Effective 1 January 2022, Fiona Smith will become the new Director of International Programs for Transform Aid International/Baptist World Aid, reporting directly to CEO Melissa Lipsett as part of TAI’s Senior Leadership Team.   

‘This is a really exciting development for TAI, and a good example of supporting the ongoing growth and development of the next generation of leaders in the global Baptist movement,’ Melissa said.

Fiona has been with TAI for over two years, and in that time has become a well-respected leader within the Programs team and across the organisation, helping to navigate and support the team and our global Partners throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

During her time as International Programs Manager (private funding), and throughout the interim period following Dan Skehan’s departure, Fiona has demonstrated competence, maturity and passion for this role. She’s made valuable contributions in the areas of child and youth programming, development effectiveness, and strategic positioning to fulfill our mission.

Fiona grew up in the Baptist Church within Australia, and through her involvement with Baptist World Aid Catalyst groups, God inspired her passion for social justice and global development.

‘That’s why I pursued experiences overseas in diverse contexts including South Asia, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe, working alongside faith-based organisations on child development and holistic transformation,’ Fiona said. ‘I’m honoured to step into this role and new season of leadership in an organisation that’s been so formative for me.’

Now with over 10 years of experience in child-focused community development, advocacy, and NGO leadership in four countries, Fiona brings a personal wisdom and professional commitment to development in her role. Prior to joining TAI, Fiona served in a start-up company seeking to apply data and new technology towards sustainable development. She holds a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Oxford, and degrees in Law and Arts (Communications) from the University of Technology Sydney.  

‘I am looking forward to working closely with Fiona as we embark upon our new five-year strategy,’ Melissa said. ‘She is the right person for this next season as we pursue our mission to end poverty so that all people can enjoy the fulness of life God intends.’

Baptist World Aid Australia has been the heart and hands of Australian Baptists since 1959. Today, we work with 38 local Christian Partners through 73 projects in 18 countries to end poverty, so that all people can enjoy the fullness of life God intends.