The Resource Alliance announces leadership transition

A message from Bill Toliver, Chair of the Resource Alliance.

A message from Bill Toliver, Chair of the Resource Alliance.

Community Members, Colleagues, and Partners,

I am writing to announce an important leadership transition at the Resource Alliance. Prior to taking on the leadership of the Resource Alliance, Brian Higgins was well known across Ireland as a thought leader in the field of mental health. Brian has been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reconceive the delivery of mental health and disability services in Ireland, and has stepped down from his role as our CEO.

While we are sad to see him go, it is impossible to think of a circumstance in which we would try to talk him out of such an opportunity to make a profound difference in people’s lives. We not only support him in this important new role, we have agreed to waive the termination clause of his employment contract so he can begin his new work with the urgency it requires. His last “official” day with Resource Alliance will be 04 April 2022 — though he will continue working with us on a pro bono basis over the next few months and, of course, be with us at IFC 2022! Please join us in thanking Brian for his service to our community and wishing him the very best in this important new role.

Please also join us in welcoming Willeke van Rijn as she steps into Brian’s role, effective immediately! Willeke is a superbly talented leader, well known and respected by the global fundraising community. She has held senior positions with SOS Children’s Villages, Oxfam, and FUNDES — working across Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa. For those of you who do not know her, you will soon find Willeke to be a passionate advocate for RA, IFC, and the fundraising community at large. She also happens to be a truly genuine human being — who, believe it or not, grew up just a few kilometers from Noordwijk in the Netherlands (the home of IFC). She has been intimately involved in RA operations for some time and began the handover process with Brian in mid-February, so the transition is straightforward and already underway.

Finally, we are living through incredibly challenging times, and the social impact community is bearing much of the burden of helping humankind find a “better way”. It is a source of inspiration and hope that the people and organisations we serve continue to build solidarity and strengthen community while so many are creating factions and driving polarisation. It is a true gift that good people like Brian and Willeke are willing to step into the fray and lead during these unprecedented times.

With respect, gratitude, and a heartfelt prayer for peace in our fragile world,

Bill Toliver, Resource Alliance Chair

P.S. Please feel free to connect with Willeke ( or me ( and you can continue to reach Brian through the Resource Alliance as well (

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