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:

Daphne Jayasinghe (Co-Chair)

Lee Webster (Co-Chair)

Kanwal Ahluwalia

Catherine Klirodotakou

Anne Quesney

Beverley Duckworth

Antonella Mancini

Radha Wickremasinghe

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

Natasha Piette Basheer, Coordinator

Marion Sharples, Policy & Communications Officer




Board of Trustees

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.

Lee Webster (Co-Chair)

Lee is the Head of Policy and Communications for Womankind Worldwide. There she leads work with decision makers and the public, covering the spectrum of research and policy analysis, building relationships with government and parliamentarians, supporting women activists from Africa and Asia to advocate in international arenas and ensuring that Womankind's communications with the world are clear, consistent and convey their feminist principles.

Lee has over 15 years experience in both international development and UK-facing policy, campaigns and communications work, including with CARE International, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Maternity Worldwide and VSO. Lee is a feminist, an activists, volunteers to support refugee rights, and is raising a young son to love and respect women and girls!



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.

Natasha Piette Basheer (Coordinator)

Natasha is the Coordinator at the Gender and Development Network. She has previously worked for NGOs such as Plan International USA and Endometriosis UK. She works part-time at GADN and also works part-time at Women's Environmental Network (WEN) on women's health and environmental campaigns. She holds a MA in Development and Rights from Goldsmiths, University of London.

Marion Sharples (Policy & Communications Officer)

Marion is Policy & Communications Officer at the Gender and Development Network.  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.