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Sphere announces appointment of new Executive Director

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Following a comprehensive recruitment process, Sphere is pleased to announce the appointment of William Anderson as Executive Director.

William joins Sphere with extensive leadership experience from working for humanitarian and development organizations at international, national and local levels. With a strong background in principled humanitarian action and policy, he brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Sphere secretariat and to the global Sphere network.

Recently, William served as a senior consultant in Ethiopia, Moldova, and Ukraine, as well as Policy Manager for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Geneva. He was Middle East Regional Director with INTERSOS during the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns.

During ten years with Medair, William held several key roles, including Executive Director for Quality & Innovation and International Programmes, where he led the organization on policy and operational programming, and where he was deployed to various communities affected by conflict, crisis or disaster.

Before joining Medair, William worked for twelve years with Christian Aid, including extended stays in Zimbabwe, Kenya and India. William received his Master of Theology from St Andrews University in Scotland and holds a Business Administration (Strategy) certification from the Open University. He currently lives in Lausanne, Switzerland with his wife and three daughters.

On joining Sphere William said:

“I am thrilled to be joining the team. Sphere has been my constant companion during my almost 25-year humanitarian journey, so it is an honour to become part of the secretariat, to serve my new colleagues, the Governing Board, and most importantly, the Sphere community,”

The Executive Director will continue to ensure Sphere provides a valuable public service to humanitarian and development actors around the world by delivering on Sphere’s strategic objectives:

  • Progressing awareness, understanding, accessibility, localisation, ownership, application and review of Sphere standards across diverse contexts globally;
  • enhancing the ownership and application of Sphere minimum standards by expanding, diversifying and strengthening the global Sphere community of purpose and practice, and deepening their engagement;
  • advocating for and facilitating collaboration and best practice across humanitarian standards to ensure quality and accountability in the sector and better response to the needs of users and communities;
  • promoting accountability to affected populations and learning across the sector.

The board is delighted to welcome William to the Sphere team and would like to take this opportunity to thank Romain Benicchio for acting as Executive Director over the last few months, the Sphere team for their commitment to Sphere, and the former Executive Director, Balwant Singh, for his work and achievements during his tenure.

You can view William’s profile on LinkedIn here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-anderson-pro/