08 Nov 2022

Remembering our former chairperson, Graeme Sweeney

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At the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, we were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former chairperson, Graeme Sweeney. Graeme worked with CIFF for many years, first as an advisor, then as a trustee and finally as our chair, bringing insight, rigour, humanity and humour to all his engagements with us.

Across every issue that CIFF works on, Graeme brought empathy and wisdom in equal measure. In his work on climate, his deep expertise in the energy sector enabled him to provide technical direction embedded in a transformative vision of the future.  He worked daily to align social and environmental goals, supporting a just transition for workers and consumers long before others in the sector.  Where Graeme had less subject-matter expertise, he practised deep listening for the purpose of learning and supported social innovation with extraordinary conviction.  He always sought out life-changing impact for the most marginalised individuals and was a staunch advocate of equitable maternal and child health and nutrition, as well as adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights.   He embraced our efforts on girls’ education with aplomb and vociferously championed quotas to deliver gender equality.

Above all, Graeme connected tirelessly with others on a human-level – and the messages which have been shared by those who worked with him are testament to that.  He was a beloved mentor, coach and friend.  Graeme was sought out by all who knew him for advice and guidance, as a consummate storyteller with a sports analogy for any dilemma.

Graeme will be truly missed by all who knew him at CIFF, but his contribution to the world will be felt long after he is gone. We know that his impact extends well beyond CIFF and our grantees, to the many other organisations to whom he gave his precious time.  Our memories of Graeme and his many wise sayings continue to be a source of great inspiration and raucous laughter.  His beloved family and close friends are in our hearts, for their loss must be great indeed.