Chief Executive Officer
International Advisory Board Member Since: February 2014
HOPE Global Forums Advisory Board Member Since: July 2016
Clare Woodcraft is the Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Foundation, the national foundation of the UAE, and is responsible for driving its vision of supporting youth development in the country. In her role as CEO she oversaw the transition of the Foundation from a traditional grant-making entity into a more sustainable operational one focused on guiding, inspiring and empowering young people, using the model of Venture Philanthropy and social enterprise.
Woodcraft brings over 20 years of experience working in the field of sustainable socio-economic development in the Middle East and Africa with particular focus on the finance and energy sectors. She has worked as a development practitioner, a journalist and a corporate executive specializing in sustainability and social investment. Prior to joining Emirates Foundation, she was Deputy Director of Shell Foundation, working on building social enterprises to help address global development challenges. Earlier, Woodcraft worked as the Regional Director of Communications for Royal Dutch Shell in the Middle East and North Africa managing the oil major’s social investment portfolio in the region and addressing issues related to sustainability.
She previously headed Visa International’s public affairs arm in emerging markets (Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) that saw her working closely with governments and financial sectors in Africa and the Middle East looking at the role of electronic payments socio-economic development. Woodcraft also worked in Palestine for various development agencies and contributed to several literary studies on the issue of sustainable socio-economic development. She earlier served as the Finance Editor of Middle East Economic Survey (MEES), an oil and gas journal, where she wrote about regional finance but also other aspects of regional economic development. She is a regular public speaker on the topics of Venture Philanthropy, the paradigm shift happening in the philanthropic sector and how to maximized social impact. She is passionate about the need to radically overhaul the way companies and institutions manager their ‘giving’ portfolios.
Woodcraft is a fluent Arabic speaker holding a bachelor’s degree in Arabic and French from Salford University in the UK and a Masters in Sustainable Development from the London School of Economics.