THE new chief executive of Oxfam said he is “honoured” to be given the role, which he described as too good to turn down.

Mark Goldring has been announced as the successor to Dame Barbara Stocking, 61, who is standing down next month after 12 years in charge.

The 55-year-old will take over at the helm of the Cowley-based charity in April once he leaves his current role as chief executive of disability charity Mencap.

Mr Goldring, who worked as Oxfam’s country director in Bangladesh in the early 1990s, said: “I am excited and humbled to be joining – or I should say rejoining – the charity in this role.

“I have loved my work with Mencap and would have left it now for no other job. But to lead Oxfam is an honour and an opportunity too important to resist.

“My commitment is to build on all that is strong in Oxfam and to support the development of the organisation and its work to make an even greater impact on poverty and injustice.”

He said the role was one which comes up “once in a working lifetime”.

As chief executive, Mr Goldring will be responsible for Oxfam’s annual income of more than £385m, more than 5,000 paid staff and 22,000 volunteers around the world.

He studied law at Oxford University before working for the United Nations Development Programme, the Department for International Development and development charity VSO.

Mr Goldring is married with two children – one 17 and one 20 – and currently lives in Surrey. He will be moving to Oxford in the summer.

Karen Brown, chairman of Oxfam GB, said: “A golden thread that runs through Mark’s career is his commitment to inclusiveness and to tackling injustice.

“He brings great leadership and management experience.

“We recognised him as a practical visionary – the personification of Oxfam – with the ability to reach for the huge changes needed to tackle issues of global poverty, while ensuring effective, practical solutions. We are excited that he is joining.”

The charity, which was founded in 1942 following a meeting in the University Church of St Mary the Virgin to help starving children in Greece, celebrated its 70th birthday last year.

Dame Barbara, who joined Oxfam from the NHS, announced she would be stepping down in September because she felt she had been at the charity long enough.