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 Julia Lalla-Maharajh OBE

 Advocate, Change Agent, Speaker

It's a complex world ~ fast moving, hard to navigate and full of uncertainty.  In times like these it's important to build on foundations of integrity, knowledge, curiosity and discernment. 

I am a change-maker who has been privileged to learn from many people in all walks of life, all over the world. I have pushed the limits of what's possible by leading big change across a range of significant issues. 


One of my proudest achievements has been to put the little-known issue of ending female genital cutting on the global agenda for change, in less than a decade. I did this by building an NGO, Orchid Project, which manifested the vision of a world free from female genital cutting. I brought together an extraordinary team, a constellation of donors, champions and those with lived experience of female genital cutting.  In 2020 I chose to hand on the leadership of the organisation so it can flourish and continue to fly. 


I know that change is possible, because I have seen it happen throughout my career in civil society, public-private partnerships and the private sector.  I have never shied away from doing what I can to catalyse it, however difficult that might be.


I left a successful corporate career in 2006 then volunteered firstly in Cambodia and then in Ethiopia with VSO (I'm now delighted to be Chair of the International Board for VSO). Closer to home, I support the homeless in London (and am Chair of the Board for Under One Sky)  volunteered at the 2012 Olympics and lent a hand in my local GPs surgery when Covid-19 hit. I stand up to be counted and speak truth to power, when it matters. I'm equally comfortable rolling my sleeves up and doing whatever it takes, when that's what is needed - this often informs my catalytic leadership. 


I am committed to enable change, justice and progress, through my work alongside organisations and change-makers. My diverse experiences give me a valuable portfolio on which to draw. I'm honoured to share these learnings and to continue to develop as an advocate, change agent and speaker. 


"In complex times it is vital that the stories we hear help us to see that the apparently impossible is possible.  


Julia's story starts in the intensely personal and marches through complexity, inclusion, social justice and community before reaching for no less than the transformation of systems, all delivered with grace, presence and humanity." 

testimonial about Julia, speaking at six leadership development dinners, 2019

Juliet Daye, Head of Global Inclusion, Major UK PLC


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