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New Secretary General at Oxfam Sweden

8 October 2021

Today we have happy news! Oxfam Sweden has a new Secretary General - Suzanne Standfast. We took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her background and how she thinks about her mission at Oxfam.

Tell us briefly about you and your background, what have you worked with previously?
I have worked in civil society for the past 14 years and most recently came from Save the Children. There I had the privilege of working both nationally and globally. I have also worked in the field, for example in Bangladesh, India and the Balkans, to create communication about children in migration and all children's right to education. I have also worked at SVT for several years in various editorial departments, including the Children and Youth Department. For more than 10 years of my life, I worked full-time with music in various forms and ran both publishing houses and record labels.

Why have you chosen to work in civil society?
I have always been interested and involved in social issues, ever since my school days in Karlstad. Civil society has a very important role to play in the development of society and in ensuring that countries develop democratically, that human rights are respected and that poverty is reduced.

Why did you join Oxfam and what do you find most interesting about Oxfam as an organization?
Over the past year, it has become so clear to me that Oxfam's expertise and long experience in fighting inequality and poverty is needed more than ever. A year and a half into the pandemic, we see that hunger is causing more deaths than the coronavirus and that decades of anti-poverty successes are at risk of being lost. The proportion of people living in extreme poverty is likely to almost double as a result of the pandemic, meaning that an additional half a billion people will be living in extreme poverty. It is almost unfathomable and completely unacceptable that people who were already living in vulnerability are now even worse off.

What are your plans for the organization?
In order to meet the increasing needs of people living in poverty, we need to join forces. I therefore see that we need to raise even greater interest and commitment to Oxfam's work here in Sweden to get more people to support us in our work. The commitment of our donors and cooperation with our partners is incredibly important. With increased commitment, we can grow as an organization, gain an even stronger voice and, most importantly, our efforts can reach even more people living in vulnerability and poverty.

What do our donors mean to you and the work that Oxfam does?
You, our donors, mean so much to the fight against poverty, inequality and injustice. Thanks to you, the people around the world who are most vulnerable and affected by crises and disasters receive vital help and support. I would say that you are invaluable.

Of course, we are also interested in you as a person. Do you have any hobbies or interests you would like to tell us about?
I listen to a lot of music, from pop to classical. I have three children who also love music and my oldest son, and my husband, play several instruments so it is never quiet at home. I am also very fond of soccer and two of the children play in soccer teams so I spend a lot of time away from the field. Hiking is another favorite activity, and being with my family and friends. It's the best thing I know.

We are delighted that Suzanne is here and welcome her to Oxfam!