James Whitehead

James Whitehead

Oxfam GB

James is currently Oxfam's Global Innovation Advisor supporting the organisation to develop new and creative solutions to overcoming poverty and suffering. He leads Oxfam's thinking and practice on bringing about change at scale and exploring alternative models of delivery. He also supports country programmes to effectively develop and scale cutting edge programmes, as well as initiating collaboration with new stakeholders to accelerate innovative solutions to the world's most pressing social issues.

Prior to this he was Oxfam's Regional Programme Manager for the Middle East responsible for a wide range of humanitarian and development programmes in the region. These include the start up of the Syria Crisis Response, resilience work in Yemen, economic justice in Palestine and gender programming across the region. During this time he also supported organisation-wide initiatives on fragile states and working in partnership.

He has an MBA and wide experience of the sector. Before joining Oxfam he was the International Director for Progressio, a UK-based INGO, managing global programmes and policy on sustainable livelihoods, climate change, civil society and governance. He also ran VSO's country programme in Cambodia, working closely with government ministries, multi-laterals and civil society. 


Public transportation in Mexico City
2 August 2016
Following a meeting hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation, Oxfam's innovation guru, James Whitehead, highlights the richness of experience that we have in anticipating and solving complex social problems.
Hamster wheel vs fly wheel
12 February 2016
I spend a lot of time thinking about how we can unlock innovation in INGOs, wrestling with how they can do this more effectively, and talking to people who have great insights on the subject.