The 12 candidates for the 2021 CHS Alliance Board elections are listed below.

To find out more about those running for election, please click on each candidate’s name.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Board election process, please contact us at ga@chsalliance.org.

Full member candidates


Name Nominating Organisations Candidate’s current location
Ms. Abul Husn, Hana War Child Holland the Netherlands
Mr. Alhousseiny, Mazen Syria Relief United Kingdom
Mr. Calma, Allan A. Lutheran World Federation Switzerland
Mr. Carter, Matthew CAFOD/Caritas United Kingdom
Mr. Kitchen, Bob International Rescue Committee United States of America
Ms. Mahla, Deepmala Care International Thailand
Ms. Mall, Shama Community World Service Asia Pakistan
Ms. Otieno, Susan ActionAid International Kenya
Mr. Wahra, Gawher Nayeem COAST Trust Bangladesh
Ms. Wielechowski, Aimee Danish Refugee Council Denmark

Independent candidates


Name Nominating Organisation Candidates’ location
Mr. Barnett, Michael Mercy Malaysia and Act Church of Sweden United States of America
Mrs. Sattler, Meg UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office Austria

Current Board members whose terms continue in 2021


FULL MEMBER
Name Organisation
Ms. Coleen Heemskerk Act Church of Sweden
Ms. Rehema Kajungu TPO Uganda
Ms. Koster, Jacqueline World Renew
Mr. Sweatman, Robert British Red Cross
INDEPENDENT
Name Organisation Nominating Organisation
Mr. Almasri, Mohamed Physicians Across Continents Christian Aid
Mr. Beverley, John Retired CAFOD
Ms. Yegana Guliyeva AIM-Azerbaijan LWF
CO-OPTED MEMBER
Name Organisation
Ms. Skuric Prodanovic, Marina UNOCHA

FULL MEMBER CANDIDATES

Hana Abul Husn

Position: Global Planning Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist
Organisation: War Child Holland

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The CHS Alliance represents an opportunity for organizations of any size or origin, regardless of their mission, to uphold a set of clear commitments to the people at the center of their work. It provides an accessible value system for organizations to work with integrity and quality.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
While participating in the 2019 & 2020 CHS Exchanges, I met individuals driving the Standard forward, from affected persons to its Board Members. Seeing this varied group collectively think through issues that matter most and applying learning to my work inspired me to become more involved.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
My role centers on cultivating a culture of listening to vulnerable persons, and appreciating and acting on information gained. Having led our organization through CHS self-assessment, I delved deeply into what the commitments meant to colleagues, partners and communities with which we work, and how to translate these into improvements.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
I am quick to identify challenges and excel at finding innovative solutions. I relate well to people of all ages, backgrounds and genders, my curiosity for people’s stories leads to effective work relationships. I am a motivated teammate, and offer the internationalist perspective and determination to accomplish the Board’s mission.

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Mazen Alhousseiny

Position: Organisational Development Manager
Organisation: Syria Relief
Skills*: The Board is specifically looking for two individuals who have Human Resources and/or Organisational Development expertise. Mazen has such skills.

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
In my point of view CHS Alliance will be in the near future as the QMS verification organisations to the profit sector. As CHS verification and certification is more needed now than ever, many donors are requesting this for their implementing NGOs. This means that the Alliance will be more useful to be regulatory body for the knowledge sharing and certification.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
Representing the complexity of the Syrian humanitarian response since 2011 and sharing the voices of the local NGOs that are working in similar contexts is the main motivators for me to join the Board.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
I have done several contributions to enhance the quality of the response that NGOs are doing while working for the Syrian crises either as a trainer, coach, consultant or aid worker. these experiences will be offered to support the mission of the Alliance.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
My experience and knowledge as Organisational Development consultant will be brought to the alliance’s Board to be an addition type of the diversity of experiences within the Board.

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Allan A. Calma

Position: Global Humanitarian Coordinator
Organisation: The Lutheran World Federation

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
COVID19 has emphasized the importance of a people-centered response and the Alliance plays a key role in ensuring this is achieved, primarily through expanding understanding and uptake of the CHS. Furthermore, the Alliance had been a significant step and continues to play a vital role in ensuring coherence across standards in the sector.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
As an operational NGO using a rights-based empowerment approach, we work directly with communities and can use this platform to further amplify their voices. We have made strides in ensuring greater CHS accessibility but there is still much to be done. This is particularly critical in the upcoming revision process.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
My professional career has covered both humanitarian and development working from the frontline to regional levels and now, at the HQ level. I have dedicated my career to further strengthening linkages between humanitarian and development work with a particular focus on accountability towards affected population.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
I believe my capacity to synthesize discussions in forums and identify connections at various levels can contribute in ensuring the Board continues to remain relevant. I believe I have also shown commitment to the cause and remain steadfast even during the most challenging of times.

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Matthew Carter

Position: Humanitarian Director
Organisation: CAFOD/Caritas

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The CHS Alliance is a critical part of the humanitarian architecture in providing leadership across the humanitarian and increasingly development sectors, in the areas of accountability and standard-setting. The Alliance draws on the challenges, practical knowledge and analysis taken from the past 20 years of humanitarian crises/response to bring about constructive change across the humanitarian sector. The origins of the CHS Alliance come from challenging the status quo, poor practice and shifting power and giving a voice to those communities and people we aim to support and provide assistance to. It is these people and communities who remain at the heart of the Alliance today.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
I am coming to the end of my 1st term as a CHS Alliance Board member and would very much like to stand for a 2nd term. As a Board member, I have been able to support the Alliance, the membership and particularly the communities and people CHS Alliance endeavours to support. I would like to continue to be a Board member for a further term during a time of change, supporting the localisation agenda, engaging with the critical review of the Core Humanitarian Standard, working with HQAI, members response to crises and particularly taking into account how we collectively engage with the current Coronavirus pandemic and climate crisis.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
The CHS Alliance mission is critical in the effective delivery of humanitarian action. I have a deep-seated passion and practical understanding of working to the principles of the CHS Alliance mission. I recognise the challenges, but also firmly believe we must constantly strive to ensure that the rights and dignity of people and communities affected by disasters are at the centre of every response and that every programme is built on a culture of quality and accountability. In this context, it has never been more important for us to work to better support local and community-based capacities.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
I am a strong practitioner with a belief in wanting to challenge where necessary and help strengthen the humanitarian sector in ensuring people and communities remain at the very centre of our work. I am passionate about the localisation agenda and bringing about real change, shifting of power and voice. I have extensive experience in organisational governance working as a senior leader/manager and board member with a number of organisations. I am a team player and recognise the collective importance of the Boards role in maintaining organisational governance and accountability. I believe that CHS Alliance has been one of the most important collective endeavours across the humanitarian sector and as a Board member I would bring in-depth practical experience and commitment to taking CHS Alliance forward.

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Bob Kitchen

Position: Vice President, Emergencies and Humanitarian Action
Organisation: International Rescue Committee

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The CHS is critical for the humanitarian sector, as we work as individual organizations, and as a community together, to increase the accountability of our engagement and quality of our action with crisis affected communities around the world. The CHS sets the direction that we should collectively strive for.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
Serving on the Alliance’s Board is a unique and exciting opportunity to shape the standards and supportive services that increase the responsiveness and impact of the humanitarian community’s collective effort. I want to help the Alliance deliver not just standards, but also the support organizations need to realize them.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
I bring more than a decade of frontline emergency response leadership, augmented by a decade of senior organizational leadership. This combination enables me to champion both what works on the frontline, as well as advise on how best to incentivize and assist organizational leadership to invest in reaching CHS standards.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
I bring an enduring commitment to partnering with communities to offer assistance that enables them to make it through the toughest of times. I have extensive experience collaborating with, and building consensus among humanitarian leaders. I am hungry to hear new ideas, and be told when I wrong!

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Deepmala Mahla

Position: Vice President Humanitarian Affairs (Interim); CARE USA
Organisation: Care International

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
Accountability to those we serve is key for being more effective humanitarians and for humanitarian aid be more equitable. The CHS Alliance binds our community, provides guidance and critical training to members and others, supports consistent accountability mechanisms and promotes collective responsibility for advancing quality and accountability.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
I truly believe in building a culture of quality and accountability so that the most vulnerable can access equitable, timely assistance that restores dignity and empowers people to build back better. The mission and approach of CHS Alliance motivates me to join forces towards making a meaningful contribution in particular with regards to increasing the diversity of the Alliance and strengthening the voice of frontline organisations in the Alliance as well as in the whole humanitarian sector.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
I have twenty-three years of experience in programme development, design and implementation in development and humanitarian contexts. I have worked closely with a range of diverse stakeholders and partners during my work in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
Authenticity. Sincerity. Ability to work with influence and collaboration. Vast humanitarian experience that has shaped my personality.

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Shama Mall

Position: Deputy Regional Director – Programs & Organizational Development
Organisation: Community World Service Asia
Skills*: The Board is specifically looking for two individuals who have Human Resources and/or Organisational Development expertise. Shama has such skills.

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
CHS Alliance is playing an important role of promoting accountability towards affected populations and ensuring aid is delivered in a dignified manner. The Alliance is well positioned to advocate at different levels for greater commitment towards accountability and influence members to use the CHS framework and verification options to commit to and strengthen accountability in their organizations and interventions.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
I have served on the Board as Vice Chair for a 3-year term, it has been a rewarding experience. I would like to continue and support CHS Alliance’s strategy from 2021 onwards as well. Being part of the Board enables me to represent the global south and share learnings and experiences from the field.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
20 years of experience of working with marginalized communities in
Pakistan/Afghanistan and Asia region, promoting their rights to dignified assistance and using people centered approaches based on quality and accountability standards. Extensive experience of designing interventions to promote the CHS in Asia region amongst humanitarian and development organizations.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
Ability to listen & learn; team player; respect confidentiality; dedicated; ability influence & advocate; Objectivity; Integrity.

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Susan Otieno

Position: Interim Executive Director (ActionAid International Kenya) and
Global Assurance Lead (ActionAid International)
Organisation: ActionAid International

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The CHS Alliance is hugely important to the sector as it provides a drive to more accountable and quality programmes. To collectively bring together actors from across the sector to push for this critical objective of putting people at the centre of action.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
I am motivated to sit on the CHS Alliance Board to continually drive the CHS as a central standard across the sector and put people at the centre of decision that impact them.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
As an employee at ActionAid, I am well vast with Human Rights Based Approaches to programming which promote respect for the rights and dignity of people and communities vulnerable to risk and affected by disaster. I have implemented programmes that are aimed at eradicating poverty and exclusion while embracing programme quality, accountability and providing assurance to donors and beneficiaries

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
As a team player, I am keen on accountability and providing assurance. I am multi skilled in a sense that I have a good outlook of multiplicity within an environment and I am good at networking and building connections with people and communities.

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Gawher Neyeem Wahra

Position: Vice Chairperson
Organisation: COAST Trust

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
I believe Core Humanitarian Standard should be the minimum requirement across the countries where humanitarian assistance is delivered. CHS Alliance is committed to make aid work better for people by promoting higher quality, effectiveness and accountability towards affected population and this is the fundamental advocacy that the sector needs today.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
From the beginning of the Rohingya response in Bangladesh, I have been raising issues related to the impact of response program on refugees and the poor host community and accountability of the humanitarian agencies. I found CHS Alliance as a global platform that could help raise our issues globally.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
I have been working for national level Disaster Preparedness and Child Protection focusing on accountability issues throughout my career and I have worked in leading global humanitarian organizations on these issues.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
I have closely monitored the experience of the Rohingya response in Bangladesh which is one of the largest refugee camps in the world. I also have been working on Rohingya issues in Myanmar and regional politics related to it. I am confident to contribute to the Board about core issues of humanitarianism.

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Aimee Wielechowski

Position: Head of HR Partnering and Development
Organisation: Danish Refugee Council
Skills*: The Board is specifically looking for two individuals who have Human Resources and/or Organisational Development expertise. Amiee has such skills

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The CHS Alliance is about putting people at the centre of everything we do in aid. By setting common measurable and verifiable standards it provides a clear pathway – and practical tools – for organizations to become more professional and accountable. As champions of the CHS, they promote the core principles and actions that need to be the mind, soul and conscience of humanitarian workers, every day.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
Aid work is changing, and we have an opportunity to contribute to a lasting shift in the sector. The Covid-19 pandemic, the global focus on anti-discrimination, inclusion and de-colonization of aid have reinforced the demand for greater accountability. I believe the CHS Alliance has the vision and practical tools that the sector needs now to accelerate change towards greater localization, protection of rights, fairness and equity in the humanitarian and development sector. I want to see the ideal of putting people front and centre a non-negotiable reality.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
As Head of HR Partnering and Development at Danish Refugee Council, I work to develop the organization and culture needed to implement the CHS, particularly related to people management. Previously with OCHA (1997-2012), I was involved in global humanitarian reforms aimed at strengthening respect for accountability within the humanitarian system.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
I thrive when working with other passionate people to find solutions to big, challenging problems and focus on cultivating the strengths of employees, partners and communities. I am adept at working with complexity and ambiguity and can connect the dots and find patterns, pathways and collaborative solutions. I am entrepreneurial, tenacious and I strive to accept responsibility for and learn from failure.

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INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES

Michael Barnett

Position: University Professor, George Washington University
Organisation: Mercy Malaysia and Act Church of Sweden

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The sector has recognized the importance of quality and accountability for more than two decades, and the CHS Alliance is key to realizing the promise of this agenda.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
As someone who has studied and written about the sector for almost two decades, I have always wanted to contribute where I can. Being invited to join the board is both an opportunity and a privilege.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
I have written extensively on standard-setting, accountability, and their relationship, with a particular concern for how standardization and accountability can become detached from local populations.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
As a social scientist, I am trained to be quizzical, skeptical, and always wanting to use multiple perspectives to understand the world.

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Meg Sattler

Position: Director, Ground Truth Solutions
Organisation: Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, UK

Why is the CHS Alliance important to the sector?
The CHS brought together a suite of vital reforms and made them simple to understand and practical to implement. The alliance will bring them to life — not simply promoting the standard but demonstrating progress against it, identifying areas for improvement and raising the collective membership voice for important policy change. While the sector dances from one reform to another, and a sudden focus on AAP risks being swept under the rug in favour of another thematic area, the CHS, if enough agencies promote and live up to it, provides a lasting framework for change.

What motivates you to join the Alliance’s Board?
The sector is at an important crossroads and there is huge potential for the CHS Alliance to maximise both the strength of the Standard and the commitment of its membership to push sector-wide change forward. Supporting strategic thinking and planning on how to maximise internal structures and external advocacy to reach this potential is a hugely exciting prospect. I’d enjoy the challenge, and the chance to be both practical and creative at the same time.

What experience do you have that is related to our mission?
Career-long experience in advocacy and leadership on community engagement and accountability, proven ‘innovation’ track record, as well as organisational leadership/governance (several Director roles, currently an organisational director role and relevant board experience). I also bring a relevant and growing network.

Which personal qualities would you bring to the Alliance’s Board?
Creativity and strategic thinking. Never satisfied to maintain a status quo, my role in most organisations has been to challenge staff — and their systems and processes — to do things differently.

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*As per article 21.1.1.5 of the Statutes.