Board Members

Atallah Fitzgibbon

Faith Partnerships Advisor
Islamic Relief Worldwide

As IRW’s Faith Partnerships Advisor, Atallah has led the development of Islamic Relief’s new Global strategy from 2011-15, which has involved leading on the drive to improve faith literacy within IRW’s work and the development of IRW’s conceptual framework and theory of change on development, humanitarianism and human rights, incorporating perspectives around spiritual capital and the role of religious institutions. After 12 years of working in the voluntary and public sector in the UK followed by 17 years experience in humanitarian aid work,Atallah has worked at senior management and director level managing international programmes, spearheading organisational and performance improvement and leading on strategy and policy development. Atallah hse also led on the development of a global impact measurement plan involving aggregation of data and impact assessment.

Azza Karam

Secretary General
Religions for Peace

Azza Karam is a Professor of Religion and Development at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, in The Netherlands – of which she is a citizen.

She served as a Senior Advisor on Culture, at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and as Coordinator/Chair of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development; where she coordinated engagement with members of a Global Interfaith Network for Population and Development with over 600 faith-based organizations from all regions of the world, representing all religions and interreligious affiliation. She is the Lead Facilitator for the United Nations’ Strategic Learning Exchanges on Religion, Development and Diplomacy, building on a legacy of serving as a trainer cum facilitator of inter-cultural leadership and management in the Arab region as well as Europe and Central Asia.

Professor Karam has served in different positions in the United Nations since 2004, as well as other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations since the early 1990s, such as International IDEA, and Religions for Peace. Simultaneously, she lectured in various academic institutions in Europe, in North America (including the United States Military Academy/West Point), Africa and the Middle East.

Her Ph.D. in 1996, focused on Political Islam, and became her first book in Arabic (her mother tongue) and in English. She has since published widely, and in several languages, on international political dynamics, including democratization, human rights, peace and security, gender, religious engagement and sustainable development. She was born in Egypt, and now lives in the United States.

Anwar Khan

Islamic Relief USA

Anwar Khan has more than twenty years of experience working in the field of humanitarian and development assistance. Mr. Khan was born in Pakistan and grew up in England. He earned a degree in biochemistry in 1993, and began working with Islamic Relief Worldwide. In 1994 he moved to the United States. Since then, he has aided in IRUSA’s expansion, helping start up offices in the Los Angeles and Dallas areas. Mr. Khan has extensive experience in the field: he has traveled to conflict and disaster zones including Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Gaza, Darfur, Haiti, Pakistan and Syria. He has also traveled for development work in Africa and South Asia, visiting locations including Timbuktu. In the United States, he helped set up an extensive volunteer network that now consists of several thousand people. On behalf of IRUSA, Mr. Khan has been appointed to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA). Along with other leaders in the international development field, Mr. Khan provides advice, analysis and recommendations to USAID on the most pressing development issues in the world today. He is also serving on the U.S. State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group, where he advises on humanitarian issues and the intersection of faith and development. Previously, Mr. Khan held a variety of leadership roles at Islamic Relief USA, directing Islamic Relief USA’s program efforts, managing its fundraising offices, operations, and overseeing its fund development work.

Muhamad Ali Yusuf

Humanitarian Forum Indonesia

Muhamad Ali Yusuf is Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama Institution for Disaster Management and Climate Change (LPBI NU). Prior to become General Chairman of Humanitarian Forum Indonesia (HFI) in September 2019, He has been Chairman of Humanitarian Forum Indonesia (HFI) from 2016 to 2019. From 2014 to 2017, He was Board of National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction Indonesia. He also was Chair Executive for Indonesian Humanitarian Alliance (IHA) from 2017 until now. Currently, He is Expert Panel Members for National Plastic Action Partnership Indonesia as part of Global Plastic Action Partnership (World Economic Forum).

Amjad Mohamed-Saleem


Amjad Mohamed-Saleem is a political analyst and free lance consultant with interests in Peace Building & Humanitarian Policy; South Asia and Interfaith Action. He has worked with International Alert, KAICIID, the Commonwealth Foundation,Islamic Development Bank, The Cordoba Foundation, Muslim Aid among others. He sat as a thematic advisor  for the UN initiated process, the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) looking at 'Meeting the needs of People in Conflict' for the UN initiated process, the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and an advisor for the WHS work streams on 'Islamic Social Finance' and ‘Religious Engagement in Humanitarian Work’. He is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and State of Formation and also to academic journals. He has also published a book on the Aceh Peace Process and contributed chapters to ‘The World of Prayer’, ‘Cosmopolitanism, Religion and the Public Sphere’, ‘Muslim Minority – State Relations: Violence, Integration and Policy’, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015 Report and the CIVICUS “2015 State of Civil Society’ Report. He has an M.Eng from Imperial College, an MBA from U21 Global Singapore and is currently pursuing a part time PhD at Exeter University

Benjamin Laniado


Benjamín Laniado was born in a Jewish family in Mexico City, he is the youngest of 7 siblings.
He is married and has three children.
Benjamin has always been a leader, looking forward to repair the world (a Jewish value: Tikkun Olam).
Since he was young, he started getting involved in different projects that would help his community, his country and eventually, the world.
He studied business administration in Mexico City, and later he made a master’s degree on Jewish philosophy.
On 2009 he went to live in Israel for two years, where he started getting involved in civil protection and rescue subjects.
Benjamín is the president and founder of CADENA, an NGO which mission is to reduce the vulnerability of people who suffer in Natural Disasters.
On 2015 Benjamin won the Herzl Award, and on 2014 the CLARES Social Leadership Award.
CADENA was recognized on 2014 by mexican government with the National Civil Protection Award

W. Bramwell Bailey

Director of Programs

Catriona Dejean

Director of Strategy and Impact

Catriona Dejean is Tearfund’s Director of Strategy and Impact, and previously headed up the their Impact and Effectiveness Team. Prior to this, she was a consultant in the social enterprise sector, providing advice to UK and international clients. She has also worked for World Vision on development programmes, and at strategy level – predominantly in Latin America. She started her career in environmental consultancy in the private sector. Catriona also served as a trustee for Cafedirect Producers' Foundation (now Producers' Direct) – an award-winning fairtrade enterprise, led by farmers across East Africa and Latin America.

Rev Christo Greyling

Senior Director Faith- Advocacy and External Engagement
World Vision International

Rev Christo Greyling serving as the Senior Director for Faith – Advocacy and External Engagement in World Vision International. World Vision is a global Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation.

He works passionately towards building strategic partnerships for greater scale and sustained impact towards child wellbeing and achieving the sustainable development goals. He was co-responsible for the development of the Channels of Hope methodology which catalyses faith leaders to respond to difficult development issues such as child protection, maternal and child health, HIV and gender. This methodology has catalysed nearly 500,000 faith leaders in 45 countries

Rev Greyling is a Dutch Reformed reverend with a Masters in Public Health. He serves on multiple boards and reference groups of international NGOs and networks. Christo is a South African, living with his wife and two daughters in Hilversum in the Netherlands.

Christa Foster Crawford

Associate Director, Human Rights Law Center at Payap University & Founding Partner/Principal Consultant, Freedom Resource International

Christa Foster Crawford, J.D. is founder of Freedom Resource International, a strategic partnership empowering the anti-trafficking movement for greater effectiveness through training and capacity building, resource development and sharing, expert advice, and strategic-level impact. She teaches courses on trafficking, exploitation, migration, gender and law at the university and graduate level (including for Fuller's Children at Risk Program and Multnomah's Program on Global Development and Justice), and serves as the Associate Director of Payap Center on Human Rights Law in Thailand. Christa has also authored and edited numerous books, articles, and curricula to equip practitioners. Her training courses include the Certificate Course on Excellence in Anti-Trafficking Response. She has worked at both the grassroots and policy levels, including United Nations ESCAP, country director of the International Justice Mission, and pioneered a social enterprise to provide sustainable options to vulnerable people. Christa is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Claremont McKenna College. Originally from the United States, she has lived with her family in Chiang Mai, Thailand. since 2001.

Christine MacMillan

Senior Advisor - Social Justice
World Evangelical Alliance

An inspiring and effective advocate of social justice for all, Commissioner Christine MacMillan has been a Salvation Army officer holding appointments in five countries: Canada and Bermuda, Australia, England, Papua New Guinea and USA.

In 2007, she became the founding director of The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission.

In July 2012, following retirement from The Salvation Army, Christine was selected by the World Evangelical Alliance to serve as their Senior Advisor for Social Justice, where 600 million Christians join forces under the banner of impacting God's so loved and unloved world.

Since 2012, Christine now holds the position with World Evangelical Alliance as: Associate Secretary General for Public Engagement. This executive team position plays a catalytic role in identifying global key issues while developing a WEA voice and responses of participation through the offices at the United Nations and influential bodies. A recent book “When Justice is the Measure” with Christine as author, brings her vast journey of experience with observations and paradigms that are both challenging and achievable.

By faith Christine holds the conviction that the Gospel is a redeeming invitation to listen with the anticipation that accompaniment impacts the hope of transformation.

David Boan

Commissioner for Relief and Development, World Evangelical Alliance
Northwest Nazarene University

Dr. Boan (Ph.D., Biola University’s Rosemead School of Psychology) He has extensive experience in healthcare quality and safety, public health, and capacity building as the vice president for research and development for the Delmarva Foundation for Medical Care (Maryland) and Executive Director for Innovation, Joint Commission Resources and Joint Commission International. Dr. Boan’s research interests include the role of faith-based organizations in community resilience, faith and trauma, and vulnerability and justice.
In January 2017 Dr. Boan became the Director of Humanitarian Advocacy for the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA). This role emphasizes training, research and capacity building that helps global evangelical alliances support the local church participation in humanitarian causes. This role includes serving as WEA technical liaison to national alliances and also for strategic WEA partners, such as World Vision, World Relief, and Micah Global. He continued with Wheaton College as a Clinical Fellow in the Graduate School of Psychology, and operates a learning lab for students as a partnership between Wheaton College and WEA. His most recent work is on trauma, the church and community resilience in North Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Currently, Dr. Boan's primary affiliation is with World Evangelical Alliance as Commissioner for Relief and Development managing relations with R&D NGOs and their collaboration with national alliances and local faith communities. His secondary affiliation is with Northwest Nazarene University as Adjunct Professor of Psychology.

Emma Tomalin

Professor of Religion and Public Life
University of Leeds Religions and the Sustainable Development Network

Dr Emma Tomalin is Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Leeds. She carries out research into the role of religion in public life in the world today with research interests in Gender, Religion and Society, Religion and Global Development and Buddhism and Hinduism amongst others. She has published multiple books and journals. She is currently working on an AHRC network grant on work a project entitled – Keeping Faith in 2030: Religions and the Sustainable Development Goals which will completed late in 2018. She also works with Public Health Leeds on a project that examines the role of places of worship as Public Health settings in Leeds and Co-Chair of the International Development and Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion. Since 2013, with Drs Caroline Starkey and Jas Singh, she has been carrying out scoping studies on places of worship in Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Zoroastrian and Bahai traditions in England.

She also co-chairs the new JLI Hub on Anti-Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.

Imrana A. Umar

President and CEO
International Interfaith Peace Corps (IIPC)

Imrana A. Umar serves as Co-founder and Executive Director of International Interfaith Peace Corps (IIPC). Imrana brings over 30 years of private and public sector experience in policy design and implementation to IIPC. He is responsible for setting IIPC’s overall objectives and ensuring that activities meet the stated objectives. He also has the responsibility for supervising senior staff and programing, as well as setting the tone for the programs. He assumes the overall leadership in guiding all administrative, fiscal, and program activities in the areas of Healthcare, Education, Peacebuilding and Scoio-economic Development through religious diplomacy.
Imrana is also the co-founder of Powersim Solutions, a simulation-based business strategy consulting company. Since 2001, he has served as President and CEO of Powersim guiding its overall vision, strategy and operations. His consulting experience spans many industries in both private and public sectors, including Aviation, Energy, Financial Services, Health Care, High Technology, Hospitality, Manufacturing, Retail, Construction, ICT and Telecom. He has also consulted for private and public organizations globally including Microsoft, The World Bank, McKinsey & Co, Accenture, BP Amoco, Chevron, US National Energy Laboratories, FAA, Qatar Foundation, among others; in areas such as Organizational Transformation and Change Management, Analysis of Investment Options, Project Evaluation, Strategic Alignment and Risk Assessment, Competitive Strategy, Policy Alignment and Coordination, Scenario-based Strategic Planning, Resource Planning, Technology and Product Innovation, Human Performance Management.
Mr. Umar is currently an adjunct professor of Performance Management Systems and Business Strategy Simulation in GMU’s Executive Education program on Building Business Acumen and Corporate Ventures.
Mr. Umar is a System Dynamicist by education and practice. He has his graduate and post-graduate degrees from the University of Bergen, Norway.

John Blevins

Acting Director and Associate Research Professor
Interfaith Health Program - Emory University

John Blevins is the Acting Director of the Interfatih Health Program (IHP) at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. IHP examines religion's influence as a social force on global health and development programs, focusing on religion's impact on health policies, beliefs, and behaviors as well as the ways in which religion serves as a motivation to carry out health/development initiatives.

Julie Clague

Lecturer and Associate Academic
University of Glasgow

Julie Clague lecturers in Christian theology and ethics at the University of Glasgow, UK. She is a member of the steering committee of the Joint Learning Initiative and co-chair of the JLI learning hub on HIV and maternal health. She works with a number of Catholic development agencies on issues of international development, human rights, gender, and sexual and reproductive health.

Jean Duff

Joint Learning Initiative on Faith and Local Communities

Ms Duff serves as chief executive of the Joint Learning Initiative on Faith & Local Communities (JLI) an international, interfaith, multi-sector collaboration for excellent evidence for faith groups’ activity and contribution to development and humanitarian challenges. JLI’s goal is to equip policymakers and practitioners with the information they need to scale up faith engagement for the common good. In 2008, she co-founded the Center for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty at Washington National Cathedral. Previously, she led the Cathedral’s global poverty program as Managing Director of the Center for Global Justice and Reconciliation. In 2008, she co-convened the Women, Faith and Development Alliance. Ms Duff holds graduate degrees in Clinical Psychology (University College Dublin) and in Epidemiology (Columbia University) She is a Visiting Research Fellow at Trinity College, Dublin and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

James Cox

Chief Operating Officer
Helen Keller International

In February 2020, Jim Cox joined Helen Keller Intl as Chief Operating Officer, based in Washington, D.C. Jim has 25 years of senior management experience in the field and in the US offices of international development organizations.
He comes to Helen Keller directly from Lutheran World Relief- IMA World Health (LWR-IMA), where he was Executive Vice President of Health and Emergency Programs. He was Chief Operating Officer for IMA World Health for nearly five years, after serving as Country Director for IMA in Tanzania for five years.
Jim’s expertise in program management includes emergency interventions, as well as livelihoods and health initiatives in partnership with vulnerable communities and major donor agencies including USAID, DFID, UN agencies, and private foundations. He has also improved global operational efficiency for IMA World Health and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), where he held various positions over ten years, including that of Executive Director.

Jørn Lemvik


Jørn Lemvik did his masters in leadership and technology at the University of Bergen, Norway. For some few years he worked as the Head of Computer dept. at the Mekane Yesus Church in Ethiopia. He was elected to be the Resident Representative of a Norwegian Mission organisation in Ethiopia, and this triggered his passion for leadership development and diaconical development work done by churches. He then worked as a leadership and organisational development consultant for around 20 years. In 2008 he joined Digni, and was the Secretary general of this organisation for 9 years.
Together with Dr Azza Karam, he started a global network on religion and development, and ran it as a UN network (DUF -Donor UN Faith) for three years before handing it over to PaRD (Partnership on Religion and Development).
He is now again a leadership and development consultant.
He has worked in around 30 countries in the Global South and sees himself as a bridge builder between people, cultures, organisations and networks.

Jill Olivier

Assoc Professor: Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator
International Religious Health Assets Programme (IRHAP) at University of Capetown

Dr. Jill Olivier is a Senior Lecturer and Research Coordinator at the University of Cape Town in the Health Policy and Systems Division, School of Public Health and Family Medicine. She is the Director of the International Religious Health Assets Programme (IRHAP-ARHAP); coordinates the UCT program of the Collaboration for Health Systems Analysis and Innovation (CHESAI), lectures on health systems research, and is the principle investigator for several active multi-country research studies. Prior to this she was based in Washington at the World Bank with a focus on non-state health service delivery and community response to HIV/AIDS. With a background in the social sciences, her current publication focus is on health systems research; non-state health providers; community engagement; interdisciplinary research; and multisectoral collaboration. She has operated as a researcher and research manager across Africa, as well as in the USA and the Asia-Pacific region.

Katherine Marshall

Senior Fellow, Executive Director
World Faiths Development Dialogue (WFDD)

Katherine Marshall has worked for some four decades on international development, with a focus on issues facing the world’s poorest countries. A senior fellow at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Service, she is Executive Director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue.
Her long career with the World Bank (1971-2006) involved a wide range of leadership assignments. She was Country Director in the Bank’s Africa region, first for the Sahel region, then Southern Africa and led the Bank's work on social policy and governance during the East Asia crisis years. In 2000 the World Bank’s president appointed her to a newly created post of liaison with faith-based development charities, with the objective of clarifying shared objectives and building trust and coordination.
Ms. Marshall is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on various boards of non-profit organizations. She served as a core group member of the Council of 100, an initiative of the World Economic Forum to advance understanding between the Islamic World and the West.

Mohammed Abu-Nimer

Senior Advisor
International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID)

Mohammed Abu-Nimer, of the International Peace and Conflict Resolution program, serves as Director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute. He has conducted interreligious conflict resolution training and interfaith dialogue workshops in conflict areas around the world, including Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Northern Ireland, the Philippines (Mindanao), and Sri Lanka. In addition to his articles and publications, Dr. Abu-Nimer is the co-founder and co-editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development. At American University, Professor Abu-Nimer is also Director of the Peacebuilding and Development Institute. Professor Abu-Nimer also serves as Senior Advisor to KAICIID.

Matthew Frost

Director of PilgrimWay

Matthew Frost is passionate about seeing the local church transforming the lives of poor people in communities across the world and he loves climbing mountains.

Director, PilgrimWay, UK — 2016-present
Chair of Lay Leadership Task Group, Church of England, UK — 2016-present
Chief Executive, Tearfund, UK — 2005-2015
Head of Strategy, Department of Education & Skills, UK — 2004-2005
Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Co, UK — 1999-2004
MBA Student, IMD, Switzerland — 1998
Country Director, Medair, Afghanistan — 1996-1997

I currently serve on the following Boards: Archbishop’s Council of the Church of England, Christians Against Poverty, Open Doors, Westminster Theological Centre, JLI

1998 - MBA, IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland.
1984-1987 - MA Economics, University of Cambridge, UK.

Nobuyuki Asai

Program Coordinator
Soka Gakkai International (SGI)

Nobuyuki Asai is a program coordinator of Soka Gakkai International, where he is in charge of advocacy and networking in terms of humanitarian affairs. He joined Soka Gakkai’s recovery taskforce in Tohoku which was established after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. After the Kumamoto Earthquake in April 2016 he served in Soka Gakkai’s relief coordinating team. Nobuyuki participated in the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai in 2015, “Asian Roundtable Dialogue for Faith Based organizations and Religious leaders in Humanitarian Action” held in Bangkok in 2015, and the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016.

Rachel Carnegie

Joint Executive Director
Anglican Alliance

Revd Rachel Carnegie is the Joint Executive Director of the Anglican Alliance. This is the coordinating platform for the relief, development and advocacy work of churches and agencies across the worldwide Anglican Communion. She came to this role following five years serving as the Archbishop of Canterbury's Secretary for International Development. She continues to advise the Archbishop on these issues.

Revd Carnegie has worked in international development since 1985, particularly in Africa and South Asia, with faith-based and international relief and development organisations, including Unicef, Save the Children, and Tearfund. Her work has concentrated on issues of education, gender justice, faith-based approaches to HIV and, more recently, on human trafficking/modern slavery. For the last ten years, she has had a particular focus on the role of faith communities in relief and development, and has supported DFID, UNICEF, UNAIDS and other agencies to develop policy guidelines on how to engage effectively with faith issues. She is a founder member of the Joint Learning Initiative, researching the impact of local faith communities on development outcomes.
Revd Carnegie has MA degrees from Cambridge and Sussex Universities. She was ordained as a minister in the Church of England in 2004. She is the author of a range of publications, especially on communication and health promotion issues.

Ruth Messinger

Global Ambassador
American Jewish World Service

Ruth W. Messinger is currently the Global Ambassador for American Jewish World Service (AJWS). In this role, Ruth is continuing her crucial work of engaging rabbis and interfaith leaders to speak out on behalf of oppressed and persecuted communities worldwide. She formerly was President of AJWS from 1998 to July of 2016.

Ruth’s remarkable 18-year presidency at AJWS began after a 20-year career in public service in New York City as a city council member and Manhattan Borough President. Under Ruth’s leadership, AJWS grew exponentially—granting more than $270 million to promote human rights in the developing world and launching campaigns to end the Darfur genocide, reform international food aid, stop violence against women and LGBT people, end land grabs and respond to natural disasters around the globe.
She came to AJWS in 1998, after a 20-year career in public service in New York City. As an activist for human rights around the globe, Ruth currently sits on the State Department’s Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group and co-chairs the Sub-Working Group on Social Justice. Many national Jewish organizations have honored Ruth, and The Jewish Daily Forward, The Jerusalem Post and Huffington Post have named her on lists of the world’s most influential Jews and religious leaders.

Rob Radtke

Episcopal Relief & Development

Dr. Radtke serves as president of Episcopal Relief & Development. Prior to that he served in various senior-level posts at the Asia Society. Rob has has overseen a number of major initiatives, including NetsforLife®, the award-winning, flagship malaria prevention program, reaching over 32 million people in 17 African countries; and the US Disaster Preparedness and Response Program, which helps Episcopal dioceses, congregations and other church institutions to prepare for and respond to disasters in local communities. Rob provides strategic leadership to the agency’s programs in nearly 40 countries across Africa, Latin America and Asia, as well as the U.S. The organization is a pioneer in the area of Asset-Based Community Development in a faith-based development context, with programs that mobilize local resources in an integrated approach to address poverty, hunger, disease and disaster. Rob contributes to faith and policy-oriented discussions on a range of international development issues through media interviews, op-eds and various online communications. He is a trustee of the Anglican Alliance for Development, Relief & Advocacy and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rebeca Rios-Kohn

Director- New York Office and Prayer and Action for Children
Arigatou International

Rebeca Rios Kohn is a native of Uruguay and a French citizen with over 25 years of experience in human development, human rights and children’s rights. She currently serves as Director of Arigatou International New York Office and Prayer and Action for Children. She received a Juris Doctor from the T.C. Williams School of Law, at the University of Richmond, in Virginia and practiced law in Virginia and New York. In 1989 she joined the United Nations where she held several senior level positions with UNICEF and UNDP. During her years with UNICEF she focused on advocating for children's rights and was responsible for building and managing partnerships with religious leaders, faith-based organizations, parliamentarians and mayors. She led a number of advocacy initiatives in many parts of the world at the highest levels to promote the ratification and implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Ms. Rios-Kohn authored a number of articles and academic papers for law journals, and developed studies and training materials for UNICEF, UNDP and others on a wide range of subjects related to children including the CRC and CEDAW, a human rights-based approach to development and diverse gender issues.

Richard Santos

Rick Santos was the President and CEO of IMA World Health from 2009 to the end of 2018. In his nine years at IMA, Rick led the organization through a period of transition and growth that has included significant organizational change and visibility through increasing program impact and building healthy communities in some of the most difficult places in the world. Rick led IMA through several strategic pivots, in program and management, that well positioned IMA for the future. Rick also led the merger process with Lutheran World Relief and stayed on through the end of May 2019 as Senior Advisor to both organizations.

Rick has a decade of field experience in Asia and has spent 23 years working in the international relief and development sector. His developmental approach includes building and prioritizing robust local and regional partnerships--communities, organizations and networks, which he believes are the key ingredients to successful and sustainable relief and development work. Rick has significant experience overseeing and managing projects and organizations in health, livelihoods, nutrition and emergency response sectors. Currently Rick started NXPivot LLC to support Boards, CEOs, and executive staff navigate the current external environment and also to build capacity of local organizations.

Rick holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business, a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from George Washington University.

Sally Smith

Independent Consultant

Dr Sally Smith is an independent consultant having previously worked for 14 years at UNAIDS in the organization’s Community Mobilization Division, in Geneva, most recently as Senior Adviser, and formerly as Partnership Adviser for community engagement on HIV with focus on faith-based organizations (FBO’s). In 2018 she graduated from Glasgow University with a Doctorate in Practical Theology. Her thesis, entitled: ‘Religion in the United Nations (UN) Political Declarations on HIV/AIDS: An interdisciplinary, critical discourse analysis’ - explores conflicts and tensions within the four political declarations on HIV/AIDS adopted by the United Nations in 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016. Before moving to Geneva in 1999, Dr Smith and her family worked in Nepal for the United Mission to Nepal (UMN) for 16 years as medical missionaries. She is married to Ian and they have two children.

Thorsten Göbel

Director of Programmes
ACT Alliance

Thorsten Göbel was appointed Director of Programmes in March 2018. He leads the ACT secretariat programmatic work and manages the team responsible for humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and advocacy action. He is a member of the Core Management Team and deputizes for the General Secretary.
Prior to that, Thorsten Göbel worked as Head of the Policy, Dialogue and Theology Division of Bread for the World and Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, based in Berlin and Stuttgart. He led a team of 15 staff who coordinate the lobby and advocacy work of these two agencies in Berlin and Brussels, and functions as a think-tank on a variety of policy issues.

Vinya Ariyaratne

General Secretary

Dr.Vinya Ariyaratne is the General Secretary of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement which is Sri Lanka’s largest non-governmental grass roots development organization. He is a physician specialized in Public Health.

Dr.Ariyaratne has also been involved extensively in civil society peace, interfaith and reconciliation initiatives in Sri Lanka. He has been trained as a professional facilitator for peace dialogues and he engages in teaching assignments related to peace building, conflict resolution and reconciliation. Through the Sarvodaya Movement, Dr.Ariyaratne has developed numerous innovative community health programmes working closely with the government sector, universities, professional colleges as well as other civil society organizations. He has also been extensively involved in health and development programmes related to the war affected communities in Sri Lanka. Dr.Ariyaratne has been closely involved in the implementation of Global Fund activities in Sri Lanka in prevention and control Malaria and HIV/AIDS. After the Tsunami disaster in 2004, Dr.Ariyaratne was responsible for the overall coordination of the Sarvodaya’s emergency response and later the entire reconstruction programme which is one of the largest Tsunami recovery programmes in the country with a portfolio of projects worth over 15 million US dollars. When the large displacement from the Northern Province took place in early and mid 2009, Dr.Ariyaratne was coordinating the humanitarian relief efforts of Sarvodaya to assist the Health Ministry, the UN agencies and humanitarian organizations to provide services to the large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Dr. Ariyaratne was awarded the Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 by the Schwab Foundation and serves as a member in the Global Agenda Council on Fragility, Violence and Conflict of the World Economic Forum.

Advisory Group


UNAIDS- United Nations Programme on AIDS

Jacek Tyszko, a national of Poland, has taken up his duties as the UNAIDS Senior Adviser on Faith Engagement in September 2018.

After completing his graduate studies in journalism and international relations at the Moscow State Institute for International Relations in 1991, he started working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland as the UN system relations desk officer. His portfolio included development issues, human rights and specialized agencies.

In April 1995, he became First Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Poland to the UN Office in Geneva, where he worked until moving to the UNAIDS Secretariat in August 1999.

Jacek joined UNAIDS to facilitate international consultations on HIV notification and disclosure, then he moved to Africa desk, where - among others - he coordinated the UNAIDS involvement in the 2000 Africa Development Forum and worked as the project officer for the International Partnership against AIDS in Africa.

Since November 2002 he worked as an External Relations Officer in the Governance department, in January 2012 taking over as Chief Governance and UN Relations a.i.

In April 2013 he became the Country Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Ukraine where he served until September 2018.

Thomas Lawo

International Partnership on Religion & Sustainable Development (PaRD)


Studies of Law at Bochum University (1972-74), Agriculture and Nutrition Sciences at Bonn University 1974-78 (Degree: Dipl.oec.troph); additional studies of Philosophy and Education Sciences (1976-78) at Bonn University.

Post-graduate studies of Agricultural Sociology and Nutrition Sciences at Bonn University and doctoral Dissertation (PhD/ Dr.oec.troph) in 1983 on Agriculture and Food Policy Issues in Bangladesh.

Professional career:

Full-time work in development co-operation since 1978 as Project Officer for South Asia (1978-86), Head of Asia Department (1990-94) and Managing Director of Bischöfliches Hilfswerk MISEREOR, Catholic Central Agency for Development Assistance, Aachen/ Germany (1995-99).
From 1986 until November 1990 Resident Representative of the Konrad-Adenauer- Stiftung (Foundation) in Malaysia attached to the Malaysian Institute of Management (MIM), Kuala Lumpur. Concurrently Visiting Research Fellow at the Asian and Pacific Development Centre (APDC) in Kuala Lumpur and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, (IDS) Sabah in Kota Kinabalu/ Malaysia.

From January 2000 until October 2013 General Secretary of EADI (European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes) and Executive Director of the international secretariat in Bonn/ Germany.

From October 2013 until December 2015 Country Representative for Myanmar of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), with residence Yangon/ Myanmar (Rangoon/ Burma).

Since May 2016 Senior Advisor at GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), attached to the secretariat of the International Partnership for Religion and Sustainable Development, PaRD in Bonn.