HALO appoints new Chief Executive

The HALO Trust, the oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation in the world, has today announced the appointment of James Cowan as its new Chief Executive Officer.

James Cowan CBE DSO is a British Army Officer who commands the 3rd UK Division. Following a thirty-three year distinguished army career, he will take up his position as CEO, leading and running the most respected mine clearance organisation in the world. James’s experience leading defence operations around the globe offers the unique in-country experience that is critical to HALO’s plan to extend its work in new regions. His appointment will ensure that HALO continues to achieve the best possible outcomes for people living in post-conflict countries. 
Mr Cowan’s appointment follows a competitive recruitment process.

James Cowan said:

After more than thirty eventful years serving in the British Army I am ready to move on to a new challenge. It is with great pride and excitement that I join The HALO Trust, an organisation that is bringing about real and lasting change to parts of the world living with the legacy of conflict.  The staff at HALO are highly skilled and highly dedicated and I look forward to being a part of that incredible team.

Chairman of HALO Trust UK, Amanda Pullinger welcomed the new appointment:

I am delighted to announce the appointment of James Cowan as the new Chief Executive of The HALO Trust. James is a thoughtful leader whose understanding and experience of working in conflict zones, together with his immense knowledge running large programmes and projects will be invaluable to HALO. James will bring his incredible professionalism to bear leading and shaping our future programme of work. Through 2015 and beyond we are focused on building on our successes to date and extending our work into new regions and pioneering new techniques to continue to reduce casualties. I very much look forward to working with him.

Chairman of HALO USA, Cindy McCain said:

James Cowan is an outstanding candidate who brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will hugely benefit HALO in achieving our mission of protecting lives and restoring livelihoods threatened by landmines and debris of war.  James’s previous work saw him bring together geographically and culturally diverse teams of people to achieve shared results; this global focus makes him the perfect fit for HALO. Since its foundation, HALO has enabled millions of people to return to their homes without fear of death or injury.  James’s arrival marks a new, exciting chapter in that on going effort and I am pleased to welcome him to the team.

Notes to Editors:

1. James Cowan was promoted to Major General in 2013 to command the Third ‘Iron’ Division. He has trained and prepared the Division to respond to emerging global crises.  He is responsible for a large budget covering equipment and logistic stocks and for the housing, welfare and training needs of his soldiers and their families. 
James joined the Army in 1982 as a private soldier. He read Modern History at Oxford before commissioning into The Black Watch after Sandhurst in 1987. In 1995 he completed his MPhil at Cambridge. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 2001, the youngest in the army, and appointed Military Assistant to the Chief of the General Staff during the early days of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. In 2003 he took command of the Black Watch, deploying to Iraq in 2004. In 2007 he was promoted to Brigadier, aged 43, and went to Afghanistan in 2009. In 2010 James became Head of UK Operations, a time that culminated in the highly successful military security operation in support of the Olympic Games. 
James Cowan is married with three teenage children.
2. The HALO Trust is the oldest and largest humanitarian landmine clearance organisation in the world. 
3. HALO’s global headquarters are located in Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. HALO USA has an office in Washington D.C. 
4. For more than two decades HALO has set the standard for mine clearance through technical innovation and robust management. By doing so we are leading the way in creating a safer future. Over the past 25 years. HALO has worked to destroy over 1.5 million landmines, over 200,000 cluster munitions and over 11 million explosive ordnance. HALO workers have carried out highly skilled and painstaking work to clear 11,000 minefields and over 14,545 kilometres of road. HALO has teams working in over 17 countries and territories (with ongoing surveys into new regions). After over 20 years of work, Mozambique, once considered one of the world’s most heavily mine affected countries, will be declared free of mined areas in 2015.
5. For more information about this announcement please contact Jane Houghton on 0758 722 0626
6. For more information about The HALO Trust please visit http://www.halotrust.org/

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