Hellen Grace Akwii Wangusa
Begun as a University Lecturer of Literature and part time coordinator of Mothers Union that focused on Family Life and Development. Moved into Economic policy analysis and gender-based research and advocacy after one month's training at Manchester University. Was appointed to coordinate 20 Country chapters of the African Women’s Economic Policy Network (AWEPON). In that role, trained and a minimum of 34 women per year for 8 years from 20 Africa countries to influence decisions and advocate for pro-poor and gender sensitive economic policies at the UN, World Economic Forum and at the Bretton Woods Spring meetings. Led delegations to UN Conferences on Financing for Development (FfD), Sustainable Development, Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and The World Social Fora.
Served as the Central Committee member of the All Africa conference of Churches (AACC) and Vice President under Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Worked as the UNDP Africa Coordinator for Civil Society Organizations implementing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) programs in Africa. Moved on to represent the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Worldwide Anglican Communion at the United Nations (UN) as the Anglican Observer. Was appointed as Africa civil society representative and Advisory Board member of the Commonwealth foundation and is member of Oxfam GB Board of Trustees, Christian Aid and The Karibu and Ibon Foundations; A Technical Task Force member of the African Union (AU) Peer Review Mechanism. Was Team Leader of European Union (EU) grant for organisations working towards stemming the radicalisation of youth and their recruitment into terrorism and violent extremism in 6 Africa countries. Facilitated Africa Regional consultations on MIgration and Human Trafficking, Microfinance, VSLAs and Entrepreneurship.
A Fulbright Scholar and holds MA in Modern Letters and Women’s Studies from Tulsa University; BA/DipEduc from Makerere University, Hon PhD in International Relations and Hon, PhD in Civic Law.
Dr. Ingrid Morgan is a South African living in the Netherlands. Her expertise lies in international law, particularly the interplay between international criminal law and human rights and the intersections between mass violence, peace and security processes, transitional justice, including the role of international criminal courts and international organisations, international prosecutions, and traditional justice within the African context.
She is overall interested in culturally sensitive approaches to human rights as well as international criminal justice, including the political dimensions of both. Prior to undertaking her Ph.D. she was employed as a Legal Officer at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (UN-ICTY). Part of her educational background included completing a Ph.D. at the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (SIM), Utrecht University, and a Master of Laws (LL.M) at Utrecht University, where she specialised in International Criminal Law and Human Rights Law; a Bachelor of Laws degree (LL.B) at the University of South Africa, specialising in Criminal Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) specialising in Sociology and Politics at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Ingrid’s deep passion and commitment to Africa and human rights has motivated her in using her talents for the benefit of those without a voice and agency to which she credits her role at ActionAid. Her wish is to see a world free of poverty and discrimination wherein each person can realise his or her full potential.
Priscilla Sichone Mpundu
Our International Board Member and Treasurer is Priscilla, who works with a number of boards in a Secretarial role or serves as a member of governance committees. She also is a certified Corporate Governance trainer under the Institute of Directors Zambia. Priscilla has used her finance training in the profit, academia and non‐profit sectors for over twenty years.
She qualified as a Management Accountant CIMA, then did further training as part of her career progression; among these are Harvard Kennedy School of Government ‐ Strategic Frameworks for Non Profits, Financial Institutions for Private Enterprise Development; University of Botswana/Centre for Specialisation in Public Administration and Management (CESPAM) – Public Policy Development and the Institute of Development Studies/University of Sussex ‐ Regional Trainer for Analysis Trade Statistics for EPA’s.
She works with Baker Tilly Chartered Accountants Zambia, responsible for the company secretarial and tax advisory services. Priscilla had served on the ActionAid Zambia board for four years (2014‐2017) as Treasurer, before being elected to the Board of ActionAid International as Treasurer and Convenor of the Finance and Funding committee in January 2018.
Arthur Larok is Acting Secretary General, ActionAid International, a global federation working in 46 countries to achieve social justice, gender equality and poverty eradication. He was previously Federation Development Director, ActionAid International for 4 years, Country Director, ActionAid Uganda for 6 years.
He is also a member of the Transitions Assistance Practice Group (TAPG) hosted by the Institute for Integrated Transition (IFIT) in Barcelona, as well as Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Civic Research Network (CRN).
He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda and master’s in governance and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex - UK.
He has coedited a Book on Uganda’s Civil Society and authored several papers, including ‘Protecting the Tree or Saving the Forest’: A Political Analysis of the Legal Environment for NGO Operations in Uganda” (2009); ‘Uganda’s New Civic Activism: Beyond Egos and Logos’, ‘The conservative alliance against gender justice in Uganda’; ‘Modified activism after Ethiopia’s New Dawn’.
Azaveli Feza Lwaitama
Azaveli 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 proven useful in formulating responses to challenges where they arose.
Elizabeth May Wakilo Righa
Elizabeth 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.
Born into a working-class family in South Africa, his lived experiences in the community and the factories he worked in, shaped his political consciousness, a yearning for freedom and love for civic organising at a young age. Since then, he has been called up to serve the cause of social justice in the political and labour movements from grassroots to global. His service within the labour movement spanning over 25 years enabled him to collaborate with workers and communities in diverse contexts within South Africa, across Africa and around the globe.
As a founding member of Earthrise Trust, for the past 8 years, together with his fellow trustees and the local village leadership built a vision for the Rustlers Valley Farm as a commons with the community at the forefront in driving their vision of a village of the future. He is currently working with the Fight Inequality Alliance to design and establish a global organising school for young activists.
At the 2021 General Assembly he was elected onto the International Board. He brings into ActionAid, International diverse experience in organising, education, management and leadership spanning over four decades. He is deeply committed to the promotion of collective, consensus-building, solutions-oriented, and servant styles of leadership. He is a parent of four adult children and a grandfather of one.
Glenda Joanna Wetherborn
Glenda is a Guatemalan of Afro-descendant, and a journalist, communicator, academic and popular educator attached to black feminism.
She is a specialist in Communication, Gender and Intersectionality with work experience and knowledge of the social context in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has a master's degree in equality and equity for development, a postgraduate degree in leadership for social change, and a postgraduate degree in rights and Afro-descendant populations.
She has been a member of the Board of Directors of ActionAid Guatemala since 2018 and of the General Assembly since 2014. She has also been responsible for Communication / Visibility and is a member of the Advisory Council of the Network of Afrodescendant Women from Latin American, Caribbean and Diaspora (RMAAD by its acronym in Spanish).
Júlia Tivane Holm
Júlia is well versed in strategic planning, program design, management, and on programs monitoring and evaluation. She has facilitated many strategic plans formulation for the partners of the organisations she has worked and works for.
She is also experienced in working with both governmental and non-governmental institutions, including community based and grassroots organizations, particularly on issues related to sociological impact analysis. In the relationship with the partners in development work, she has worked in different contexts and different stakeholders having developed the ability to interact in different settings.
Júlia has a good overview of the Labour markets in the Southern Africa region due to her extensive work experience with Trade Unions in South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and some exposure to Malawi and Angola.
Ms Poonam Muttreja, Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India, has for over 40 years been a strong advocate for women’s health, reproductive and sexual rights, and rural livelihoods. She has co-conceived the popular transmedia initiative, Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon - I, A Woman, Can Achieve Anything. Before joining PFI, she served as the India Country Director of the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation for 15 years and has also co-founded and led the Ashoka Foundation, Dastkar, and the Society for Rural, Urban and Tribal Initiative (SRUTI). An alumna of Delhi University and Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government, Poonam serves on the governing council of several non-governmental organisations, and is a regular commentator in India and globally for television and the print media.
Rosario has financial background by education and he works as finance officer in a public research funding agency. He had an exemplary path to ActionAid. He started as a donor, then an activist in local groups. In 2013 he was elected by Italian activists as a National Representative of Local Groups. He served on the ActionAid Italy board from 2013 to 2019 and as National Treasurer from 2016 to 2019. Rosario was elected as member of the International Board in June 2019.
Showvik Das Tamal
Showvik is a human rights lawyer, who 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 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. His membership in the Board is completely in his individual capacity and not connected to his employment.
Steen Folke has had a long career as development researcher. After finishing his studies in economic geography and development research at the University of Copenhagen he was for many years Associate Professor at that university. Later he became Senior Researcher at the Centre for Development Research and subsequently at the Danish Institute for International Studies. He is now retired.
He has produced numerous research publications and been main author of several books, including ‘South-South Trade and Development’ (Macmillan 1993) and ‘Aid Impact and Poverty Reduction’ (Palgrave 2006). He has been team leader on a number of major evaluations of development cooperation for UNDP, ILO, Danida, Swiss Development Corporation and NGOs. For UNDP he was team leader on the 2008 evaluation of UNDP’s Global Programme. Over a period of several decades he has spent 3 years in India and has also carried out research and evaluations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Rwanda and Angola.
For nine years (1975-84) Steen Folke served as member of the Danish parliament representing the Left Socialist Party. He was chairman of the parliamentary group and spokesperson on foreign policy, trade, security and development issues. The last 30 years he has not been member of any party.
He has been member of the board of MS (ActionAid Denmark since 2008) 1988-94, 2004-16 and since 2019. He was member of AAI’s board 2008-09 and has 2009-15 represented AA Denmark in the AAI Assembly. He has also been a member of AAI‘s Governance and Board Development Committee 2009-15. From January 2010 until May 2016 he served as the AAI representative in the board of AA Italy. In June 2016 he served as Convener of Action Aid International’s General Assembly in Mozambique. He also represented AA Denmark at the 2019 AAI assembly in Accra, Ghana. From June 2016 until December 2021 he has been international (AAI) representative on the Board of AA Vietnam. In November 2021 he was elected member of ActionAid International’s board.
As part of his work for AAI he has visited almost all AAI members in Europe and been on field visits to AAI programmes in 15 African and Asian countries, namely Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa, Palestine, Jordan (Arab region), Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Vietnam. He has taken part in an affiliation review of AA Kenya and a programme review of AA Afghanistan as well as carried out governance reviews of AA Sweden and AA Bangladesh.
In his retirement he leads an active life with his wife, three adult children and three grandchildren. He plays tennis and enjoys cross-country skiing. Together with friends he has started and directed a forum for debate that has over the past five years has held numerous meetings on ‘red-green’ issues, recently six meetings on the global climate crisis.