Alison Evans announced as new Director of ODI

20 March 2009

Alison Evans will be appointed as the new Director of the Overseas Development Institute, the UK’s leading independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. She will take over from Simon Maxwell on 1 May 2009.

Maxwell has led the institute for eleven years but announced a year ago that he would stand down as Director in Spring 2009.

Announcing the new appointment, the Chair of ODI, Lord Turner, said:

"Over eleven and a half years in post, Simon has made a superb contribution, establishing ODI as the pre-eminent think-tank in its field, a global leader in research, policy advice and public debate on global poverty.

"I am delighted that the Board has been able to appoint a successor who will build on this legacy and lead ODI to further success.

"Alison Evans is an international and influential authority on aid and development. She takes over leadership of the ODI at a difficult time for the global economy and the world’s poor. ODI’s analytical and independent voice is needed now more than ever."

Alison Evans said:

"I am thrilled and excited to be leading ODI into its 50th anniversary year. Simon leaves some very big shoes to fill. I look forward to the challenge."

Simon Maxwell said:

"It has been a privilege to work at ODI and a double privilege to lead ODI through a period in which international development has had unprecedented profile. Our mission – our passion – has been to inspire and inform policy and practice which reduce poverty in the world. I’m very pleased that the Board has chosen Alison Evans to be the new Director. She and I have been close colleagues at ODI. I know she will lead ODI to even greater achievement."

Alison Evans is currently Director of Programmes at ODI for Poverty and Public Policy, leading a team of 30 researchers and support staff. She has a BA in economics from the University of Sussex, an MPhil in Development Economics from Cambridge, and a PhD from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex. Alison was a Lecturer in Economics at the University of Sussex, before joining the World Bank in 1994. She returned to the UK in 2000, working first as an independent consultant and then as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. She joined ODI as a Director of Programmes in 2006. She has published widely on poverty, aid and gender.