Introducing New Chair of Trustees, Roy Warden


After 9 years as FIGS’ founding chair of trustees, and as part of a long-standing plan for good governance, John Benington will be stepping down as chair of trustees on 1 May 2020. He will be handing over the reins to Roy Warden.

Roy Warden, FIGS Chair-Elect

During this start-up phase John has mobilised an extraordinary network of friends, colleagues and former students, in the UK and worldwide, to join together to build FIGS into an innovative, loyal and committed movement of support. He has overseen a fundraising strategy which has raised over £2.5 million to help turn Nagomoro Bridget’s dream for Ibba Girls’ Boarding School (IGBS) into reality. John has also recruited a dedicated a group of trustees with a wide range of skills and expertise, who will remain on board as trustees to help provide continuity and institutional memory during the transition to Roy as the incoming chair.

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John Benington and Nagomoro Bridget at Ibba Girls' Boarding School.

John will now join Baroness Estelle Morris, Rev'd Margaret Sentamu, Lord Michael Bichard and Rev’d Michael Paget-Wilkes as a vice-president of FIGS, and we all look forward to continuing to work with him in this new capacity. John will also continue to visit South Sudan regularly, where he and Jean Hartley have been appointed adjunct professors at Juba University’s School of Public Service.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Roy Warden to join the board of trustees and to become our next chair from 1 May. Roy has been a keen supporter of FIGS and IGBS since the very beginning, having met Nagomoro Bridget with John Benington and Gary Bandy in Juba in 2008, when she first shared her dream to set up a girls’ community boarding school in Ibba, to serve the whole of Western Equatoria State. Roy has taken a close interest since then in the development of FIGS and IGBS.

Roy has had a 40-year career in public service, working as a senior civil servant in the Inland Revenue, the Treasury, and HMRC. In addition to advising government ministers on policy, he has experience of the strategic and financial management of several organisations. Since 2016, he has been working with charities operating in East Africa, especially Uganda and Ethiopia, where he is trustee and treasurer for Partners for Change.

Roy is looking forward to working with the other FIGS trustees, with their wide range of expertise in education, management, leadership, evaluation, law, finance, and international diplomacy, and the whole of the FIGS team, and to developing the working partnership with IGBS trustees, governors, colleagues and supporters in South Sudan. Roy aims to visit Ibba once the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. Welcome Roy, during these challenging times!

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