Clare Woodcraft brings over 20 years of experience working in the field of sustainable development in the Middle East and Africa as a development practitioner, a journalist and a corporate executive specializing in sustainability, social investment and reputation management. She was recently named number 6 on the UAE Brits List 2014 by Arabian Business Magazine and recognized with a special award as one of five ‘Most Inspiring Brits 2014. Clare Woodcraft was also the highest-placed female that year.
Prior to joining Emirates Foundation, Woodcraft was Deputy Director of Shell Foundation, working on building social enterprises to help address global development challenges. Earlier, Woodcraft worked as the Regional Director of Communications for Royal Dutch Shell in the Middle East and North Africa managing the oil major’s social investment portfolio in the region and addressing issues related to sustainability.
She is passionate about effective philanthropy and speaks and writes regularly on catalytic and venture philanthropy. She is a firm believer that the rapid global growth of philanthropic capital requires a fundamental transition away from short-term grant making to a much longer-term, strategic approach to creating social value. This would logically comprise a further professionalization of the sector, more focused investment, measuring of aggregate output rather than only input and a greater willingness to acknowledge failure and learn from it.
Woodcraft also worked in Palestine for various development agencies and contributed to several literary studies on the issue of socio-economic development. She earlier served as the Finance Editor of Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), an oil and gas journal, where she wrote about regional finance but also other aspects of regional economic development.
Woodcraft is a fluent Arabic speaker holding a bachelor’s degree in Arabic and French from Salford University in the UK and a Masters in Development from the London School of Economics.