Lorraine Dunk – Director

Snapshot date 25, June, 2012



Author: Lorraine Dunk

Job title: Director

Organisation: International Tree Foundation

Location: Crawley Down, West Sussex

Organisation Description:

By planting, protecting and promoting trees in partnership with local communities, we conserve forests, trees, associated biodiversity and indigenous forestry knowledge as well as alleviating poverty through sustainable use of forests and forest products.

The projects we support primarily involve planting trees that provide food and income for local people; in many cases this simultaneously addresses environmental issues such as habitat restoration. There are often also fundamental rights issues involved such as access to ancestral land. In the UK we focus on tree planting where there is an environmental need, often working with schools

Job Description:

I am responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation, overseeing all functions. As we are a small organisation I am also responsible for leading on fundraising and programmes. I report to the Board of Trustees and manage the finances of the organisation; I also oversee the staff team.

In terms of our programmes work I am the main point of contact for our partners and I work closely with them on project development, monitoring and evaluation and fundraising.I occasionally travel to Africa and have recently been to Burkina Faso, Kenya and Malawi.

How long have you worked in your current job?

Almost 4 years.

Route to current job:

  1. VSO volunteer in Malawi
  2. Seven years in Malawi and Ethiopia as founder and CEO of 2 Macmillan Education companies.
  3. MSc Biodiversity Conservation (Imperial)
  4. Managing Director of Environmental Investigation Agency
  5. Interim Head of Sustainable Funding and Governance at NCVO
  6. CEO of the Landscape Design Trust
  7. Trustee of African Conservation Foundation

Previous jobs:

I moved into this sector form the commercial publishing sector. I retained by doing a Masters having already done a Masters in European Studies and a first degree in Business Studies.

My Africa-based experience, coupled with my Biodiversity MSc were key factors in finding a role in international conservation/development work. The mix of commercial and non-profit experience was also very valuable as was my short stint with NCVO as this gave me a great grounding in best practice within the non-profit sector.

Voluntary experience:

VSO in Malawi.
Trustee of African Conservation Foundation (4 yrs)

Education and Training:

BA (HONS) Business Studies
MSc European Studies
MSc Biodiversity Conservation (distance)

Best bits:

The programmes work: designing projects with partners, seeing results and being able to communicate those results. Fundraising can also be enjoyable (honestly!) and using some of the great imagery we now have to get the word out is very rewarding.

Worst bits:

Too much administration in terms of company registration, annual returns etc. The administration surrounding governance etc.

Advice for people looking for similar job:

Decide early on what you want to do and go for it! Even if it seems unlikely/over-ambitious, half the battle is knowing what you want to do – you can then put all your energy and focus into that single direction. A good degree or Masters helps but is not a guarantee; if possible volunteer and show commitment, reliability and creativity whenever you can.

Will you continue to do similar work in this sector in the future?

Watch this space….