Joan Aitken OBE FCILT has been announced as the new Chair of Transaid’s board of trustees. 

The former traffic commissioner for Scotland has been a long-time supporter of the international development organisation. 

She has also taken part in two Transaid fundraising cycle challenges.

During her time in the industry, she has visited projects in Uganda and Zambia.

Aitken takes over from Jo Godsmark after six years as Chair and eight years on the board. 

During Godsmark’s time as chair, the organisation has grown. 

For example, it is currently involved in projects within nine countries across sub-Saharan Africa.

 The new chair was was first introduced to Transaid at an industry event where the charity was the beneficiary charity. 

In 2017, she cycled with a team of 40 riders, raising more than £200,000 during the Cycle South Africa fundraiser.

Aitken called Transaid “the most incredible organisation” when talking about her new role.

“It has earned a very special place in my heart,” she said. 

“I’ve been privileged to have visited two projects in Zambia, one focused on healthcare and the other on road safety. 

“Plus, I contributed to the driver training activities in Uganda. 

“That work cemented my understanding of Transaid’s life-saving work.”

Continuing, Aiken said being appointed chair was “an honour and a responsibility”.

“I am excited by the opportunity to work even more closely with the wonderful Transaid team,” she said. 

“It has demonstrated such incredible versatility during the challenges of the last two years.”

 Godsmark will ride alongside Aitken in Transaid’s Cycle Malawi event this October.

“I’m hugely proud of what we have achieved as an organisation over the last six years,” she said. 

“When you have a team as highly regarded within the development sector as Transaid, being Chair is more of a privilege than anything else.”