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.

Marisa Leon Gomez Sonet

Programme Assistant, Human Rights and Refugees

Marisa León-Gómez Sonet holds a master’s degree in global affairs with a concentration in international peace studies from the Keough School of Global Affairs at the University of Notre Dame (IN,USA). She earned her bachelor’s degree in global affairs, international development, and French from Salve Regina University (RI, USA). She most recently worked as Legislative Associate at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) on immigration and refugee U.S. domestic policy. Prior to this, she worked with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America on issues regarding U.S. foreign policy to Latin America, human rights, immigration, and social justice.

Marisa's global affairs background also includes working with the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa, The Trust for the Americas, an organization affiliated to the Organization of America States (OAS) in Washington, D.C, and the Auschwitz Institute in New York. Marisa is originally from Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and is deeply committed to intersectionality-based policy analysis to advocate for more humane, dignified, and people-centered migration and refugee systems. 

Maya Street

Programme Assistant, Peace and Disarmament

Maya holds a degree in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Sheffield and an Msc in Humanitarianism, Aid and Conflict from SOAS. Over the years, Maya has worked on humanitarian responses to conflict and crisis in the Philippines with Filipino NGO ECOWEB and focussed on community-led responses to crises as a Researcher for Local to Global Protection. She has also volunteered on refugee programmes with Caritas Jordan and locally in the UK. These experiences have shaped her interest in peace processes, local climate action and humanitarian response. Maya comes from a long line of Quakers and has attended various Quaker meetings throughout her life.

 

Andres Naranjo

Programme Assistant, Climate Change and Sustainability

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.

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.

Cecile Adrian

Programme Assistant

Cecile joins QUNO after a year of childcare work and mutual aid organizing with Tubman House, a group fighting food apartheid by building food sovereignty in Sandtown, Baltimore. She graduated from Goucher College in 2020 where she majored in Peace Studies and minored in Africana and Religious Studies. In 2019 she studied abroad in Durban, South Africa where she interned at Asiye eTafuleni, a civil society group advocating for self-employed/informal workers’ rights, and conducted research on gender and work precarity. As a Peer Educator at Goucher’s Title IX office she worked on gender-based violence prevention on her college campus.

Cecile’s four years at a Quaker school sparked her interest in religion and its role in social movements. She is looking forward to learning about the UN system and QUNO’s Quaker working methods. She is passionate about learning pottery and dance techniques from around the world.

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.