Our Team

Social development specialists with decades of
International development sector experience

Our Team


Ann Kangas

Senior Technical Expert

Ann joined SDDirect’s technical team in April 2015 to work on safeguarding, child protection and gender-based violence. She currently leads SDDirect’s work on safeguarding but also works more broadly in the GBV portfolio.

She is has spent the last four years as the DFID Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) safeguarding lead, but has also led a number of other pieces of work while at SDDirect. For example, she recently led a team to develop a School Violence Guidance Note for DFID, and led the scoping study for DFID’s Safeguarding Centre of Excellence. She has also recently completed a forthcoming publication on national education strategies to address online child sexual abuse and exploitation for UNICEF East Asia and the Pacific.

Ann has spearheaded the development of safeguarding policies and frameworks for several multi-million pound DFID programmes and conducted safeguarding due diligence across numerous organisations and initiatives.

Before joining SDDirect, Ann worked with UNICEF and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in various gender-based violence and child protection position. While there, she designed and managed large-scale projects around gender, violence and child protection for the European Union, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development (DFID), amongst others, in both West Africa and Southeast Asia. Ann holds a B.A. in International Relations and Politics from the University of Essex and an MSc. in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Ann is a national of Sweden and Finland and in her spare time she likes to run, preferably in the countryside.