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Danielle Cornish-Spencer

Photo of Danielle Cornish-Spencer
Job title
Head of Equal Education Portfolio
Email address
SDDirect Team

Danielle joined SDDirect’s technical team in 2019, and works as the Head of Portfolio for Equal Education and Principal Consultant in Safeguarding.

Danielle brings over 15 years of experience in gender-related issues, including gender-based violence, women’s economic rights, LGBTI rights, sexual and reproductive health rights, gender and protection mainstreaming, gender-transformative programming and girls education. Danielle also has experience in urban refugee programming, child protection programming and has worked in both long-term protracted humanitarian contexts as well as in emergency response.  

Danielle has an MA in Geopolitics and Grand Strategy from the University of Sussex – where she focused on feminist critical theory within geopolitics. Her thesis - about sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment perpetrated by ODA workers - was published in 2018 and led to her becoming a prominent whistleblower and actively advocating for changes in the ODA system through the development of a women’s network and open letter. Danielle has also been a prominent media spokesperson on women’s rights in the UK as well as globally. 

She has direct experience of setting up safeguarding systems, policies and procedures at local, national, regional and global levels. She also applies her extensive knowledge of social norms change to organisational change concerning safeguarding and women’s rights.  Danielle has led innovative safeguarding approaches for the UK FCDO’s flagship girls’ education programme: The Girls’ Education Challenge, as well as for the Irish Government, the Asian Development Bank, the African Development Bank, UNICEF, the Global Partnership for Education and many more.  Danielle is a member of FCDO’s Independent Reference Group on Safeguarding.  

She is an academically published author and has published numerous policy papers.