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The Elders are assisted by a team based in London.

David Nussbaum

Designation
Chief Executive
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David Nussbaum

About

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 director of Drax Group Plc, and a member of the Board of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

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.

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.

Edwin Almeida

Designation
Finance Officer
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Edwin Almeida

About

Edwin joined The Elders in June 2018 having been with the NHS for about 8 years.

Edwin gained a vast knowledge in Finance in various organisations, having worked in Goa and Bahrain before migrating to United Kingdom.

Edwin has a degree in Financial Accounting and Auditing.

Born in Zanzibar, he loves travelling, swimming/scuba diving and is PADI certified. He also likes listening to instrumental music, doing DIY around the house and a bit of gardening. Edwin is a die hard Liverpool fan.

Tom Brookes

Designation
Policy Advisor
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Tom Brookes

About

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.

Laura Cook

Designation
Communications Advisor
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Laura Cook

About

Laura joined The Elders in August 2019. Prior to this she was the Communications Manager at All We Can (the Methodist relief and development agency) and has over ten years' of experience working in international development and humanitarian aid communications. Laura has lived and worked as a communications professional in West Africa, is an internationally acclaimed photographer, and is passionate about gender equity and issues relating to forced displacement. Laura has a BA in Social Anthropology from Hull University and an MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration from The University of London. Laura believes in the power of good storytelling and is eternally optimistic about the potential of people when we work together for change.

 

Laura lives by the sea in Essex and loves being in or on the water. Outside of work Laura writes and performs poetry and spoken word, is an aspiring food photographer that enjoys eating the food she takes photographs of and is a keen, though long-suffering, supporter of Tottenham Hotspur FC.

William French

Designation
Head of Communications
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William French

About

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

Designation
Senior Communications Officer
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Gavin Ganendran

About

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, wine, travel and all things Disney!

Kiri Hanks

Designation
Policy Advisor on Climate Change
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Kiri Hanks

About

Kiri Hanks joined The Elders in 2020, as policy advisor on climate change. Previously, she worked for Oxfam for 6 years, in global climate change and energy advocacy roles, including as a Southern Africa food and climate justice campaigner based in Zimbabwe. 

Kiri started her career as a political researcher for MEPs in the European Parliament, spending 7 years working on climate, environmental and health legislation, as well as issues to do with international development. She has a Masters in EU Studies from the College of Europe in Warsaw, Poland.

Still a wobbly cyclist in London, Kiri is on a mission to try to cycle everywhere, all of the time. 

 

 

Mark Hilton

Designation
Director of Operations
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Mark Hilton

About

Prior to joining The Elders in May 2013, Mark was the Head of the Director-General’s Office at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation operating in over 170 countries, working on governance, communications, HR and logistics. Prior to this, Mark spent 23 years in the Royal Air Force, serving both overseas and in the UK in a wide variety of senior administrative roles. 

Mark has a BSc in International Relations and MScs in International Development Management and Charity Accounting and Financial Management. He enjoys all things horticultural, is a keen traveller, and something of a linguist, speaking French, Danish and Italian to various degrees.

 

 

Paul Kuzmickas

Designation
Head of Operations
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Paul Kuzmickas

About

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.

Sabrina Mahtani

Designation
Senior Policy Advisor – Access to Justice
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Sabrina Mahtani

About

Sabrina Mahtani joined The Elders in February 2019. She is a human rights lawyer from Zambia/ UK. She has over 15 years experience working in the human rights field and is a specialist in women in the criminal justice system. She has prepared cases before domestic, regional and international courts.

Sabrina was the Wasserstein Fellow in Residence at Harvard Law School where she spent a semester conducting human rights research as well as advising students about public interest career paths. She previously worked at Amnesty International, leading the organization’s research and advocacy work on Anglophone West Africa.

Sabrina is also the co-founder of the award winning NGO, AdvocAid, which is the only holistic organization in West Africa providing access to justice, education and empowerment for women in the criminal justice in Sierra Leone. The organization has freed five women on death row and provided legal aid to over 4000 women. She has previously worked at the Special Court for Sierra Leone and International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Sabrina is a regular writer and commentator on human rights issues and has written for a variety of publications, including Al Jazeera, The Africa Portal and New Internationalist.

She has worked on a number of human rights documentaries and created the first legal education TV series in Sierra Leone. She holds a BA in Law and History from University College London and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from New York University.

Amy Ramage

Designation
Executive Support Officer
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Amy Ramage

About

Amy joined The Elders in May 2018 having spent the last 8 years providing executive level support in the charity sector.

Amy has a degree in Politics and Sociology from the University of Bristol and a Post Graduate qualification in Law. She practised as solicitor before making a career change in pursuit of a worthier cause!

Originally from Dorset, outside of work Amy likes to keep in touch with her rural roots by running, hiking and horse riding in the countryside.

Pippa Ratcliffe

Designation
Operations Assistant
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Pippa Ratcliffe

About

Pippa joined The Elders in October 2018.

Following on from an Event Management BA Pippa has worked in media running formal networking & relationship development events. Since then, working as an assistant for a national healthcare regulator, supporting a fitness to practise directorate.

She is passionate about human rights, health and equality and has volunteered for the LGBT+ charity Stonewall and fundraised with Mind, the Mental Health Charity.
 

Originally from Yorkshire Pippa loves the countryside, camping, walks and dogs! Being half Belgian has led to a certain penchant for chocolate which she manages to balance with relaxing sessions of Yoga. Fundraising by completing a 10 mile obstacle course is her current goal for 2019.

Elaine Robinson

Designation
Executive Services Administrator
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Elaine Robinson

About

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.

Vanessa Smye

Designation
Director of Development
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Vanessa Smye

About

Vanessa joined The Elders in April 2019. She previously worked at the Overseas Development Institute as Director of Development, leading on the development and implementation of the organisation’s fundraising strategy. Vanessa has worked directly with philanthropists for nearly ten years, advising them on their philanthropy strategy whilst a philanthropy adviser at UBS, and supporting them to create scalable and sustainable impact with their giving. She has worked in international development since 2015 and believes in the effectiveness of collaboration at all levels in order to help solve some the world’s most pressing challenges.

Vanessa is a music graduate with a Masters in Research from the Royal College of Music but later obtained Diplomas in stockbroking and financial planning whilst working in financial services. Outside of work, Vanessa is an avid gardener, a collector of antiquarian books on weird and wonderful topics and has a fascination with the Apollo space programme.

Sheelagh Stewart

Designation
Director of Programmes
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Sheelagh Stewart

About

Sheelagh Stewart joined the Elders as Programmes Director in January 2021.  She trained as a lawyer originally and at the start of her career was called to the bar in Zimbabwe.  She was the Founder-Director of the Musasa Project the first NGO focused on violence against women in independent Africa. 

Immediately prior to joining the Elders she was the British Council lead on conflict and security.  She joins with experience as a UK senior civil servant, work in the UN on rule of law, security and governance.   

Luke Upchurch

Designation
Director of Communications
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Luke Upchurch

About

Luke joined The Elders in July 2018 from WWF, where he headed up the organisation’s digital and public relations teams in the UK. Prior to this, he spent over 15 years working in international communications advocacy on issues as diverse as climate change, access to justice, consumer rights and conservation.

Previous to working within the international NGO sector, Luke spent time working as a journalist in West Africa, and holds a Master’s degree in Postcolonial Theory from Goldsmiths University.

Simon Wilson

Designation
Head of Finance
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Simon Wilson

About

Simon joined The Elders in July 2018.

Prior to this he worked at the IFRS Foundation, British Legion and the Royal College of Surgeons. He has a MA in International Relations and a BA in History and Politics, both from the University of Leicester.

Outside of work he enjoys football, cricket and rugby, but seems unable to support a team who can win anything!

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