Our staff


AMAR employs more than 1000 local doctors, nurses, medical professionals, engineers, teachers, educators and administrators in Iraq. Three field offices in Erbil, Baghdad and Basra support work across the country. AMAR’s staff work within their own communities, ensuring that local skills and capacity are developed and maintained, and allowing work in challenging security environments. The unique local knowledge of AMAR’s field team means that the services provided are always culturally appropriate and tailored to individual communities’ needs.

Andrew Methven, Chief of Staff

Andrew is the AMAR Chief of Staff, based in the London office.  His responsibilities, as AMAR grows, are to lead the Staff Management Team, provide the link to the Board, and coordinate across the AMAR family, most importantly with the Field Team in Iraq.  Andrew previously worked as Strategy & Commercial Director and Bid Team Leader for various International security firms, specialising in Iraq (including the Kurdistan Region), Afghanistan and Nigeria, and maritime security in the Indian Ocean and West Africa.

Prior to this he served in the British Army (The Life Guards) for 20 years.  His tours included running a Reserve officer training unit in London, and various staff roles in the Ministry of Defence.  He spent a very enjoyable 16 months on exchange with the Canadian Army, most of which was spent in the Balkans.  His operational service includes the UN and NATO in Bosnia, and several tours of Iraq, which was his first exposure to reconstruction, development and the people of Basra.

Andrew’s first degree was in sciences from Cambridge.  He holds Masters degrees from Cranfield, KCL and Imperial College Business School.  He lives in London with his young family.  His hobbies include ancient Greek history and playing the piano badly.

Phil Sherwood, Chief Strategist

Phil leads on AMAR’s strategic engagement around the world. Before joining AMAR, he was running his company Purple and Red, using his more than 25 years’ experience of developing strategy and policy at the highest levels of government both domestically and internationally.

Previously Phil was Head of Volunteering and Workforce Training for the London 2012 Olympics. He was responsible for the recruitment and training of the 70,000 internationally acclaimed volunteer ‘Games Makers’ who gave from three days to three years of their time in over 800 different roles.

Phil had a long and successful career in the British army. He achieved the rank of Colonel at a young age. He was equally at home at a desk working at the demanding strategic policy level, or commanding on high-risk operations overseas. He says he was happiest and at his best changing the lives of the oppressed in austere conditions.  He worked at the Directorate of Special Forces at a time of significant strategic change in capability, and as a member of Defence’s Strategic Lessons programme he reported to the Secretary of State on the lessons identified from operations that would shape British international policy.

In his final government post he was the Army’s adviser on people issues, with specific responsibility for ensuring senior leaders were able to communicate strategic objectives to every level. Previously he had been responsible for implementing the performance management programme across the Army; developed organisational structural models to meet long-term strategic challenges for defence; and implemented within his Regiment the return to basic values and standards in an organisation shackled by culture at a time when the Army was facing significant public criticism and associated reputational risk.

Having been selected to lead the Pentagon’s Global Stabilisation division, he attended the US Army War College to complete a course in Strategic Studies as an International Fellow before being recruited by the Organising Committee of London 2012.

Robert Cole, Global Head of Communications

Robert started as a reporter on regional evening newspapers, and rose through local radio, into national and international television news. He was a news editor, field producer and bureau chief for news agencies, Reuters Television and Worldwide Television News for much of the 1990s. He has covered wars around the world. He spent many months in Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia during the Balkan’s conflict, as well as reporting from Chechnya, Haiti, Rwanda, Somalia and Burundi.

Following his work with the news agencies, he moved to the BBC as a World Duty Editor, later working as a producer for both Panorama and the Six O’Clock News. He was also a field editor for the BBC and covered the Kosovo conflict, as well as managing events such as the World Cup in Japan in 2002. He left the BBC to join Sky News as a Senior Foreign Editor, later becoming Head of Foreign Planning. More recently, Robert has moved away from television, and was Head of News at Save the Children before coming to AMAR.

Tony Howell, Head of Programmes

As the Head of Programmes Tony leads AMARs London project department.  He is responsible for the strategic design and implementation of AMAR’s corporate social responsibility, and its institutional and emergency aid programmes, ensuring the organisation meets its aims.

Working closely with corporate, institutional, emergency aid donors and international organisations, the department coordinates with the field offices and in-country project teams to oversee and co-ordinate effective project delivery in support of AMAR’s development and aid programmes.

Tony is also responsible for the development, delivery and sustainability of bespoke international development and emergency aid programmes. He coordinates partners and donors including UNDP, the US State Department, Shell and BP Iraq. He manages a team of programme coordinators and project officers who work closely with the field teams to identify and deliver aid and development projects throughout the MENA region.

Tony joined AMAR in 2015 as a Programme Coordinator and has applied the skills and experience gained throughout his varied and unique project management and engineering career. Initially with the British Army (Royal Engineers), he then moved into international companies and organisations in challenging environments, remote areas, and disaster and conflict zones, before joining AMAR.

Isabella Librando, Digital Communications Officer

Isabella joined AMAR in 2015, working as an intern with the communications and fundraising departments before joining the AMAR family permanently in the summer of 2016 as AMAR’s Digital Communications Officer. Working closely with AMAR’s Communications Officer, Isabella is responsible for AMAR’s brand and visual identity, and regularly designs and creates artwork, digital content and video edits for online use, helping to raise awareness about AMAR’s work in the Middle East.

With a Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Southbank University, as well as training in video editing, Isabella previously worked as a freelance designer for various fashion, advertising and marketing clients. Isabella is based in London, but lives and breathes the digital world. She spends her spare time attempting to stick to her Italian roots by whipping up her family’s secret recipe for Tiramisù.

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