Our staff and trustees are at the heart of Saferworld’s work. Their skills and expertise ensure that we continue to be a leading conflict prevention and peacebuilding organisation. We have over 150 staff members working across our programme, policy, advocacy and support teams.
Our trustees help guide Saferworld in all major decisions. Their advice is backed up by years of experience and expertise in a range of areas – from finance, policy research and communications to peacebuilding and management.
Stephanie runs an independent consultancy specialising in security and justice; peace, stabilisation and intervention; and fragile and conflict-affected states. As a chair, she brings a comprehensive understanding of the challenges for the peace and security community as it addresses the difficulties faced by fragile and conflict-affected countries.
Stephanie also has expertise in strategy development, and her geographical specialities are the Balkans and North Africa. Her consultancy business offers strategy and policy advice, training, facilitation and evaluation. Clients include the UK Joint Committee on National Security Strategy, the Stabilisation Unit, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Canadian Government and NATO.
Stephanie joined Saferworld in 2015 and was elected as chair in 2020.
Fabienne Arminjon has more than 25 years’ experience in Finance and Operations Leadership roles in large private companies (Arthur Andersen, Allianz Trade) and in the INGO sector (Médecins Sans Frontières, Save the Children, Christian Aid). She currently works as Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services at VSO where she is responsible for Finance, IT, Procurement, Internal Audit and Public Fundraising. She is passionate about ensuring strong financial and risk management, enabling organisations to bring positive changes for the most vulnerable, building peace and social justice.
Toby has over 17 years of experience, including with the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund and in providing research, monitoring, evaluation and learning services in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kenya, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He established his own coaching and consulting practice in early 2022, and joined Saferworld’s Board of Trustees in late 2022.
Toby holds an MSc in international public policy, a postgraduate diploma in public financial management and is professionally certified as an executive coach from University of Reading’s Henley Business School.
Victoria is Lead, Global Public Policy, Advocacy & Partnerships at the Global Partnership for Education (hosted by the World Bank). She brings a strong background in public policy, advocacy and partnerships, including working to empower women and girls and ensure their voices and experiences are amplified in their communities and advocacy spaces. Victoria previously worked for a wide range of global development agencies and organisations including the African Union, Médecins Sans Frontières, and Commonwealth Foundation. She’s also worked as lead strategist on G8/G7, G20 and built strategic partnerships and mobilised financing from regional development banks, UN agencies, and private sector and foundations.
Victoria holds a BSc in anthropology and MSc in development administration and planning.
Christian Leffler is a seasoned Swedish diplomat who joined the Swedish Foreign Service in 1980. After various posts in cabinets and external relations services, he joined the EU External Action Service when it was established in 2011 as the Managing Director for the Americas. He then became Deputy Secretary General for Economic and Global Issues in 2015 and served in this position until his retirement in March 2020.
Bringing a wealth of experience in diplomacy and policy, Christian joined Saferworld as a Trustee in 2021.
Dr Imogen Parsons has 20 years of experience of working in conflict-affected contexts, including Afghanistan, Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Sahel.
Until recently she was a Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Conflict and Terrorism Group at RUSI, on secondment from the UK civil service. Previously she was also the Head of the Joint Sahel Department, a fully integrated FCO/DFID Department overseeing the UK’s diplomatic and development engagement across the Sahel.
She holds a PhD in international relations from LSE and a masters degree in development studies from SOAS University of London.
With almost 25 years of experience in legal, tax, and financial matters with multinationals and consulting firms (Cap Gemini, Loyens, Maersk and Ernst & Young), Izzat-Begum has also developed a strong knowledge of impact projects and social enterprises while working for Aga Khan Development Network.
She holds a masters degree in business law and taxation from Pantheon-Assas University (Paris, France) and an LLM in law of international finance from the University of London. She is currently undertaking her PhD research at the University of Bourgogne (Dijon, France) focusing on the tax framework(s) of crypto assets and the utility tokens. She joined Saferworld’s Board of Trustees in 2022.
Ola Saleh is a peacebuilding and conflict sensitivity expert, committed to decolonialising aid and knowledge production. She started her journey in 2005 as a feminist advocate in Syria, and now has had almost two decades’ worth of experience in the Middle East and North Africa region, South Caucasus, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Liberia.
Ola is also a keen writer, especially on the topics of the women, peace and security, conflict sensitivity and radicalisation. She is currently serving her second term as a member of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network expert pool.
Ola joined Saferworld as a Trustee in 2021.
Nana has 30 years of experience working in sustainable development in the context of crisis and post-crisis. She is particularly passionate about peacebuilding and stability, working with governments, civil society, academia and the private sector on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. Throughout her career, she has led capacity building and dialogue initiatives to support national and regional stabilisation plans in conflict-affected regions in Africa. She has also worked in several international organisations such as the African Development Bank and USAID. She recently served the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the Regional Director for West and Central Africa, overseeing UNDP’s Sahel programme.
Dr Medinat Abdulazeez Malefakis is a senior lecturer at the NADEL (Centre for Development and Cooperation) at the ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal University of Technology). She is an academic and policy expert in terrorism, violent conflicts, humanitarian displacement and peacebuilding. Before NADEL, she was a Junior Fellow at the Collegium Helveticum of the ETH, Nigerian Research Expert/Facilitator at the Centre for Security Studies (ETH), and conflict analyst (West, East and Southern Africa) at the Norwegian Refugee Council in Geneva.
Medinat is the board chair for Build UP, leads the Nigeria country portfolio for the Global Survivors Fund, sits as a member of the Independent Review Panel for the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) in Geneva. She joined the Board in January 2024, and also serves on the Board of Saferworld Europe.
Paul Murphy is the Executive Director at Saferworld, where he oversees the organisation's development and growth as well as operations and programmes. After joining as Head of Europe and Central Asia in 2008, he became Director of Programmes and then Executive Director in 2011. For 20 years, Paul worked across Africa for a range of organisations, including for the United Nations with a focus on the Horn of Africa. Most recently, he was director of Pact’s country programme in Sudan.
Mathew has worked for over 20 years in a wide range of charities both in the Global North and Global South overseeing finance and operations activities. He joined Saferworld in 2022 as Director of Business Performance and is responsible for all operations along with finance, people, governance and security. Mathew also oversees Saferworld’s fundraising and is the appointed Company Secretary. He is originally from South Africa and holds an MSc in conservation biology and an MA in applied ethics.
With over 20 years’ experience in human rights and peacebuilding, Rob leads the policy, advocacy and communications teams based in London, where he manages Saferworld’s global policy and advocacy programmes including our research, analysis, technical support, external helpdesks and communications. He also leads our advocacy teams in London, Brussels and Washington DC. He has led the development of policy areas including community security and police reform, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Arms Trade Treaty with Saferworld.
Madeline joined Saferworld in 2011. She leads on our institutional strategy and the organisational processes and systems needed to put the strategy into action. She also designed and led the development and institutional adoption of our renowned outcome-focused monitoring and harvesting approach. Madeline is on the management committee of the Dutch Knowledge Platform: Security and Rule of Law (KPSRL). She holds a PhD from Bath University, she founded the ABColombia Group and is a known innovator in the monitoring, evaluation and learning field.
Vyda joined Saferworld in 2020. As a Senior HR professional with wide geographical and sector exposure, Vyda has extensive experience in leading people and culture teams to design and implement human resources strategies to deliver effective outcomes, including talent management, employee relations, leadership development, diversity and inclusion, and performance management. She oversees the development and delivery of Saferworld’s people strategy and manages the provision of effective and professional HR service and advice.
Lauren joined Saferworld in May 2022. She brings a wide range of operational experience, having previously worked in both commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Before joining Saferworld, Lauren was the Antarctic Operations Manager at the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. At Saferworld, Lauren provides operational leadership and management across our offices globally.
Ahmed has over 20 years of experience in providing assurance and financial management services in the not-for-profit sector with a good track record in managing and delivering change in finance. Ahmed is responsible for financial oversight, leads on effective financial stewardship and contributes to sound risk management practices at Saferworld. Ahmed joined Saferworld in November 2022. Before this, he headed the finance function in a care organisation. Ahmed is a qualified accountant with an MBA in financial services.
Fidelis Kangethe joined Saferworld in January 2023 as the Head of Funding. She has a Masters in Development Studies from the University of South Africa, and brings over 15 years of experience in Resource Mobilisation/Business Development, Programme Management and Policy Advocacy. Fidelis has worked with a range of international organisations across Africa, most recently as the Deputy Director, Business Development for Living Goods.
In her role at Saferworld, Fidelis shapes the organisation’s income portfolio and drives sustainable income growth in line with Saferworld’s strategy.
Alessandro joined Saferworld in 2019. As an Internal Auditor, he gained valuable auditing expertise in the private sector in Italy before transitioning to the non-profit sector. Before joining Saferworld, he worked with charities in Ethiopia and Uganda. Alessandro’s work is focused on enhancing internal controls and advancing effective risk management practices within Saferworld.
Ariana joined Saferworld in 2009 and brings over 10 years of experience managing and supporting complex programmes in conflict prevention and peacebuilding. She currently leads the Programme Support and Learning team which provides ongoing programme development, advisory support and accompaniment to Saferworld teams and partners across our country and regional-based programmes. She also leads Saferworld’s efforts to ensure our partners have a greater say in everything we do.
Emily joined Saferworld as Programme Development Manager in January 2022. She has eight years of experience working in the international development, humanitarian and peacebuilding fields. Before joining Saferworld, she led programme development for Muslim Aid in Myanmar. Previously she has also worked with organisations delivering programming in education, WASH, shelter/NFIs, livelihoods, sustainable agriculture and emergency response in sub-Saharan Africa, and volunteered in Sudan, South Korea, Honduras and South Africa.
Lewis joined Saferworld in 2018. Until early 2022, he was Saferworld's UK Policy and Advocacy Coordinator where he led the organisation's engagement on UK security, development and conflict policy as well as contributing on themes such as arms export controls and gender, peace and security. He has nine years of experience in various advocacy, policy, project management and research roles focused particularly on conflict and human rights. Prior to joining Saferworld, Lewis was the Head of Policy and Research for the Royal Commonwealth Society, leading their Commonwealth approach to promoting LGBT rights.
Shelagh joined Saferworld in 2012. Prior to her role as Advocacy Adviser to international programmes, she managed Saferworld’s global advocacy team, engagement with the African Union and other regional bodies in Africa, and provided advocacy support for Saferworld’s East Africa programmes. Before joining Saferworld, Shelagh worked at Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS UK) on the inclusion of women in peace processes. She also has several years of experience in international marketing and campaigning.
Khirad became Civil Society Partnerships and Learning Adviser in 2022, leading our partnerships approaches with other organisations globally. Khirad has been with Saferworld since 2014 as Area Programme Manager in Juba, South Sudan, and then later as Tajikistan Country Manager and Central Asia Regional manager. He has substantial experience in community policy and community security.
Cathrin joined Saferworld as Programme Development Manager in September 2022. She has over 15 years’ experience of leading on programme strategy and partnerships in international development and peacebuilding in Sierra Leone, Burundi, Lesotho and the UK. Cathrin has previously worked for a number of international organisations, including Restless Development, Christian Aid and Quaker Peace and Social Justice. She is qualified civil and commercial mediator, and holds a MA in Peacebuilding and Reconciliation.
Sara joined Saferworld in January 2020 as a Programme Support and Learning Adviser. She works with our programme teams to strengthen our partnerships, leads the revision of our programme partnership approaches, tools, and related resources, and supports the development of our organisational strategy on partnerships. Having previously worked for Conciliation Resources and Peace Direct, Sara has a strong peacebuilding background. Over the years, Sara has worked with various organisations in Nigeria, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Lucy joined Saferworld in July 2021 as the Sudan Country Director. With over 15 years of experience, she brings in a wealth of knowledge as she leads our work to promote peacebuilding Sudan. Lucy has worked with international organisations and development consulting firms all over Africa, Asia and US. She holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a BA in Political Science and Philosophy from Makerere University, Uganda.
Ali joined Saferworld in June 2018 as Country Director for Somalia and Somaliland. He has over 20 years’ experience in leadership, programme design and implementation in various civil society organisations. Ali holds a master’s degree in peace and justice, which he completed on Fulbright and Rotary international ambassadorial scholarships, and another master’s in international relations from Warsaw University, Poland.
Mauro joined Saferworld as South Sudan Country Director in April 2018 after several other Country Director positions within South Sudan. Mauro trained as a priest and held several pastoral and ecclesiastical management positions. After moving to the UK, Mauro worked at two inner-London urban regeneration schemes and for nearly three years with Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust. Mauro holds a BA in theology from the Urbaniana University in Rome, and a master’s degree in management practice from Middlesex University in London.
John joined Saferworld as Kenya Country Manager in 2022. He has over 15 years' experience in various international NGOs across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America – including in leadership positions. He holds a BA in Political Science from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, MBA from the University of Nairobi and is currently an MA Candidate in Development Studies at Mount Kenya University.
Maryam is currently Saferworld's ARC Programme Manager in Somalia where she supports the delivery of community security programming in Somalia through ARC. She has over ten years’ experience in the Horn of Africa on programmes that focus on good governance, youth empowerment, gender, security sector reform and humanitarian emergencies. Maryam holds a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Nairobi.
Gulmira joined Saferworld in March 2023 and is responsible for providing strategic direction and overseeing our Central Asia regional programme in line with the organisational strategy. Gulmira has more than 25 years of experience in managing and implementing diverse projects and programmes in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia on issues such as: education, HIV/AIDS, supporting women’s political participation and addressing gender-based violence.
Rachel joined Saferworld as the Asia Grants Manager in June 2022. Based in London, she oversees the management of grant portfolios in Central Asia, Myanmar and Afghanistan, working with Saferworld teams and partners to ensure programme quality and compliance. Before joining Saferworld, Rachel worked in various grant management and finance/compliance roles for CARE International and Save the Children, focusing on emergency responses and protracted crises in the Asia and MENA regions.
Ilya began his role as Regional Conflict and Security Adviser for Central Asia in January 2020, supporting the regional programme to acheive their goals and advising on programme implementation, research, advocacy, communications and funding. Ilya has been with Saferworld since June 2016, when he joined the communications team in London. Ilya holds an MSc from LSE, a bachelor’s from Skidmore College in the US, and has completed degree programmes at Sophia University in Japan and Smolny College in Russia.
Sairah joined Saferworld in April 2018, she manages Saferworld's work on regional dialogue processes and economic connectivity in South Asia, with a focus on conflict sensitivity, partnership building, and programme design, adaptation, and learning. She has experience in developing and implementing programme and evaluation functions for partners and donors, including UNICEF, USAID, the EU, and the US Department of State, with experience working across South Asia as well as the Middle East and North Africa. Sairah holds an MPhil in politics from the University of Oxford.
Awfa has expertise on peacebuilding, community programming and women’s inclusion in peacebuilding. She previously worked as a Gender Project Manager for Saferworld in Yemen and as a Gender Advisor for the National Foundation for Development and Humanitarian Response, where she coordinated Food, Security and Livelihoods programming. Awfa has worked on gender-related projects with the Japan International Cooperation Agency and holds an MBA.
Dora Piscoi joined Saferworld at the end of 2018 as Programme Manager in the Yemen team. Her experience over the past eight years has been mainly in the humanitarian sector, including providing programming support in an advisory capacity from London as well as working in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, Jordan, Haiti, Iraq and Syria.
Léonie joined Saferworld in 2014. Previously a Programme Manager and Interim Head of Middle East programmes, she has worked extensively with partners in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Tunisia. Before Saferworld, Léonie worked at Chatham House, where she was a Research Associate on the Middle East and North Africa. She speaks Arabic and French, and has a BA in Arabic and Islamic Studies.
Wisam's work focuses on supporting the exchange of knowledge and learning with civil society organisations, ensuring their input and views are at the centre of our programmatic work and strategy. Wisam has extensive experience in civil society empowerment and solidarity. His previous work includes peacebuilding, governance, gender equality, and advocacy. He holds an MA in Development and Emergency Practice and a post-graduate degree in Humanities and Islamic Studies.
Jason joined Saferworld as the Director of Saferworld USA in Washington, D.C. where he manages Saferworld’s policy and advocacy work. Jason has over 20 years’ experience in peacebuilding, governance and development with work in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Before joining Saferworld, Jason was The Carter Center’s Office Director and Country Representative in Guyana. He brings a range of expertise on multi-stakeholder dialogue, inclusive governance, social cohesion, community-driven peacebuilding and aid effectiveness.
Jordan joined Saferworld in April 2017 as a Policy and Advocacy Adviser with particular focus on the United Nations, Sustainable Development Goals, youth, peace and security, and promoting peacebuilding responses to terrorism and migration. He has 10 years of experience working with international peacebuilding and conflict prevention organisations. He has written a number of studies on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 16, and the effects of counter-terrorism and countering/preventing violent extremism agendas.
Gabrielle joined Saferworld in 2023. She has nearly 15 years of experience in policy, advocacy and analysis, peacebuilding programming and organisational management, dialogue and conflict sensitivity initiatives, and civil society promotion. From 2013–18, she worked in Myanmar supporting localisation efforts and advocating for conflict sensitive international engagement during the Rohingya crisis. Gabrielle has authored several publications and holds an MA in Public Policy from Princeton University.
Tamara began her role as Head of Conflict Advisory Unit in 2021. Before then, she was Saferworld's Head of Central and South East Asia overseeing the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Myanmar country programmes. Tamara has over 25 years of research, training, and programming experience in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and peacekeeping and community security and community policing in a number of conflict-affected and post-conflict contexts, including Tajikistan and Kosovo.
Elizabeth is Head of Communications, overseeing Saferworld’s communications, marketing and external profile. She joined Saferworld in 2012 as Communications Officer and has since led on delivering Saferworld’s first organisational communications strategy, redeveloping Saferworld’s website and building and managing Saferworld’s global communications team to support Saferworld’s funding, programme and policy objectives. She has an MA in International Relations (Peacebuilding) from the University of Birmingham.
Natalia joined Saferworld in February 2020, and leads on providing strategic and technical support to the Conflict Sensitivity Facility for Sudan. Natalia also works closely with the Conflict Sensitivity Resource Facility in South Sudan and provides support to Saferworld’s conflict sensitivity helpdesks and Saferworld programmes. Natalia is the co-chair of the South Sudan Working Group of UK-based NGOs.
Claire joined Saferworld in February 2020 as the Senior Conflict and Security Adviser in the Conflict Advisory Unit. She has 15 years’ experience in the humanitarian and development sectors. Her focus is on conflict sensitivity and security and justice. She works with a range of humanitarian and multi-mandate organisations and institutions to promote both conflict sensitivity and progress on the localisation agenda in conflict-affected contexts.
Lucian Harriman joined Saferworld in November 2018 as Security and Justice Adviser to lead the security and justice work-stream of the Peace Research Partnership. Lucian provides programmatic support to international programmes and also has a thematic focus on security and justice, supporting inclusive transitions to peace, and engaging with armed non-state actors. With almost 15 years of experience, Lucian has worked in Myanmar, the UK, Somalia, Somaliland and Sudan. Lucian holds an MSc in violence, conflict and development, a PgCert in conflict resolution skills and a DipHE in law.
Roy leads Saferworld's work on conventional arms. He has more than 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing strategies to promote the adoption of responsible arms transfer control strategies nationally, regionally and internationally. On top of writing research papers, reports, policy briefings and articles on arms transfer control policies, Roy also regularly contributes to international media on arms issues. He was a long-serving member of the Board of the global Control Arms Coalition and is the Coordinator of the UK NGO Working Group on Arms.
Elizabeth has worked on arms and security issues at Saferworld since 1993. Elizabeth's areas of interest include national, regional and international arms transfer control policies and practices and global and regional efforts to stem the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons. She has produced numerous publications for Saferworld on a wide range of related issues such as: how an international Arms Trade Treaty could be monitored and verified; and priorities for strengthened controls on small arms transfers in order to prevent their diversion.
“Leon” Yu Liang is the Operations Manager of Saferworld's new Beijing office. He has over 20 years of experience working in media and NGOs. Leon started his career in 2000 as a journalist with China Daily and other media outlets. Later in 2009 he joined the Internews China programme and more recently, he worked as a China Adviser for Global Witness. Leon holds a master's degree in journalism, communication and development studies from the Ohio University and another in linguistics from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Ojaswi joined Saferworld in 2010 primarily focused on shaping the Nepal programme’s gender and peacebuilding, and security sector reform work. She led Saferworld’s first participatory research on notions of masculinities and violence in Nepal, worked on gender, disarmament and rehabilitation of ex-combatants in Nepal. She is now an adviser within the Conflict Advisory Unit with a focus on gender and conflict-sensitive approaches to peacebuilding and crisis response.
Charlotte joined Saferworld as a Conflict and Security Adviser in January 2016. She has over 15 years’ experience working on conflict and peacebuilding with a specific focus on security and justice and conflict-sensitive development. Before joining Saferworld, Charlotte spent over a decade working with various organisations and institutions from USAID, PwC to the Institute for Security Studies. She also worked as a Technical Conflict Adviser for the Ugandan Office of the Prime Minister.
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