Staff

QUNO has fully-staffed offices in Geneva and New York.

Geneva

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge

Director

Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge joined QUNO (Geneva) on 11 November 2021. She is a pacifist and lifetime campaigner for human rights and justice. She has wide-ranging experience as a leader, working inside and outside of government structures. In her youth, she joined the national liberation struggle to end apartheid and co-founded the Natal Organisation of Women (NOW), an affiliate of the mass democratic movement led by the United Democratic Front (UDF). She was a delegate at the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), a multi-party negotiations forum which negotiated South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy. During South Africa’s first democratic national election in 1994, she was high on the African National Congress (ANC) party list to Parliament and served for fifteen years as a Member of Parliament. During this time, she also served as Deputy Minister of Defense (1999-2004), Deputy Minister of Health (2004 – 2007) and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly (2008 – 2009). In 2009 she co-founded Embrace Dignity, a feminist, human rights non-governmental organisation campaigning for law reform to end the gendered power inequalities that continue to oppress women and girls through the intertwined systems of patriarchy and sexual exploitation. Nozizwe has Diplomas in Microbiology, Chemical Pathology, and an Advanced Diploma in Adult Education, a Bachelor of Social Science degree in Political Science from the University of Natal, and a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) Degree in Philosophy from the University of Cape Town. She is a recipient of the Tanenbaum Peacemakers Award and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Haverford College, Philadelphia. She is a member of the Quaker Community of the Western Cape.

Lindsey Fielder Cook

Representative for Climate Change

Lindsey holds a BA in Politics from the Durham University, an MA in Literature of Conflict from York University, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Climate Change and Sustainable Development from DeMontfort University. She joined QUNO in 2013, following a career in conflict areas, initially as a volunteer in reconciliation youth work in Northern Ireland and as a teacher in the Israeli Occupied West Bank.  She has worked with UNRWA on refugee protection in the West Bank, with OHCHR (formerly UNCHR) during the war in the Former Yugoslavia, with UNOSOM in Somalia to help coordinate humanitarian efforts, with UNSCO in Gaza on donor coordination to implement of the Oslo Peace Accords, and in Bonn with UNV on communication of development efforts. Lindsey’s work at QUNO focuses on climate change and environmental degradation as a peace and justice concern, engaging at a international level with the climate change negotiations, climate science, human rights efforts, while seeking to connect international progress with grassroots efforts.  Lindsey is a Member of German Yearly Meeting and lives with her family in Bonn, where QUNO has an office space.

Florence Foster

Representative for Peace and Disarmament

Florence holds an MA in International Relations from Bristol University, UK, and has since specialized in displacement and conflict analysis, with an increasing emphasis on disarmament, mediation and conflict transformation. She began her career as an intern at the Global Protection Cluster and the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva, before moving on to focus on West African conflict dynamics at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, with work in Côte d’Ivoire and Mali. Through her latest roles as Programme Manager at the Fondation Suisse de Déminage and Finn Church Aid, Florence led mediation and armed violence reduction initiatives in the Central African Republic.

Laurel Townhead

Representative for Human Rights and Refugees

Laurel Townhead has a Degree in Law & Politics from the University of Manchester and a Masters in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex. Laurel joined QUNO as Human Rights and Refugees Representative in 2014 and has over 15 years experience working on human rights protection nationally and through the UN human rights system, during which time she has worked on a wide range issues, including women’s rights and refugee protection. Immediately before coming to QUNO, Laurel was Policy and Campaigns Manager for Women in Prison; a role that included advocating for national implementation of the Bangkok Rules on the Treatment of Women Prisoners, which she contributed to drafting. At QUNO Laurel continues to work on human rights and criminal justice, with a focus on the rights of children of incarcerated parents. Laurel leads our work on human rights of migrants. Building on work to secure an ambitious, effective and human rights based Global Compact for Migration, Laurel focuses on how the UN system can better promote and protect the rights of migrants regardless of status. Laurel also takes forward our long term commitment to recognition of the right to conscientious objection to military service. Laurel is an attender of Geneva Monthly Meeting.

Yasmin Beldjelti

Programme Assistant, Human Rights and Refugees

Yasmin holds a BA in International Relations specializing in Migration and Refugee Studies from Webster University in Geneva. She obtained her MA degree in Social Sciences with a specialization in Migration and Citizenship Studies from the University of Neuchâtel. Her master’s thesis, which she completed with distinction, focused on the conditions and rights of migrants and refugees on the island of Lesbos.

Yasmin had the opportunity to volunteer with humanitarian organizations supporting migrant integration and to complete an internship at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. These experiences shaped her interest in human rights, peace building, and sustainable development.

Born in Nairobi and originally from Morocco, Jordan, and Switzerland, Yasmin has lived in more than a dozen countries in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Her cross-cultural background has inspired her from an early age to advocate and address issues related to global inequalities and multicultural tensions. Yasmin is highly motivated to pursue a career in global affairs, and looks forward to contributing to the work and activities at QUNO Geneva.

Sabrina Mignone

Programme Assistant, Peace and Disarmament

Sabrina holds a master's degree in Conflict Studies from the London School of Economics where she focused on the relationship between structural violence against indigenous communities in Guatemala and the transitional justice instruments in the post-conflict justice process in the country. In her most recent position, she worked with indigenous and Afro- Latino women and their communities in Guatemala for the Swedish NGO We Effect. The programs focused on rural development, the right to adequate housing and the right to food. Over the years she has also worked with IOM in Geneva, with asylum seekers and refugees at Caritas Colombia, and the Council of Europe in Geneva. Her interest in the dynamics between structural violence, peacebuilding and human rights are what drives her work and what brings her to the P&D team at QUNO Geneva. 

Sabrina is from Italy and  Côte d'Ivoire but grew up in a multicultural household having lived and worked in 9 countries and fluently speaking four languages.

 

Andres Naranjo

Programme Officer, Sustainable & Just Economic Systems

Andres holds a B.A. in Political Science from Kenyon College (Gambier, OH, USA), having performed a year abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science. In his personal life, Andres has been exposed to many of the themes that drive the Human Impacts of Climate Change and the Sustainable and Just Economic Systems programmes at QUNO. After completing his undergraduate studies, Andres decided to pursue a double Master’s degree in International Relations from the Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations, as well as the University of Business International Studies.

In Geneva, Andres has supported United Nations work on disarmament (UNODA), humanitarian action (UNICEF), and has contributed to academic work on sustainability and climate change. Andres is guided by the principle of justice and loves to incorporate human touch stories into his professional and academic work. Andres looks forward to contributing to the work of QUNO, and is highly motivated by the prospect of finding nexuses in the work of QUNO's various programmes.

Susan Sprague Parachini

Finance Officer

Susan, a Canadian with a B.A. in Geography from the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, joined QUNO in March 2014. She traveled the world extensively as an administrative manager of different resorts of a well-known hotel chain before settling in Geneva to work as office manager and assistant to the ambassador of the Colombian Mission to the World Trade Organization. Susan then worked as project finance officer for the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Association (IUF), running educational projects on health and safety in the workplace for IUF members worldwide. Most recently Susan and her husband created and ran a restaurant in Burgundy, France, before returning to Geneva in autumn 2013.

Tamara Wiher

Office Manager

Tamara comes to QUNO with over 15 years experience working with governments, the United Nations, companies, and civil society organizations in four different continents to promote respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and corporate social responsibility. Before joining QUNO she has led the secretariat of the Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes initiative based in Geneva. Previously she worked in the Human Rights Policy Office of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern, helping to shape Swiss foreign policy on human rights, managing projects and organizing events and trainings. Before returning to her home country Switzerland in 2012, she had also worked with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Colombia, the UN Development Programme in Niger, and with a local NGO in Timor Leste. Tamara holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex.

Sophie Naeye

Incoming Office Manager

Sophie holds a Master’s degree in Languages, a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Studies with Human resources, and a MBS in Internationalisation of Affairs from Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland. Sophie first joined Shaza Hotels' headquarters (Kempinski branch) in Geneva in 2011 where she assisted two Vice-Presidents in Product Development and Technical Services, before serving the Executive operations' team with the opening of the first Shaza hotel in Al Madina, Saudi Arabia and other projects based in the United Arab Emirates. From 2016 to 2022, she then moved to a non-for-profit organisation, the Medicines Patent Pool, as office manager. Aiming at supporting access to affordable medicines in low-and-middle income countries, Sophie was responsible for the development and implementation of the Geneva offices' policies and procedures amongst various other human resources tasks under her responsibility. Sophie enters QUNO in September 2022, bringing over 10 years' office management experience and has competencies in planning and executing a range of services, including ensuring a smooth-running office, and overseeing arrangements for meetings and events. At QUNO Sophie will serve both institutional administrative needs and attend to the internal arrangements of the Director’s office. She is driven to work with people across the globe and multiculturally diverse cultures. In her free time she gives support to people in needs and is involved in local, religious and youth communities. She is a passionate yogi and horse-rider, a proficient snowboarder and wakeboarder.

Jez Smith

Communications and Fundraising Officer

Jez Smith supports the communications and fundraising functions of the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva. Jez has worked in a variety of communications and fundraising roles over the years including with Britain Yearly Meeting, The Friend, Friends World Committee for Consultation Europe and Middle East Section and Quaker Social Action. Jez is a member of Geneva Monthly Meeting where he serves on the nominations committee and is responsible for memberships and mailings administration. Outside of work, Jez is an active participant in Geneva Run Club and he enjoys spending time with his family. 

Alana M Carlson

Programme Assistant, Human Impacts of Climate Change

Alana holds a BA in International Relations with a dual specialization in environmental and security studies from the University of British Columbia. Currently she is completing her MA in International Affairs with a primary specialization in environment, development and sustainability along with a secondary focus in conflict and peace studies from the Geneva Graduate Institute. Previously she has worked in collaboration with Geneva Water Hub to conduct research on how the financialization of water affects the human right to water.

She has long been passionate about safeguarding human rights and advocating for marginalized populations. Prior to her time in Geneva, Alana assisted Diabetes Canada's British Columbia office with research and community outreach. Additionally she has multiple years of experience working with and lobbying alongside local grassroots organizations for women's and queer rights in Colorado, USA. After witnessing first hand the devastation climate change is spreading across the Western United States, Alana became particularly concerned with climate change. She is strongly committed to intersectionality and a human rights based approach to international policy. Alana believes that addressing our modern environmental challenges is one of humanity's gravest moral imperatives and a necessity if we hope to build a more just world.  

New York

Sarah Clarke

Director & Quaker UN Rep

Sarah Clarke serves as Director of the Quaker UN Office in New York. In this capacity, she leads QUNO’s engagement with the UN, diplomats, and civil society representatives, bringing Quaker practice and insights to the work of the UN system. Sarah holds a master’s degree in international political economy from the London School of Economics and has worked in the field of peacebuilding and conflict transformation for over 20 years. Previously, she served as Quaker Representative at QUNO from 2002 – 2014, before undertaking work with a variety of peacebuilding actors in Myanmar, including the UN. In her work, Sarah brings a passion for building inclusive dialogue between stakeholders, and strengthening engagement between non-state actors and international policy makers. Sarah is originally from Canada and is a member of Ottawa Monthly Meeting. While working in New York, she resides with her family in Philadelphia.

Megan Schmidt

Quaker UN Representative

Megan joins QUNO with knowledge and experience in the fields of human rights and atrocities prevention, and holds Masters degrees in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University and in Human Rights and Genocide Studies from Kingston University. Having worked with the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, the Wiener Library, and the Kurdish Human Rights Project, Megan has conducted comparative genocide research, worked to advance the Responsibility to Protect at the UN and globally, and implemented a diverse range of atrocity prevention programs throughout the world. She has written a range of materials focusing on the Responsibility to Protect, women’s rights and participation, among other issues related to the field of atrocity prevention. In her role at QUNO, Megan leads the organization’s Peacebuilding Program, working in the United Nations environment to support more holistic and people-centered peace strategies and policy development. Outside of QUNO Megan is an avid runner and serves as a Run Director for a local running group, and resides with her husband and dog in Manhattan.

Kavita Desai

Quaker UN Representative

Kavita joins QUNO from the UN Foundation's Global Policy Team where she supported UN processes around sustainable development and led engagement at the regional and global level across development and human rights issues. Prior to that she was Adviser to the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to the United Nations, from 2010 to 2016, where she negotiated the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, advocating for the adoption of SDG 16 on peaceful and inclusive societies. 

Kavita holds a BA from Rutgers University College where she double majored in political science and art history, and a Juris Doctorate (JD) from Pace University Law School with certificates in environmental and international law.

Anissa New-Walker

Development & Outreach Associate

Anissa joins QUNO after several years of working for faith-based social justice organizations. As a seasoned communicator, she has created marketing and fundraising strategies for United Methodist Women, United Methodist’s General Commission on Religion and Race and Stony Point Center - a Presbyterian retreat center. Her membership is being transferred to New York Yearly Meeting member-at-large and she frequents Ujima Friends Meeting and Pendle Hill online Meetings.

Anissa is excited to help create development and outreach initiatives to advance QUNO’s mission and reach. She holds an M.S. in Media Management from The New School, Schools of Public Engagement and a B.S. in Advertising from Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Anissa lives in the Lower Hudson Valley of New York, where she loves to spend her free time hiking. When she isn’t finding new trails, she enjoys creating illustrations in watercolor and ink.

Tim Koch

Programme Assistant

Tim joins QUNO as a returned Peace Corps Ethiopia Volunteer and with prior United Nations experience with the United Nations Development Program and the United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS. He has worked on and is most passionate about issues surrounding Sustainable Development Goal 16, peacebuilding, governance, preventing violent extremism, and monitoring and evaluation. He has an MA in International Affairs from The New School in New York and a BA in political science and philosophy from Manhattan College in the Bronx. 

Tim is excited to continue to promote peaceful, just, and inclusive societies while working with QUNO. A born and raised New Yorker, in his free time Tim enjoys learning about new cultures through people, music, and food, as well as experiencing the natural world around him through hiking, snowboarding, and boating.

Sigrid Corry

Programme Assistant

Sigrid Corry holds a BA in Social Anthropology and Politics from the University of Cambridge, and an MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Sigrid joins QUNO with having researched Danish and UK border and asylum issues at anti-racist thinktank, Institute of Race Relations, and legal charity Bail for Immigration Detainees. Prior to the pandemic she worked as coordinator in a grassroots community project with people facing deportation in Copenhagen. She is looking forward to engaging with issues of global justice with Quaker methods and perspectives and learning more about what community centered approaches to peace and justice issues can look like in an international political context.

Sadhbh O'Driscoll

Programme Assistant

Sadhbh graduated from University College Cork, Ireland in 2020 with a BA in Criminology. In 2015, she visited the QUNO NY office during a youth pilgrimage with Irish Young Friends and decided she wanted to return to work as a Programme Assistant. As part of the service work on this pilgrimage she volunteered with Youth Services Opportunities Project (YSOP) and got to see the work done by many volunteers around New York City – running food banks and providing day care for children whose parents were incarcerated. In 2018, she travelled to Athens, Greece with Irish Young Friends where they worked with refugees and cleared out homes devasted by recent wildfires. A member of the Irish Girl Guides (IGG) for over ten years, she visited Pune, India in 2019 and participated in service projects there with IGG.

Sadhbh is passionate about women’s rights and empowering young girls and has seen firsthand the positive impact grassroots organisations can have on their lives. Sadhbh loves to travel and explore new countries and cultures. She is excited to explore the city and experience the different cultures that New York is home to.