Categories Announcement, Global, World

Thanking Sarah Ryder

We sincerely thank Sarah for her decade of service to the global movement of territories of life and the ICCA Consortium Secretariat. We wish her well as she concludes her role as Operations Coordinator

First published on 04/26/2024, and last updated on 04/30/2024

By ICCA Consortium

For over a decade, Sarah has been part of the ICCA Consortium. Sarah started to work with the ICCA Consortium as a volunteer and then served as Programme Manager in the Secretariat for over eight years before becoming the Operations Coordinator in mid-2022.

In both roles, she led the Secretariat’s work to ensure the ICCA Consortium’s efficient operation and oversaw the Consortium’s administrative and financial management systems.

The 2016 General Assembly, Felipe Carillo Puerto, Mexico. Photo: ICCA Consortium

Sarah, a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants–UK member, joined the Consortium in 2014. As many people have done, she started as an enthusiastic volunteer.

Originally from the UK, she was based in Switzerland and was looking for ways to use her qualifications and experience to support a non-profit organization working on issues that she cares for and wants to contribute to. During that time, she met Grazia Borrini-Feyerabend – one of the co-founders of the Consortium and the Global Coordinator for the first official decade.

After their meeting, Sarah started volunteering to help with translations and proofreading in January 2014. Later, in July 2016, she accepted the position of Programme Manager in the Secretariat.

“After several months and many meetings at Grazia’s house, she asked me to take notes at a meeting held at the IUCN headquarters in Gland, Switzerland. I remember sitting in that room, looking around at several members of the Consortium and participants from all over the world who all shared the same passion and dedication, and thinking how lucky I was to be allowed to help support them.”

– Sarah Ryder

Over the years, her involvement and contributions have evolved alongside the evolution of the Consortium, and she has taken on more – and more diverse – responsibilities. In 2022, her title was revised to “Operations Coordinator” to better reflect the scope of her work, which by then included working closely with additional people in the growing operations team.

Throughout her tenure in the Secretariat, in collaboration with the Global Coordinator, Sarah made sure the planning and budgeting systems of the Consortium ran as smoothly and effectively as possible, in line with the Strategic Plan and annual plans. Along with a passion for nurturing people’s talents and supporting them to flourish, she significantly improved the team management and support systems within the Secretariat. Among other crucial roles, she also contributed to the growth and development of funding and other organizational partnerships and provided administrative support to the Council and General Assembly.

“I was lucky to work very closely with Grazia from when I started until her retirement as Global Coordinator at the end of 2019. When Holly Jonas took over as Global Coordinator at the start of 2020, I worked equally closely with her.”

– Sarah Ryder

Sarah has an incredible work ethic and sense of integrity. Her unmatched ability to analyze challenging situations from multiple angles and figure out practical ways forward was indispensable on countless occasions.

Well beyond her wide-ranging skills and multifaceted contributions to the Consortium’s work, Sarah is adored and highly respected by everyone who has been lucky enough to interact with her. She is kind, compassionate, and a patient listener. She always checked in with fellow team members on a personal level and supported many people through the ups and downs of life.

As Sarah concludes her time with the Consortium’s Secretariat, we are deeply grateful for her dedicated service for over a decade and will miss her steady presence. Our global association will always consider Sarah a friend, a peer, and an ally. We look forward to Sarah’s continued engagement in the Consortium as an Honorary member.

The 2019 General Assembly, Udaipur, India. Photo: ICCA Consortium