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STATEMENT: Kevin Watkins to step down as Executive Director of ODI

Written by Kevin Watkins

After three years as Executive Director of the Overseas Development Institute, Kevin Watkins will be stepping down in September to become the Chief Executive of Save the Children UK.

Kevin Watkins said: 'I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved at ODI. This is an institution that combines outstanding research with world-class communications and sustained policy engagement, in areas that matter for some of the world’s poorest countries and most disadvantaged people. Our research has made a difference on some of the most critical issues facing countries around the world, from the reform of the humanitarian system, to migration, climate change, inequality and the creation of jobs through inclusive growth.

'My successor will build on the strong foundations now in place to take the organisation to the next level. This is an organisation that will continue to set the agendas, develop the ideas and provide the evidence needed to accelerate progress in development.

'Although I am sad to leave my colleagues and many friends here at ODI, it is a privilege to be asked to lead Save the Children UK in its vital mission of helping the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world. This is a cause I am passionate about. At a time when poverty, inequality and a failure to uphold the most basic of human rights are consigning too many children to lives blighted by restricted opportunity, insecurity and violence, I look forward to joining Save the Children and working with colleagues to achieve change.'

Plans for the transition process are already underway, with ODI’s board led by James Cameron beginning a global search to recruit Kevin’s successor.