The Charity CEO Podcast


Tim Howarth

Founding CEO, United World Schools: Believing in the power of education to transform lives

“If there’s one over-riding feature that has really driven success in the last 10 years, it really is that complete and utter belief in the Mission... (and) linking up with people who share that commitment, to the power of education to transform lives.”

Tim Howarth is the Founding Chief Executive of United World Schools (UWS). After ten years with the organisation, Tim recently transitioned the UWS CEO role to our podcast host herself, Dhivya O'Connor.

Under Tim's leadership, UWS reached almost 50,000 previously out-of-school children, establishing over 260 UWS Community Schools and learning sites in remote regions of South East Asia, and most recently in Madagascar. The organisation has been recognised with several awards and prizes: WISE Award in 2019, HundrED Prize for Educational Innovation in 2019 & 2020, and the UNESCO Prize for Ethnic Minority Literacy Programmes in 2020.

Tim is a trained teacher. Prior to his time at UWS, Tim worked in a number of leadership and consultancy roles, developing teaching and leadership capacity in UK and Australian schools.Tim is also an RSA Fellow and in 2019 was listed on the UK Social Entrepreneur Index.


Ep 28. Tim Howarth, Founding CEO, United World Schools:

Believing in the power of education to transform lives

Today’s is a very special episode: I am speaking with Tim Howarth, my predecessor at United World Schools and its Founding CEO.

Tim tells the story of taking United World Schools (UWS) from his family’s kitchen table to the global organisation it is today, with over 1,200 staff operating across 4 continents and reaching nearly 50,000 children in poor and marginalised communities. UWS builds and runs schools in remote areas of the Global South, providing primary education to children who otherwise would not have a school to go to.

With a Vision of a world where all children have the chance to go to school, the organisation aims to give every child access to free, quality and inclusive education, transforming life opportunities for children living in remote and marginalised parts of the world. UWS currently operates programmes in Cambodia, Madagascar, Myanmar and Nepal.

Tim shares key leadership lessons from the perspective of building an organisation from the ground up, as well as tips and best practices for charity leaders seeking to establish meaningful partnerships with local governments.

Tim also talks about how being bold, and having complete belief and faith in the Mission, has been key to the success of United World Schools over the past decade.

Recorded December 2021.

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