The secretariat of WAGGGS, the World Bureau, was first set up in 1928 and has moved to its current location, the Olave Centre in north London, UK, in 1984.
Originally a residential building built in 1810, it was named after the First Earl of Rosslyn, Rosslyn Lodge, who became Lord Chancellor in 1793. During the First World War, the building was used as a hospital, a hotel, a nurses' home and a hostel.
Today Rosslyn Lodge is part of the Olave Centre, home of both the World Bureau and Pax Lodge World Centre, which completed Olave Baden-Powell's dream of uniting the World Bureau with the World Centre in London.
You can find the World Bureau in north London:
12c Lyndhurst Road
The work of the World Bureau
The World Bureau provides services to, and a link between, WAGGGS' Member Organisations, and to National Organisations Working Towards Membership; supports National Organisations in their preparations for Associate and Full Membership; assists with the overall planning and coordination of World Conferences and World Board meetings; and implements decisions taken at World Conferences, World Board and Committee meetings.
The work of WAGGGS is conducted in four official languages: English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
WAGGGS staff structure
A Chief Executive - who is responsible to the World Board - heads the World Bureau made up of a multi-national staff team of around 100 professionals. The World Bureau is divided internally into the below departments:
- Global Programmes
- Corporate Services
Meet the Leadership Team members
Chief Executive Officer
Sarah came to WAGGGS with a wealth of international and corporate leadership and strategic experience. For the past 19 years she has been Chief Executive of a number of high profile charities and has a very successful track record in leading successful complex change and development.
Sarah joins WAGGGS from children’s charity Variety. Prior to this, Sarah was also Chief Executive of Lepra, a non-governmental organisation with 650 staff working to fight disease, poverty and prejudice. At Lepra, Sarah moved the organisation from being medically-focused to become a people-focused development charity.
Sarah was also Chief Executive of Canon Collins Trust, a southern African education charity. Here she drove change which saw the organisation introduce new fundraising activities and strong financial systems.
Cristal de Saldanha
Director of Global Programmes
Cristal is Director of Global Programmes and responsible for the team providing quality programmes for 10 million girls and young women. This arm of the organisation aims to fulfil WAGGGS’ strategy and respond directly to the priorities of Member Organisations.
Before joining WAGGGS Cristal was a consultant for the Commonwealth Youth Programme. This role included researching youth policies, case studies, metrics and national-level initiatives for the Framework for Youth Mainstreaming. As Adviser for Youth Development at the Commonwealth Secretariat for over ten years, she led the ‘Youth Work Education and Training’ strategy.
She has also worked as the Executive Director of International Programmes at the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award for Young People. This included oversight of programme expansion, innovation and quality assurance. She was required to work with government and civil society partners to develop enabling environments, incentives and recognition mechanisms for evidence-based youth programmes.
She was the Executive Director of the Southern African Association of Youth Clubs, a member organisation which focused on capacity building and good governance in youth organisations. Passionate about social justice, human rights and equality, she worked with several NGOs and volunteered with 20 organisations in her home country and in the UK, including the Quaker Centre in London. She’s a world cinema enthusiast, particularly work by Wong Kar-Wei, Pedro Almodóvar and Park Chan-wook.
Director of Membership
Helen joined the WAGGGS leadership team in August 2017 as Director of Membership. She has 25 years’ experience working in the membership sector, most recently as the Director of Membership Services at the British Psychological Society. Over this time she led major changes, including approaches for delivering training for psychologists, developing quality assurance systems for the delivery of services, providing strategic leadership and delivering structural changes. She has BA (Hons) in Psychology from the University of Newcastle and an MBA (Education) from Keele University. She also has a wealth of experience in supporting members to achieve their aspirations through support and member benefit.
Helen benefited from being a Brownie and a Guide. She has memories of camping, fire lighting, ribbons and badges. When she was reintroduced to guiding she discovered it had grown into a movement for social change built around solid principles of non-formal education and the empowerment of girls and young women. She is passionate about social justice and the life changing benefits of education. She is committed to providing Member Organisations with the services they need to thrive, grow and deliver a high quality experiences for their Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Outside work Helen enjoys family activities with her sons, dinner with friends and talking back to the radio even though no one can hear.
Director of Engagement
Adam joined the WAGGGS team as Director of Engagement in August 2017. He previously led a team at Plan International (UK) which grew annual funding for global girls’ rights projects from £5 million to £10m. His previous roles included interim management of a £50 million fundraising appeal for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) to make ChildLine available online and growing a small charity in south London to reach over 35,000 children across the UK.
He is passionate about girls’ rights and excited about the power and potential of the 10 million girls part of WAGGGS. Working with the Members, his aim is to make girl guiding and scouting more widely known for its incredible and unexpected impacts in communities around the world.
Adam has a Masters of Business Administration from BPP Law School and a first class degree in English Literature from the University of Warwick. Outside of the office he is busy with his two children, improving his average tennis game and his quest to find the perfect bagel.
Director of Corporate Services
Despite holding a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Urban (Civil) Engineering, Rui turned to accountancy during the recession in the 1990s and hasn’t looked back!
After several years training in commerce, he made a conscious decision to pursue a career in the not-for-profit sector. He has been in the sector all millennium, and brings membership, interim director and umbrella body experience, as he heads up the finance, IT, risk, HR and world centres side of WAGGGS’s work.
Professionally, Rui is an FCCA, is Chair of the CFG’s Technical Accounting Forum and is a member of the ACCA’s Charity Panel.
As well as being a husband and father of four children, he is also a deacon, church secretary, youth worker, webmaster and preacher at his local Baptist church.