Jonny joined United Against Malnutrition and Hunger as its first Chief Executive in September 2022. His interest and involvement in development issues date back to 1985 when he spent time in Ethiopia during the Ethiopian famine.
From 2010 to 2015, Jonny was Deputy Director of Communications in 10 Downing Street and subsequently Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, during the coalition government. In the late 1990’s Jonny worked in South Africa’s first democratic parliament on a two-year project to support political parties previously excluded from parliament under the apartheid regime. In 1988 he taught in - and helped establish - a new rural secondary school in Zimbabwe. From 2017-2019 he was Senior Adviser to the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, a charitable foundation working principally in Africa and South Asia.
Jonny Oates has been a member of House of Lords since October 2015 and has a particular interest in international development and climate change. He is a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford and a Trustee of The World Reimagined, an educational and public arts project to raise awareness of the impacts of transatlantic slave trade and promote racial justice.
Jonny has previously served as an independent non-executive director of NHS Blood and Transplant and of the Centre for Countering Digital Hate. His memoir, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, which reflects on his journey to Ethiopia aged 15, was first published in October 2020 and issued in paperback in August 2022.