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Hugh Evans

Co-Founder and CEO, The Global Poverty Project

Hugh Evans is an Australian humanitarian and an internationally renowned development advocate. Hugh is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Global Poverty Project.

Hugh Evans’ passion for poverty eradication was sparked at the age of 14 whilst on a World Vision trip in the Philippines. Living with his host family in a Manila Slum, Hugh was struck by the injustice of a world in which birthplace determines your life prospects. The abject poverty Hugh was exposed to in Manila, and his experiences in India the following year, led him to begin his work challenging the status quo of extreme poverty.

Following a trip to South Africa in 2002 as World Vision's inaugural Youth Ambassador, Hugh co-founded the Oaktree Foundation; Australia's first youth run aid organization, with a mission to bring young people together to see an end to global poverty. Since 2003, Oaktree has helped fund development projects providing educational opportunities to over 40,000 young people in developing countries around the world. Oaktree’s success under Hugh’s guidance as Director, led to Hugh being named Young Australian of the Year (2004) and Junior Chamber International Person of the World (2005).

Hugh then began working to grow the Make Poverty History campaign in Australia, helping run the 2006 Make Poverty History Concert fronted by U2 singer Bono and the 2007 Make Poverty History Roadtrip, which saw campaign images projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House. The impact of these campaigns were later credited with playing a key role in the Government’s decision to increase its committed foreign aid budget from 0.3% of Gross National Income by 2015 to 0.5% of Gross National Income by 2015, resulting in an additional $4.3 billion per annum invested in the world’s poorest.

In 2008, with a grant from the United Nations, Australian government and British government, Hugh continued to build his impact in the aid and development sector, co-founding the Global Poverty Project (GPP). GPP is an education and advocacy organization committed to increasing the number and effectiveness of individuals taking action to end extreme poverty. The Project launched in Australia in 2009 and has since expanded to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, USA and Canada. In 2010, it helped launch the million dollar international fundraising campaign Live Below the Line, and in 2011 Global Poverty Project worked alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to execute The End of Polio campaign which leveraged $118 million in funds to eradicate Polio.

In August 2012 the Global Poverty Project launched the Global Citizen Festival — a free ticketed charity music event featuring the Black Keys, Foo Fighters and Neil Young. Coinciding with the UN General Assembly meeting in September the Global Citizen Festival was held on the Great Lawn of New York City’s Central Park. In a radical move, tickets to the 2012 Global Festival were not for sale, instead, those looking to attend the event had to take action and become active in the movement to end extreme poverty in order to be rewarded a ticket. At the Global Citizen Festival, $1.3 billion in new commitments were made to help end extreme poverty with a major focus being put on the eradication of polio.