The Elders

The Elders' Team

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

  • Andrew Whitley

    Interim CEO

    Andrew Whitley was appointed as the interim Chief Executive of The Elders in March 2016 after serving five years as the organisation’s Policy and Advocacy Director. His previous careers were at the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, the Financial Times and the British Broadcasting Corporation. In these different professional capacities he has lived and worked in over 20 countries around the world. Andrew is married and has two children.

  • 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.

  • Claire Brown

    Finance and Corporate Services Director

    Claire joined The Elders in August 2014. She was previously Finance and Investment Director at the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, one of the largest grant making foundations in the UK. She has worked at various financial services organisations throughout her early career, including hedge funds and private equity. Claire is currently a trustee of a large donor advised fund, serves on Comic Relief’s investment committee, Nuffield Foundation’s audit and risk committee and The Royal Foundation’s finance committee, having previously been a member of the boards of The Association of Charitable Foundations and The Charity Tax Group.

    A Chartered Accountant, with a BA in Finance from Kingston University, Claire is also a yoga teacher and passionate about marine conservation – scuba-diving worldwide when time allows.

  • 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!

  • 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

    Operations Manager

    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.

  • 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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