Angela has over 15 years’ experience in humanitarian programme leadership and management. About half of this has been managing humanitarian response in conflict/post-conflict contexts and half in advancing policy and practice on accountability towards affected people, community engagement and creating strategic partnerships. She most recently worked for the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities Network before going freelance.
Angela is passionate about ensuring that HIF’s funded innovations are driven by the needs of affected people and create positive outcomes for them by including them as partners rather than simply recipients or beneficiaries.
Charles Ikem is a human centered design & humanitarian innovation consultant with 15 years of experience working at the intersection of design, development and humanitarian innovation in Africa and Europe. Charles worked with M4ID now SCOPE in Helsinki, Paradigm Initiative and consulted for ITU, International Rescue Committee and Nesta in the UK. Charles is also the cofounder of VoteRookie based in Berlin, a digital democracy platform for enabling civic participation and political engagement for young Europeans. Charles is also an academic board member at Barcelona Technology School and Advisor to the EU NGI programme.
Charles hails from Nigeria and lives in Padova, Italy.
Christopher Hoffman is the Managing Director of Humanity Link, a private to humanitarian brokerage firm that links innovative companies in a myriad of sectors with humanitarian agencies to meaningfully engage in complex environments. He brings 20 years of experience in the field of humanitarian and development innovation and has a diverse background in corporate and academic settings. Chris is the Chairman of the Board of Sawa World, an international NGO assisting youth to grow their entrepreneurship and business innovations to scale. He also serves on the Blue Delta Coalition in Terschelling, Netherlands.
Chris is based in Groningen, Netherlands with his partner Wakanyi and their four children.
David Constantine is the Founder Director of Motivation, a UK registered charity which initiates sustainable projects that enhance the quality of life of people with mobility disabilities in low-income countries.
When travelling around Australia in 1982, David misjudged a dive and broke his neck at level C4/5. He was twenty-one years old and planning to pursue a career in agriculture, but the accident left him a quadriplegic. After completing a degree in Computer Studies, David worked at IBM for two years and then took an MA in Computer Related Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA). While at the RCA David, along with fellow student Simon Gue, designed an award-winning wheelchair for the developing world. Together with Richard Frost they travelled to Bangladesh to test their design, and in 1991 returned to set up the first Motivation project, a workshop producing affordable and appropriate wheelchairs with a simple design. Since then Motivation’s work in over 100 countries has had an impact on the lives of many thousands of people with mobility disabilities. It is one of the few organisations to deal with both the design and provision of wheelchairs and wheelchair services that are trained to assess, prescribe, fit and follow-up wheelchair users.
In 2010 David was awarded the MBE for services to disabled people.
Grant Gordon is the Senior Director of Innovation Strategy at the International Rescue Committee, where he supports the organisation’s innovation portfolio on humanitarian response and forced migration. Prior to joining the IRC, Grant worked in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the UN Office of Humanitarian Coordination, as well as for a set of humanitarian NGOs. Grant has extensive experience working in conflict zones and fragile settings, including in the Syria regional response, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Haiti. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Jennifer has over 15 years of experience as a senior aid manager, with leading roles in Haiti, the Philippines, Israel and Nepal as well as other locations. During these engagements she began developing strategies for fostering innovation during emergency response, recovery and development, bringing together global innovators and international organisations to collaborate on significant challenges. As the founding director Jennifer led the design of innovation initiatives that broke from conventional aid sector models for innovation labs and accelerators, focusing on bringing the best innovations to scale globally. Recently, she has taking advisory roles working with donors and implementers to consider strategies and methodologies for results based innovation.
Karen is currently Innovation Lead at the Danish Red Cross headquarters supporting the international operation. Prior to this, Karen was an independent consultant in the intersection of innovation, communication and M&E working with clients such as UNDP, ICRC and other NGOs. She previously worked with the Danish Refugee Council and International Media Support and has field experience from Mali, Kenya, Ukraine, Vietnam and Georgia. In the early days of the HIF, Karen was a HIF grantee. For more than a decade, she has been working in the space of humanitarian intervention and innovation – both professionally and academically.
Kirsten Gelsdorf has spent over 20 years working in the humanitarian sector in operations, policy, and advocacy roles. She has served in response to numerous field emergencies in Africa and Asia and held headquarters positions such as the Chief of Policy Analysis and Innovation for UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Humanitarian Advisor to President Clinton in his role as the UN Special Envoy for Haiti and.
Currently she is a Professor at the University of Virginia where teaches and co-leads a large humanitarian research initiative. In 2019 she co-authored the book Understanding the Humanitarian World. She is the winner of the State of Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award. She holds degrees from Dartmouth College and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Ophelie has 14 years of experience in diplomacy, international development, and humanitarian action working with UN agencies and NGOs – including more than six years in Sub-Saharan Africa. Her areas of expertise include:Humanitarian-development nexus; localisation of aid Gender mainstreaming, gender-based violence Community engagement and resilience Resilience-centered innovation.
In 2019, Ophelie established an advisory company, Mindset-PCS, which offers People-Centered Solutions to organisations and companies seeking to enhance their social impact in international development, humanitarian and peacebuilding settings, and meaningfully promote individual and community resilience.
Through her work, Ophelie seeks to develop a global community of creative and innovative humanitarian-development best practices.
Sacha Robehmed is a Lebanese-British design researcher and technology project manager based in north Lebanon. She is currently supporting the International Rescue Committee’s Airbel Impact Lab Middle East Hub with digital client engagement, and researching biometric identity with digital rights organisation SMEX. Her past work includes co-designing family tracing platform Refunite with displaced communities in Iraq, launching Response Innovation Labs in Iraq and Somalia, and researching responsible data and technology at the Engine Room.
Sacha holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown University, and a BSc in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics.
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