As a campaigner, I always take a special interest when people are recruited to the big campaigning leadership roles in our sector.
Therefore I was interested to see Friends of the Earth (FoE) advertise for a new Director recently – who would they appoint to this key role?
You probably know that they appointed Andy Atkins, who had been previously Policy and Campaigns Director at Tearfund. Now I haven’t had much contact with FoE and I have never met Andy; yet what really struck me about this appointment was the statement that FoE put out to announce Andy’s appointment. This is a big job and a complex leadership role, so it was refreshing to read in the statement the high value placed on Andy’s campaigning track record.
FoE cited Andy’s role in initiating Tearfund’s work on climate change and his role as a key organiser and spokesperson for Make Poverty History. They highlighted his ‘strong track record of campaigning on environmental and social justice issues.’
In our sector we rightly place much store on the importance of good management in our leaders, but we are also a campaigning sector. This is one element that makes our sector unique in this country. We need our leaders to be good managers but also to have campaigning spark. So it was so good to see FoE highlight Andy’s campaigning credentials.
This appointment should give hope to all campaigners out there – you really can progress as a campaigner in our sector!