Girish Menon

Chief Executive, ActionAid UK


Girish Menon, Chief Executive of ActionAid UK, has worked in social development for over three decades. He started his career with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, an Indian NGO, and followed this with stints at ActionAid, Plan International and Department for International Development (DFID) India. ActionAid UK is the oldest and largest member of the ActionAid International Federation, supporting programmes across 36 countries in the Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Girish was born and brought up in India. Since completing his Masters in Rural Management in 1985, Girish joined the not-for-profit sector working on a range of issues including land and water resource management, livelihoods development, gender, disability, child rights and water & sanitation within India and across South Asia. As a Social Development Adviser for DFID India, he led on developing civil society partnerships on a large anti-poverty programme. During his time in India, he was also on the boards and advisory committees of various national level NGOs.

Girish moved to London in 2005 and worked for WaterAid UK, in London, for ten years. As WaterAid’s deputy CEO and Director of International Programmes, he held responsibility of supporting their work in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. In addition to growing the programmes in terms of geographical coverage and programme budgets, he promoted equity, inclusion and rights-based approaches that transformed WaterAid’s programming across Africa and Asia.

Girish has served on the boards of various not-for-profit organisations. He is currently Trustee of the Disaster and Emergency Committee (DEC) and on the Board of ActionAid Netherlands. He is a keen blogger, active on social media and was named one of the Top 25 Social CEOs in 2018. Girish has also served on the Teaching Excellence & Student Outcomes (TEF) Panel for Social Sciences of the Office for Students and is a regular speaker at a number of events on a wide range of issues around international development, leadership, organisational culture, diversity and inclusion.

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