them.

What do you do to relax at the end of the day?

Put my kids to bed and read them stories. Relaxing all round.

Do you have a message for our supporters?

I can’t overemphasise how important it is to have your generous support. Because of you, we can respond to humanitarian emergencies quickly, and above all, we can help people in the long term to develop their own ways out of extreme poverty.

 

Thanks Danny! It’s great to have you on board.

Share your concern