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UK Senior Management

The UK Senior Management Team operates from London. Contact the UK team

Martin Realey - Chief Executive

Martin joined as Chief Executive in September 2017, bringing with him innovations and experiences from a distinguished career as a British Army officer and extensive work in the charity and health sectors.

During his service, Martin was deployed on numerous overseas operations over a 15 year period, most predominantly in Afghanistan and Iraq. He worked alongside DFID, USAID and other INGOs to deliver long-term projects including the Alternative Livelihoods Scheme and the Afghanistan Education Infrastructure Development Programme. As a liaison officer to the International Red Cross, Martin worked tirelessly to reunite children with their families post-conflict.

Martin’s commitment to charity is inspired by life experience, including the loss of a sister to cancer in the late 90s, and witnessing a lack of support for injured servicemen and their families. He is fuelled by a passion to address global inequalities and opportunities for children. Numerous visits to Africa over the last two decades and his own two primary school aged children are his inspiration to be at the forefront of Build Africa’s pivotal work.

Before joining Build Africa, Martin spent three years as CEO of Restore – a mental health charity providing employment coaching and training opportunities to those suffering from severe illness.

Abass Abdul-Karim - Head of Finance and Resources

A Fellow of ACCA, Abass has substantial professional experience of financial and resource management for a range of charities and organisations including Womankind Worldwide, ActionAid, WaterAid, the British Council, AIMS-NEI and DFID-Ghana. He is motivated by providing leadership and facilitating the timely delivery of organisational objectives. Abbas joined Build Africa in June 2018. He he is passionate about programmes that help improve the livelihood of vulnerable people, including children and women. Abass strives to ensure resources are deployed in a way that they have maximum impact for beneficiaries.

Liam Gilmore - Head of Programme Implementation

Liam has over 10 years’ experience in international development and humanitarian programming. He joined Build Africa in January 2016 and provides technical guidance and operational support to programmes in Kenya and Uganda, as well as overseeing monitoring and evaluation, donor reporting, child safeguarding and compliance. Prior to moving to the UK he has lived and worked in South Africa, Nigeria and Liberia and worked for organisations including Trócaire, USAID and Save The Children.

David Lacey – Head of Fundraising and Communications

David has over 13 years’ experience in the charity sector, with over a decade of that in fundraising. After starting his fundraising career in 2005 as a face to face fundraiser representing many household-name charities, he went on to lead Individual Giving teams across several mid-size charities. David joined Build Africa in 2018, from ActionAid UK, with a focus on diversifying and optimising our fundraising and developing brand authority. David is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing.

Emily White - Head of Project Design and Innovation

Emily has extensive experience in both programmes and fundraising. She joined Build Africa in June 2015, leading project design and supporting proposal writing. Following her career start at Comic Relief, she worked in community peacebuilding in Liberia for four years and Young Epilepsy in the UK.