Meet The Team

The Gender and Development Network is made up of a diverse network of members. To find out more about our current members, visit our members’ page. If you would like to become a member of GADN, apply here, or for more information click here.

The strategic direction of GADN is lead by the Director, Board of Trustees and Advisory Group who meet throughout the year. They are supported by a Coordinator, Communications & Advocacy Officer and Volunteers.

You can find out more about GADN's structure and division of responsibilities here.

Board of Trustees:

Kanwal Ahluwalia (Co-Chair)

Daphne Jayasinghe (Co-Chair)

Catherine Klirodotakou

Anne Quesney

Beverley Duckworth

Antonella Mancini

Radha Wickremasinghe

Lee Webster

Cristiana Conte

Advisory Group:

Lee Webster, Womankind Worldwide

Rachel Noble, ActionAid UK (on maternity leave)

Danielle Spencer, ActionAid UK

Francesca Rhodes, Oxfam GB (on secondment abroad)

Fenella Porter, Oxfam GB

Chiara Capraro, Womankind Worldwide

Mairi MacRae, IRC (on maternity leave)

Ines Smyth, Independent

Preethi Sundaram, IPPF

Sophie Efange, Christian Aid


Jessica Woodroffe, Director

Kady Billington-Murphy, Coordinator

Marion Sharples, Policy & Communications Officer




Board of Trustees

Kanwal Ahluwalia (Co-Chair)

Kanwal is a freelance consultant with over 20 years of experience of international development programmes in Africa, Asia and SE Europe. Her specific expertise is in girls’ and women’s human rights and gender equality programme and policy work, as well as organisational development, particularly gender mainstreaming. She has worked for a range of agencies including WomenAid International, the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute, ChildHope, Womankind Worldwide, Plan UK and  Girl Effect. 

Kanwal has been or is involved in either a Trustee or advisory capacity to: Collective Artistes, International Centre for Health and Human Rights, a multi donor initiative to tackle Female Genital Mutilation and the Darbar Arts and Culture Heritage Trust.

Daphne Jayasinghe (Co-Chair)

Daphne has experience working on gender policy and advocacy in academic, government and non-government settings. She is currently a senior policy and advocacy adviser at the International Rescue Committee. Prior to IRC, she was policy adviser in the women's rights policy team at ActionAid UK, policy adviser on nutrition and food security for Save the Children UK and Amnesty International USA's Women's Rights Advocacy Director. At AIUSA she led advocacy initiatives on violence against women and maternal health and co-chaired the International Violence Against Women Act coalition of 80+ organisations. Daphne gained experience working for the UK government as a Senior Policy Advisor for the Women and Equality Unit and as a Review Visits Leader for the Charity Commission, where she advised charity boards on governance and regulation issues.

Daphne has conducted academic research with women employed in Export processing zones in Sri Lanka and the Anglophone Caribbean, presented her work at international conferences and published her research findings in a number of forums including the journal Gender and Development. She holds an MA in Sociology from the University of the West Indies and a BA in Social and Political Science from the University of Cambridge.


Jessica Woodroffe (Director)

Jessica is part-time Director of the Gender and Development Network and a freelance advocacy consultant, specialising in research, facilitation and strategy development.  Before becoming Director of GADN she held the post of Chair with the network for three years. Jessica is also currently a Trustee of Bond.

Over the last 20 years Jessica has held a variety of advocacy posts in the international development sector. These included Director of Policy and Campaigns at ActionAid UK, Head of Policy and Campaigns at the World Development Movement and Head of Campaigns at Christian Aid. Throughout her career she has focused on both women’s rights and economic justice issues.

As Head of Campaigns at the Fawcett Society, Jessica also campaigned for gender equality in the UK.

Kady Billington-Murphy (Coordinator)

Kady is the Coordinator at the Gender and Development Network. She has previously worked for several NGOs including Care International UK and Minority Rights Group. She works part-time at GADN and also works part-time at Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) network on women, peace and security. She holds an MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities from the LSE.

Marion Sharples (Policy & Communications Officer)

Marion is part-time Policy & Communications Officer for the Gender and Development Network, and is also a freelance communications consultant.  Marion sits on the WIDE+ gender and trade working group and is a trustee of Women Working Worldwide. Prior to joining GADN, she worked in EU advocacy in Belgium, and in the public sector in Colombia. She holds an MSc in Gender, Development and Globalisation.