We believe each life mattersWe relieve human suffering in hard to reach places.
Medair is an impartial, independent, and neutral humanitarian organisation inspired by Christian faith to save lives and relieve human suffering in the world’s most difficult-to-reach and devastated places. Since 1989, we’ve been helping people in crisis – regardless of race, creed or nationality – That the world’s most vulnerable and difficult-to-reach people living in dignity, free from human suffering, and with hope for a better future.
HEALTH & NUTRITION
at Medair supported
WATER & SANITATION
to safe water
You can save lives
GLOBAL SUPPORT OFFICE
Chemin du Croset 9
+41 (0)21 694 35 35
Chemin des Mines 2
Sécheron, 1202 Genève
+41 (0)21 694 35 35
Gangnam-gu, Seoul (06126)
+82 (0) 10 6215 4259
CH – 8001 Zürich
+41 (0)43 268 22 00
+41 (0)79 413 88 88
PO Box 4476
Wheaton, IL 60189-4476
+1 866 599 1795
+49 (0) 611 17265-360
333 Canterbury Court
1-3 Brixton Road
London SW9 6DE
+44 (0)20 8772 0100
The people that drive the vision
David Verboom, Chief Executive Officer
David became Medair’s Chief Executive Officer in 2018. David has more than 25 years of experience in the humanitarian and private sectors, including 20 years of field experience in East Africa, Asia, and the Middle East where he led national and regional humanitarian responses for organisations, including Medair, ZOA, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), and World Vision International.
David studied at the High Technical College of Automotive Engineering in the Netherlands, and has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Twente School of Management, the Netherlands.
As Chief Executive Officer, David holds the highest responsibility for leading and developing the organisation’s strategic, financial, and project management capacities worldwide.
David is a Dutch national. He is married to Inge and they have three children.
Executive Office and Legal Director
Patrick joined Medair in October 2021 as Executive Office and Legal Director.
Patrick has practised law for a number of years in both private practice and in business roles. He graduated in history and law from St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and completed the Law Society Finals Course at the College of Law in Chester in the UK. Patrick began his legal career with Allen & Overy in London and Budapest, and later as Legal Advisor for PPP Healthcare Limited in the UK. He moved to Nestlé in Switzerland in 2003 where he held senior management positions working in Mergers and Acquisitions and serving as General Counsel for both Nestlé Nutrition and Galderma. Patrick was also a member of the Medair IBoT for three years until joining Medair full-time.
As Executive Office and Legal Director he manages Medair’s governance practices and oversees Medair’s legal and compliance affairs. Patrick is also currently serving as the interim Finance Director for Medair.
Patrick is British and married to Janine who is schoolteacher. They have three children.
International Programmes Director
Anne joined Medair in 2004 and has since led Medair’s programmes in Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, and overseen Medair’s programmes in Somalia and Somaliland from the Global Support Office. In 2019, Anne became International Programmes Director.
Before joining Medair, Anne worked as a social worker. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the North West University Potchefstroom in South Africa, and a master’s degree in Counselling from CTS in Saint Louis, Missouri in the US.
As International Programmes Director, Anne oversees Medair’s country programmes and the Global Emergency Response Team.
Anne is a Dutch national and lives in Switzerland.
Human Resources Director
Cynthia joined Medair in 2015 as Human Resources Director.
With more than 20 years of experience in human resources and organisational development, Cynthia has worked in the private, public, and non-governmental sectors with international organisations such PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barclays Bank, and World Vision International.
Cynthia holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ghana, and a master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies from the University of Westminster, United Kingdom.
In her role, Cynthia leads the development and management of Medair’s human resources worldwide.
Cynthia is a Ghanaian national. She and her husband, Kwame, have four children.
Information Technology Services Director and Logistics Director
Heidi became Information Technology Services Director in 2019. Previously, Heidi was Country Director for Medair’s programmes in Nepal, the Philippines, and Myanmar.
Heidi has more than 20 years of experience in management and information technology in both the private and humanitarian sectors. She studied Telecommunications Management, holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, and a graduate certificate in International Development from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Heidi oversees Medair’s information technology and communications resources worldwide, and supports country programmes in harnessing innovation and technology to increase Medair’s global impact.
Heidi is Australian and lives in Switzerland.
Jean-Bernard studied at HEC in Paris. He began his career with L’Oréal in Finland then in France as a business controller. A few years later, he moved to the Bourjois-Chanel Group where he held different positions in controlling, business development and sales.
In 2005, he moved with his family to Switzerland to work for Nestlé. After a couple of years as a project leader in marketing and innovation, he spent ten years as global marketing manager contributing to the launch and worldwide roll-out of the Nescafé Dolce Gusto brand.
In 2017, he created his own consulting company working for religious communities, to help them define and execute a long term vision and balance between community life and economic activities.
Jean-Bernard is both Swiss and French, is married with Claire and they have 5 children.
International Board of Trustees
James Featherby (British)
James has many years experience in the international charitable and business sectors, with a particular emphasis on governance and the application of his Christian faith in all walks of life. He worked in the City of London for 30 years, and for 20 of these as a corporate partner of Slaughter and May, one of the City’s leading international law firms. Whilst there, he led or founded numerous Christian initiatives.
For six years, he was chair of the committee advising Europe’s largest ethical investor on ethical investment, and particularly helped to re-orientate its approach to climate change and the global extractives industry. James works with YWAM, one of Medair’s founding partners, and from 2015-2021, he was chair of The British and Foreign Bible Society.
James has written and spoken extensively on the need for business to better serve the common good, and is the general editor of a book on global business and human rights. He has a degree in theology and law from Cambridge University. James is married, with five adult children and 10 grandchildren. He is passionate about the countryside and seeing young people fulfil their potential.
Fraser Bell (British)
Fraser is a consultant to non-profit boards that are going through CEO leadership transitions. Previously he led the Global Development practice of an Executive Search firm, helping INGOs, foundations, and UN agencies to appoint senior leaders.
Fraser has a long history with Medair, having first served in South Sudan in 1997. He also established the UK affiliate office, led Medair’s emergency response in Darfur, and served as Country Director in Uganda.
Fraser brings a broad range of governance experience with UK organisations. He is a trustee of Urban Devotion, governor at Bluecoat Academy, and serves as an elder at Heart Church. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Hampton Manor. Fraser earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters in Public International Law from the University of Nottingham.
Rachel Forster MBE (British)
Rachel is a UK-qualified lawyer who has worked in London for international and national blue-chip clients. In 1997, she decided to join Medair and made a huge, life-changing move to South Sudan, shifting from working with the wealthy and privileged in London to serving the poor and forgotten in the Global South.
What was initially meant to be a 2-year experience turned into a 16-year adventure in East Africa working in aid and then development. Rachel advised international NGOs and institutional donors on legal and governance issues, advocacy and justice campaigning but more importantly met so many inspirational people along the way which enriched her life perspective and vision.
Rachel has been instrumental in, and has convened, a wide range of governance structures and organisational committees within church communities as well as professionally. As Secretariat to the multi-donor group on Private Sector Development and Trade, she coordinated the work of major bilateral and multilateral donors in Tanzania in private sector development and trade. She is a linguist who is passionate about the value of cross-cultural communication and of bringing different communities together for mutual benefit.
Rachel was awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire) honour by the Queen in 2015 for “services to international development, humanitarian relief and poverty reduction”.
Jean-Claude Gottraux (Swiss)
Jean-Claude has more than 35 years of broad leadership experience, having occupied multiple senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical and IVD (In Vitro Diagnostics) industry with Roche in 10 different countries on five continents.
Since retiring in 2018, he has focused on various volunteering and philanthropic activities. Jean-Claude is Council Chair of the International Protestant Church in Zurich and is also a member of the Ashoka Support Network.
Prior to serving on Medair’s International Board of Trustees, Jean-Claude had been working closely with Medair since 2018, providing valuable coaching and strategic support.
Anne Headon (Swiss and French)
Anne is an international business leader operating at the board level with a strong strategy, innovation, and marketing background. She is a business mentor supporting start-ups and scale-ups, in collaboration with leading universities in Switzerland and the UK. Anne is currently a member of four corporate boards and one non-profit board (Medair). She was a past board member of two non-profit and two corporate boards.
Anne works as Growth Expert and Tutor in the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Said Business School of the University of Oxford. Prior to this, Anne was co-founder and partner of Crescendo Marketing in Switzerland, a market research and marketing strategy agency. She served as Marketing Director of the L’Oreal Group in the UK and worked in brand management for Procter & Gamble in Switzerland. Her first career steps were in management consulting with McKinsey & Co in Switzerland.
Anne earned a Master of Science in Business with honours from HEC Lausanne (Faculté des Hautes Études Commerciales), where she later served as a Business Advisory Board Member. She also holds an MBA from INSEAD (the European Institute of Business Administration) in France.
Samson Kambarami (Zimbabwean)
Samson (Sam) currently works as Chief of Section, Financial Resources Management, at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Bonn, Germany. He brings to the International Board of Trustees a unique combination of humanitarian experience, financial expertise, and a passion for corporate governance and good stewardship, all motivated by his Christian faith.
Sam worked exclusively in the humanitarian sector for more than 15 years, both in the field and in HQ settings, with World Vision, Save the Children, and Lutheran World Federation. Sam first encountered Medair when he was in Angola from 2002 to 2008, and he came away deeply impressed by the professionalism of the team and inspired by their faith motivation.
Sam’s primary expertise is in finance, administration, and grant management, with an extensive background in external and internal auditing. From 2011 to 2017, he worked for UNICEF in Geneva as Finance Manager for the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division. He then moved to the UNICEF sub-regional office in South Africa as Deputy Representative, Operations with responsibility for managing the operations function for four countries.
Benoit Mandosse (Swiss)
Benoit is currently a partner with Dominicé & Co, working as Head of Private Asset Management. Early in his career, he served as a manager for Arthur Andersen in London and Geneva, where he worked in auditing and bank reorganization.
Benoit later moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers in Geneva, where he implemented a banking software system and reviewed several financial institutions. Prior to his current position with Dominicé & Co, Benoit worked with Lombard Odier & Cie Geneva, a private bank, with a focus on wealthy foreigners resident in Switzerland.
Benoit is also on the board of the Papoose Foundation.
Thabani Maphosa (Zimbabwean)
Thabani is the Managing Director of Country Programmes for Gavi, a world-class global health NGO. Based in Geneva, he oversees operations in 73 countries, managing Gavi’s relationships with governments and providing grant management oversight.
Prior to joining Gavi, Thabani worked with World Vision International for over 16 years, climbing through the ranks to the senior-most levels of global humanitarian operations.
Thabani is an outstanding leader in the humanitarian sector, with gifts in horizon-scanning for trends in the global INGO and health sectors, and insight into how to create strong programme quality and expertise in partnership building.
David Masua (Ugandan and South Sudanese)
David serves as the Executive Director of Windle Trust International, a well-regarded education NGO working in the East and Horn of Africa region. He has worked as an education professional for over 20 years, including as the Windle Trust International Country Director in South Sudan for over 10 years.
David travels regularly across East Africa, including Sudan and South Sudan. He maintains strong government and donor relations in the region and a deep insight into the challenges and opportunities of working in these contexts. As a former refugee himself, David brings insights based on lived experience to the challenges facing displaced people.
David holds an MBA from the University of Nottingham, an MA in Educational Research from Durham University, and an MSc in Education and Training for Development from the University of Reading.
Chidi Okpala (Nigerian)
Chidi has built and managed businesses across 25 countries in West, East, Central, and Southern Africa. A strong strategic thinker and successful entrepreneur, he currently splits his time between his businesses’ head offices in Nairobi and Dubai.
Chidi has a background in applying new technologies to large-scale business change. He also has an extensive track record in Strategy Consulting, Retail Financial Services, FinTech, Financial Inclusion, and Corporate Venturing.
Elizabeth Uriyo (American and Tanzanian)
A native of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Elizabeth is a passionate business leader who brings over 20 years of for-profit and non-profit experience in strategy development and integrated execution, organisational design, research and development, innovation, and food security. She is led by her Christian faith and life experiences growing up in Tanzania during a time of conflict.
Most recently, this led her to join Compassion International (a $1 billion Christian INGO serving children in poverty), where she served as a global executive team member overseeing strategy, execution, global communications, and public affairs. Prior to Compassion, Elizabeth worked in the food industry for 20 years where she held positions of increasing responsibility with The Kellogg Company and served as vice president of research and development at Cargill.
She is currently serving as a consultant in sustainable food production and environmental stewardship in Tanzania to help develop resilience to global warming and climate change. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. in Grain Science and Industry from Kansas State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.
Peter Wilson (British)
Peter founded his career in advertising, serving in multinational commercial strategy roles with GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. He was then asked to establish a new communications and behavioural change unit within the Home Office of the UK government. Leading a team of specialists across the public and private sectors in the UK, EU, and US, they delivered programmes to disrupt criminal and terrorist activity and protect the vulnerable and those at risk.
Peter then moved back to the commercial sector, delivering innovation in financial services with Legal & General plc. He is currently leading growth strategy for Stewardship Services, a leader in donor-advised fund management.
He has served on Medair’s International Board of Trustees since 2015, and on the Medair UK Board since 2019.