DANNY SRISKANDARAJAH is the chief executive of Oxfam GB, known for his strategic thinking with a record of delivery in the voluntary sector. He has a global reputation for his anti-poverty efforts and his ability to ask tough questions.
He is responsible to the trustees of Oxfam which believes poverty isn’t inevitable in a world rich in resources. According to the organisation he runs, extreme poverty “has been halved in just 15 years” and it can be ended for good “in another 15 years”.
Having worked previously as interim director of the Commonwealth Foundation and deputy director of the Institute for Public Policy Research, Sriskandarajah has a deep understanding of the challenges the charity sector is facing.
He feels big charities need to rethink their role as a few of them are “mimicking some of the worst practices” of the corporate world. He suggests they would do better if they stop hogging space, profile and resources at the cost of wider civic action.
Sriskandarajah previously led CIVICUS, the Johannesburg-based alliance of civil society organisations with members in more than 180 countries. Before that, he spent four years as the director-general of the Royal Commonwealth Society.
Born Dhananjayan Sivaguru Sriskandarajah in Sri Lanka in 1975, he was initially raised in a rural community without electricity or running water. His family was displaced by the onset of civil war and he spent time in Papua New Guinea and Australia, where he went to school and university. He also became the first Asian Australian to win the Rhodes Scholarship.
He moved to the UK in 1998 and completed his masters and doctorate in international development at Oxford University.
In July 2018, Sriskandarajah became a member of the UN Secretary General’s high-level panel on digital cooperation, co-chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates.