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Dr Balwant Singh appointed as Sphere’s new Executive Director

Dr Balwant Singh is a senior executive with long-standing experience in humanitarian and development programmes. Photo: Sphere


The Sphere Executive Committee is delighted to announce that Dr Balwant Singh will start as Sphere’s new Executive Director on 15 October 2019.

Dr Singh brings more than 25 years of leadership experience in philanthropy, international development and humanitarian initiatives across Asia, Africa, Europe and the USA.

“I am excited to join Sphere at this time when the complexity and scale of disasters and conflicts around the world demand high quality concerted responses from all humanitarian actors”, Dr Singh said. “I look forward to working in collaboration with the Sphere team, members, partners, donors, the UN, government agencies and humanitarian alliances to deliver joined-up action for people affected. Sphere’s role as a global network and catalyst for humanitarian quality and accountability remains paramount.”

Until recently, Dr Singh was the CEO of a UK-based philanthropic foundation. He was previously the Global Director of an initiative addressing maternal, newborn and child mortality across Africa and Asia; Regional Director for South and Central Asia at Save the Children; and Executive Director of Doctors of the World USA. His earlier experiences include leading the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in India, directing International Family Health’s global programmes, and managing the global relief organisation Project HOPE’s work in Russia. Balwant is a physician by training and holds a master’s degree in Business Administration.

It’s an exciting time for Sphere as we update our strategy, looking to the future and to the role Sphere can play in the humanitarian sector.
– Colin Rogers, Sphere president

“Dr Balwant Singh joins us at a great moment to help shape Sphere’s future”, said Colin Rogers, Head of Disaster Preparedness and Response at Plan International and Sphere president. “It’s an exciting time for Sphere as we update our strategy, looking to the future and to the role Sphere can play in the humanitarian sector, while ensuring we are providing the services our network and the wider humanitarian community need.”

Dr Balwant Singh replaces former Executive Director Christine Knudsen, who has been leading the organisation for the past five years and through a time of deep transformation. Under her leadership, Sphere became an independent organisation, expanded its membership, and launched a revised edition of the Sphere Handbook. Both the Sphere Executive Committee and the Secretariat are extremely grateful for Christine’s leadership, vision and guidance over recent years, and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours.