Former Oxfam Australia consultant Alex Haynes has been named the new chief executive of Whittlesea Community Connections.

Ms Haynes replaces former chief executive Jemal Ahmet, who resigned in March after 18 years.

Whittlesea Community Connections board chairwoman Maureen Corrigan said Ms Haynes had worked in and around the Whittlesea area for the past six years, and knows it well.

“Her knowledge and relationships in the area will be invaluable,” Ms Corrigan said.

“The board is really excited about working with Alex to strengthen Whittlesea Community Connections’ capacity to respond effectively to the local community, and position us to meet the significant challenges and opportunities of the future.”

Ms Haynes recently consulted for Rural Councils Victoria, Whittlesea, Casey and Banyule councils, and with Oxfam Australia in the Solomon Islands and Bangladesh.

She has experience in strategic planning, community development, policy development, project management, research and evaluation across local, national and international contexts.

Ms Corrigan said Ms Haynes is a volunteer, mentor and non-executive director of not-for-profit organisations Hands on Learning and From the Ground Up, and is completing a PhD through Monash University exploring how people build lives in new places.

“Alex’s values and professional ethics align strongly with the mission of Whittlesea Community Connections to offer services and programs that address disadvantage in the community and promote community participation and involvement,” she said.