International Board Members

International Board Members

The International Board Members work with our Chief Executive

International Board Chair
Ms Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer, and current Chief Executive for Rozaria Memorial Trust. She also serves as the African Union Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage, since her appointment in 2014. She previously served as Secretary General of the World Young Women's Christian (World YWCA), a movement in 120 countries and reaching 25 million women and girls, a role she served 2007-2016. She had previously served with the United Nations in various roles and focusing on women and children's rights for almost 10 years, through UNIFEM (now UN Women) and UNICEF. She was appointed by the UN Secretary General and served in the UN Commission on Information and Accountability on Women and Children's Health. Ms Gumbonzvanda has extensive experience of work around adolescent health and HIV, women's rights and especially violence against women and property rights. She has been instrumental on work around women, peace and security in the region and is reknowned for advocacy at the continental level on the African Protocol on Women's Rights and the campaign to end child marriage.Ms Gumbonzvanda has a Master’s degree Law with specialisation in Constitutional Property Law from the University of South Africa and completed postgraduate work on conflict resolution at Uppsala University, Sweden. She holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe. She serves on various Boards of development organisations including CIVICUS, Save the Children UK. She served as Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women-Geneva and was recently appointed to the Steering Committee for the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC). She has served as chair of Action Aid International Board since 2015, and has previously served on various roles in its Board. Ms Gumbonzvanda has received many awards for her work over the years. She recently launched a special initiative "The Girls Opportunities Fund" to further her cause and commitment to education and health for girls in rural communities.
International Board member
Roberto Kishinami holds an MSc in Physic and is one of the best known environmentalists in Brazil. He has enormous professional and academic experience in renewable energy and is a key analyst of the energy sector and on climate change.He has been strongly engaged on many civic mobilizations towards social justice and sustainability,  was a founder of the worker´s party, contributing to re-democratization of Brazil and the advancement of labour rights and social justice.He currently works as a consultant specialising on strategic energy planning, implementation of renewable sources of energy projects, greenhouse gases emission reduction assessment. He previously led Greenpeace in Brazil as Executive director for 7 yearsRoberto Kishinami was chair of ActionAid Brazil from 2002 to 2007.
International Board member and Treasurer
Michael is a former senior partner of the United Kingdom firm of Ernst & Young, a global assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services firm.  He is now a Senior Advisor to Ernst & Young, ex officio Chairman of the United Nations Expert Group on Classification, a trustee of UK Charity, 21st Century Legacy and an independent director of 3 public companies.  Michael has spent the last 38 years specialising in the provision of services to natural resource companies and in stock exchange transactions.  He has been involved in acquisitions, disposals and fund raising for a wide range of companies.  Michael has worked in many emerging and developing markets including in Africa, India, Sri Lanka, the CIS and South America as well as in the UK, Europe, Oceania, North America and the Middle East.  Michael joined the board of Action Aid International in December 2011 and is convenor of the International Finance & Funding Committee.
International Board member
Trine studied political science in Denmark and is specialized in civil society development, democratization and human rights, with a specific focus on women's rights. She's been living and working in the Middle East. Her professional career includes working for the European Commission in Cairo, European Parliament in Brussels, for ActionAid Denmark, International Media Support and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. In Denmark Trine is a well-known public figure, active in debates about international issues and especially those with a development or human rights angle. She has written numerous articles in leading newspapers and appears regularly in debates on national TV.
International Board Member
Andrew is Assembly representative of the UK Affiliate. He is Chair of ActionAid UK since late 2009 and is a member of the Finance and Funding Sub-Committee of the AAI Board.
International Board member
Aruna Rao is a gender and institutional change expert with over 20 years' experience of addressing gender issues in a variety of development organizations, primarily in Asia. Dr. Rao is Director of Gender at Work, a knowledge and capacity building network focused on gender and institutional change. She served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of CIVICUS, a worldwide membership organization of civil society organizations, and as a Commissioner of the Commission on Globalization convened by State of the World Forum. She served as President of the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) from 1998-2001. Beginning in 1994, she led a team that pioneered a new approach to gender and organizational change in BRAC in Bangladesh. Dr. Rao has consulted widely with UN organizations, academic institutions, and development NGOs both international and national on gender and development and organizational change issues.
International Board Member
(Gambia) A lawyer and women’s rights advocate. Managing Partner Torodo Chambers; specialized in commercial law and practice; consultancies on varied subjects; including environmental law and policies, children and gender legislation and policy, HIV AIDS law and Policy, Forest legislation and policy and local government reforms. A trained Mediator.
International Board member
Mar. Vijay Krishna Shunglu is the former Comptroller and Auditor General, Government of India. He has more than three decades of experience as a government official with special expertise in finance and auditing.His experience with Government of India has been both at the provincial and at the national level. Over time, his role has involved substantial exposure both to programme administration and also with accountability issues and protection of individual rights.As Comptroller and Auditor General of India from 1996 to 2002, government programmes meant for the disadvantaged were systematically reviewed including the national programme of distributing food grains at subsidised rates popularly described as Public Distribution System.
International Board member
Chiara Somajni is an independent journalist. Since 1991 she's been working for the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, until 2013 mainly as staff editor and writer at the cultural supplement Domenica. She first joined ActionAid Italy's general assembly in 2004, becoming national board chair in 2009. She was elected to the international board in June 2012.
International Board member
Emira Woods is the Global Client Principal for Social Impact Programs at ThoughtWorks, a technology firm committed to social and economic justice. From 2003 to 2014, she was co-director of Foreign Policy In Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, and an expert on U.S. foreign policy with a special emphasis on Africa and the developing world. She has written on a range of issues from debt, trade and development to U.S. military policy. She serves as a Board of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars and the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, Africa Council.  I have served on the Boards of the Humanity United/TrustAfrica Liberia program, The Janelia Fund, and Africa Action.  I am one of the founders of the StopFirestone campaign working to end child labour and bring accountability to the rubber sector. I have also served on the Advisory Committee for Just Associates (JASS) and as a member of the Network Council of Jubilee USA.
International Board Member
Showvik Das Tamal is a human rights lawyer. He studied Forced Migration at the University of Oxford. He started his engagement with ActionAid Bangladesh during his student life while mobilising youths on contemporary human rights concerns through his musical and film-making endeavours. The AGM held in Maputo, Mozambique elected Showvik as the first youth representative in the International Board. He is also the first person from Bangladesh to be elected for the International Board of ActionAid International. By profession, he is employed in a UN Agency. However, his membership in the Board is completely in his individual/ private capacity and not connected to his employment.
International Board Member
Elizabeth May Wakilo Righa is a passionate human rights activist and has been the Board Chair of ActionAid Kenya. She works as a Programs Manager for Anglican Development Services and is on the boards of several faith-based and educational institutions. She was elected as a member of the International Board in 2016.
International Board Member
Azaveli Feza Lwaitama is a university senior lecturer in linguistics and philosophy, a human rights and trade union activist who advocates for Pan-Africanism on the African continent and internationalism globally. He once served as a Secretary General of the University of Dar es Salaam Academic Staff  Assembly (UDASA) that has always fought for better and decent terms and conditions of work for Tanzanian university staff. He holds a BA (Education) Honors degree from the University of Dar es Salaam, a Masters degree in Teaching English for Specific Purposes as well as a PhD in Linguistics and Political Philosophy from Aston University in Birmingham in the UK. He has an academic and practical special interest in critical discourse analysis and critical language awareness as well as development ethics, in the context of which he co-authored a book titled Civic Ethics Handbook for Development: Ethics and Reflective Civic Skills for Democracy whose first edition was published by the Oxford University Press in 2004. He has been serving as  the Vice Chair of ActionAid Tanzania since 2010, and his knowledge and experience in analysing internal and external contexts have proved useful in formulating  responses to challenges where they arose.