New international director joins Practical Action
1 June 2010
We are pleased to welcome our new International Director, Paul Smith Lomas.
Paul's professional background is as a mechanical engineer. He worked originally in the water treatment industry in the UK, before going on a VSO assignment in 1985 to Eastern Sudan, where he set up water and sanitation systems for refugee populations from Eritrea & Ethiopia. He then worked with ActionAid in the Nuba Mountains, still focussing on public health engineering with rural communities.
After a short spell in the commercial sector, Paul returned to the voluntary sector in 1991, as Technical Adviser for Oxfam, based in the UK. Over the following years he undertook a range of roles, including some seven years as an engineer helping to lead responses to humanitarian crises around the world, and then as the organisation's Humanitarian Director. He was awarded an MBE for services to international development in recognition of his leadership of Oxfam's work responding to the Kosovo crisis.
Immediately prior to joining Practical Action, Paul was the Regional Director for Oxfam in the Horn & Eastern Africa, where he managed a large programme covering development, campaigning, and emergency response.
Paul is looking forward to working with his colleagues across the group over the coming years.