Starting out as a special needs teacher, and then a lecturer in Politics and Philosophy, Tanya joined VSO in 1989, becoming their head of programmes for Eastern Europe and the CIS. After three years with the European Children’s Trust, in 1999 she was appointed as the first CEO of Home-Start International. During this period she was seconded to Brussels to manage a grant-making facility for the European Commission. From 1995-2002 Tanya was the chair of the UNICEF NGO Committee for CEEC/CIS in Geneva.
Tanya was appointed as international director at Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) in 2004. She has co-authored various papers and edited two LCD books, Disability and Inclusive Development and Poverty and Disability. She became chief executive of Plan UK in January 2013.
In 2003 Tanya was given the European Woman of Achievement (Humanitarian) award and in 2016 was made an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for helping to provide safe education for girls internationally.