FIGS Trustees have recruited Mark Simmons as its first CEO! Mark has until recently been Chief Executive of CORD, an international development organisation promoting peace-making in conflict areas of the world like Burundi, Chad, Central African Republic and Myanmar. He has Masters degrees in modern languages and in violence, conflict and development, has substantial previous experience of work in South Sudan, and is uncannily well qualified to lead FIGS forward for the next 5 years.
Mark will work closely with John Benington as Chair and with all our other Trustees and volunteers, to develop and implement FIGS strategy and action plan for the longer term sustainability of IGBS. A top priority will be to lift FIGS fund-raising to a higher level through accessing larger and longer term funding from national and international grants and donations (working in partnership with the FIGS fund-raising working group and voluntary bid writers). The post will be funded for the first 6 months by a donation already received from one of the Trustees specifically for this purpose. Mark will be expected to generate additional funding for FIGS to cover his salary and on costs in Year 1, and then to generate 5 times this figure in additional funding in Years 2 – 5 !
Read his bio below:
Mark Simmons joins FIGS from Cord, where he has been Chief Executive since 2014. Prior to that he had spent 10 years working in and on Sudan and South Sudan, initially for Concordis International, where he was involved in track 2 diplomacy, and then with the Canadian development and peacebuilding charity FAR. He was also chair of the INGO Forum for Sudan between 2009 and 2011, and served for many years on various inter-agency technical working groups. Mark has also worked in countries in transition in South and Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe, in the public sector, and in European institutions. He holds Master's degrees in modern languages and in violence, conflict and development. In his spare time Mark is a churchwarden, organist, school governor, honorary treasurer, and involved in programmes to support refugees in Herefordshire and Powys, and enjoys spending as much time as he can with his four children.