Jim LeBlanc: James has acted as a modern day organizational ‘Consigliere’ to a number of senior executives throughout the world. With almost 40 years of international experience, he has served in numerous global leadership and executive positions including, country director in Iraq for a large international NGO, chief of staff to the Secretary of State for External Affairs, and to the Ambassador for International Security in Canada.
He was a senior associate at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and sits on numerous boards and advisory councils including Vice-Chair of the International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA), Hostage US and the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).
Jim has two graduate degrees including one from the Harvard University Kennedy School.
Tinebeb Berhane: Tinebeb Berhane is the Country Director for ActionAid Ethiopia, an organisation that promotes and works towards ensuring gender justice, good governance and poverty eradication in Ethiopia.
Tinebeb is a Human Rights Advocate and Civil Society Leader with over 24 years’ experience in the non-profit Development sector. She is the Vice President of Ethiopian civil society council that represents more than 3,600 civil society organizations in Ethiopia and has served on the Board of various organizations in her ambition to create strong and vibrant civil society organizations.
Apart from Ethiopia, Tinebeb has lived and worked in DR Congo and Zambia in leadership capacities and has been associated with several local and International NGOs throughout her career.
Julia Pataki: Julia Pataki is the former Ambassador of Romania to Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi (2012-2021) and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environment Programme and Un-Habitat, stationed in Nairobi.
Previously she worked in international development, leading governance, legislative and electoral programs for different international organizations as NDI, IFES and UNDP in conflict and post-conflict countries in the Middle East and Africa. She has extensive experience and expertise in the field of Human Rights with special focus on Minority and Disadvantaged communities, strengthening civil society, developing health policies, European integration processes, during the transition period from an autocratic to a democratic society.
Ms. Pataki is a former Member of the Romanian Parliament and politician as a representative of the Hungarian community in Romania. She is a graduate of the University of Babes-Bolyai with a Law degree.
Maryam Hussain: Maryam Hussain is an entrepreneur and Marketing strategist with 15 years’ experience driving business growth through turnaround marketing strategies. She has held senior executive positions in different companies, established a niche technology publication, and co-founded GEAR, a Welfare Trust providing interest-free loans to young men and women for establishing small businesses and becoming self-reliant. She also sits on the INSSA Advisory Council. Maryam is an alumna of the Institute of Business Management (IBM) Pakistan, London Metropolitan University UK, and Harvard University USA.
In 2016, Maryam decided to take a break from full-time career and moved to Australia, where she and her husband are raising their three young children. She loves art and spends her free time painting, writing, and playing the piano. She also volunteers for animal shelters and supports their marketing and fundraising programmes.