Chief Executive, Common Purpose International

Alison Coburn

Alison is one of the founders of Common Purpose. She became Deputy Chief Executive of Common Purpose UK, where she played a key role in piloting the first Common Purpose programmes and in growing the UK organisation. 

In 2000, Alison moved to run Common Purpose International and Common Purpose Customised Limited (the trading subsidiary of the Common Purpose Group). Under her leadership Common Purpose organisations were established in France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, India, the Netherlands, South Africa and Turkey.

She stepped down from her role as Chief Executive of Common Purpose Customised in 2011 to lead a €2 million capacity building programme in Libya, supported by the European Union, which launched in July 2011. During the programme, which ran until March 2013, almost 1,700 people from across the country took part – 43% of them women.  

Prior to joining Common Purpose, Alison worked for the BBC on the production of education and social affairs programmes for the national and local radio networks. She began her career in the arts and voluntary sectors in the UK.

Alison is a pioneering leader with 25 years’ experience of working with leaders from all sectors and backgrounds.  She continues to develop Common Purpose’s work around the world.