War on Want appoints new leader

24 April 2008 - 2:17pm
Press release

Anti-poverty charity War on Want has appointed John Hilary as its new Executive Director. He takes over the role this morning from his previous position as Director of Campaigns and Policy at the organisation, a post he has held since 2004.

John has worked for the past 20 years in the international development and human rights sector, and is a recognised expert in many fields across the global justice agenda. He has published widely on issues of international politics and globalisation, trade and investment, privatisation, conflict, aid conditionality, Palestine and Iraq, and became one of the first external columnists for the Guardian's Comment is Free website on its launch in 2006.

During the last four years John has directed War on Want's hard-hitting campaigns on ethical fashion, trade, corporate accountability, privatisation, mercenaries, Iraq, Palestine and Western Sahara, building the organisation's impact and profile both in the UK and internationally. John has also been an important figure in the Trade Justice Movement since its inception, and led War on Want's participation in the Make Poverty History coalition during 2005.

Before joining War on Want, John was employed as a policy and campaigns specialist for a number of other leading development and human rights organisations, including ActionAid, Amnesty International and Save the Children. He worked as a teacher in Pakistan and China during the 1980s, taking an MA in Chinese politics from London University?s School of Oriental and African Studies before joining the BBC World Service as a specialist in East Asian affairs.

John Hilary said: "War on Want is one of the few organisations prepared to expose the true impacts of globalisation on working people, and to challenge government and big business in the fight for global justice. At no time has its principled stand been more important, and I am both proud and privileged to be leading the organisation forward in the next stage of its rich history.

"As powerful Western companies press ever harder to control the world's markets and natural resources, the most vulnerable communities face greater conflict and poverty. Working closely with our partners in developing countries as well as with trade unionists and other progressive forces, we will step up our challenge to confront the root causes of poverty and injustice. With its vision, courage and reputation, War on Want will continue to play a lead role in the struggle for a better world."

Sue Branford, who chairs War on Want's council of management, said: "We are delighted with John's appointment. The world has entered a phase of greater turmoil and instability, exacerbating the problems faced by our partners among the poorest people around the globe.

"War on Want's radical message about the need for far-reaching structural change is becoming increasingly relevant. John's vision and tenacity have already gained him much respect in the development sector. We are confident that under his leadership War on Want will continue to go from strength to strength."





  • High resolution photographs of John Hilary are available for download here and here
  • John is available for interview through the media office, as below.


CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office - (+44) (0)207 549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728


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