Our Team

Eleanor Harrison

Eleanor Harrison, OBE – CEO

In climatic terms, Eleanor is whirlwind, a benevolent whirlwind but a whirlwind nonetheless – the kind that might pick you up and set you down on a yellow brick road in a burst of magic dust. Eleanor's indefatigable energy has led to her to accumulating a wealth of experience in leading teams in the non-profit sector both in the UK and overseas. She was the Director of Action for Children in Conflict (2007-2011), a grassroots charity working with street and other vulnerable children and their families in Thika District, Kenya. She worked for the Refugee Council developing and implementing office and community projects for refugees and asylum seekers in the West Midlands, UK. She has also worked with young people in Uganda on HIV/AIDS issues, with rural schools in Western Kenya on educational resource development, taught in Bosnia and conducted research work in Australia and the UK for charities. Eleanor was awarded a Groundbreakers Scholarship (2013) for emerging women leaders in the charity sector; a Paul Harris Fellowship Award (2009) for her community service work. She was also nominated for a Community Service Award, Kenya in 2011. Most recently, in 2015, GlobalGiving UK, under her guidance, was recognised by Digital Leaders 100 as a leading digital organisation. Eleanor holds an MA in International Relations, University of Queensland and a BA (Hons) in Social & Political Sciences, University of Cambridge. In the Queen’s Birthday Awards, 2016, Eleanor’s passion for helping people and their communities to realise their potential and deliver for themselves and others was recognised with the award of the OBE.

Rachel Smith

Rachel Smith - Director of Programmes & Operations

Rachel is one of the original co-founders of GlobalGiving UK in 2008. She manages the programmes working with charities, companies and foundations to ensure that grassroots organisations can access the resources they need to support their communities and environment. Rachel is tireless in applying her considerable creative skills to perfect systems, design programmes and rouse the recalcitrant. There is nothing she loves more than a fully detailed organisational flow chart apart from a super complex spread sheet. (That said, a picture of a cat will always win, Rachel being a fully paid-up ailurophile.) Rachel previously worked in marketing in the retail sector, for local government, and as an archaeologist specialising in later prehistory and material culture. She holds an MA from Cardiff University in Archaeology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Birbeck University. She has been involved in the voluntary sector, particularly fundraising, from a very young age - she organised her first fundraising event (a local coffee morning) aged seven!

Luanna Zapula

Luanna Zapula – Finance Officer

Luanna joined GlobalGiving UK in February of 2016 as the Finance Officer and is responsible for the management accounts and general finance requirements of the organisation. She has a non-profit background with over three years of experience in finance and strategic management. Luanna was educated in Brazil, studying for a degree in Non-profit Management at the UEMG. She loves to travel and so far has visited over twelve countries. As befits a person in her position, Luanna envisions GlobalGiving UK as a large, interactive, online platform reaching out to numerous grassroots charities around the world by sending them the donations quickly and efficiently to help people in need.

Celeste Hesketh

Celeste Hesketh – Volunteer Programme Coordinator

Celeste manages GlobalGiving UK's volunteer programmes including GlobalGivingTime (our online volunteering platform) and Route to Good, a Marketing and Communications mentoring programme that we run in conjunction with our Corporate partner Dantsu Aegis Network. Celeste holds a Bachelor degree in European Business Studies and has over 7 years of experience in product marketing within the Financial services sector having worked for Bradford & Bingley, GE Money and Nationwide Building Society. Celeste is passionate about education and children.

Zdravka Mihaljevic

Zdravka Mihaljevic - Campaigns Manager

Zdravka, 'But you can call me Zee,' is the second longest serving member of the GlobalGiving UK team. She has been with us for seven year and is responsible for corporate partner campaigns. Her enthusiasm is as infectious as her passion to help all our non-profit partners thrive. Prior to joining us, Zdravka honed her training skills with three years of classroom experience working as a foreign languages teacher in Croatia. Zdravka holds a B.A. in English and Italian literature from the University of Zagreb, Croatia, and a Masters in European Studies from King's College London. She is passionate about education, literature and human rights. She finds cooking and dancing relaxing and likes her films European, her chocolate dark and her friends open-minded.

Patricia Guilfoyle

Patricia Guilfoyle – Marketplace Manager

Pat is responsible for assisting small non-profits join our GlobalGiving community. She is most enthusiastic about ensuring that all our partners have access to the training and resources necessary to help their local communities. She is rightly proud to say that she knows the majority of the organisations that she has helped since joining GlobalGiving on a first name basis. Her responsibilities are to guarantee that all partners have been fully vetted and to provide them with the training and support necessary to become fully self-sustaining organisations. Before relocating to London to raise her family, Pat managed the International Finance and Administration department for a major corporate in New York. She holds an MBA in Information Systems and a BSc in Business Administration - Management. Having survived raising two teenage sons, Pat enjoys spending time in the kitchen creating new dishes, gardening and travelling with her husband.

Jess Bailey

Jess Bailey – Marketplace Specialist

Jess joined GlobalGiving UK early in 2016 to bring focus to our marketing and communications campaigns. She is concentrating much of her efforts on developing our social media platforms as well as promoting workshops and events. Jess studied Geography and International Development at the University of Sussex, and read for a Masters in Political Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam where she concentrated on third sector persuasion tactics and edutainment. In between she worked in Holland on communications and human rights and in Bangladesh with street children and vulnerable women. Alongside her studies, she has a photo project which aims to bridge the gap between the Arabic Egyptian and Dutch cultures, and is also in the process of creating a video game aimed at Bangladeshi street children to warn them of the risks of sexual exploitation. When not otherwise employed, Jess enjoys playing squash, cycling and hula hooping. (Of the last, seeing is believing https://youtu.be/ryUjGY4U9YY).

Sylvia Sundstrom

Sylvia Sundstrom – Long-Term Volunteer

Sylvia joined GlobalGiving UK as a volunteer in November 2013 and has worked three days a week ever since. Her responsibilities cover office administration and human resources, which include recruiting and coordinating volunteers. (An unofficial responsibility is to feed the whole office as often we can persuade her.) Sylvia moved to the UK in January 2011, having previously worked as a diplomat (administration and EA to the Ambassador) at the Swedish Embassy in Bangladesh. Immediately before she joined us, Sylvia worked at a chartered accounting company in London, responsible for payrolls, company taxes, annual returns and bookkeeping. She is a living example of a world trotter. Apart from Bangladesh, she has gained more than a decade of experience working in the public, private and charity sectors in Angola, Sweden and Brazil. It is no surprise to learn Sylvia speaks several languages nor that she is always open to learn new things.

David O'Connor Thompson

David O'Connor Thompson – Long-Term Volunteer

David joined GlobalGiving UK in September, 2013 as a volunteer to help with marketing strategy development and communications. David spent most of his career in advertising as a copywriter winning more awards than his mantelpiece can handle and rising to be the Creative Director of a number of London agencies. At a late age, he decided to get himself educated and applied to and, much to his surprise, succeeded in gaining a place a Sussex University where he was awarded a BA in English Literature and an MA in Modern French Thought. 'Je pense donc je suis constamment surpris,' as he is wont to say. Away from GlobalGiving, David spends most of his time instructing his grandchildren on the most fruitful ways to annoy their parents.