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Alison Coburn

Chief Executive Officer Common Purpose International

Alison has spent most of her career working with leaders across the world, often in challenging environments. She is one of the founders of Common Purpose, an international leadership development organization that now has nearly 100,000 alumni worldwide.

As Chief Executive of Common Purpose International, she spearheaded the development of Common Purpose internationally establishing Common Purpose in France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Turkey.

She led Common Purpose’s work across the MENA region for a number of years. This included the leadership of an EU-supported capacity-building program in Libya from 2011 to 2013 – during and after the conflict in the country.

Alison also built major partnerships with organizations such as Deutsche Bank, the Vodafone Foundation, the American Express Foundation, and the MAVA Fondation pour la Nature.

In 2020 she founded Sky Blue, a program for leaders working on our environmental challenges. She is passionate about providing support and leadership development for the people who are tackling our climate and biodiversity crisis.

In the early stages of her career, Alison worked for the Arts Council of Great Britain, Community Service Volunteers, and the BBC. She has a degree in American Studies from the University of Kent, gained from studying in both the UK and the US.

She is an Ambassador for the Tutu Foundation UK (which aims to prevent and resolve conflict and to help people build peaceful communities).