Our Board

Chair

Dr Kathleen Cravero-Kristoffersson

Kathleen was the President of Oak Foundation until 2018. In this capacity, she supported the Foundation’s Trustees in addressing issues of global, social and environmental concern, particularly those which have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged.

Before presiding over Oak Foundation, Kathleen worked for over two decades on a range of international development issues from newly emerging democracies to conflict and emergency situations.

Her previous posts include positions at UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNDP and WHO. She was Director of the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS. She served as UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Burundi; UNICEF Representative in Uganda; External Relations Officer of the WHO Global Programme on AIDS; UNICEF Senior Health Advisor; and UNICEF Programme Coordinator in Chad.

Kathleen holds a PhD in Political Science from Fordham University and a Masters in Public Health from Columbia University.

Board member

Dr Louisa Chan Boegli

Louisa leads the Rugiagli Initiative’s activities in capacity building of health professionals for peace work. Louisa has more than 20 years’ experience working with communities, governments, multinational companies, and international organisations worldwide.

She is one of the founding members of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD Centre): she helped write the Centre’s charter and pioneered exploratory work in Aceh, Indonesia, and Myanmar.  At the same time, Louisa initiated a  programme on dialogue with multinational companies at HD, exploring their role in conflict affected countries and offering advice on ‘Do No Harm’ and corporate responsibility.

As a founding member of the Rugiagli Initiative (tRI), she initiated activities in Southern Thailand. With a local partner, Prince of Songkla University, tRI completed a pilot project to enhance the capacity for peace among health professionals working in conflict areas.

Louisa holds a Masters degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Certificate in Negotiation from Harvard Law School. She received her Doctorate in Medicine from the University of California, Los Angeles. A native of Hong Kong, Louisa currently resides in Switzerland.

Board member

Ivo Knoepfel

Ivo has contributed his professional life to integrating ‘sustainability’ into the worlds of business and finance. In 2002, he founded the independent consultancy onValues, where he serves as Managing Partner.

onValues helps family offices and foundations to improve investment results by integrating sustainability and impact considerations.

Previously, Ivo was Head of Corporate Sustainability at the Swiss Reinsurance Company and was part of the founding team of RobecoSAM, the world’s largest micro and development finance investment manager. In his role at RobecoSAM, he led the team in charge of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

Over the years, Ivo has led several collaborative initiatives aimed at strengthening the business and financial sectors’ commitment to sustainability. Notably, he was responsible for coordinating the financial sector’s contribution to the UN Global Compact. He was also an advisor to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in developing guidelines for investments in particularly sensitive areas such as microfinance, commodities and farmland.

After Ivo studied process engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, he undertook postgraduate studies in environmental law and economics, followed by a doctoral thesis on the life-cycle assessment of energy systems.

Board member

Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin

Funmi is Vice-President, Vice-Principal International and Professor of Security for Leadership and Development at King’s College London. Additionally, she is the founding Director of the African Leadership Centre (ALC), which aims to develop the next generation of African scholars in security and development.

From 2003 to 2013, ‘Funmi was Director of the Conflict, Security and Development Group at King’s College London. Prior to this, she worked in the office of the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict.

Over the years, ‘Funmi has positioned her work to serve as a bridge between academia and the worlds of policy and practice. Her most recent research has focused on “Reframing narratives of Peace and State Building in Africa” and on “Future Peace, Society and the State in Africa.” In January 2015, ‘Funmi was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as one of seven members of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture. In 2016, she was also appointed as a member of the Advisory Group of Experts for the UN Progress Study on Youth, Peace, and Security.

The University of Pretoria appointed ‘Funmi as an Extra-Ordinary Professor in the Department of Political Sciences in 2016 and, in 2018, the Director-General of UNESCO invited ‘Funmi to join the Council of the United Nations University.

Board member

Victor Angelo

Victor is currently the Chief Executive of DuniaMundo, an international affairs consultancy, and a Senior International Advisor on governance, crisis management and security.

He is working with the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and other institutions. He is also a newspaper columnist on international affairs for the Portuguese weekly magazine Visão.

Victor worked for the UN in various conflict-related capacities for over 32 years. He served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for the Central African Republic (CAR) and Chad, heading the UN peacekeeping mission, MINURCAT, from 2008 to 2010.

Prior to that, Victor served as the Secretary-General’s Executive Representative for Sierra Leone from 2006 to 2007, heading the UN Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL).

Earlier in his career, Victor served as UN Humanitarian and Resident Co-ordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Zimbabwe.

Board member

Denis Kadima

Denis has been the Johannesburg-based Executive Director of the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) since December 2002.

Until 2013, he was the founding Chairperson of the Board of the Southern Africa Trust, an independent funding agency that supports broader engagement in regional policy dialogue to overcome poverty. Additionally, Denis has founded the Journal of African Elections.

A former banker in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denis has worked for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), where he was a senior regional programme manager in Namibia and as a country director in Lesotho. He also worked for various UN departments, including as Director of the UN Integrated Referendum and Electoral Division in South Sudan, and as Elections Chief Technical Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme Tunisia.

Denis is member of the Advisory Board of the Open Society Foundations Regional Africa Office and holds a licence in political and administrative sciences from the Université de Lubumbashi, a Masters in political studies and a postgraduate diploma in business administration from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Board member

Molly McUsic

Molly is the President of the Wyss Foundation, a private charitable foundation founded and financed by Hansjörg Wyss. The foundation is dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives, empower communities, and strengthen connections to the land, for example by investing in conservation, education, economic opportunity and social justice.

Before joining the Wyss Foundation, she served as Counsellor to Secretary Babbitt at the US Department of the Interior. Moreover, Molly was a tenured professor at the University of North Carolina Law School and a visiting professor at Harvard Law School. She also clerked at the US Supreme Court for Justice Harry A. Blackmun and the Honourable Dorothy W. Nelson at the US Court of Appeals.

Molly is a high honours graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a major in economics, and a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Law Review.

Board member

Mbarka Bouaida

Mbarka is a Moroccan politician. She has been Vice-President of the International Parliamentarian Forum for Democracy since September 2011 and is a member of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe.

Mbarka also serves as the General Secretary of the Moustaqbal Association for Education and represents Morocco in the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly.

In 2007, his Majesty King Mohamed VI appointed Mbarka Secretary of State for Maritime Fisheries. Additionally, she served as Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in the Benkirane government, chaired the Committee of Foreign Affairs and the National Defence and Religious Affairs, and was in charge of relations between the Moroccan and European Parliaments. In 2015, Mbarka led Morocco’s delegation to the White House Summit on Countering Extreme Violence led by Joe Biden.

Mbarka holds a degree from the Graduate School of Management in Casablanca, an MBA from the University of Hull and a Masters in Communication from the University of Toulouse.

Board member & Co-Founder

Hansjörg Wyss

An exceptional and prolific philanthropist, Hansjörg has funded many initiatives promoting innovative ideas, new tools, and unprecedented collaborations in areas of education, arts, science, engineering, conflict resolution and land conservation to tackle challenges on a global scale.

Currently, Hansjörg is an active member of the Board of Directors for several organisations including the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, The Grand Canyon Trust, The Wilderness Society, and the Center for American Progress. He is also on the Board of Dean’s Advisors of Harvard Business School.

In 1998, Hansjörg established the Wyss Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to supporting innovative, lasting solutions that improve lives, empower communities, and strengthen connections to the land, for example by investing in conservation, education, economic opportunity and social justice. He also founded the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, and the Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-Engineering.

Hansjörg Wyss serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Synthes Inc., a global manufacturer of medical devices, and is a founder and honorary member of the AO Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving the care of patients with musculoskeletal injuries and their sequelae.

Hansjörg has a background in engineering and a lifetime of experience in the field of medical science. He studied Engineering at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and finished his MBA in1965 at Harvard University.

Founder

Founder

Anne Gloor

Anne conceived and founded PeaceNexus, together with Hansjörg Wyss, in 2009. Anne was PeaceNexus’ Executive Director from 2011 to 2014, working to ensure the proper set up of the Foundation.

From 1999 to 2011, Anne worked for the Swiss Foreign Ministry. During this time, she designed peacebuilding programmes in Southern Africa and assisted in their implementation while based in Mozambique. She also coordinated the Swiss mine action programme for two years, trained diplomats and experts in peacebuilding, and expanded the Swiss election support programme. Between 2006 and 2008, Anne was seconded to the General Directorate for External Relations of the European Commission to coordinate the EU election observation policy and operations in several countries.

Anne has studied in Switzerland, the USA, Colombia, France and the UK. She holds Masters degrees from the University of Bern and EHESS in Paris. Her academic focus was democracy building in Latin America, Africa, the USA, France and Switzerland. Later, she started a PhD at the University of Bradford on election-related conflict resolution, which she left in order to set up PeaceNexus.

Management Team

Executive Director

Catriona Gourlay

As PeaceNexus’ Executive Director, Catriona guides the foundation’s overall strategic direction in collaboration with the board, oversees the foundation’s project management, and supports the development of each sector.

Before joining PeaceNexus, Catriona worked as an independent consultant, providing research, analysis and training to organisations working in conflict-affected contexts. From 2005 to 2009, she was the Marie Curie Research Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), where she conducted projects on EU and UN crisis management and peacebuilding.

From 1995 to 2005, she was the founding Executive Director of the International Security Information Service, Europe, an independent research organisation based in Brussels working on European conflict prevention, peacebuilding and security policy. She has also written extensively on the development of civilian crisis management, peacebuilding capacities and policies, and has provided research support, training facilitation, and policy advice for the European Commission, the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN Development Programme, several EU Member States, and a range of NGOs.

Catriona holds a PhD in International Relations from Lancaster University, a Masters in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford.

International Partnerships and Learning Manager

Lisa Ibscher

As PeaceNexus’ International Partnerships and Learning Manager, Lisa leads the team in charge of international partnerships and PeaceNexus’ Service Offer in Organisational Development, Conflict Sensitivity and Inclusive Dialogue with Business.

Lisa has a background in journalism. This profession brought her to war zones first, inspiring her to change career and serve in multinational peacekeeping and ceasefire monitoring operations in the Balkans, and in Sudan between 2003 and 2005.

Lisa then returned to Switzerland, to study development and cooperation at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (NADEL) and to train as a mediator. Subsequently, she moved to Nepal for several years, to support local mediation initiatives. Later, in her capacity as Human Security Adviser to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in South Sudan, she supported the emergence of local governance structures in the newly independent country.

Lisa joined PeaceNexus in 2012 and became a certified coach (New York University) in 2016.

Regional Programmes Manager

Peter Cross

Peter is the Regional Programmes Manager at PeaceNexus, leading the teams in our focus regions : Central Asia, Southeast Asia, West Africa and the Western Balkans.

Peter has worked with think tanks, NGOs, multilateral agencies — including the United Nations and the European Union — and the private sector, to deliver high-quality policy, analysis and programming. This has given him a sound background in conflict and peacebuilding, security sector reform, and the rule of law. His 20 years of experience has included complex conflict environments in Africa, including Somalia, Sudan and Sierra Leone, and Central and South Asia.

Peter holds a Masters degree in International Studies from Rhodes University in South Africa.

Finance and Administration Manager

Magali Khéloui

Magali is the Finance and Administration Manager at PeaceNexus, supervising the Finance Administrator.

She has 16 years of international work experience in finance and strategy in the private sector, especially the logistics industry, and with NGOs in Europe and Africa.

Magali has worked for easyJet, LOGWIN, Ernst&Young, BNP Paribas and UNHCR. She has specific expertise in audit, accounting, controlling, budgeting and reporting management. She has successfully led teams and projects in both start-up and established organisations.

Magali specialises in financial controlling, process optimisation and strategy development with deep experiences in Africa. She holds a Masters Degree in Management from EDHEC School of Management in Lille, France. She speaks French, English and Portuguese.

Prangins Team

Organisational Development Lead

Carole Frampton-de Tscharner

Carole leads the Organisational Development (OD) service offer.

She provides support and facilitates learning for PeaceNexus’ OD partnerships across the different regions, and directly manages PeaceNexus’ OD support to international partners and collective learning initiatives on OD.

Carole started her career in South Africa at the Centre for Conflict Resolution. Subsequently, she moved to Burundi to run the Women’s Peace Centre, created by international peacebuilding NGO Search for Common Ground (SFCG). She was later SFCG’s Director of Institutional Learning and a member of the senior management team in Washington, DC. Upon leaving SFCG, Carole worked as an independent consultant and trainer. After moving back to Switzerland, Carole held the position of Africa Director at Geneva Call and Director of Operations for Justice Rapid Response.

Carole holds a Masters in International Relations from the Graduate Institute for International Studies and a Masters in Gender Studies from the University of Geneva.

Inclusive Dialogue with Business Lead

Johannes Schreuder

Johannes leads the private sector engagement activities helping companies have a greater positive impact when working in conflict-affected countries.

His responsibilities include oversight of company assessment and engagement for the Peace Investment Fund.

Johannes joined PeaceNexus with experience in both the private and public sectors. Previously, he was with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office, where he worked on a range of policy development and programme management issues such as identifying innovative financing options for peacebuilding and managing a US $30 million portfolio of Peacebuilding Fund investments in Liberia, South Sudan and the Philippines. Before that, he worked for the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Oikocredit, Revenue Watch Institute and the World Bank. During his five-year period at BCG, a portion of his work was focused on consumer goods, private equity and social impact. Through his work, Johannes has lived in the USA, the Netherlands, Ghana and South Sudan.

Johannes has a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the University of Amsterdam and has also studied at Sciences Po, Paris. He speaks Dutch, English and French.

Finance Assistant

Kristyna Jostova

Kristyna is responsible for accounting at PeaceNexus. She supports the financial operations and provides management with financial reporting.

Kristyna has previously worked in numerous assistant roles across a variety of businesses in the Czech Republic and Switzerland. She has also been an independent businesswoman.

Kristyna has a diploma from the Business School of Economics and a Diploma in Swiss Accounting Standards.

Conflict Sensitivity Lead

Héloïse Heyer

Héloïse leads the Conflict Sensitivity (CS) service offer to impactful actors in conflict settings to ensure their operations do not fuel violence and, where relevant, contribute to peacebuilding.

Héloïse supports and facilitates learning for PeaceNexus’ CS work across its four focus regions and directly manages international partnerships; as former lead of PeaceNexus’ West Africa engagement, she still plays an important role in this programme.

Héloïse has more than 10 years’ experience in peacebuilding and conflict-sensitive humanitarian and development programming in Asia, Africa and Europe.

She started her career working on local inter-community dialogue in Kyrgyzstan before she worked as a manager and advisor with a range of international organisations including International Alert, the European Centre for Conflict Prevention and CARE. At CARE, she managed the global Conflict Sensitivity Consortium, where she supported 35 leading aid agencies in the UK, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka to strengthen their conflict sensitivity at organisational and operational levels. Furthermore, Héloïse has chaired the Humanitarian Working Group of French NGOs and Development Effectiveness Working Group of the European platform CONCORD.

Héloïse holds a Masters degree from the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation and a Bachelors degree from Sciences Po.

Programme Officer

Anina Uhlig

Anina supports the West Africa Programme and works with selected partners on their Organisational Development, Conflict Sensitivity and Inclusive Dialogue with Business processes.

Before joining PeaceNexus, Anina worked for Terre des Hommes, the World Economic Forum, and interned at the ABB Group, Bosch and Volkswagen. She also worked as a German teacher in Geneva.

Anina holds a tri-national BSc in International Business Management from the University of Applied Sciences in Basel, the Université de Haute Alsace in Colmar, and the Duale Hochschule Baden-Württemberg in Lörrach. As part of the degree, she spent a semester in Mexico. Anina also holds a Masters in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva.

Through her research, she has specialised in gender, conflict and peacebuilding. Anina won the Jorge Pérez-López Student Award for graduate students on her article, “Discourses on Migration – A Cuban Case Study.” She speaks German, English, French and Spanish.

Programme Support Officer

Jasmin Gut

Before starting at PeaceNexus, Jasmin worked as a trainee at the Swiss Embassy in Riga where she was, alongside others, responsible for writing reports on the political, economic and human rights situation in the three Baltic States.

As a teaching assistant in Comparative Literature at the University of Geneva, she led a weekly seminar on the question of race and racism in Nietzsche’s philosophy.

Additionally, Jasmin has worked as a freelance journalist for a Swiss regional newspaper and a German monthly in Moscow. She is a member of the Geneva-based think tank Center for Russian and Eastern European Research (CREER), where she has published several articles on the geopolitical situation in the Russian Arctic.

Jasmin holds a Masters degree in Global Studies Russia and East-Central Europe, a Masters in Modern German Literature from the University of Geneva and a Bachelors in Comparative Literature and Russian Civilization. Besides her mother tongue, German, Jasmin speaks French, English, and Russian.

Central Asia Team

Central Asia Programme Manager

Chinara Esengul

Chinara manages the PeaceNexus portfolio in Central Asia and leads PeaceNexus’ Central Asia team.

She has over ten years’ experience in researching and advising on Central Asian peace and security issues.

Before joining PeaceNexus, she worked for the government of Kyrgyzstan as a deputy director of the National Institute for Strategic Studies developing policy briefs on security matters in Kyrgyzstan and beyond.

Chinara also serves as associate professor at the Kyrgyz National University’s faculty of International Relations, having completed her PhD in political sciences in 2014. The topic of her thesis was informal and formal political and social institutions of Central Asia, and their impact on Central Asian regionalism.

Chinara holds a higher education diploma in International Relations from the Kyrgyz National University, a higher education diploma in Law from the Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University and an MA in International Relations from the International University of Japan.

Central Asia Programme Officer

Lira Duishebaeva

Lira leads PeaceNexus’ Organisational Development work in the Central Asian region.

She has more than 13 years’ professional experience in the field of conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as well as in the reintegration and rehabilitation of victims of human trafficking.

Her experience includes work in several UN agencies where she progressed from Project Assistant at the International Organisation for Migration to Dimension Chief at United Nations Development Programme, managing one of the four major UNDP Programs, and Programme Policy Officer at UN World Food Programme (WFP).

Lira holds a Masters degree in political philosophy, on the idea of toleration, from the University of York, and a Bachelors degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Osh.

Central Asia Programme Officer

Nazgul Aksarieva

As Programme Officer, Nazgul supports selected partners in Central Asia in their Inclusive Dialogue with Business processes.

Nazgul has 12 years’ experience in project management. As a project manager for the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, she was responsible for managing budgets of over US $1.3 million. She also developed a communication strategy for the World Bank on supporting the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative in mining-affected communities and has led outreach campaigns promoting human rights at grassroots level.

Nazgul implemented the Professional Youth Journalism programme, which was conducted in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. Four professional youth journalism schools (Bishkek, Osh, Dushanbe and Almaty) were created under this programme, which trained over 900 young journalists from the ages of 16 to 28.

She holds a Bachelors degree in financial accounting and audit from the Academy of Management under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, and a Masters degree in education management from Arabaev Kyrgyz State University.

Central Asia Trainee

Indira Rakymova

Before starting her traineeship at PeaceNexus’ regional office in Bishkek, Indira completed several internships in government agencies and in a research institute.

During her internship at the Mazhilis of Parliament and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, she was responsible for the editing and writing of official letters and reports. She also assisted the organisation in the preparation of diplomatic meetings with official delegations.

At the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Indira supported the collection and editing of data for peer-reviewed articles and expert books.

Indira holds a BA in International Relations from the Y.A. Buketov Karaganda State University, and a MA in Politics and Security from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek. She fluently speaks Kazakh, Russian, and English.

South East Asia Team

South East Asia Programme Manager

Jason Tower

As Programme Manager, Jason supervises PeaceNexus’ work in South East Asia.

Jason has worked in Asia in the peacebuilding field since 2006. His work has mainly concerned the role business stakeholders play in conflicts. His areas of expertise include international relations, conflict transformation, corporate sector engagement, and peace operations. His geographic areas of focus include China, mainland Southeast Asia and Africa.

From 2009 to 2018, Jason was based in China, where he established the China programme of the American Friends Service Committee. He also worked on issues related to peace and security in Myanmar for over a decade. Jason has published widely on China’s involvement in peace and security issues, with recent publications on the Belt and Road Initiative, a report based on years of experience working with Chinese corporate stakeholders.

Fluent in Mandarin, Jason completed an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and graduate studies in Political Science and Asian Studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

South East Asia Programme Officer

Yen Snaing

As a Programme Officer, Yen supports PeaceNexus’ partnerships in Myanmar.

Previously, Yen held a position as Deputy Communications Manager at the International Committee of the Red Cross, Myanmar. She has also worked as the Communications Officer and Spokesperson for the Office of the Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State (Kofi Annan Commission).

Yen’s experience includes work for the Alliance for Gender Inclusion in the Peace Process and working as a journalist for Irrawaddy Media. She is a founding member of the Tanintharyi Weekly Journal in Tanintharyi Region, Southern Myanmar, a weekly publication which is the only outlet that focuses on news in the region. The journal has helped shape the region’s political landscape and the regional government’s policy towards mega-projects, such as the Dawei Special Economic Zone.

Yen holds a degree in Mass Communication Technology from Ramkhamhaeng University in Thailand.

West Africa Team

West Africa Programmes Manager

Aliou Demba Kebe

As Programme Manager, Kebe oversees the PeaceNexus portfolio in Burkina Faso, Niger and Senegal.

Kebe has more than 20 years’ experience, including more than 15 coordinating development, conflict prevention and peacebuilding programs. He has worked with a range of local and international organisations including USAID, the EU, ECOWAS, the Government of Senegal, AED, FHI 360, Oxfam, AJWS, Enda, and AFEX.

As a democracy, rights, governance and peace specialist at USAID, he managed a dozen contracts related to governance and peace, decentralisation, conflict mitigation (using the People to People Approach), and Counter-Trafficking in Persons worth more than US $50 million.

Kebe has also been very active in the fight against illicit arms trafficking in West Africa and has collaborated with over a hundred West African civil society organisations.

He holds a Masters Degree in Engineering and Training Management from the African Centre for Advanced Studies in Management (CESAG) and a Masters Degree in Science and Technology Education from Dakar’s Polytechnic University.

Western Balkans Team

Western Balkans Programme Manager

Deborah Reymond

As Programme Manager, Deborah supervises the PeaceNexus portfolio in the Western Balkans and leads the regional team there.

Deborah has been accompanying PeaceNexus’ Western Balkans partners on their organisational development since 2016. Before joining the foundation, Deborah worked for UNRWA in Brussels and the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding in Geneva. She also undertook field research in Burkina Faso in collaboration with the French Development Agency.

Deborah holds a Masters degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute Geneva, as well as a Bachelors degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva.

Western Balkans Programme Advisor

Randall Puljek-Shank

As Western Balkans Programme Advisor, Randall supports PeaceNexus’ partners on Organisational Development and Inclusive Dialogue with Business.

He has worked for more than 20 years in divided societies as a programme designer, trainer, evaluator, and researcher.

He first went to Bosnia in 1995, during the last year of the Bosnian war, and returned with the NGO Mennonite Central Committee from 2002 to 2012, supporting local organisations focused on strategic peacebuilding, inter-religious action, and trauma healing.

His recent work includes a programme evaluation of 20 years of support for civic education programmes in Bosnian schools. He also designed and facilitated five exchanges for selected government and NGO participants from Ukraine to learn from the experience of Bosnian practitioners, and he led training in Ukraine on the “Do No Harm” approach.

Randall holds a PhD in Political Science from the Radboud University Nijmegen. His doctoral research deepened his interest in the intersection of civil society and politics of ethnically divided societies, and chapters of his dissertation appeared in the journals Cooperation and Conflict, and Voluntas.

Western Balkans Programme Advisor

Mario Mažić

As Western Balkans Programme Advisor, Mario supports PeaceNexus’ partners on Organisational Development.

Mario has been an advocate for rights and democracy for over 12 years. He founded and led the Youth Initiative for Human Rights in Croatia, an NGO focused on reconciliation and transitional justice between 2008-18. His work is driven by his personal experience in this (post-)war context. Further, Mario is the Secretary General of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement, the initiator of the regional Political Youth Network which gathers young political leaders from post-Yugoslav nations and is a Board Member at the Humanitarian Law Center in Kosovo and Arterarij in Croatia, an organization promoting tolerance through arts and culture.

His academic background includes an MA in International Development and Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. Mario is part of the inaugural cohort of the Obama Foundation Scholars. Further, he holds a BA in International Relations from Libertas International University in Zagreb. In 2012 he was a Fellow in Historical Dialogue and Accountability at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University. For two years (2015-17) he led the efforts of Reach for Change Foundation in Croatia.

Associate Consultants

Associate Consultant

Luc Lafrenière

Luc supports some of PeaceNexus’ multilateral and government partners as an Associate Consultant.

Luc has been supporting PeaceNexus’ partnerships with the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and the government agency HACP in Niger for the past years.

He draws upon more than 30 years of experience in the formulation, management and coordination of post-conflict and development programmes and strategies in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the South Pacific, working with UN agencies like UNDP, FAO, UNCDF, IFAD, the World Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency and international NGOs.

Luc’s areas of expertise include reintegration, reconciliation, livelihoods and recovery.

Associate Consultant

Frauke de Weijer

Frauke works with PeaceNexus partners and regional teams on organisational development and conflict sensitivity, in her capacity as an Associate Consultant.

Frauke started working with PeaceNexus in 2013, supporting regional programming, conflict sensitivity integration and organisational development partnerships.

From 2011 to 2015, Frauke was a senior policy analyst at the European Center for Development Policy Management, where she analysed and, if necessary, criticised current thinking and approaches to peacebuilding and state building.

In 2010, she became an associate fellow at the Center for International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School. During this time, she developed a particular interest in applying systems thinking to the challenges of fragile states, which continues to infuse her mindset.

From 2002 to 2009, she served as an advisor to the Afghan ministries of Rural Development, Agriculture, and Frontiers and Tribal Affairs, working on national development planning and capacity development.

Frauke holds degrees from the University of Utrecht and Harvard University.

Associate Consultant

Hesta Groenewald

As Associate Consultant, Hesta works on the Conflict Sensitivity service offer, with a particular focus on supporting international partners on conflict sensitivity integration and contributing to learning processes in this area.

Hesta is a Conflict and Security specialist with 17 years of experience in programme delivery and management, technical advice and policy advocacy on conflict-sensitive development, gender and conflict and broader peace and security.

She has co-designed, contributed to and advised on four conflict-sensitivity consortia – two for international NGOs in the UK, one for civil society, government and private sector actors in Uganda, and one for donors and NGO implementing partners in South Sudan.

Hesta is an experienced facilitator and trainer and has developed and delivered training session and guidance documents on conflict sensitivity, gender and conflict, and broader conflict prevention issues to a range of audiences. She has also has significant people and programme management experience and has twice served on the Organisational Management Team of Saferworld – as Head of Region (Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan) and Head of Research and Programme Support.

Hesta holds a Masters degree in International Relations from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.