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By Tim Harrison, Research Director, nfpSynergy

Charities face a challenging political environment in Northern Ireland today. As a research consultancy with a specialism in political monitoring, we wanted to sponsor the ‘Leading on Political Impact’ award at the CO3 leadership conference this year. In our research, we have seen lots of charities demonstrating best practice in this field and we consider this award recognition of their good work.

Magic of leadership Conference... Interview with Mark Goldring, CEO of Oxfam GB

Mark Goldring, is the CEO of Oxfam GB. He was previously Chief Executive of VSO and has worked in the field for the United Nations Development Programme, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and Oxfam too - as Bangladesh country director in the 1990s.  Before joining Oxfam, he was Chief Executive of Mencap. His considerable services to tackling poverty and disadvantage were recognised in 2008 with a CBE.

Achieving excellence and supporting future leaders in our communities

This week we introduce a think piece by Joanne McDowell, Big Lottery Fund Director for Northern Irleand. Joanne zooms in on the elephant in the Third Sector room: the very people and organisations dedicated to healing conflicts, promoting equality and leading social economic growth in their local communities are still not recognised as the to-go experts. Their work is regularly overshadowed, disregarded or even halted by the actions of others who believe they know best.

Arlene Cassidy Autism NI

1. Introduce and describe yourself in five words?
My name is Dr Arlene Cassidy and I have been the CEO at Autism NI for over 22 years. I would describe myself as passionate, forward-thinking, resourceful, genuine and supportive.

2. What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

David Meade - MC at CO3's February 2015 Magic of Leadership Conference and Awards, Ecclesiastical

For those of you that have seen my TV show on BBC One, you may not realise that most of my work these days is in the corporate space.  Having lectured on leadership and management for many years and studied it extensively, it’s a real passion area of mine that consumes most of my calendar today.