We envision a world in which young people are not only protected through education, but are also empowered and capable of leading their communities out of conflict and crisis and towards stronger social cohesion, peace and prosperity.
RET International's Vision & ValuesWhat Guides Our Action and Strengthens Our Relationships
These are the ideas and concepts we strive to live by in our day-to-day work with young people, with our donors & partners, as well as amongst ourselves. You will also find in this section the Code of Conduct by which we all abide.
RET’s action takes place in conflict affected areas and fragile environments.
At RET we protect young people through conflict and crises, but we also offer them the tools to become self-reliant individuals, providers for their families as well as actors of positive social change in their communities.
We consider young people, not as beneficiaries, but as partners and future leaders of their communities, whose true potential needs to be brought out.
Ultimately, RET’s goal is to help build a world in which the actions of empowered young people lead their communities out of conflict and crises and towards stronger social cohesion, peace and prosperity.
Dedication, Dynamism, Pragmatism and Adaptability, these four values define the mindset that drives RET’s teams. They describe the way we engage in our daily work with young people, their communities our partners and donors, as well as, amongst ourselves.
RET’s definition of dedication is: “Showing lasting support to a cause, which clearly transcends self-interest and opportunistic behaviour”.
With the Communities
This means that when RET enters a region it is with a solid commitment to mitigate the conflict or crisis affecting local communities, staying as long as is needed to create self-reliance, but not dependency. RET identifies the gaps and designs the bridges, we then help young people and their communities cross them.
With Our Partners & Donors
Dedication here requires us to not only deliver on present projects, but to offer reliable strategic collaboration over the medium term, leading to sustainable, durable solutions.
We are not just co-workers; we are a tight-knit team working towards a common goal. RET team members are considered key stakeholders and assets, professional development is therefore viewed as mandatory.
RET’s definition of dynamism is: “Having the energy and strong desire to make things happen”.
With the Communities
This means that a lot of time and energy is spent in the field going the extra mile to be close to and understand the communities. Interactions with communities are actively sought and maintained to ensure constant feedback, while vulnerable young people are included as actors in the design, implementation and evaluation of our projects.
With Our Partners & Donors
Dynamism here means that we believe we should initiate and maintain communication channels with partners and donors at all stages. RET has the responsibility of proposing solutions even before they are solicited and nurturing solid relations, building a foundation for the future.
We think our doors should always be open, that information has to flow freely and that personal initiatives are to be encouraged.
RET’s definition of pragmatism is: “Favouring reasonable and logical ways of solving problems and challenges, and finding solutions based on the realities on the ground”.
With the Communities
This means positive changes in the lives of the communities is the ultimate measure of RET’s success. We focus on concrete results and if reality in the field contradicts theory, it is our theory that has to be changed.
With Our Partners & Donors
Pragmatism here means we are results oriented, and that we must be able to demonstrate our achievements. Therefore, measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) are mandatory in our projects and their achievement is respected as standard operating practice. Even given the challenges in the fragile contexts in which we operate, we strive to be evidenced-based.
Roles and positions of RET staff depend on abilities and skills.
RET’s definition of adaptability is: “Being dedicated to adopting strategies, tactics, plans, methods, best practices and adapting and refining them in order to obtain better results depending on the specific context on the ground ”.
With the Communities
This means that local culture and existing socio-political infrastructures are what shape project creation, implementation, evaluation and sustainability. Lessons learned from each local context feed our strategies and projects worldwide. Communications and experiences flow bottom-up, top-down, across and around.
With our Partners & Donors
Adaptability here means providing tailored solutions to meet partner and donor objectives, while marrying the needs of the grassroots programme participants. We consider donors and partners as stakeholders with key insights.
As professionals we strive to be well rounded and multitasking in order to be capable of helping other team members and respond to punctual needs. At RET we do not work in silos.
Code of Conduct
1. The Humanitarian imperative comes first. The right to receive humanitarian assistance, and to offer it, is a fundamental humanitarian principle which should be enjoyed by all human beings.
2. The RET will respect the principles of neutrality, impartiality, independence and non-discrimination in the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance. In humanitarian and development assistance, priorities are calculated on the basis of need alone. We will show respect for all persons equally without distinction whatsoever of age, race, gender, religion, colour, national or ethnic origin, language, marital status, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, disability, political conviction, or any other distinguishing feature. We will strive to remove all barriers to equality.
3. Humanitarian and development assistance shall not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint.
4. We will endeavour not to act as instruments of government foreign policy. We therefore formulate our own policies and implementation strategies and do not seek to implement the policy of any government, only exception should it coincide with our own independent policy.
5. We will respect culture and custom. We will endeavour to respect the culture, structures and customs of the communities and countries we are working in.
6. We will always attempt to build response mechanisms to crisis and disasters based on local capacities. Wherever possible, we will strengthen these capacities by employing local staff, purchasing local materials and trading with local companies. Where possible, we will work through local partners in planning and implementation, and co-operate with local government structures where appropriate.
7. Ways shall be found to involve programme beneficiaries in the management of effective humanitarian and development assistance. Effective humanitarian and development assistance and lasting rehabilitation can best be achieved where the intended beneficiaries are involved in the design, management and implementation of the assistance programmes.
8. Humanitarian and development assistance must strive to reduce future vulnerabilities to violence, conflict and disaster as well as meeting basic needs.
9. We will hold ourselves accountable to both those we seek to assist and those from whom we accept resources. All our dealings with beneficiaries and donors shall reflect an attitude of openness and transparency.
10. In our information, publicity and advertising activities, we will recognise victims as dignified human beings, not hopeless objects.
11. We, the RET, will actively promote adherence to the principles of international refugee law, international human rights law and international humanitarian law. We will be guided by the core values of the United Nations system, including professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity, and will maintain an international perspective at all times.
12. We will respect the dignity and worth of every individual. Additionally, when working with children and women, we will pay particular attention to the specific challenges they face and possible vulnerabilities. We will promote and practice understanding, respect, compassion, and empathy, and will demonstrate discretion and maintain confidentiality as required. We will aim to build constructive and respectful working relations with our humanitarian partners, will continuously seek to improve our performance, and will foster a climate that encourages learning, supports positive change, and applies the lessons learned from our experience.
13. We will not use language or behaviour that is not appropriate, harassing, abusive, sexually provocative or culturally inappropriate. As an example, when working with children or any vulnerable, marginalised group, ethnicity or race, we will ensure safety and protection from abuse for all involved in the projects. All suspicions and allegations of abuse and poor practice will be taken seriously and responded to swiftly and appropriately.
14. In addition, in order to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse, the following six core principles established by the IASC (Inter-Agency Standing Committee) Task Force on Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse are incorporated into our Code of Conduct:
– Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers constitute acts of gross misconduct and are, therefore, grounds for termination of employment;
– Any form of sexual activity or acts with children (persons under the age of 18) is prohibited regardless of the age of majority or age of consent locally. Mistaken belief in the age of a child is not a defense;
– Exchange of money, employment, goods, or services for sex, including sexual favours or other forms of humiliating, degrading or exploitative behaviour is prohibited. This includes exchange of assistance that is due to beneficiaries.
– Sexual relationships between humanitarian workers and beneficiaries are strongly discouraged since they are based on inherently un-equal power dynamics. Such relationships undermine the credibility and integrity of humanitarian aid work.
– Where a humanitarian worker develops concerns or suspicions regarding sexual abuse or exploitation by a fellow worker, whether in the same agency or not, s/he must report such concerns via established agency reporting mechanisms (see RET’s PSEA Action Plan).
– Humanitarian workers are obliged to create and maintain an environment which prevents sexual exploitation and abuse and promotes the implementation of their code of conduct. Managers at all levels have particular responsibilities to support and develop systems which maintain this environment.
15. Moreover, anyone who works for or on behalf of the RET shall make sure to remain polite, friendly and to respect the personality of the persons they work with and refrain from any kind of moral harassment. Shall be considered as moral harassment any behaviour that may be damaging to the personality of a colleague, a superior, a subordinate or beneficiaries, as well as any kind of “mobbing”. The term “mobbing” designates any series of hostile behaviours or allegations, frequently repeated during a period of time, by which one would manage to isolate or exclude a person from his/her place of work. Moral harassment may lead to the termination of the harasser’s labour contract.
Just over 1 Million Direct Beneficiaries5 Million Indirect Beneficiaries
27 Countries in 15 Years of InterventionRET connects local experience with global expertise.
700 Team Members Around the WorldOur impact on local employment and professional development is an added value to our programmes.
Facts & FiguresWhat has been RET International's impact so far?
We have been active in humanitarian action and transitional development for over 15 years, during this time our mandate has gained traction and our impact, as well as the resources entrusted to us, have grown accordingly. Here are a few facts & figures to illustrate this trend.
During these 15 years of commitment to vulnerable young people, RET International has worked in 28 countries affected by conflict and crises and fragile environments. You may visit our Where We Work section to learn about our past and present countries of operations. As an international organisation we also pay an awareness-raising and advocacy role through representations in Switzerland, Japan and Germany.
This extensive presence in the field has enabled us to positively impact the lives of just over 1 million learners, 51% of which are women. Among them 12’500 youth leaders have been trained and 150 tertiary education scholarships managed, paving the way to more peaceful and stable communities by empowering a generation of young people to become actors of positive social change. Our actions have also led to the construction, renovation or equipment of 1’100 schools, the training of 20’000 educators as well as the capacity building of numerous local and even national education administrations. In all, RET International has reached nearly 5 million indirect beneficiaries.
Finally, our impact is amplified through the fact that RET does not follow traditional models of sending large numbers of foreign experts to manage local problems. While we have staff from approximately 40 countries, nearly all are local. That is to say almost 100% of our staff in each country of operations are citizens of that country or eventually of neighbouring countries, with only very few expats operating regionally or from headquarters. Furthermore, our global presence benefits local professionals through best practices and lessons learned, as well as, through the training and capacity building of local staff that ensures the sustainability of the programmes. RET connects local experience with global expertise. As we are approximately 700 team members working throughout the world, our impact on local employment and professional development is an added value to our programmes.
In total, RET has raised and channelled over 100 million USD from the international community towards vulnerable young people.
We presently work in three main regions, which are the Middle East & South-Western Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean and East and Central Africa. The chart below shows the resources directed to each of these different regions in 2015:
Our resources come from three main categories of donors: governments, international organisations and the private sector (foundations and individuals). The chart below shows the proportion coming form each source in 2015:
When RET was created in 2000, the world’s focus was on children and not youth; RET has been growing as our mandate has caught traction among the international community and youth are more and more recognised as a key underserved population. In this growth, we have strived to keep our indirect costs (also referred to as administrative expenses) at a minimum. This graph below makes this progression in resources and control of indirect costs easy to visualise:
Should you wish to request a copy of our latest complete financial statements, do not hesitate to write to our Communications Manager, Marc Hari: m.hari@theRET.org.
RET’s Legal Structure
RET International, our parent organisation, is registered as a foundation under Swiss law (all legal details can be publicly accessed on the Register of companies, firms or associations of the City of Geneva, Switzerland) and is placed under the authority of the Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations in Berne, Switzerland.
In order to simplify relations and collaboration with key donor governments, independent, but affiliated non-profit organisations were created under RET International’s umbrella.
There exists, therefore, RET Japan in Tokyo, RET Germany in Bonn and Berlin and RET USA in Washington. These organisations and their representatives work with the same mandate and institutional identities as RET International, but offer more proximity with partner governments and better integrated administrative statutes. They report to RET International’s CEO for strategy and operations, who in turn reports to RET International’s Foundation Board.
In our countries of operations, we work through local branches of RET International duly registered with each government. In some countries such as Lebanon, RET is a local non-governmental organisation and not a branch of RET International.
Staff & BoardAcross the globe, 700 dedicated men and women work to make our vision possible.
Foundation BoardRET International's Leading Body
- Mr Anne Willem BijleveldChairman of the RET BoardMr Anne Willem Bijleveld
Mr Bijleveld has been the RET’s Chairman since 2009. He is currently retired, but serving on special assignment as the Personal Envoy of UNHCR High Commissioner to the Balkans. He has over thirty years of humanitarian experience, including twenty-seven years with UNHCR in Central Europe, South East Asia, Pakistan and Africa. His last post for the organisation was as Director of the Division of External Relations (since January 2002), which came after almost four years as Director of the Bureau for Europe. Prior to this, he was in Washington, as Regional Representative to the United States and the Caribbean. Prior to his January 1996 arrival in Washington, Mr Bijleveld was UNHCR’s Special Envoy and Coordinator of Special Operations for the Former Yugoslavia, closely involved with developing the humanitarian component of the Dayton Peace Accord, which resulted in a framework for the return and relocation of two million Bosnian refugees and internally displaced persons. From 1992 to 1993, Mr Bijleveld helped lead UNHCR’s peaceful repatriation of 360,000 Cambodians, who, after more than a decade in refugee camps, returned to participate in Cambodia’s first democratically-held elections. For nine months, he was UNHCR’s Chief of Mission in Phnom Penh and for five months was Head of the Cambodia and Thailand Desk. Prior to these posts, he held multiple managerial positions in Pakistan, Malaysia, Mozambique, Sudan, and Thailand. Mr Bijleveld holds a Postgraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
- Ms Anne-Shelton AaronRET Board MemberMs Anne-Shelton Aaron
From 2012 to 2015 Anne-Shelton launched and ran the VIP Program, strategy and relations for art genève, the internationally renowned contemporary art fair. She is a Co-founder of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Geneva (MAMCO), serving on its board from 1999 to 2011. During that time she developed and implemented a fundraising strategy for the museum's permanent collection by developing activities and membership categories for the Association of Friends (AMAMCO), becoming its President from 2010 to 2011. Other current activities include championing women in science as a Board Member of the EPFL Wish Foundation and Founding Member of Macula Foundation supporting Macula Editions, the venerable publisher of key texts of art history theoreticians in French. Anne-Shelton joined RET International’s Foundation Board early 2017. She brings her extensive experience in strategy, fundraising and communication in support to our mission to protect vulnerable adolescents, youth and young women around the world. Anne-Shelton studied business administration at the University of Maryland’s branch in Teheran, Iran, the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and the American College of Paris. An American citizen from Virginia, born in Gibraltar, she was raised around the world. After living for 20 years in Paris, where she worked primarily in the fields of art and design, running her own businesses, she currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland with her family.
- Ms Zeynep GündüzCEO & RET Board MemberMs Zeynep Gündüz
Zeynep has been RET International’s Chief Executive since 2003, launching the re-engineering of RET International since its original conception in December, 2000 and operational launch in May, 2001. RET International has grown fifteenfold during these last few years, and continues to expand both geographically and thematically, as the needs for protection and education of the vulnerable young people, displaced by conflict, violence and disasters grow. Zeynep heads a dynamic team of 700+ dedicated, passionate professionals from Asia, Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, North America and the Middle East responsible over the last 15 years for RET operations in 28 countries, over 150 projects and programmes, directly benefiting over 1 million learners and educators, and nearly 5 million persons, including family beneficiaries. Zeynep joined the RET in 2003, after 23 years in the private sector, where she worked in senior and executive management of large multinational corporations of the Fortune 500 in the automotive and telecommunications sectors, where she was primarily responsible for marketing, communications, public relations, advertising, sponsorships, and corporate social responsibility, responsible for budgets of approximately USD 100 million. Zeynep served on the boards of various philanthropic causes before joining the RET, having also developed CSR strategy and launched a foundation for a leading telecommunications corporation. She graduated from New York University, Stern School of Business with an M.B.A. in Marketing and International Business in 1984, and a Bachelor of Science in 1980. Zeynep is originally from Istanbul, raised in New York City, has resided in a number of cities around the world with her career, and currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland with her family.
- Mr Thierry Galissard de MarignacRET Board MemberMr Thierry Galissard de Marignac
Executive Vice President and Partner at Banque Mirabaud & Cie.
- Mr Jean-Claude PeterschmittRET Board MemberMr Jean-Claude Peterschmitt
From 1967 to 1988, Jean-Claude Peterschmitt served in various capacities with Digital Equipment Corporation, last as Vice President-Europe and Chairman of the European Board of Directors. Prior to that, he was a member of Arthur D. Little’s European Operations Research Group. Since 1988, he has served on Boards and Advisory Boards of a number of European and American technology ventures and venture capital funds. He is a founding member of the Councils of Le Réseau (a Swiss network structure for the creation and development of high-technology enterprises in Western Switzerland) and of Health on the Net (a Geneva based non-profit foundation for the development and facilitation of access to the Internet for health and medical information). Mr Peterschmitt received an Engineering degree from Eidgenoessische Technische Hochschule (Zurich) and an M.S. degree from the MIT Sloan School of Business. Mr Peterschmitt was formerly RET’s Chairman from 2003 – 2007.
Advisory BoardStrategic Guidance from Global Minds
- Mrs Sadako OgataFounding President, Former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Former President of JICAMrs Sadako Ogata
Mrs. Ogata served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1991 to 2000, whereby she was re-elected to the post three times over this period. Before her career at UNHCR, she was the Independent Expert of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Myanmar in 1990. From 1982 to 1985, she acted as the Representative of Japan on the United Nations Commission for Human Rights. During 1978 and 1979, Mrs. Ogata was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations, having served as Minister there from 1976 to 1978. In addition to her professional career, her academic career has been noteworthy, as she was Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo from 1989, Director of the Institute of International Relations at the same University from 1987 to 1988, and Professor there from 1980. Prior to this, she had multiple teaching roles in many different universities around the globe. She received a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1963, an M.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. in 1953 and a B.A. from the University of the Sacred Heart in Tokyo in 1951. She has written numerous articles and publications, on issues of immigration, refugees and conflict. She currently resides in Tokyo with her family and continues to work in her various roles, one among which was her position as President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency from 2003-2012.
- Mrs Françoise DemoleCo-Founder of RET and Former Vice-Chair of the RET Board; Chairwoman of the IMRMrs Françoise Demole
Mrs. Demole has worked on the boards of multiple Foundations and Organisations for a significant period of her working life. Currently, she is Chairwoman of the International Museum of the Reformation, a Member of the Fondation du Festival et Académie de Verbier (since 2005), a Member of the Fondation de l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande Genève (since 2000), Vice-President (and former Chair) of the Fondation pour Genève (since 1998), and President of the Fondation du Musée International de la Réforme, as well as her former roles as Vice-Chair of the Board and co-Founder of RET.
- Mrs Anne Héritier LachatFormer Chairperson of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority - FINMAMrs Anne Héritier Lachat
- Dr David HamburgCo-Founder of RET, President Emeritus, Carnegie CorporationDr David Hamburg
Dr David Hamburg was President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York between 1982 and 1997. Before this, he had gathered a multitude of experiences from posts around the world, including chief of the adult psychiatry branch at the National Institutes of Health, from 1958 to 1961, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University from 1961 to 1972, a Professor of Human Biology at Stanford from 1972 to 1976, President of the Institute of Medicine from 1975 to 1980; Director of Health Policy Research and Education at Harvard University from 1980 to 1983; and President and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science from 1984 to 1986. As well as all of the above responsibilities, Hamburg was a member of the US Defence Policy Board, Co-chair of the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, a member of President Clinton’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, and a visiting Professor at Harvard Medical School’s department of Social Medicine. In addition to this, he was the founder of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology and Government.
- Professor Theo van BovenCo-Founder of RET, Former Dean of the University of Maastricht, Faculty of LawProfessor Theo van Boven
- HRH Princess Sirindhorn of ThailandUNESCO Goodwill AmbassadorHRH Princess Sirindhorn of Thailand
Princess Sirindhorn has spent most of her adult life active in advocating Education for All. She earned (among many other degrees) a PhD in Educational Development from Srinakharinwirot University in 1986, and her principle of using education as a means for community and social development which she acquired during these studies has proved to be a good base for her involvement in many different community development activities. She has attended numerous training courses and workshops which have augmented her understanding and expertise in effective integrated development, and in addition, her interest in oriental cultures and languages (notably Chinese) has developed and widened her skills-set. She was awarded the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador title in 2005 for her work in empowering minority children through education and preserving their cultural heritage.
- HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of JordanHRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan
Prince El Hassan is a valued member of the RET Strategic Leadership Council, having spent the majority of his life advocating for change in the developing world. He has initiated, founded and remains actively involved in a number of Jordanian and international institutes and committees, including being on the Executive Committee of the International Crisis Group, on the Informal Advisory Group to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a Member of the Committee of UNESCO International Interreligious Advisory Committee, an Honorary Member of UNESCO World Commission on Culture and Development, Chairman of the Policy Advisory Commission for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (1999-2002), Co-Chair of the Independent Bureau for Humanitaran Issues, Co-Chair of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues (ICIHI), President of the Arab Thought Forum since 1981, President of the Club of Rome (1999-2007), and Board member for the Center for Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution at the University of Oklahoma. As well as the above, he has established the following organisations and committees: the Al al-Bait University in Mafraq, the Hashemite Aid and Relief Agency, the Islamic Scientific Academy, the Amman Baccalaureate School, and the Al-Hassan Youth Award. He has founded the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan (1970), the Al al-Bait Foundation (1980), and the Arab Youth Forum (1988).
- The Rt. Hon. Lynda ChalkerBaroness Chalker of Wallasey, Former UK Minister of Overseas DevelopmentThe Rt. Hon. Lynda Chalker
- Mrs Zanele MbekiFormer First Lady of South AfricaMrs Zanele Mbeki
After her marriage to Thabo Mbeki (later the President of South Africa) in 1974, Mrs Mbeki worked for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees whilst he joined the African National Congress in exile in Lusaka, Zambia. Once back in South Africa, she helped establish and became the Director of the Women’s Development Bank, which includes a non-profit department that extends small start-up loans to rural women. She now holds a Trustee position at the Bank. Her commitment to the social advancement and economic empowerment of women in South Africa has found cause for her to reside on a number of other national and international boards of institutions that promote such social and economic development.
- Mrs Adame Ba KonareWriter and Historian, former First Lady of Mali, former First Lady of the African UnionMrs Adame Ba Konare
Mrs Konaré, writer and historian, is widely recognized and respected for her leadership in promoting help to the underprivileged and the excluded, and has written a number of books and delivered many speeches on these subjects. She is the wife of Alpha Oumar Konaré, the former Chairperson of the African Union and former President of Mali. Before she became the first lady of Mali, she taught at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Bamako, where she was head of the History-Geography department. As an historian she wrote a dictionary of famous women in Mali in which she compiled bibliographies of prominent Malian women, most of them active in the education, health or welfare sectors. She founded and directed the Fondation Partage, a benevolence organisation supporting the underprivileged, and founded the Musée de la Femme, to promote the role of women in Africa.
- Mrs Barbara HendricksOpera Singer, UNHCR Goodwill AmbassadorMrs Barbara Hendricks
Ms Hendricks, the greatly admired American soprano, has worked actively with the UNHCR as one of its Goodwill Ambassadors since 1987, visiting refugee camps throughout the world. At the end of 1991 and 1993, she gave two solidarity concerts in the former Yugoslavia (Dubrovnik and Sarajevo), and in 1998 she founded the Barbara Hendricks Foundation for Peace and Reconciliation, to assist in the prevention of conflicts throughout the world and to facilitate reconciliation and enduring peace where conflicts have already occurred. Barbara Hendricks has received numerous awards for her artistic achievements and humanitarian work: a Doctorat Honoris Causa from the University of Louvain in Belgium (1990), Doctor in Law from the University of Dundee in Scotland (1992), Doctor of Music from the Nebraska Wesleyan University (1988), Doctorat Honoris Causa from the University of Grenoble in France (1996), and an Honorary Doctor of Music from the Juilliard School of Music in New York (2000). In 1986, the French government made Barbara Hendricks a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1992, she was awarded the rank of Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by President François Mitterrand. She has greatly supported the RET since its inception in 2000, and currently lives in Sweden with her family.
- Dr Kamal HossainBarrister-at Law and Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, BangladeshDr Kamal Hossain
Kamal Hossain is a Barrister-at-Law and Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is an active member in many organizations, including the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, and chairs the Advisory Council of Transparency International. He has travelled on numerous missions, including the Human Rights Mission to Indonesia (relating to the situation in East Timor) with Forum-Asia, the Hong Kong Pre-Election Mission with the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the Commonwealth Election Observers’ Mission to Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He received a degree in Civil Law and a PhD in International Law from Oxford University.
- Professor Henry RosovskyFormer Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard UniversityProfessor Henry Rosovsky
Professor Henry Rosovsky is an American economist and university administrator. He has been the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University twice in his career, and served as Acting President of the Academic Institution in 1984 and 1987. Professor Rosovsky received his BA degree in 1949 from the College of William and Mary and his PhD from Harvard in 1959. He taught economics, history and Japanese studies at the University of California at Berkeley until 1965. He has taught as a visiting professor in Japan and Israel and has worked variously as a consultant with the United States government, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and UNESCO. In 2000, Professor Rosovsky chaired the Task Force on Higher Education and Society with Mamphela Ramphele. The Task Force was convened by the World Bank and UNESCO to explore the future of higher education in developing countries. He is the author of several articles, academic writings and books, and continues to be a front-runner in the fight for higher education in developing countries.
- Mr Arnauld AkodjenouUN Special Envoy to Côte d’Ivoire, DSRSG/ONUCI, Former Inspector Gen. UNHCRMr Arnauld Akodjenou
Mr Akodjenu has been an employee of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees since 1986 for which he was Inspector General. He started at UNHCR working as an Associate Social Services Officer in Dikhil, Djibouti. Since then, he has continued to work in various roles within the international organisation, all over the world, including Djibouti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Geneva, Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. He now holds the position of Director, Division of Operational Support in Geneva HQ, having previously held the title of Director of Emergency and Security Services. He holds an MA in History and Geography from the University of Benin, a Masters in International Relations from the IRIC of Cameroon, an MA in International Relations and Political Science and a Doctorate in Political Science, both from the Graduate Institute of International Studies of Geneva (HEI).
- Mr Frederic VallatFormer Treasurer and Board Member of the RET, Director, Department of Social Cohesion and Solidarity, City of GenevaMr Frederic Vallat
Frederic Vallat has worked for over ten years in auditing and consulting firms (in particular Arthur Andersen, Ernst & Young, BearingPoint). He has held numerous assignments in both the public and voluntary sectors. In March 2004, Mr Vallat took over the position as the Finance Directorate of Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Switzerland. A Certified Accountant, Frederic Vallat holds a Diploma in Communication and Public Management from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration and Communication. Since 1999, he has continued to host several courses in accounting and auditing, notably at the Swiss Academy of Accounting, and at the University of Geneva.
RET's Global HeadquartersOur Office in Geneva, Switzerland
- Zeynep GündüzCEO & Executive DirectorZeynep Gündüz
Zeynep has been RET International’s Chief Executive since 2003, launching the re-engineering of RET International since its original conception in December, 2000 and operational launch in May, 2001. RET International has grown fifteenfold during these last few years, and continues to expand both geographically and thematically, as the needs for protection and education of the vulnerable young people, displaced by conflict, violence and disasters grow. Zeynep heads a dynamic team of 1000+ dedicated, passionate professionals from Asia, Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, North America and the Middle East responsible over the last 15 years for RET operations in 28 countries, over 150 projects and programmes, directly benefiting over 1 million learners and educators, and nearly 5 million persons, including family beneficiaries. Zeynep joined the RET in 2003, after 23 years in the private sector, where she worked in senior and executive management of large multinational corporations of the Fortune 500 in the automotive and telecommunications sectors, where she was primarily responsible for marketing, communications, public relations, advertising, sponsorships, and corporate social responsibility, responsible for budgets of approximately USD 100 million. Zeynep served on the boards of various philanthropic causes before joining the RET, having also developed CSR strategy and launched a foundation for a leading telecommunications corporation. She graduated from New York University, Stern School of Business with an M.B.A. in Marketing and International Business in 1984, and a Bachelor of Science in 1980. Zeynep is originally from Istanbul, raised in New York City, has resided in a number of cities around the world with her career, and currently resides in Geneva, Switzerland with her family.
- Guillaume VillardChief Operations OfficerGuillaume Villard
Guillaume, Geneva born and a Swiss citizen, has worked for over thirty years in the private sector all over the world, most recently for Hewlett Packard. He joined the RET in early 2005 to become the Head of Operations, and travels widely overseeing and managing all of the RET’s projects worldwide throughout this time.
- Dr Marina Anselme-LopezChief Technical OfficerDr Marina Anselme-Lopez
Before joining RET International Maria has worked for the National University of Cordoba, Argentina as an Assistant of Professors and Researcher. In addition, she worked for the Ministry of Health & Environmental Affaires (Cordoba Province), for an Argentinian National NGO and in the private education sector as a teacher and as a head of the Department of Youth Social Responsibility & Community Engagement. When she moved to Switzerland, she started working for RET as our first Education officer, and subsequently as Education Programme Development Manager, while finishing her PhD on Social Sciences, with a specialization in Sociology and Demography Studies from the Sorbonne University, René Descartes Paris V and Geneva University, Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences. Marina then left RET for 3 years to continue perfecting her academic/research skills. During that time, she entered the Education University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, HES – SO as both Researcher and Professor of Sociology. She also worked as a consultant for UNHCR in collaboration with the UN Human Rights Council on issues related to the right to education of refugees and forcefully displaced people. She published articles in Forced Migration Review and ID21 Insights. Her academic background not only includes her PhD, but also a Masters from the Sorbonne University in ‘Culture and Social Behaviours Studies’ and her Undergraduate in Social Work from the National University of Cordoba, Argentina. Marina is now our Chief Technical Officer contributing her valuable knowledge to overseeing programme development, monitoring & evaluation and knowledge management, as well as representing RET International at different technical global fora such as INEE, the Education Cluster, the Global Compact for Youth in Humanitarian Action, RECI, etc. Marina speaks English, French and Spanish.
- Benjamin LachatChief of StaffBenjamin Lachat
After having worked for several years in Egypt as an Egyptologist, Benjamin started his humanitarian career in 2012 with RET in Chad as an Education Officer. After completing his second Masters he joined RET’s HQ team in Geneva as Deputy Chief of Operations. As such he assists RET’s Chief Operations Officer globally even if he currently focuses his attention on RET’s African projects. Benjamin holds Masters in Egyptology and History, from the University of Geneva, as well as a Masters in Political History & International Relations from the Graduate Institute of Geneva, Switzerland. Benjamin has travelled extensively around the world, in particular in Africa, he speaks French and English and has working knowledge of German as well as Arabic.
- Morris Muriithi NjagiGlobal Internal Audit & Compliance ManagerMorris Muriithi Njagi
After starting his career as an audit intern with Ernst and Young, Morris went on to accumulate over 8 years of experience with the international accounting firm PKF, before becoming a consultant for PwC as an Accounting & Finance Specialist. He gained vast knowledge in diverse areas of finance and accounting including taxation, compliance, risk and financial management as well as practical experience in application of IFRSs, IASs, US-GAAPS, IPSAS and ISAs in various sectors including manufacturing, service and hospitality, International NGOs, FBOs, among others. Morris also has a rich cultural background after having worked in various countries in Africa including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Sudan, S. Sudan, Niger and Burkina Faso. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in accounting and is a Certified Public Accountant. Morris speaks excellent English and Swahili and is currently studying French.
- Dr Youmna GhosnGlobal Monitoring & Evaluation ManagerDr Youmna Ghosn
- Dr Bahadır Engina.i. Global Human Resources ManagerDr Bahadır Engin
Bahadır started working with RET International in August 2016 as Head of Human Recources in Turkey. Before joining us, he had been working in senior managerial positions in the areas of human resources management and labor & industrial relations with several multicultural and international companies, both in Turkey (such as with Turk Telekom) and abroad. Today, he is RET International’s a.i. Global Human Resources Manager. Bahadır has also previously worked for 7 years as Labour Inspector at the Turkish Ministry of Labour and Social Security, where he conducted inspections in workplaces of several sectors in the areas of labour law, trade union and collective bargaining agreement legislation, occupational health and safety and social security law. During this period he also led European Union founded social policy and employment projects. He has a Bachelor's and MSc degree in Engineering and in 2015 he completed his PhD degree in Social Policy and Employment: Labour Relations & Working Conditions. Bahadır is fluent in Turkish, English and German.
- Jennifer RoeRegional Director - Technical Programmes, East & Central AfricaJennifer Roe
Jenny joined RET in 2012, bring with her over 20 years of experience in formal education for youth, in Latin America, Africa and Europe. She has developed and delivered training programmes for educators on three continents, specialising in learner-centred and participatory approaches. Additionally Jenny has worked on non-formal education projects for adolescents, such as those for unaccompanied minors in Bogotà and Medellin. Her recent Masters in Gender and International Development, where she specialised in women’s empowerment through literacy programmes in Afghanistan, has made Jenny ideally placed in RET. She is actively involved in developing meaningful educational components for RET’s programmes, and relevant training packages for both staff and participants. Since joining RET she has shared her expertise in the field in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Chad and Afghanistan.
- Abeer El GazzawiRegional Director - Technical Programmes, the Silk RouteAbeer El Gazzawi
- Yazmina ZambranoTechnical Advisor & Reporting Manager Latin America & the CaribbeanYazmina Zambrano
Yazmina Zambrano Yazmina has a degree in Public Relations Applied to International Languages, a Masters in Social Communication, and has completed Postgraduate studies in Early Childhood Psychology. She has completed complementary training in Strategic Planning (USAID Training Programme), Migration and Public Policies (Andean University), Human Trafficking (International Programme in Washington D.C.), Project Development and Management, Project Design, Monitoring and Evaluation, Citizen Participation, Political Lobbying, Human Talent, Human Rights (migration, children and women) and HIV/AIDS. Yazmina has ten years’ experience in international cooperation, managing projects benefiting vulnerable groups. She has been employed as a coordinator for fundraising, a coordinator for Global Solidarity, and has been responsible for the design of Institutional Communication Tools. In addition, she was a volunteer facilitator for recuperation processes for female victims of intra-family violence with the Centre for Integral Development.
- Marc HariCommunications ManagerMarc Hari
Marc joined RET after having worked for the World Intellectual Property Organization and the International Olympic Committee. He started as a RET intern in Colombia, before becoming our Regional Monitor for Latin America & the Caribbean, moving from Bogota to our Regional Office in Panama. After a year and a half in Latin America, he returned to Switzerland, but kept a strong tie with RET, acting as a consultant in various communications issues. In August 2012, he joined RET’s Secretariat as Communications Officer. Marc has a deeply rooted international background, having lived in Brazil, the Philippines, the United States, Colombia, Panama and Switzerland and speaks French, English and Spanish. He holds a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. In 2014, after having successfully completed a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Corporate Communications from the Fribourg School of Management, Marc became Communications Manager.
- Markel R. Méndez HGlobal Project Communications ManagerMarkel R. Méndez H
Markel holds a Master’s in Communication for Social Development, is certificated in Psychodrama and obtained a Diploma in Design of Educational Projects using Information and Communication Technologies. Before joining RET Intenrational, Markel was an Associate Researcher of the Investigation Centre for Communications at Andres Bello University. Today he can claim 21 years of experience working with NGOs in communications for social development and social Change. Markel is passionate about theatre and participates frequently in plays, both as actor and director. Father and husband, he learns about life every day.
- Marilena GencoAdministrative AssistantMarilena Genco
Marilena joined the RET’s team in HQ in early 2013, as Administrative Assistant. Before, she had worked many years in the private sector, mainly in Luxembourg where she grew up. Marilena speaks five languages and has developed her career in various sectors such as Finance and Advertising. She has extensive experience as a Legal Administrative Assistant, specifically in the intellectual property departments of large multinational corporations.
- Larissa RhynKnowledge Management AnalystLarissa Rhyn
Larissa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Zurich and is currently finishing her Master’s in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. Her Master’s thesis, for which she recently conducted field research in Bogotá, focuses on the reintegration of former combatants of the FARC, ELN and paramilitary forces in Colombia. Larissa joined RET International after having worked as an intern for the Geneva Center for Security Policy. She has three years of experience working as a freelance journalist for a Swiss regional newspaper and speaks English, German, French and Spanish.
Regional StaffConnecting Countries, Operations and Teams
- George Kihara-Thang’waRegional Director – Operations, East & Central AfricaGeorge Kihara-Thang’wa
George has a Bachelors degree in Education from Moi University from 1994, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Mass Communication from the University of Nairobi from 2002. Currently heading up the entire Africa team, he works in the Regional Office in Nairobi though travels widely in Africa between all projects (current and planned). He has worked for multiple organisations in Rwanda, Kenya, Chad, Yugoslavia and Belgium, and worked as the RET’s Programme Manager for Chad between 2005 and 2008, before being promoted to Regional Manager. In 2012, George was appointed Regional Director for Africa.
- Remi MannaertDirector of RET in Latin America & the CaribbeanRemi Mannaert
Remi has over eighteen years of professional and managerial experience in international cooperation and in the private sector. He has a BSc in Psychology and an MA in International Business, and after spending a couple of years in the private sector followed by work with UNCTAD, he moved to the RET Headquarters in Geneva in 2002 where he worked in Resource Mobilization and then as Development Manager. Since 2008 he has worked as Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, where he was responsible for contributing to the growth of the RET in Ecuador, launching the organisation in Colombia in 2008, in Panama in 2009, in Costa Rica in 2010, Venezuela in 2012 and Belize in 2015. Remi is fluent in English, French and Spanish, and has advanced knowledge of Portuguese.
- Angela Maria Escobar CastañedaDeputy Director of RET in Latin America & the CaribbeanAngela Maria Escobar Castañeda
Angela Maria has wide experience in International Law and as a Human Rights Specialist, and has been an International Delegate of the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies – IFRC for Emergencies Intervention. As National Head of Protection in the Colombian Red Cross for 9 years and International Delegate for emergencies, she has also worked with vulnerable populations for the Red Cross in Venezuela, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. She spent some time working as National Coordinator for the identification, formulation, implementation and evaluation of international cooperation projects for the (Spanish) Global Humanitarian Foundation. She has written multiple articles on humanitarian action, protection, psychosocial attention and disaster response.
- TBARegional Finance & Administration Manager – East and Central AfricaTBA
- Zuleyka MaynardRegional Internal Audit Manager RET in Latin America & the CaribbeanZuleyka Maynard
Zuleyka is a Panamanian citizen and arrived at RET in May 2015. She has a degree in Animal Biology from the University of Panama, and has also conducted studies in finance, has a master's degree in Business Management and an MBA in Banking and Finance from the Central American Institute of Business Administration (INCAE Business School). She has extensive experience working in international organizations. Initially, she worked in scientific research and environmental education for more than a decade at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. She has worked as Managing Director in scientific institutions and as Manager of Public Programs focused on environmental education. She also worked for several years at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent as Senior Resource Mobilization Officer and participated in several emergency operations due to the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile in 2010. She has extensive experience in administration of grants and grants from international aid agencies. She has experience in capacity building and fundraising and speaks Spanish and English.
- Mutlu YetkinRegional Communications Officer Silk Route & East and Central AfricaMutlu Yetkin
Country TeamsLeadership at the Local Level
- Moqim QaumiCountry Director RET in AfghanistanMoqim Qaumi
Moqim received a Bachelor’s degree from the Institute of Pedagogy in Kabul in 1987, having also studied Physics, Mathematics, History and Politics during his student years. He has a strong background in Administration, Planning and Public Communications from working for the Ministry of Telecommunications in Kabul from 1992 to 1995. Between 1995 and 2002, due to the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, he lived with his family as a refugee in Pakistan and worked as a shopkeeper. Between 2002 and 2003 he volunteered as a master trainer for the Norwegian Refugee Council. Between August 2003 and 2007 he worked for the RET as Programme Assistant in Peshawar, and since 2007 he has worked as Programme Manager in Kabul, Afghanistan.
- Malenie BarnesCountry Director RET in BelizeMalenie Barnes
Malenie Barnes has a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies from the University of the West Indies. During and for a period after her studies she worked in mainly in the Finance Management field and has extensive experience with international Donor financial systems such as the European Union, USAID / OFDA, DFID, and the Global Fund to name a few. In 2009, she started working with the Belize Red Cross as a Finance Officer and in 2013 assumed the position of Deputy Director General with responsibility for the supervision of programs and operational functions, including human resources, finance and administration. Over the past 7 years she have become more proficient in the area of program/project management, monitoring and evaluation, and increased knowledge in and implementation of community based actions around disaster preparedness and response; health, including HIV/AIDs; youth empowerment, including violence prevention; and livelihoods. She was also privileged to be selected to participate in the IFRC’s Humanitarian Diplomacy Training Course; completed successfully and began implementing techniques. She has now joined RET as National Coordinator for Belize.
- Murielle NdikumazamboCountry Director RET in BurundiMurielle Ndikumazambo
Murielle graduated from the Light University of Bujumbura in Management and Administration in 2007. She is now completing a Masters in International Development from ‘Institut Africain de Gestion des Risques Economiques et Financiers et du Développement International’. She has been a member of the Association of Scout of Burundi (ASB) since 1995 and the Association for the Promotion of Burundian Girls (APFB) since 2002. Between 2006 and 2009, she consecutively served the two organizations as Project Coordinator before joining the RET where she started working as Education Officer in September 2009. She then worked as UNHCR Project Coordinator up to 2012. In 2012, she worked for the Social Fund for Development of the Embassy of France as a Development Officer, in charge of subsidizing NGOs involved in the development sector in Burundi. She reintegrated the RET in October 2014 as Program Manager. Throughout her professional experience she has been able to further develop and utilize her technical skills in project management and development to handle complex and multifaceted tasks, showing a sense of initiative, creativity and enthusiasm.
- Rolando MoralesCountry Director RET in ColombiaRolando Morales
- Christiane EppelinCountry Director RET in Costa RicaChristiane Eppelin
Christiane Eppelin has a Psychology Degree from University of Costa Rica and a Certificate in Human Rights, Gender and Public Policies. Before joining RET as National Programme Coordinator for RET in Costa Rica, she worked with OSA (Office for Monitoring and Consultancy of Projects) serving as Project Officer for Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica. Previously she taught at the National University of Costa Rica in the Schools of Psychology and Education. Christiane has researched and published articles in gender equity and rights for children and youth. She is fluent in Spanish and French and has working knowledge of English.
- Félicien HatungimanaCountry Director RET in ChadFélicien Hatungimana
Felicien holds an Associates Degree in General Psychology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Science Education from the University of Burundi, and Graduate Certificates in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from the Conflict Management Group [Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA], and in Peacebuilding from the School for International Training of Vermont [USA] Cape Town [South Africa]. Felicien has over 22 years of professional experience, of which 10 are in progressive leadership positions. This experience has been gained through the overall management of several UN and US-funded programs in West, Central and East Africa as well as through various shorter-term consultancies. He has taught many courses nationally and internationally and has authored several publications on topics related to his field of expertise. Before joining RET International in Chad, he worked for many NGOs, managing several peacebuilding programs in insecure regions where limited resources fuel inter-clan tensions.
- Dieudonné OmbeniCountry Director RET in the DRCDieudonné Ombeni
Dieudonné Ombeni obtained a graduate degree in English and African culture at the Pedagogic Higher Institute of Bukavu DR Congo in 2004. He also achieved a degree in Administration and Project Management from the “Université Libre des Pays de Grand Lacs” of Uvira in DR Congo, in 2014. Before joining RET International, Dieudonné worked as a Project Coordinator with women for Women International, with ZOA International and War Child Holland in the DR Congo.
- Maria Antonia GonzalezCountry Director RET in EcuadorMaria Antonia Gonzalez
Maria Antonia Gonzalez has a degree in Political Science and Administration, specializing in Latin American Studies from the Complutense University of Madrid. She is an expert in Gender Equality and is currently pursuing a Masters in International Management and Project Management, with the General Foundation at the University of Salamanca in Spain. She has 15 years of experience in International Cooperation, and has worked in various international NGOs in Spain, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Guatemala. She has worked with varied issues including with: Spanish cooperation programs and local governments, coordinating projects in different areas of development, in education with adolescents and youth in contexts of vulnerability, south migration processes, north and south, elimination of child labour, area of labour rights and human rights, vocational, and occupational training, maternal and child health projects, gender equality, post-disaster reconstruction, water and sanitation, risk management, as well as in microfinance and productive partnership projects. She specializes in the management of development and cooperation activities, through the Logical Framework Approach and according to the standards of the Project Management Institute (PMI), and manages tools and coaching skills, team management and organizational strengthening.
- Daria ZanniRET Germany Programme OfficerDaria Zanni
Daria has joined RET International after having gained her professional experience at the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in the Human Security Division, where she provided support peacebuilding projects in different African regions. She also worked as a French teacher in Zurich. She holds a Joint Degree Master of Arts in Religion – Economics – Politics of the Universities of Basel, Lucerne and Zurich (JDP) and speaks German, English and French.
- Genta AkasakiRET Japan RepresentativeGenta Akasaki
In 2014, after having worked in Japanese private sector for nearly 4 years and a half, Genta started to pursue his humanitarian career with RET to establish RET Japan as a Japanese NPO while completing his Master of Development Studies at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, in Geneva, Switzerland. After his master, he spent 8 months in Turkey to assist Syrians while also working for RET Japan as representative for various activities with Japanese youth. Presently, Genta is based in Chad to assist RET projects in the south and the east of the country, gathering knowledge that he will then be able to better transfer to RET Japan. Genta also holds a Bachelor of political science of Keio University (Tokyo, Japan), which included an exchange programme at SciencesPo Paris from 2007-2008 (Paris, France) and speaks English, French and Japanese fluently.
- Regina MuchaiCountry Director RET in KenyaRegina Muchai
Regina has a master of science in Geo-information and Earth observation in urban planning and management from ITC the Netherlands. After her studies, she briefly worked as a planner in private sector in Nairobi where she focused on upgrading slums and small unplanned towns. She later moved to Dadaab refugee camps where she was intensely involved in setting up of the new refugee camps. She then progressed to work as a camp manager with Lutheran World Federation where she worked both in the developmental stages of the camps and during the 2011-12 refugee influx. She coordinated over 15 humanitarian agencies that were providing various services in the camps. She therefore has enormous experience working with refugees and vulnerable communities. Before joining RET in November 2012, she worked with Save the Children (UK) now Save the children International where she focused on Child Protection and education programming. She is currently in charge of the Kenya RET programme.
- Acacia PolatianCountry Director RET in LebanonAcacia Polatian
Born in Beirut, Acacia completed her BA in Political Science and International Affairs, with an emphasis on developmental studies at the Lebanese American University. She later earned yher Master’s degree in International Affairs and Diplomacy from Lancaster University (UK). Prior to joining RET, she was responsible for the implementation of multiple programmes in Lebanon and the region of the Middle East and North Africa at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, in Lebanon. She has recently joined RET as the National Coordinator for RET Liban.
- Robson DiasCountry Director RET in MexicoRobson Dias
- Magnolia SantamaríaCountry Director RET in PanamaMagnolia Santamaría
Magnolia graduated from the Central University of Venezuela as an architect, and has a Master in International Cooperation Projects from the Autonomous University of Madrid; she has complemented graduate studies courses on “Integrated Risk and Disaster Management” at the University of Manizales; “International Refugee Law” at the University of Panama; “Community Integration Strategies” at the Specialised University of the Americas and “Design and Implementation of Monitoring and Evaluation Systems for Social Projects and International Cooperation” with the National University of Central Peru. For over 10 years she worked as a consultant for the Latin American and the Caribbean on issues related to reducing the risk of disasters and humanitarian assistance, with emphasis on education and urban risk, working for different agencies of the United Nations System and the International cooperation, among which are the World Bank, UNICEF, UNISDR, OCHA, PAHO / WHO, Plan International, Intermon-Oxfam and USAID / OFDA. At government level she served for over 10 years as national director of educational infrastructure for the Ministry of Education of Venezuela. She joined RET’s team in 2012 as Head of Mission in Panama. She has taught for over 20 years, being a guest professor at the Andres Bello Catholic University and the Central University of Venezuela, the University of Cuyo in Argentina, the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo and the Henry Dunant Foundation in Chile. She has taught more than a hundred courses, seminars and lectures nationally and internationally and has authored several articles and publications on topics related to her field of expertise.
- Göksu KoçCountry Director RET in TurkeyGöksu Koç
Göksu holds B.A. degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the Middle East Technical University (METU), Ankara, Turkey. She also completed an interdisciplinary double-degree programme in Social Sciences of METU and the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Göksu joined RET International in 2012, while she was completing her master in Berlin. She then became a key actor in RET's registration and launching of operations in Turkey, gaining a profound understanding of the Syrian Crisis, its impact on the region, as well as, strong management and relationship building skills. Göksu is now RET International's National Coordinator in Turkey, she is fluent in Turkish and English, with a basic level of German.
- Marisol FüvesCountry Director RET in VenezuelaMarisol Füves