Rowan Putman

Specialist areas

  • Strategy & Operations
  • Business development
  • Client delivery


  • MA, International Development Management - BCID, University of Bradford
  • BA (Hons), Law with French - University of Derby
  • PRINCE2 Practitioner
  • Executive Education:
  • Certificate in Business Sustainability Management - Cambridge
  • Certificate Entrepreneurial Edge - LBS
  • Certificate in PFM - Harvard

Rowan Putman

In a nutshell, tell us about yourself.

I am a passionate advocate for sustainable business with over 20 years working within an international development context. I have held leadership roles in Strategy, Operations, Business Development and Client Delivery within the consulting industry and consider myself to be the ultimate generalist having worked across multiple sectors, geographies and clients. 

I began my career managing public finance projects, working with government ministries and donors around the world to think more strategically about how they structured and managed their budgets and expenditure; to think in longer and broader terms in pursuit of their intended results, and how to operationalise or programme that.

In the early years, I experienced a real bias against the private sector who were considered to be the “bad guys” and only out for one thing (profit). However for me, that never made sense. Why exclude a key player in how society functions, rather than engage and include them in the conversation? I was only young then and certainly didn’t feel I had the social capital, nor where-with-all to do anything about it, yet I have always been driven by an innate need for us to do better. 

Following stints in the not-for-profit and public sectors, I eventually made my way into the private sector where I felt more driven than ever to effect change and prove that the private sector could make a difference. With huge ambitions, both for myself, the companies I worked for, the people I worked with, and the communities we served, I saw how I could play a role in helping to push boundaries and challenge traditional ways of working. 

I feel now, more than ever, the imperative to make it happen, as a mother to 3 children, who all, I hope, will inherit a more sustainable world than we have currently. 

Right now, I live in Surrey, just outside London. Though I’m very proud to be from Yorkshire in the North of England, like many in the UK, I have mixed heritage and one day would like to explore that in more depth.

What are your passions?

When I’m not getting passionate about my day job, I enjoy watching my children in their various clubs, gardening, taking time for pilates and walking. I would love to take up sailing again once my children are a bit older; something I dabbled in in my youth!

What keeps you awake at night? 

My kids!

What makes you laugh?

Also, my kids; they are the funniest.

What would you desire most if stranded on a desert island? 

I am quite a practical person, so I would probably want a swiss army knife, but apart from that, I think music would be my luxury; I listen to a wide variety.

When are you happiest? 

In my personal life; when I’m with family. At work; when we accomplish something as a team.

Do you have any annoying habits?

I constantly have one tune or another spinning in my head. This can, and often does, escape in the form of singing, humming or whistling; all of which can be rather annoying to those around me!