Our Steering Committee is comprised of Feminist Humanitarian members, and reflects the 70/30 ratio of local and national organisations in the Global South to international organisations that our Network is committed to upholding. The Steering Committee is elected by our membership, and has overall oversight of the FHN.
Naomi is a Liberian feminist, a human rights activist, a humanitarian, and the Founder Executive Director of Community Healthcare Initiative (CHI), a local non-governmental organization that is providing healthcare and social services to women and children in underserved and hard to reach communities in Liberia.
Community Healthcare Initiative was founded during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. During this time, CHI took pride in responding with a feminist perspective, which saw the value and needs of all people in the communities they worked with. CHI addressed needs that were specific to women during the immediate response and into recovery.
Naomi has nurtured a career in female advocacy with a humble interest in working with underprivileged youths and slum dwellers through the provision of advocacy, awareness and basic health and social services, especially to women and girls. She is passionate about the role local actors play at the community and national levels. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health with emphasis in Community Health.
Ms. Mimidoo Achakpa is a women’s rights activist with over a decade of experience in Project Management and an extensive background in governance, gender, humanitarian and disarmament issues. She is currently the Executive Director of Women’s Right to Education Programme (WREP) an NGO with United Nations Consultative Status of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) coordinates and belongs to various platforms in Nigeria and globally that can easily be used to consult and engage with other Civil Society Organizations to improve on her work.
She is currently the Steering Committee Chairperson of Accelerating Localization Through Partnerships (ALTP), and sits on the Global Steering Group (GSG) which aims at strengthening local, national and international leadership on humanitarian response. Mimidoo is the National Coordinator of the Women in Humanitarian Response in Nigeria Initiative Network, launched in September 2019. She holds a Master’s of Science in Security and Strategic Studies and is currently doing her PhD in the same field.
Urmila Shrestha is an activist and is currently the Executive Director at Tewa; the only women’s fund of Nepal. Urmila is continuously pushing to bring change in the lives of women experiencing poverty, marginalization and injustice through her work. She has been associated at Tewa since 2004.
Urmila started her career as a volunteer program officer at Tewa. She has worked hard to promote and secure local resource mobilization for sustainable development. Her dedication and hard work has brought her to the position she is in today. Urmila also played a major role in the wake of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. She led recovery and rebuilding works, driving a motivated team at Tewa.
From 1998 to 2002, Urmila worked as a program officer in the Makwanpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Urmila holds a Master’s in Master’s in Public Administration from Tribhuvan University.
Dr Olfat Mahmoud
Dr. Olfat Mahmoud is a Palestinian refugee, born in Lebanon, whose life mission is to fulfill the dream of her parents and grandparents to return to their hometown “Tarshiha” in Palestine. She started her life as a qualified nurse, thus her work experience was mostly in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society. She then attended a course in clinical instructing in London (1983). The turning point in her life was triggered by a course on community nursing that she attended in Australia (1984-1985). Having seen enough of war and its atrocities, she decided to return to academia.
She joined the Faculty of Human Sciences at Beirut Arab University where she studied Psychology, a Master’s in Special Needs (2010), a Women’s Studies Diploma (2011), and then moved on to a PhD in Positive Psychology and Personality (2016). Currently she is both an instructor at Beirut Arab University and the General Director of the Palestinian NGO “Woman’s Humanitarian Organization”.
In addition to her work, she has also published a number of academic studies and works as an activist for Palestinian and women’s rights. She also wrote a book “Tears for Tarshiha”. This book is her first step on the road to return to her village “Tarshiha”. In 2015, she was selected to represent the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon at the UN celebration of the foundation of UNRWA in New York.
Dr Anusanthee Pillay
Dr Anusanthee Pillay is a gender specialist/advisor to national and international humanitarian and development sectors. Anu has also worked as an advisor and specialist on addressing violence against women in Southern, East, and West Africa and spent some time in India working on interfaith conflict. She has been seconded to the United Nations and deployed to the Pacific Islands, based in Fiji, Somalia, Nairobi, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Nepal, Nigeria. She has worked in Iraq as a gender-based violence (GBV) consultant, and as a visiting professor at the UN mandated University for Peace (UPeace) in Costa Rica to teach a Master’s level course on gender in humanitarian action.
Anu holds an MPhil degree in Conflict Management from the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa, a postgraduate Certificate and a PhD in Humanitarian Affairs from the University of York in the UK. Anu has also studied psychology and is a life coach. Anu has a history of activist and academic engagement on Violence against Women in South Africa and presented the first study on Intimate Femicide at the Fourth UN World Conference on Women in 1995 in Beijing. She has published numerous journal articles on gender, peace and security and is co-editor of the book "The Aftermath: Women in Post Conflict Transformation" published in 2001 by Zed Books, London.
Sara Almer is the Humanitarian Director of ActionAid International, a global justice federation working in more than 45 countries. Promoting women’s rights and leadership is central to ActionAid’s humanitarian programming, alongside accountability to disaster and crisis affected communities and embedding emergency response within broader development and resilience building initiatives.
Sara has more than 18 years’ experience of leading large-scale humanitarian, rehabilitation, advocacy and policy work, including work with local partner organisations, at a global level and in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Sara holds a Master’s degree in Humanitarian and Development Practice from Oxford Brookes University and a BA (Hons) in International Relations with Development Studies from University of Sussex, UK and l’Institut d’Etudes Politique in Bordeaux, France.
Zahra Vieneuve is an Egyptian feminist activist who has worked extensively on issues of gender equality and human rights across the Middle East and North Africa. She is the Program Director, Freedom from Violence at the Global Fund for Women. Prior to joining the Global Fund for Women, Zahra has engaged with civil society organizations across MENA as a human rights advocate and educator.
In her capacity as Senior Program Officer at Karama, an international organization focused on combatting violence against women in the MENA region, she worked very closely with women human rights activists involved in the women, peace and security agenda, especially in Libya, Palestine, Iraq, and Yemen. She also coordinated Karama’s GBV work in Egypt through partnerships with local women human rights groups. At the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies in Egypt, she led the human rights education program where she designed and held human rights and peace education training targeting Middle Eastern youth in universities and civil society organizations. These trainings addressed a variety of issues, such as international human rights mechanisms, gender equality, bodily integrity, political participation as well as non-violent political change.
She holds two Master’s degrees; the first in Political Science from the University of Geneva and the second in International and Comparative Education from the American University in Cairo. Zahra is fluent in English, French, and Arabic.