International Alert appoints new chair and board members

London, 2 August 2018: International Alert is delighted to announce the appointment of a new Chair and three new members to its Board of Trustees.

Retired US Ambassador Carey Cavanaugh, now Professor of Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution at the University of Kentucky, has been named Chair of the Board of Trustees of International Alert. He succeeds British author, journalist and former minister Chris Mullin.

As an accomplished American diplomat, academic and peace mediator, Carey Cavanaugh has been active for decades in international peacebuilding.

Commenting on his appointment, Carey said: “We are witnessing today a calamity, with almost 70 million people having been forcibly displaced from their homes – a number greater than the population of the United Kingdom.”

“Conflict in Syria, Afghanistan, Colombia, Congo, Myanmar, Ukraine and many other states has fostered this wave of human misery. Not surprisingly, these are the very places where the dedicated staff of International Alert are working with local partners to make a difference. I am delighted to take up this new role as Chair of the Board of International Alert,” he added.

Also joining Alert’s Board of Trustees are Hans Bolscher, Abir Haj Ibrahim, and Erin Segilia Chase. Hans Bolscher has also been appointed as Chair of International Alert Europe – the charity’s European Headquarters based in The Hague.

Hans Bolscher is a senior adviser on climate, energy and development, with extensive experience in the Dutch government, Médecins Sans Frontières and the Max Havelaar Foundation. He has a clear focus on the role of business in development.

“I'm very enthusiastic about joining International Alert at this pivotal time. Having lived and worked in Africa for many years I have witnessed how conflict can damage people’s lives for generations. Each conflict is driven by different reasons, so it is essential that the root causes are understood and tackled,” said Hans.

“International Alert has shown some excellent examples of how, together with local partners, we can understand those root causes, reduce tensions and build peace,” he added.

Abir Haj Ibrahiam is co-founder of Mobaderoon, a network of some 4,000 social activists that advise and train community development projects and civil society organisations in Syria.

Erin Segilia Chase has over 25 years’ international experience in philanthropy across multiple charitable sectors including peacebuilding, social justice and human rights, with a focus on strategic and annual planning, board development and fundraising.

International Alert’s CEO Harriet Lamb said: “We are thrilled to have such an accomplished and diverse group of people joining our board. They bring with them unique expertise and perspectives, and a shared passion for peacebuilding which will definitely enrich our work at Alert. Such passion, enthusiasm and expertise are crucial for peacebuilding at a time when it’s most needed, with record numbers of people killed and displaced by war.”

International Alert is deeply grateful for the guidance and support of Chris Mullin, Helena Puig Larrauri and Gordana Duspara Moriarty, who will be stepping down after serving their terms.


Carey Cavanaugh (Chair of the Board)

Carey Cavanaugh is an academic, an accomplished American diplomat and peace mediator, and has been active for decades in international peacebuilding. He is currently professor of diplomacy and conflict resolution at the University of Kentucky. He had a 22-year diplomatic career focused on arms control, humanitarian issues, and peace. This included postings to Berlin, Moscow, Tbilisi, Rome and Bern, as well as assignments in the State Department, Pentagon and on Capitol Hill. Under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Carey helped advance peace efforts involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkey. He was confirmed by the US Senate as Ambassador and Special Negotiator for Nagorno-Karabakh and Eurasian Conflicts in May 2000. Since leaving government service, Carey has remained engaged in conflict resolution and peacebuilding activities, working with leading British and European NGOs on civil society initiatives and track-two diplomatic efforts. From 2014-2018, he was a trustee of Conciliation Resources. Visit Carey’s website here.

Hans Bolscher

Hans Bolscher is a senior adviser in the field of climate, energy and development. He started his career with Médecins Sans Frontières in Sudan and Uganda and was later director for the first fair trade labelling initiative, Max Havelaar in the Netherlands, working in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As former director at the Dutch government (first for immigration and later for climate and industry), he was deeply involved in the international discussions on climate and international raw materials trade. Hans has a clear focus on the role of business in development as well as economic and financial aspects of aid and trade. Next to his advisory work, he is also (non-executive) Chair of the Board in several green companies and head of a renewable energy investment fund.

Abir Haj Ibrahiam

Abir is one of the two co-founders of Mobaderoon, an Arab civil society network of some 4,000 social activists that advises and trains community development projects and organisations in Syria. Prior to this, she worked in the oil sector in Syria, for Total, but her experience during the conflict led her to dedicate her life to supporting and sustaining peaceful coexistence. She is now a peacebuilding facilitator and helped establish Mobaderoon’s Peace Ambassador programme, which trains and supports peace advocates in Syria. In 2014, Mobaderoon was awarded the Livia prize for its support of non-violence. Abir is also the co-founder of Globally Connected, a network supporting and building trust and understanding between the Syrian diaspora, host communities and Syrians in Syria, and she recently helped found the Arab World Facilitators Network.

Erin Segilia Chase

Erin Segilia Chase has over 25 years international experience including in peacebuilding, social justice and human rights, with a focus on strategic and annual planning, board development, and fundraising. She has served as Director at Swarovski Foundation and Impetus Private Equity Foundation, and as a Board member at Seeds for Peace, among other roles. She is currently the Global Director – Philanthropy for the Catalyst Consulting Group.


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About International Alert:

International Alert is a leading peacebuilding organisation that works with people directly affected by conflict to build lasting peace, working in over 25 countries and territories around the world.