Reflections from MJF’s outgoing CEO


This week we’ve said goodbye to the Martin James Foundation’s CEO, Peter McDermott. He joined MJF as a consultant and then stepped into the role of CEO. During his time, he’s led the Foundation from strength to strength we’re so grateful for his leadership and commitment to our vision.

 Peter’s graciously shared some reflections with us from his time serving at MJF.

“After 18 months at the Martin James Foundation, I would like to say a fond farewell and a sincere thanks to all. Without the support and guidance of so many of you, the MJF would not have been able to achieve so much in 2020.

As I said in my last CEO report to the MJF Board, despite the COVID-19 crisis it is remarkable how much the Foundation, through our Key Assets not-for-profits, FosterTalk, the MJG/MJN central service teams and the small MJF team have achieved in 2020: Supporting over 900 child placements, 877 approved carer and the provision of 500 non-placement services. Also, through FosterTalk over 18,000 members were supported.

Through MJF central a major rationalisation of international programmes was undertaken. This strengthened governance and finance systems were put in place. Our nine new international projects were approved. Closer to home, the new UK EPIC Youth project was launched and is very successfully up & running.

Combined these new projects and EPIC Youth commitments for 2020 totalled around £434,000 with projects now in the UK, Europe (Poland, Croatia, Greece), Columbia, Thailand, Indonesia, Madagascar, Jordan and partnerships established with Eurochild, UNICEF, Better Care Network and Relaf.

None of this would have been possible without the passion and commitment of Jim and Ayyab. With my departure, Justin Rogers, the MJF Director of Programmes and Research, will take over as CEO.

The MJF has a unique model of development assistance. With continued funding and committed leadership, it can continue to change the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and strengthen and support the families that look after them.

It has been an honour to lead the MJF through a process of significant change and embed the new programmes and structures. I sincerely thank Jim for giving me the opportunity and my MJF colleagues who gave me their support. I send Justin and the team my very best wishes as they take the Martin James Foundation forward.” -Peter McDermott