News & events

Saferworld's new Chief Executive Officer: Susana Klien appointed to lead Saferworld

7 May 2024

The Board of Trustees is delighted to announce the appointment of Susana Klien as the next Chief Executive Officer of Saferworld.

Susana will take over from Paul Murphy who is stepping down after 12 years as Executive Director and 15 years with Saferworld, a period in which he ensured the organisation remained at the forefront of peacebuilding practice and advocacy, rooted in the voices of people living in conflict.

Susana is well known to Saferworld having previously served as Director of International Programmes between 2015 and 2022, and is joining us today following her tenure as Head of Grant Programmes at Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

Susana said: “I am excited to be coming back to Saferworld – an organisation that I hold close to my heart because of its strong commitment to justice and peace, its committed staff and inspiring partners, its emphasis on meaningful partnerships and collaborative work, the uncompromising position in the agendas it pursues, and its reflective nature. I feel privileged to be back to lead the organisation in this new chapter”.

“At this moment in history, when violent conflict and injustice are increasing dramatically, respect for international norms and human rights is shattered, and the space for civil society and social movements is under threat, Saferworld has a crucial role to play, working collectively with partners and communities to address root causes of conflict and advocating for peace and social justice. In this journey, Saferworld is strongly rooted in and guided by the voices of people who face the brunt of conflict and injustice, committed to challenge structures and systems that create and perpetuate conflict, and on the road to intentionally transform itself and the peacebuilding sector.”

“I want to express my gratitude and appreciation for Paul, who was one of the reasons why I came to work for Saferworld in the first place. He has been not only a mentor and a constant source of learning, but also a principled leader who is leaving Saferworld with a clear strategy that is not only people-centred and feminist, but which places solidarity at its heart.” 

Stephanie Blair, Chair of Saferworld’s Board of Trustees, said: “We are delighted that Susana has agreed to join us as CEO. Susana brings a wide range of experience in the policy, advocacy, development, human rights and peacebuilding sectors, and is committed to anti-racist practices, decolonising aid and philanthropy, and shifting power initiatives. This expertise and experience will ensure that the organisation continues to deliver its ambitious strategy and ensure that Saferworld anticipates and prepares for the future challenges to come, through continued leadership of the peacebuilding sector.” 

“The Board wants to express our deep appreciation for everything that Paul has done. Paul’s passion and leadership have made an immense contribution to Saferworld and have been a catalyst to change in the wider peacebuilding sector over the last 15 years. As a leader, he has steered the organisation through periods of incredible change. He will be sorely missed and we wish him every success in his future endeavours.”