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Global NGO CIVICUS gets new leader

Sep 18, 2012

The global civil society network CIVICUS has appointed Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah as its new Secretary General. Danny, who was the first non-British and youngest-ever head of the RCS led a complete overhaul of the organisation, will replace Ingrid Srinath.

The appointment was confirmed by CIVICUS’ Board of Directors in Montreal, Canada, following CIVICUS’ annual global gathering - the CIVICUS World Assembly.

Danny joins CIVICUS from the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS), a UK-based international civil society network with members and branches in more than 40 countries, where he has been Director General since January 2009. As the first non-British and youngest ever head of the RCS, he led a complete overhaul of the organisation and its profile. During this time, he was seconded to serve as Interim Director of the Commonwealth Foundation, the only intergovernmental development agency with a sole remit to support civil society, where he steered the organisation through a restructure. Previously, he was Deputy Director of influential think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research. Long recognised as an influential researcher and thinker, particularly on migration issues, in 2012 he was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

On hearing news of this appointment, Danny commented, “I’m thrilled to be taking the helm of CIVICUS, an organisation I have long admired. With the global political and economic landscape changing so rapidly, there’s never been a more important time to support citizen action. I look forward to working with CIVICUS colleagues to help civil society around the world to connect, mobilise and agitate for a fairer world.”

Danny is a true global citizen, hailing from Australia, of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage, long resident in the UK, and married to a Trinidadian. He will begin the process of taking up duties at CIVICUS in the coming months, and plans to move his family to Johannesburg, South Africa, where CIVICUS has its headquarters, early in 2013. He is the fourth Secretary General of CIVICUS, following in the footsteps of Miklos Marschall (Hungary), Kumi Naidoo (South Africa) and Ingrid Srinath (India).

Announcing the appointment, CIVICUS Board Chair David Bonbright said, “We’re delighted to welcome Danny to the CIVICUS team after an extensive selection process in which we’ve sought the best candidates from around the world. In a time of renewal for CIVICUS, with a new set of strategic priorities to take us into the  twentieth year of our existence, we’re convinced that Danny is the right person to lead our international team to new heights.” David added an appreciation of the outstanding job done by Acting Secretary General, Katsuji Imata, “By the time Danny is fully on board, Katsuji will have been Acting Secretary General for nine months. In that time CIVICUS will have raised the lion share of its budget for the next two years, successfully hosted a world gathering with nearly 1,000 delegates, completed a worldwide consultation process to refresh its strategy, and issued a number of significant reports. Thanks largely to Katsuji’s impeccable steward leadership, we are able to welcome our new Secretary General to an organisation that has never been stronger.”

Source : CIVICUS
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