The Elders

The Elders' Team

The Elders are assisted by a small team based in London.

  • David Nussbaum

    Chief Executive

    David became Chief Executive at The Elders in October 2016. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of WWF-UK from 2007 and chaired WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. He is also non-executive Chair of Transparency International UK, and a member of the Board of the IIRC.

    David originally qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse, moved into venture capital with 3i, and then into manufacturing, latterly as FD of Field Group plc through its management buyout and subsequent successful flotation. He joined Oxfam in 1997 as FD and a Deputy CEO and was later seconded to head up Oxfam’s operations in India. In 2002 David joined Transparency International, the leading global anti-corruption organisation, as Chief Executive based in Berlin. He has also been non-executive Chair of Traidcraft plc, and a non-executive director of Low Carbon Accelerator and of Shared Interest.

    David has two degrees in theology, one in finance, and an honorary doctorate. He and his wife have four adult children and live in Buckinghamshire.

  • Tom Brookes

    Programme Officer

    Tom joined The Elders in March 2015, initially as a Policy Intern. Prior to that, he completed an internship at the conflict resolution charity Inter Mediate, and previously worked as a Production Assistant on the documentary film, The Act of Killing.

    Tom has a degree in History from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Outside of work, Tom enjoys reading and playing cello, and has an admittedly pretentious-sounding interest in modern jazz music.

  • Karina Cox

    Head of Finance & Grant Management

    Prior to joining The Elders in September 2013, Karina enjoyed a 30-year career in PR & Communications. Born on the bayou near New Orleans and raised on Pensacola Beach, wanderlust and a trusty backpack took her to far-flung places, including a two-year stint teaching English in Tokyo. Karina holds a BA in English and French from Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, and enjoys baking and meditation, though not simultaneously.

  • William French

    Head of Communications

    William joined The Elders in February 2015. Previously he was Head of Communications at the Swiss Embassy in London, where he was responsible for media relations and political analysis. Prior to this he was a correspondent for Agence France-Presse in Geneva, covering the UN and other international organisations. William has an MA in French and German from King’s College, Cambridge and also studied at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg. He enjoys reading, theatre and an eclectic range of music, agreeing with whoever said The Beatles were the greatest songwriters since Schubert.

  • Gavin Ganendran

    Digital Communications Officer

    Gavin joined The Elders in September 2015.

    A passionate advocate for refugee and women's rights, he has previously worked at Freedom from Torture and Plan International and has volunteered at Amnesty International. Gavin has a BA in Management with Chinese Studies from The University of Nottingham and a MSc. in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.

    Gavin loves food (both cooking and eating), travel and all things Disney!

  • Annabel Higgins


    Prior to joining The Elders in October 2016, Annabel was a Master’s student studying human rights at the School of Advanced Studies, University of London. After graduating from her Bachelor’s degree in Contemporary History from the University of Leicester, Annabel worked at the international NGO HealthProm and volunteered at Bromley and Croydon Women’s Aid. She is a fervent traveller and always on the lookout for new and exciting destinations.

  • Mark Hilton

    Head of Governance and HR

    Prior to joining The Elders in May 2013, Mark was the Executive Assistant to the Director-General at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation operating in over 170 countries, working on executive level support, governance issues and events and logistics. Before this Mark spent 23 years in the Royal Air Force, serving both overseas and in the UK in a wide variety of human resources roles. Mark worked as part of the Operations team prior to moving to his current role in August 2015.

    Mark has a BSc in International Relations and an MSc in International Development Management, both courtesy of the Open University. He enjoys all things horticultural and coarse fishing and pottering around his garden, and remains perennially pained by the inability of his beloved Nottingham Forest to reach the Premiership.

  • Nathaniel Kelly

    Policy Advisor

    Nathaniel joined The Elders in March 2016, working on a range of policy issues with a Middle East focus. He was previously Projects Director at the London-based conflict resolution charity Inter Mediate and held several posts in Lebanon with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

    Nathaniel holds a BA in Philosophy and Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and a Masters in Philosophy from the Sorbonne. He has lived in the UK, France, Lebanon and Cambodia.

  • Paul Kuzmickas

    Head of Operations

    Paul joined The Elders in January 2012. Prior to this he worked in the non-profit sector, most recently as Development Associate with the International House at the University of California, Berkeley, and before that with the San Francisco Education Fund as the Development and Program Associate.

    Paul has a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, and an MSc in Public Policy from Queen Mary, University of London. In his spare time he enjoys cooking and backpacking in the outdoors, and he is a passionate supporter of the Chicago Cubs and Arsenal Football Club.

  • Sara Miante

    Communications Assistant

    Sara joined The Elders in October 2016. She has recently graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) with a Msc. in Development Studies and prior to that she obtained a BA in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation from The University of Padua, Italy. Before joining The Elders, she worked for the Geneva-based NGO Graduate Women International. She is a passionate advocate for education, sustainable development and refugees’ protection.

    In her spare time, she loves hiking, travelling and learning new languages.

  • Edith Prak

    Director of Development

    Edith joined The Elders in October 2016.

    Her previous role was Director of Development at The Open University, where she was responsible for all fundraising for the OU and also for the OU’s ground-breaking capacity building programmes in the developing world. Prior to this she worked at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as Deputy Director for Development and Outreach.

    A Dutch citizen, Edith has a background in International Economics and Politics and has worked in teaching, in advisory roles and in fundraising. Previous roles have included Development Advisor at the UN in Fiji, Fundraising manager at Oxfam and Economic Advisor to the Union of Industrial Workers in the Netherlands. Edith is a trustee of Ethiopiaid.

    Born and raised 6 metres below sea level, Edith loves the mountains.

  • Elaine Robinson

    Office Co-ordinator

    Elaine joined The Elders in March 2016 after a 30-year administrative career in the transport and building sectors. Outside of the office, she is kept busy by her daughter and four amazing grandchildren. Spare moments are spent exploring the countryside and visiting friends.

  • Jenny Yates

    Programme Director

    Jenny joined The Elders in June 2015. She worked for the previous 12 years at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID): leading the UK Government’s efforts to help Indonesia address climate change, based in Jakarta; and also working for DFID in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and in the Communications Division in London. Prior to that, Jenny worked in NGOs and with the governments of Uganda and Swaziland, including working with Oxfam in Mozambique and as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow in the Ministry of Agriculture in Swaziland.

    Jenny has a degree in History from Queens’ College Cambridge and a Masters in Development Studies from the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia. She has two children and, outside of work, loves spending time with them and walking in the country.

The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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