Joel Joffe (1932 – 2017) - a name and legacy to remember.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Joel Joffe CBE was the young lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela at the infamous 1963-4 Rivonia Trial. Exiled to Britain in 1965, he worked at a fledgling insurance company to support his family, which grew to become Allied Dunbar. Involved with Oxfam for 20 years and Chair from 1995 to 2001, he was awarded the CBE in 1999. In 2000, he became a Labour peer as Baron Joffe of Liddington. In later life, he was a vigorous campaigner for assisted dying for the terminally ill.

Colleagues report that his greatest contribution to Oxfam was made during his period as Chair from 1995. He used his exceptional mix of acute intelligence and great personal warmth to challenge Oxfam's work and organisation, often only reaching conclusions after intense questioning and debate. Once convinced, he gave his absolute and unwavering support to the volunteers or staff who were to take things forward. 

As Chair, he was tireless in helping to make Oxfam more effective and providing the best return on donors' contributions. He continued and concluded the reform of the Charity's governance, moving from a plethora of committees and a fifty-person Council to a highly effective Board of 12. Using his legal skills, in 1995/6 he also played a key role in setting up Oxfam International - the bringing together of the ten organisations using the Oxfam name around the world.

For more information about Joel Joffe’s life, please read the full article here.