MAP names Melanie Ward as new CEO

Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Melanie Ward to the role of Chief Executive Officer. She will take up the position from January 2023.

Melanie Ward is currently the Senior Director for Strategy and Planning in Europe at the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and, before this, served as IRC’s UK Executive Director. Melanie brings to the role a wealth of experience in humanitarian and development programming and advocacy, and understanding of the challenges facing the Palestinian communities MAP serves, having previously worked with the IRC in Lebanon, and served as a Human Rights Observer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) in Hebron and Yanoun in the occupied Palestinian territory.

During her time at IRC, Melanie also served as Deputy Country Director in Nigeria, Director of Policy and Planning for IRC President and CEO David Miliband in New York, and European Director of Policy and Advocacy. She also previously led UK advocacy for ActionAid and Christian Aid, and has appeared regularly on national and international media including BBC News, Channel 4 News, Sky News, CNN and the BBC World Service.

Melanie Ward said: “It’s a huge privilege to be appointed the next CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians. Having lived in Hebron and worked in Lebanon, I have seen up close the grim reality of occupation and displacement for Palestinians, and the need to build a better future. MAP is a unique and special organisation whose dedicated staff and partners, with the backing of committed supporters, do extraordinary work in extremely difficult circumstances. This work is to ensure that all Palestinians can access quality healthcare and - more than this - it is also about dignity, solidarity and justice.”

“MAP is a unique and special organisation whose dedicated staff and partners, with the backing of committed supporters, do extraordinary work in extremely difficult circumstances.”

“With the death and injury caused by successive Israeli bombardments of Gaza on top of already problematic child malnutrition levels; a growing mental health crisis; economic catastrophe in Lebanon; and the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, MAP’s work is needed more than ever. The ongoing harassment of Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank highlights the importance of MAP’s focus on supporting and strengthening Palestinian organisations. I’m really looking forward to getting started and to leading this brilliant organisation in its next chapter.”

Melanie will be joining MAP at an exciting time, as the organisation embarks on its ambitious new 2023-2027 five-year strategy, recommitting to the pursuit of a future in which all Palestinians can access an effective, sustainable and locally-led system of healthcare. 

Iain McSeveny, who has served as MAP’s Interim Chief Executive Officer since January 2022 and will revert to his previous role as Director of Finance, said: “It has been an honour serving MAP in this role and I am immensely proud of what our staff and partners have achieved this year. I am delighted to be passing the baton over to Melanie, who brings such valuable experience and knowledge to the role. I am confident that under her leadership MAP will continue to make a real difference to the lives of Palestinians affected by occupation, displacement and discrimination, and to speak out confidently in support of their rights to health and dignity.”

Melanie is also Chair of the Board of global women’s rights NGO The Circle, and a trustee for peacebuilding organisation Saferworld.

Stay updated – join our mailing list

* indicates required
Your Interests