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The new Head of Christian Aid Wales will strengthen the charity’s presence in Wales, says the Archbishop of Wales.

The Archbishop, John Davies, who is also trustee of Christian Aid and chair of Christian Aid Wales’ national committee, welcomed the appointment of Mari McNeill.

Previously the charity’s deputy head in Wales, Mari’s new role will see her lead the team in Wales, develop and implement key partnerships in the church, public and private sectors and contribute to the organisation’s strategic vision.

Archbishop John said, â€œMari brings a wealth of experience to this vital Christian Aid role in Wales. She began her time with the charity in 2010 as a youth & student intern, and she has since served in a variety of roles including those of Regional Coordinator for South East Wales and Deputy Head of Wales team. She has a strong track record in developing key partnerships across a wide spectrum of colleagues and organisations and it is immensely impressive to see her ready to move on into the leadership role. Mari’s appointment will strengthen Christian Aid’s presence in Wales where, together, we can raise awareness, raise voices and raise money and, in doing so, make a practical difference to the lives of millions of people in some of the poorest parts of the world.â€�

A fluent Welsh speaker, born and raised in Cardiff, Mari graduated in foreign languages from Oxford University and later completed a Masters degree in International Relations at Cardiff University.   During her career with Christian Aid Mari has been responsible for church relationships in South East Wales and contributed to specialist research and policy thinking for  work in areas including climate change, partnership with the private sector and our media and advocacy work in Wales.  Over the past year, she has served as deputy head of the team. Mari succeeds Huw Thomas who was appointed Leader of Cardiff City Council last year.

Mari said, “I am delighted to take on this role and to lead such a committed and experienced team. Although it is a challenging time for charities, there are lots of opportunities to build a clear vision for the future. Having been in the organisation for eight years, I’ve worked to build Christian Aid’s network of support here in Wales and have seen for myself the real impact of these efforts in Cambodia and Burundi when I was privileged to visit these countries. There’s no doubt that Christian Aid’s work is desperately needed, and I look forward to strengthening and building Wales’ response to the injustice of global poverty.�

Mari will lead on Christian Aid’s strategic partnerships, including Christian Aid’s sponsoring churches and networks such as the Wales Overseas Agencies Group, Stop Climate Chaos Cymru and the Welsh Refugee Coalition.