Link Community Development

Improving the quality of education in Africa

Stephen Blunden Departs

Stephen Blunden leaves Link Community Development

In January, Link Community Development wished Steve Blunden, our long-term CEO, all the best in his new career endeavors.

From 1994 to 2015, Steve transformed Link from a Cambridge University movement to a leading multi-country NGO working in partnership with governments and communities to improve the quality of education in Ghana, Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, and Uganda.

We are of course sad to see Steve depart Link, but he leaves us with fond memories of his 20 years of service towards our goal of improving the quality of education in Africa.

Thank you, Steve, and we wish you all the best in the future!

A Message from the Chairman

At Steve's leaving we presented him with a Scottish quaich, a pewter drinking cup used for welcoming and farewells. We were not celebrating a farewell. We were celebrating Steve's 20 years of achievement, and marking his move forward while still being part of the Link community which he had formed. The quaich was inscribed with a number of adjectives: "visionary, motivating, creative, passionate, opportunistic, energetic, dogged, focused, dedicated, committed."

Beyond these he is analytic, and adept at finding new ways of addressing problems: a productive, lateral thinker. He has a wide ranging, almost certainly unparalleled knowledge and experience, in working to enable systemic improvement in school and district performance in the poorest areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Link has benefited from his broad range of contacts at all levels in Governments in the South and the North. Equally at home in Davos, in breakfast meetings in 10 Downing Street, negotiating with major donors, and discussing with village elders in up-country Uganda.

Steve has turned opponents into admirers. For me his greatest skill has been turning a problem into an opportunity. His leaving could be seen as a problem. It is really an opportunity for us to show what we have learned. Link can test and demonstrate its capability to build upon and develop Steve's legacy.

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