Global landmine action charity appoints new CEO

Darren Cormack, who is currently MAG’s Deputy Chief Executive and Strategy, Government Relations and Partnerships Director, will assume the CEO position on May 15.

Mr Cormack succeeds Dr Jane Cocking OBE, who has led MAG for three years and is stepping down to pursue a range of opportunities in the humanitarian sector.

MAG, headquartered in Manchester, UK, has more than doubled in size in the last three years and employs more than 5,000 people in 26 countries.

The charity was a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997 for campaigning which led to the introduction of the worldwide Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Treaty.

MAG is regarded as a global leader in humanitarian mine action, finding and destroying landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs in places affected by conflict. Since 1989, the organisation has helped over 18 million people in 68 countries rebuild their lives and livelihoods after the war.

MAG also advises on and assists with the management and destruction of small arms and light weapons and is regarded as a leading policy voice in disarmament and the protection and rights of civilians during and post-conflict.

Karen Brown, Chair of Trustees for MAG, said:

“Darren’s knowledge of our sector and our work is exceptional. He enjoys trusting and long-standing relationships with our donors and partners and is held in high regard by both his colleagues and peers.

“His vision for MAG is the right one: an organisation that is deeply principled is bold and is, above all, utterly focused on saving and changing as many lives as it can. People in conflict-torn regions will be drastically affected by the impact of COVID-19 so Darren takes over as CEO at a critical time and he will enable MAG to fulfil its commitment to these communities.

“Our Board of Trustees would also like to pay tribute to Darren’s predecessor, Dr Jane Cocking. The whole organisation is indebted to her for her leadership and achievements over the last three years.”

Mr Cormack joined MAG in 2008, before which he worked in both the private and non-profit sectors in the UK and internationally, including in Cambodia, South Sudan, Sudan, the Philippines and Indonesia. He started his career leading international wildlife and conservation programmes before moving into humanitarian and development work.

Mr Cormack added:

“I’m genuinely humbled to have been given the responsibility of leading people who perform such amazing, life-saving work, often in the most challenging and complex circumstances.

“MAG is recognised as a world leader in both mine action and in arms management and destruction and it has a powerful and influential voice to effect policy change to help us achieve our goal of a landmine free world.

“MAG’s globally leading positon is entirely down to the exceptional quality of our people, who have an utter focus on delivering positive impact and whose approach to our work is underpinned by robust humanitarian principles and a spirit of partnership and collaboration.”