Press release

Christian Aid’s former head of humanitarian named in New Year’s Honours list

Christian Aid’s former head of humanitarian Nick Guttmann has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list for services to humanitarian crises.
Nick, 64, had worked for Christian Aid since 2001 before retiring from the organisation earlier this year.
In his time at the international development agency, he transformed Christian Aid’s humanitarian relief work and contributed to the whole humanitarian sector shifting its approach towards more locally-based and locally-accountable humanitarian actions.
During his time, Nick led humanitarian responses for Christian Aid in Afghanistan, Iraq and Darfur, as well as in the Pakistan earthquake, cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake, the Syrian displacement crisis, the Nepal earthquake and the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone, along with working on conflict and food shortages in the East and Horn of Africa and the DRC, and conflict in Borno State, Nigeria.
Most recently, he led on the response to the Covid-19 pandemic in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia and the Middle East, including setting up Christian Aid staff in country programmes to enable local organisations to minimise the spread of the virus and to mitigate wider effects on lives and livelihoods.
Robin Greenwood, international programmes director at Christian Aid, said: “We are delighted that Nick’s commitment and service to the humanitarian sector has been recognised. He has been a powerful advocate in the sector for putting accountability to affected communities and their participation in decision-making at the centre of relief agencies’ response.
“Throughout Nick has embedded the principle of ‘building back better’ with a bias to improving the situations of those people who are most vulnerable because of their gender, ethnicity or social exclusion, in order that they are better prepared to meet future crises.
“Nick’s work, the standards that he has set and the practices that he has driven forward mean that thousands of lives have been saved and hundreds of thousands of people have preserved or restarted their livelihood. The sort of disasters that in the 1990s killed tens of thousands of people now claim dozens of lives. This honour is richly deserved.”
Speaking about his honour, Nick said: “I was really shocked to see my name there! It’s a tremendous honour. I could never have achieved it without all the amazing people at Christian Aid and across the globe who shared the vision of relieving the suffering of those in greatest need in a way that empowered individuals and communities to take control of their own lives and build a better future for themselves, their families and communities. In this uncertain world, now more than ever before we have to do what we can to relieve suffering wherever it occurs, listening to those affected, responding to their needs and working together for a better world.”