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Sonia Zambakides

Senior Leader, International Development

Sonia Zambakides
Driving License
United Kingdom
Professional Status
Open to opportunities
About Me
I recently moved to Myanmar to act as Crown Agents Fund Director and Asia and Middle East Regional Director. Prior to this I was London based leading their global Humanitarian and Stabilisation team. From 2006 to 2017 I worked in East Africa and the Middle East running large scale emergency responses and building country/regional programmes.

I have a deep passion for development and a core belief in the ability to make a difference. These are my primary drivers for the work I do and result in me being highly motivated and driven to effect change where change is needed.

My career has spanned the full spectrum of humanitarian response to long term development: however, I believe that these traditional divides are no longer relevant in todays context where 80% of the conflicts are protracted crisis. For a number of years I have been an advocate of designing strategic, and operational approaches which have fluidity between multiple strands running in parallel, such as humanitarian response, recovery and resilience in order to meet the needs in the changing development landscape.


Kimmage Walkinstown Crumlin Drimnagh (KWCD) Area Partnership
August 1998 to December 2000
  • I managed the organisation through the transition from European Union to Irish Government funding. This entailed developing a six million Euros three year strategic plan. I developed the plan through a participatory approach involving local communities, political representatives, social partners and State bodies. The strategy addressed issues of social marginalisation and long term unemployment through employment and enterprise, community development and education programmes.
  • I led the employment and enterprise team who delivered local economic development initiatives through skills training, job creation, small and medium entreprises start up, leading to the development of 100 small businesses.
  • I represented the organisation at community, state and government level, the latter to both advocate for funding and lobbying for policy change.
  • I directly managed a staff of 80+.
Detailed Description
  • Initiated and developed a local employment programme in partnership with the Irish Government that led to jobs for over 3,000 long term unemployed people.
Company Description
A local development organisation funded initially by the European Union and then by the Irish Government. One of 38 organisations in Ireland established to tackle disadvantage and social marginalisation empowering civil society to deliver progammes in employment, enterprise, community development and education. These were innovative organisations structured with a representative Board of Management comprising of representatives from the state, government, community and social sectors. The mandate was to seek and provide a range of supports, enhance the capacity of local groups, lobby for greater recognition for the area, facilitate co-operation between the locations and promote the co-ordination of local services, with the ultimate aim of reducing social and economic inequality in the area.