Who we are

About us

Who we are

Peace Direct is an award-winning, international NGO that finds, funds and amplifies the voice of local peace builders operating in some of the most challenging conflict environments worldwide. We have affiliate offices in the United Kingdom,  United States, and Germany; 9 partner programs in 8 countries; and correspondents in 22 countries reporting through Insight on Conflict.

Staff

UK staff

Joel Gabri, Web Editor

Joel handles the day-to-day running of both the Peace Direct web site and Insight on Conflict. Show more

Joel handles the day-to-day running of both the Peace Direct site and Insight on Conflict. He has a degree in Peace & Conflict Studies and Politics, with his final year dissertation focusing on how the Internet can be used to promote and assist conflict resolution. Contact: [email protected] Hide

Tom Gillhespy, Head of Africa Programmes

Tom Gillhespy manages our African partnerships. Show more

Tom Gillhespy manages our African partnerships. Previously he spent several years working for Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), assessing the impact of landmines on conflict-affected communities. After four years with NPA, which took him to Sri Lanka, Mozambique, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Jordan and Cambodia, he returned to the UK to take an MA in Anthropology of Conflict, Violence and Conciliation, at Sussex University, focusing on traditional approaches to re-integrating ex-combatants in Africa and ex-Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. He returned to Sri Lanka in 2007, to manage community-led projects on behalf of the UNHCR. Contact: [email protected] Hide

Carolyn Hayman, Chief Executive

Carolyn co-founded Peace Direct with Scilla Elworthy and was appointed Chief Executive in 2004. Show more

Carolyn co-founded Peace Direct with Scilla Elworthy and was appointed Chief Executive in 2004. After gaining a double first class degree at Cambridge University, she completed a Masters in Development Economics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (London) with Distinction. She began her career in the Ministry for Overseas Development (now DfID), then joined the Cabinet Office Central Policy Review Staff at the age of 26. Her interest in emerging ‘game changing’ technologies led her to consultancy and venture capital, where as Joint Managing Director of the Korda Seed Capital Fund, she chaired two investee companies, Cambridge Animation Systems and Atraverda. The fund eventually returned £28.5m to investors on a £5m investment and gave Carolyn the resources to begin a parallel career as a philanthropist. In 1996, she became Chief Executive of the Foyer Federation, a network of projects providing holistic services to homeless young people. Over the next seven years she grew its turnover eightfold, providing services annually to 10,000 young people, introduced an accreditation system and won a contract to create 50 public access Internet centres in Foyers. In 2003 she was awarded an OBE for services to young people. Non-executive roles include Board member of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (1994-99) and currently member of the Quaker UN Office (Geneva) Committee. Contact: [email protected] Hide

Clare Kinnersley, Head of Finance & Administration

Clare is responsible for operational financial management, accounting and reporting for Peace Direct. Show more

Clare is responsible for operational financial management, accounting and reporting for Peace Direct. Clare has worked in a variety of voluntary sector organisations including two grantmaking charities, fundraising charities, a trading co-operative and holds an MSc in Charity Finance. Hide

Jonathan Lorie, Head of Communications

Jonathan manages our media relations, co-ordinates our influencing strategy and assists with our publications and fundraising. Show more

Jonathan manages our media relations, co-ordinates our influencing strategy and assists with our publications and fundraising. He has worked in charity communications, marketing and lobbying for many years, including for the medical aid agency MERLIN. Jonathan is also a working journalist with experience in magazines and television research, and was formerly the editor of Traveller magazine. Contact: [email protected] Hide

Claire May, Trust and Major Donor Fundraiser

Claire is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with Peace Direct’s major donors and making funding applications to trusts and foundations. Show more

Claire is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with Peace Direct’s major donors and making funding applications to trusts and foundations. She is an English Literature graduate who has worked in a fundraising capacity for Orchid Project (working to end FGM through grassroots initiatives) and NAT (National AIDS Trust). Contact: [email protected] Hide

Ruairi Nolan, Head of Asia Programmes and Insight on Conflict Project Manager

Ruairi manages our Asia partnerships and is also Project Manager for our Insight on Conflict website. Show more

Ruth Tidy, Individual Giving Manager

Ruth is responsible for initiating and maintaining relationships with Peace Direct’s individual donors. Show more

Ruth is responsible for initiating and maintaining relationships with Peace Direct’s individual donors. She has worked in direct marketing and communications in the UK, Chile and Vietnam. Ruth has also participated in a 1200km charity bike ride through Vietnam and volunteered on a 10 day adventure race in Patagonia. Contact: [email protected] Hide

Board

US Board

Sherrie Ager

Sherrie possesses a wide array of experience in the field of media, fundraising and non-profit management. As a reporter, writer and fundraiser Sherrie brings a unique blend of media and marketing skills as well as strategic fundraising experience to any role. Show more

Sherrie possesses a wide array of experience in the field of media, fundraising and non-profit management. As a reporter, writer and fundraiser Sherrie brings a unique blend of media and marketing skills as well as strategic fundraising experience to any role.

As Associate Director of Development, Sherrie currently oversees all annual and capital giving initiatives for the Stephen Gaynor School, a private, non-profit, independent school for students ages 3-13 in Manhattan. Sherrie is in charge of marketing and overall advancement of the school to all parent, alumni and special donor constituencies, including grant-making organizations. She handles fundraising, outreach and stewardship needs for the school’s annual fundraising efforts and is currently co-managing the school’s $20 million dollar capital campaign.

Sherrie brings more than seven years of fundraising experience from private, non-profit institutions in the field of education, health and social welfare organizations. Prior to working in the field of education, Sherrie was a consultant with CCS Fundraising, a fundraising consulting firm that manages fundraising campaigns for non-profits, in all sectors, including the field of education, human rights and social welfare groups. During her time at CCS Fundraising, Sherrie managed several capital campaigns, including playing an integral in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s $200 million dollar capital campaign.

Before working in the field of fundraising, Sherrie worked in the media sector as a reporter and producer, covering international business, economics and law. Sherrie worked as a journalist for print, digital and television media outlets as a reporter and producer covering notable news events such as the Mexican Presidential elections in 2000 and the trial of Saddam Hussein in 2006. Prior to working in the media, Sherrie worked for a non-governmental organization that managed election monitoring initiatives in Africa and Eastern Europe, particularly in post-conflict situations.

Sherrie currently lives in Manhattan with her husband Brian and daughter Catherine. Hide

Angeli Gianchandani

Angeli Gianchandani is a global brand marketing professional specializing in building brands and creating unique customer touch points that are memorable. Show more

Angeli Gianchandani is a global brand marketing professional specializing in building brands and creating unique customer touch points that are memorable. Angeli’s greatest strength is her ability to connect with people. Her inner strategic compass consistently leads her to consider the impact across an organization and effectively socialize concepts with a holistic approach.

At BMW of North America, Angeli spearheaded a number of marketing initiatives that brought the BMW brand to the forefront of innovation, technology and design. She has led and collaborated on the creation of dynamic marketing and public relations campaigns with the United States Olympic Committee, America’s Cup, Guggenheim, Art Basel, Jeff Koons, Neiman Marcus, Christie’s, Vanity Fair, and VH1 Vogue Fashion Awards.

Prior to BMW of North America, Angeli started her career in fashion at Donna Karan and Polo Ralph Lauren. She oversaw the design process, managing product development and leading cross-functional teams to transform concepts into products.

Formerly an adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan, Angeli holds a BBA from Lubin School of Business in International Marketing from Pace University in Pleasantville, New York and is a master’s candidate at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University for her Masters. Angeli lives in New York. Hide

Bridget Moix

Bridget Moix has worked for 15 years in the national and international policy arenas on peace building and violence prevention issues. Show more

Bridget Moix has worked for 15 years in the national and international policy arenas on peace building and violence prevention issues. She is currently a Research Fellow with the Genocide Prevention Program at the School of Conflict Resolution and Analysis, George Mason University, where she is pursuing her PhD. She also works as an Atrocities Prevention Fellow with the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Bridget spent nine years lobbing on US foreign policy issues with FCNL, where she developed and led the Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict program. She also worked with the Quaker United Nations Office, Oxfam America, American Friends Service Committee, and World Policy Institute, and with the Casa de los Amigos in Mexico City and Quaker Peace Centre in Capetown, South Africa.

Bridget’s research interests include preventing and ending war, strengthening local peace capacities, nonviolent civilian protection, and integrated early warning and response systems. She has taught peace and conflict classes at Columbia University, Eastern Mennonite University, and Haverford College. She serves on the boards of the Clarence and Lilly Pickett Endowment for Quaker Leadership, the Quaker United Nations Committee Geneva, and Peace Direct USA. She lives with her family in Washington, DC.ect envisioning a more effective and ethical US foreign policy. She and her husband Alberto, along with their two sons, Pablo and Santiago, live in Washington, DC, and Mexico City. Hide

Quinn Zimmerman

Quinn Zimmerman’s eclectic career spans technology startups, humanitarian assistance, and much else. Show more

Quinn Zimmerman’s eclectic career spans technology startups, humanitarian assistance, and much else. Quinn joined the Board of Directors after working in Peace Direct’s London headquarters. He has a Master’s from the War Studies Department at King’s College London, where he focused on locally-led peacebuilding and local-first approaches to aid and development. After an early career in Silicon Valley, where he was part of the startup team behind Yelp, and a spell working with the International Rescue Committee resettling refugees in New York, he moved to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and lived and worked there for two years providing safe drinking water to people at risk for cholera. He has many years experience in nonprofit fundraising and program management and currently lives in New York City. Hide

UK board

Michael Ryder CMG, Chair

Michael began his career in diplomatic service with the British Foreign Office in the 1980s, when he focused on East-West relations during the Cold War, and then was the UK’s Special Representative on International Drugs Issues. Show more

Michael began his career in diplomatic service with the British Foreign Office in the 1980s, when he focused on East-West relations during the Cold War, and then was the UK’s Special Representative on International Drugs Issues. More recently, he was the UK’s Special Representative to Sudan and South Sudan during the period of South Sudan’s independence; the UK’s Senior Civilian Representative in Helmand, Afghanistan; and Deputy Ambassador in Kabul. In 2010 he ran the London Conference on Afghanistan. Michael has also worked as head of the Foreign Office’s Security Policy department, dealing with international defence and security, and as the UK’s Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, where he was responsible for the EU’s common foreign and security policy. Hide

Sheila Kleyn, Treasurer

Sheila is a qualified accountant with approximately 25 years experience in the accounting profession Show more

Sheila is a qualified accountant with approximately 25 years experience in the accounting profession, formerly in private practice in South Africa specialising in small business, and a combined 11 years as charity trustee and employee with a particular aptitude for the establishment, reconstruction (where necessary) and development, of charity central functions comprising finance, IT, human resources and facilities management, and the ability to input strategically across a diverse range of charity/not- for- profit issues including governance and risk management. Sheila has been employed as Director of Finance and Resources for World Jewish Relief, an international development and relief organisation, since 2008. Hide

Clare Kinnersley, Company Secretary

Clare has worked in a variety of voluntary sector organisations. Show more

Clare has worked in a variety of voluntary sector organisations including two grantmaking charities, fundraising charities, a trading co-operative and holds an MSc in Charity Finance. Hide

Carol Hodson, Trustee

Carol Hodson has over 25 years of charity and NGO senior financial and general management experience Show more

Carol Hodson has over 25 years of charity and NGO senior financial and general management experience, before which she worked in industry in the UK and Canada. Her most recent role was as Deputy Director of UNA-UK, where she had responsibility for upgrading all the financial, IT, legal, HR and governance systems. Carol has also worked in similar roles for other charities (WRVS, The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and The Princes Trust) and for NGOs concerned with regional government and health issues. Carol was a trustee of The Fawcett Society and continues to be involved on a voluntary basis in the management of other small local voluntary organisations. Hide

Dylan Mathews, Trustee

Dylan is Africa Programme Manager for Y Care International. Show more

Dylan is Africa Programme Manager for Y Care International, the international relief and development agency of the YMCA movement in the UK and Ireland. Previously, Dylan worked for Landmine Action as Sudan Programme Co-ordinator before moving to Oxfam GB to work on humanitarian programmes in Grenada and Guyana. Dylan is author of War Prevention Works, which he wrote whilst working for Oxford Research Group, and he is the Founder and trustee of the Rwenzori Development Foundation, a UK-based charity supporting community development projects in Western Uganda. Hide

Joan Carey, Trustee

Joan is a seasoned aid worker with over 25 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors Show more

Joan is a seasoned aid worker with over 25 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors, 20 of which were overseas. She has worked with major International Agencies such as Save the Children and Concern as well as government funded programmes such as the Australian Government ( AusAID ) and has worked in more than 18 countries, often with a focus on support to local organisations. She has a particular expertise in the devlopment of local initiatives, rights based approaches, social cohesion and European donors. She currently works for International Medical Corps as Senior Programme Manager. Hide

Roland Ward, Trustee

Roland has spent over 30 years in the financial services industry Show more

Roland has spent over 30 years in the financial services industry world wide including as President of Bank of America, Switzerland, and Finance Director of various investment companies. He is presently a non executive director of Praemium UK, an investment portfolio administration company. Hide

Tim Othieno Ph.D, Trustee

Tim is a conflict and peacebuilding specialist with a doctorate in international relations Show more

Tim is a conflict and peacebuilding specialist with a doctorate in international relations and nearly 15 years experience in areas such as political reconciliation, conflict prevention, track two diplomacy processes in Africa, state fragility, state-building and political economy. He has worked for and acted as a consultant to governmental and non-governmental organisations in the UK and South Africa, as well as the World Bank, the Pan African Parliament, and the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding. He has also advised the South African and UK governments on conflict and peacebuilding policies, and is currently engaged as a Deployable Civilian Expert and Certified Stabilisation Planner with the UK Government. Hide

Patrons

Dame Margaret Anstee

Dame Margaret Anstee served at the United Nations (UN) for over four decades and in 1987 was the first woman to achieve the rank of Under Secretary-General. Show more

Dame Margaret Anstee served at the United Nations (UN) for over four decades and in 1987 was the first woman to achieve the rank of Under Secretary-General. She worked on operational programmes of economic and social development in all regions of the world, mostly with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). From 1987-92 she served as Director-General of the UN in Vienna, as Head of the Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs and Co-ordinator of all UN narcotic drug control programmes. From 1992-93 she was the Secretary General’s Special Representative to Angola, the first woman to head a UN peacekeeping mission including its military component. Dame Margaret Anstee continues to work ad honorem for the UN and for the Bolivian Government. She also trains military personnel in every region of the world in peacekeeping and peacebuilding techniques. Hide

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

Helena Kennedy is one of the country’s leading barristers. She has been involved in a large number of prominent cases, including the Brighton Bombing, the Guildford Four appeal and the bombing of the Israeli embassy. Show more

Helena Kennedy is one of the country’s leading barristers. She has been involved in a large number of prominent cases, including the Brighton Bombing, the Guildford Four appeal and the bombing of the Israeli embassy. She has also acted for many battered women who have killed their husbands. As a life peer, she also participates in the House of Lords on issues concerned with human rights, civil liberties, social justice and culture.

From 1992 to 1997, she was chair of Charter88, the constitutional reform group, which persuaded the government to make devolution and human rights legislation central planks of their manifesto. From 1998-2004 she chaired the British Council, the most successful cultural organisation in the world, which she has led through a period of dynamic change.

She is author of two books, Eve was Framed and Just Law and is also on the board of The Independent newspaper. Hide

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal has been at the centre of Middle East Politics and diplomacy for many decades, in the course of which he has won exceptional respect for drawing attention to humanitarian and interfaith issues and the human dimension of conflicts. Show more

HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal has been at the centre of Middle East Politics and diplomacy for many decades, in the course of which he has won exceptional respect for drawing attention to humanitarian and interfaith issues and the human dimension of conflicts. In the field of religion, His Royal Highness’ contacts and meetings have evolved into a systematic interfaith dialogue. In November 1999 at the 7th World Assembly of the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP), held in Amman, Prince El Hassan accepted the position of Moderator of the WCRP. His Royal Highness has initiated, founded and is actively involved in a number of Jordanian and international institutes and committees. Amongst his many positions, the Prince is President and Patron of the Arab Thought Forum, and one of the founders of the recently formed Parliament of Cultures. Prince Hassan is the author of seven books, which have been translated into several languages. Hide

Mark Rylance

Mark Rylance, actor and former Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre, is a supporter of Conscience, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), The Peace Pledge Union and World Development Movement (WDM). Show more

Mark Rylance, actor and former Artistic Director of the Globe Theatre, is a supporter of Conscience, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), The Peace Pledge Union and World Development Movement (WDM). He was born in England in 1960 and raised in America until 1978. After training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), he was given his first job by the Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow in 1981. Mark is also an Associate Artist of the RSC, a Friend of the Francis Bacon Research Trust and Chairman of the Shakespearean Authorship Trust. He is also a trustee of the Murray Cox Foundation, and an honorary bencher of the Middle Temple. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters. Hide

Dame Emma Kirkby

Dame Carolyn Emma Kirkby is an English soprano singer with over 100 recordings. Show more

Dame Carolyn Emma Kirkby is an English soprano singer with over 100 recordings. In 1999 Classic FM Radio listeners voted her Artist of the Year, and in 2007, BBC Music Magazine placed Emma tenth in a survey to find the greatest sopranos. Hide

Ambassador

Dr Scilla Elworthy is a distinguished activist for peace and has been nominated three times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She worked on peace related issues for over 30 years. Her theoretical and practical contributions to the field are invaluable. In 1982 Dr Elworthy founded the Oxford Research Group, dedicated to researching defence-decision making and developing effective dialogue between nuclear weapons policy-makers and their critics. For this work she was nominated three times for the Novel Peace Prize and awarded the Niwano Peace Prize in 2003. From 2005 to 2007 Dr Elworthy helped to set up The Elders Initiative and acted as an advisor to Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu and Richard Branson. In 2002 she founded Peace Direct, subsequently working with co-founder Carolyn Hayman OBE to get it off the ground.

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