Meet Ramin Shahzamani - New CEO of War Child
May 25, 2021
Long History in the Humanitarian Sector
Ramin has a long history in the humanitarian sector - and indeed with War Child. Over the course of eight years (2006-2014), he has worked at the helm of the organisation as Country Director (CD) in Afghanistan, Colombia and DR Congo. He then joined Plan International as CD in Peru and recently finished up as their CD in Zambia. He started his career as an entrepreneur in Canada and also held down the role of Programme Director with the World Federalist Movement - Institute for Global Policy.
Scaling and Staying War Child
Ramin is thrilled to be back and excited to work with us to build on the advances we have made in our strategy.
“Any organisation that is undergoing rapid scale up must stay true to its roots”, says Ramin. “Our challenge is to find the right balance between becoming a more professional organisation, while keeping that creativity; that playful side that makes War Child unique.”
Life, Work, Music
Ramin was born in Iran before moving with his family to the UK. At the age of 12, he moved to Canada where he became a citizen and completed his secondary and tertiary studies. He holds science degrees in Biology and Computing and is currently pursuing an MBA.
An extra asset to War Child, he is multi-lingual - speaking English, Spanish, Persian/Dari and some Italian and French.
We had to ask - does Ramin have a favourite band or singer? “That's a tough one”, he smiles. “Nigeria’s Fela Kuti, Colombia’s Joy Arroyo and rumba king Franco from the Congo go high on my list.”
Between 2006 and 2014, Ramin worked as War Child Country Director in Afghanistan, Colombia and DR Congo
Photo: Floris Heuer
Ramin was born in Iran before moving with his family to the UK and later to Canada
Photo: Floris Heuer
Ramin succeeds our current CEO Tjipke Bergsma. In his six years in office, Tjipke has laid a solid foundation for our work for children and child rights. Something that all of us - including his successor - are eternally grateful for. “In the past six years, War Child has grown into a vibrant, progressive, evidence-driven organisation - capable of responding to some of the world’s worst crises”, says Ramin. “That’s no coincidence.”
Tjipke is looking forward to retirement but, knowing him, he won't sit idle for long. He will stay on with War Child as a volunteer with a focus on marketing and fundraising and has engaged in various non-executive roles with similar charitable organisations.
Special mention also goes to top 10 executive search firm Stanton Chase who, for many years, have lent their extensive expertise to the hiring of senior management - a service they provide entirely pro bono.