Mark Leighton, MSc.
Mark is an international development professional with over twenty years of experience at senior level in locations ranging from Latin America, Europe, West Africa and multiple countries in Asia. Mark has worked for Plan International, ActionAid, VSO, Concern and also for the UK Charities Commission. He has also undertaken consulting assignments for UNICEF.
Mark has Director level experience, having been the Country Director for Plan International in China from 2008 to 2013. In addition to skills and knowledge specific to China, Mark works more widely on organisational strategy development and review; operational planning; programme design, implementation and evaluation; human resource management; change management, risk management and issues management; communications strategy and multi-stakeholder engagement. In Hong Kong Mark worked with a group of trustees to help establish a new Hong-Kong based NGO, developing policies, back office systems and facilitating Board meetings. Other areas of experience include private/public partnerships and working with private companies on sustainability reporting, materiality analysis, community investment projects and employee engagement.
Mark has strong experience in child-centred development programming, especially with regard to disaster preparedness and response; early childhood care and development; children’s rights and child protection; youth media and youth engagement.
Mark earned a master's degree in Development Management (Merit Award) from the Development Studies Institute, Faculty of Economics, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Sheffield in the UK, with First Class honors in Linguistics and Language with special focus on socio-linguistics and language and culture.
Originally from London, UK, Mark is married, with two teenage daughters. Mark’s wife – who is a teacher - is from mainland China. Mark’s family is truly international with English and Mandarin Chinese spoken equally at home. Mark speaks English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and some French and some Bangla. Mark and family currently live in Malaysia but over the years have lived in the UK, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Mainland China and Hong Kong. In the past twenty years Mark has conducted work assignments in over thirty five different countries. In his free time Mark has many interests, including walking the family dog, eating curry and playing the electric guitar very loudly (but not all these at the same time!).