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Staff

Nick Grono

Nick Grono

CEO

Nick was appointed as the inaugural CEO of the Freedom Fund in January 2014. The Fund is an ambitious effort to mobilise the knowledge, capital and will needed to end modern slavery.

In its first seven years of operation the Freedom Fund has worked with over 130 frontline partners around the world to directly liberate 29,469 people from slavery and return over 82,000 at risk children back to school. Overall, its programs have positively impacted the lives of over one million of those most vulnerable to exploitation. And it is changing the systems that place many millions more at risk of slavery.

Nick is a board member of Girls Not Brides: the Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and was previously the Chair of the Jo Cox Foundation.

Prior to the Freedom Fund, Nick was the inaugural CEO of the Walk Free Foundation, a leading international actor in the fight against modern slavery. And before Walk Free, Nick was the Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the world’s leading conflict prevention NGO, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, with offices in over 20 countries.

Nick is a lawyer by background and, prior to ICG, he was Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to the Australian Attorney-General. He has a law degree with first class honours from the University of Sydney and a Master’s in Public Policy from Princeton University.

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Pauline Aaron

Pauline Aaron

Senior Program Manager

Pauline Aaron joined the Freedom Fund in August 2016 as Program Officer for our Central and South-Eastern Nepal hotspots. Prior to this, she worked for Progressio, managing a DFID funded youth volunteering programme in Africa and Central America.

Previously, Pauline was the Country Director for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Thailand, overseeing programs serving migrant workers, refugees and immigration detainees. She also spent three years with JRS in Malawi managing education and psychosocial programs in Dzaleka refugee camp.

Pauline holds a Master of Research in European Public Policy from Birkbeck, University of London. She has also worked in a number of UK based research and policy roles. As a Researcher in Middlesex Social Policy Research Centre she contributed to publications on migration policy and using community researchers to access hard to reach groups.

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Jannel Abellana

Jannel Abellana

Operations Finance Manager

Jannel joined the Freedom Fund as Finance Officer in January 2019. Prior to this role she worked at a luxury retail fashion company based in London as an Assistant Management Accountant.

Jannel graduated with a degree in Accounting in Finance from London South Bank University, awarded as the best student for two years for getting the highest grade overall. She is currently studying ACCA (Accounting Qualification) and expecting to finish her exams this year.

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Kumneger Addisu

Kumneger Addisu

Senior Program Officer

Kumneger Addisu joined the Freedom Fund in 2020 as the Senior Program Officer for the Bete Project based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has over 13 years of extensive experience in overseas employment service provision and management, public employment, community development and consultant.

Kumneger has a multi-disciplinary role working with various sectors including private, humanitarian, NGO and government. Previously, Kumneger served in private sector for the Ethio-India FDI International Company in Ethiopia, where he served as senior level admininstrater and human resources manager. He also served as program coordinator at IP-Global International NGO for the World Bank national survey research project that conducted with MoH in Ethiopia.

Kumneger served as a program manager, program officer, training manager, training officer and labor migration management consultant at Agar Ethiopia Charitable Society, an NGO that works on combating human trafficking, returnee rehabilitation, reintegration, reunification, mental health programs in Addis Ababa. Kumneger was the Program Manager at Mission for Community Development Program Origination (MCDP, a local organization working on safer migration, education, livelihoods, women economic empowerment, health and agriculture. Kumneger served as a Head of Oversees Employment Service Provision Directorate at the Addis Ababa City Government Bureau of Labour and Social Affairs (BOLSA), where he led the overall program of the directorates like the prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships programs with multi-national and international organizations based in Ethiopia working on migration governance, youth focussed and gender-based violence programs.

Kumneger was also a high school teacher and school principal at MoE in Bishoftu and served as researcher for Jima University.

Kumneger holds MBA from Rift Valley University from Addis Ababa and MA in International Leadership from Vision International University of Ramona, CA, USA. He graduated from Dilla University with a BED in Chemistry.

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Toni Adebayo-Oke

Toni Adebayo-Oke

Program Officer

Toni joined the Freedom Fund in November 2022 as a Program Officer. Following completion of her BSc Biomedical Science, Toni spent three years in Australia where she dove headfirst into community building projects. Following this, she attained her MSc International Development from University of Bath. Whilst studying for her masters, she spent her final semester researching the concept of empowerment, sexual and reproductive health, and FGM in rural Tanzania. Her research ignited a keen interest in vulnerable communities and cultural relativism.

She went on to obtain a certificate in International Womens Health and Human Rights from the University of Stanford. She has prior experience in the non profit sector working for notable causes such as childrens’ education and global health. Her most recent role was at Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, where she was involved with implementation of their mentoring programme.

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Michel Agbodjinou

Michel Agbodjinou

Head of Finance

Michel Agbodjinou joined the Freedom Fund as Senior Finance Officer in December 2017. He was previously Director of Finance and Administration at Vision Aid Overseas, an international NGO fighting poverty through the development of services for uncorrected refractive error and primary eye health in poor and marginalized communities in Africa.

At Vision Aid Overseas, he was lead on strategic financial planning for the NGO, as well as an adviser to the Chief Executive and Board on strategies to ensure that the NGO achieves its objectives within a realistic financial framework.

Before that, Michel worked for Shelter, the Salvation Army, the Fostering Network and Southwark Council in the UK.

Michel is a member of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, with an extensive experience in the non-profit sector, helping organisations to improve their internal effectiveness so that they can successfully achieve their missions.

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Elizabeth Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson

Senior Research and Evaluation Manager

Dr. Elizabeth Anderson joined the Freedom Fund in January 2022 as Senior Research and Evaluation Manager for the Brazil and Ethiopia hotspots. Prior to this, she was a Research Scientist at the International Center for Research on Women in Washington, D.C., where she led global research on gender-based violence, women’s economic empowerment, child marriage, and gender norms change, among others.

She was also a research fellow at the University of Arizona studying sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and the intersection of sexual violence and infectious disease epidemiology.

Dr. Anderson holds a PhD in Public Health and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Arizona. She began her career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, and as an AmeriCorps Volunteer assisting refugees and undocumented migrants in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

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Ginny Baumann

Ginny Baumann

Senior Program Manager

Ginny Baumann joined the Freedom Fund as Senior Program Officer in August 2014. She was previously Associate Director of Programs at Free the Slaves (FTS), an NGO that liberates people from slavery around the world, and enables governments, development agencies and businesses to take effective action.

As a founding team member of Free the Slaves since 2000, Ginny has developed FTS’ country programs alongside community-based anti-slavery NGOs, especially in India, Nepal, Brazil and Ghana. She helped create its strategy for identifying, articulating and supporting locally-rooted solutions to slavery.

Before that, she worked for UK-based agencies Christian Aid, Shelter, and Quaker Social Action establishing, managing and evaluating programs of community-based development, housing, employment, conflict resolution and human rights. In the Mississippi Delta, she also carried out programs of peer mediation in schools, evaluation of after-school programs, and research on racial discrimination by banks. She taught courses on peacebuilding and on models of international development at University of Surrey, Roehampton, and University of Mississippi.

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Meseret Bayou

Meseret Bayou

Program Officer

Meseret joined the Freedom Fund as a program advisor for the Ethiopia hotspot in July 2019. Meseret previously worked for the Geneva Global Ethiopia Office, where he managed the promotion of the safer migration program in Amhara as a program coordinator. His role focused on overseeing Geneva Global’s local partner.

Previously, Meseret worked as a program manager at the Forum on Sustainable Child Empowerment, a local NGO that works on child protection, where he managed personnel, finance and programs in the organisation’s Addis Ababa project office.

Before that, Meseret worked in a public Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college as a career and vocational counsellor, by coordinating and conducting the need assessment and tracer study, guidance, and counselling and apprenticeship program.

Meseret has a background in psychology and a degree in counselling psychology from Addis Ababa University.

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Colleen Boselli

Colleen Boselli

Program Manager

Colleen joined the Freedom Fund in June 2018 as a Program Officer overseeing the southern India hotspot. She has a background in public health and over six years of experience managing international development programs.

Previously Colleen was a Senior Associate at Geneva Global, a philanthropy consultancy firm, where most recently she launched and managed the work in southern India on behalf of the Freedom Fund. In addition, she was involved in a variety of client initiatives including developing and launching a humanitarian effort to support community-based groups in West Africa during the Ebola Crisis, and managing a portfolio of grant programs focused on treating and preventing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) across the developing world on behalf of the END Fund.

Colleen holds a Master’s degree of Public Health Degree from George Washington University with a focus on prevention and community health.

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Marta Bylica

Marta Bylica

Program Officer, Corporate Accountability

Marta Bylica joined the Freedom Fund as Corporate Accountability Program Officer in February 2022. Marta is an American-trained lawyer and has experience working on complex human rights issues.

Before joining the Freedom Fund, Marta worked for the international legal action organization Reprieve, where she engaged in strategic litigation, investigative research, and corporate social responsibility advocacy to prevent the misuse of medicines in lethal injection executions. Prior to that, she helped research and write an Amnesty International report on the impact of gun violence on human rights in the United States. During her time in law school, Marta served as a student attorney in the Prisoner & Reentry Clinic, providing representation to incarcerated and vulnerable individuals. Marta also has experience in the private sector, where she conducted corporate due diligence and financial crime compliance research.

Marta has a BA in Psychology and Sociology from McGill University and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School. She is fluent in Polish, German, and English.

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Matilde Chora

Matilde Chora

Monitoring & Research Officer

Matilde joined the Freedom Fund in April 2021. Matilde possesses an educational background in Public International Law, focusing primarily in International Refugee Law, International Criminal Law, Climate Change Law and Human Rights, which she developed during her LLM at Queen Mary University of London. Matilde also has an undergraduate degree in Law from NOVA School of Law.

While undergoing her LLM studies, Matilde worked as a Legal Caseworker and Researcher for the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, where she deepened her knowledge on European Asylum Law, focusing on vulnerable people’s transfer requests. During her LLM, Matilde also volunteered for the St. John’s Hospice, supporting the Trusts and Foundations team finding new funding opportunities fitting the Hospice’s bereavement work.

Matilde previously had an internship for the Portuguese Embassy in London during her undergraduate degree, alongside the Educational Department. Prior to this role, Matilde temporarily worked as a Legal Administrative Assistant for Jaime Roriz Lawyers’ Firm, in Portugal, where she also worked as a Legal Trainee.

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Laura Cuzzuol

Laura Cuzzuol

Safeguarding Manager

Laura Cuzzuol joined the Freedom Fund in May 2021 as Safeguarding Manager. Prior to this, she worked in London for different organizations such as Malaria Consortium and Girl Effect, building outstanding safeguarding frameworks.

Laura has served in protection-related roles in several NGOs around the globe and in the UN Mission in South Sudan.

Laura is also an independent safeguarding consultant collaborating with Safer Edge and think-tanks like IPI.

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Hannah de Ville

Hannah de Ville

Senior Program Manager

Hannah de Ville joined the Freedom Fund in September 2017 and is currently overseeing our hotspot programs in Myanmar and northern India as well the Mental Health global initiative.

Hannah brings a wide range of country experience, having been based in Nepal, Ethiopia and Sudan. She has worked for several INGOs – Plan International, Mercy Corps, International Alert and Human Rights Watch – on a large cross-section of issues, including protection of children, peacebuilding, civil society capacity building, humanitarian relief and international justice. Hannah holds a Masters degree in human security and conflict resolution from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and a Bachelors degree in international politics from Barnard College at Columbia University.

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Tsion Degu

Tsion Degu

Program Officer

Tsion Degu serves as Program Officer for the Ending the Exploitation of Child Domestic Workers in Ethiopia project. She joined the Freedom Fund in December 2020 as a Case worker for the Ethiopia Bete Project based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In addition, Tsion has worked on outreach community-based programs for the Freedom Fund safe migration project with the Freedom Fund partner Organization for Prevention and Rehabilitation and Integration of Female Street Children.

Tsion has seven years of work experience implementing programs and projects focused on violence against women and girls, working shelters for women and children, school and family-based childcare and safety programs.

Tsion worked as a junior counsellor for children experiencing and vulnerable to different types of abuse, as a shelter team leader, an area coordinator and as a program manager.

Tsion has a bachelor’s degree from Gondor University and Master’s degree in social work from Addis Ababa University.

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Nermina Delic

Nermina Delic

Senior Financial Reporting and Compliance Manager

Nermina joined the Freedom Fund in 2020 and serves as the Senior Financial Reporting and Compliance Manager. Prior to this role she worked as Finance Officer at Article 19, a British human rights organization with a specific mandate and focus on the defence and promotion of freedom of expression and freedom of information worldwide.

At Article 19, she was supporting all financial aspects of budgeting, reporting, compliance and financial management of grants managed by the international office. Before that, Nermina worked at the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation as Finance Assistant.

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Hannah Elliot

Hannah Elliot

Program Manager

Hannah Elliott joined the Freedom Fund as Program Officer in July 2018. As a Program Officer, Hannah focuses on amplifying the voices of local partners by providing grant management and strategic oversight to the Freedom Fund’s hotspots in Ethiopia and Thailand.

Previously, as a consultant for the Freedom Fund, Hannah assisted in setting up the Thailand hotspot and established partnerships with locally-based organisations focusing on combatting human trafficking within the seafood sector. In the same capacity, she oversaw the Ethiopia hotspot and helped push the strategy forward through initiatives focused on mental health, government engagement and strengthening local capacity. In addition to program management, Hannah worked on the development of Freedom Fund’s strategy for the Myanmar hotspot.

Applying an analytical eye to challenges, Hannah produces high quality hotspot reports, develops systems and processes for tracking and analysing data and facilitates meetings with various stakeholders. Her team has affectionately given her the nickname of “moderator” for her ability to convene different stakeholders and help others reach consensus on important issues.

Hannah’s previous experience includes work with both U.S. domestic and international nonprofit organisations. She previously worked with a U.S.-based grassroots organisation, assisting in the development of local leaders and supporting community advocacy initiatives. She has also provided technical assistance to an international microfinance organisation, where she supported a variety of projects related to client satisfaction and program impact. Most recently, Hannah worked as a Senior Associate for Geneva Global, a U.S.-based philanthropic consulting firm, where she led on strategy development, data analysis and grant management for projects focused on human rights, health, education and economic development.

Hannah has a Master’s degree in International Economic Development from Eastern University, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s in Cross-Cultural Sociology and Applied Psychology from Carson-Newman University.

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Claire Falconer

Claire Falconer

Head of Global Initiatives and Movement Building

Claire Falconer joined the Freedom Fund in May 2019 as Senior Program Officer for the Freedom Rising initiative, working to empower and connect anti-slavery leaders around the world. Claire has over ten years’ experience conducting research, advocacy and capacity building activities on slavery issues in South East Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Europe.

Prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Claire was the Legal Director and co-founder of Focus on Labour Exploitation (FLEX), a London based NGO that advocates to prevent trafficking for labour exploitation. Claire has also worked as an expert consultant on projects for international organisations – including the ILO, UNODC, and OSCE – and provided training and capacity building assistance to criminal justice practitioners as part of AusAID’s Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project. A lawyer and former prosecutor, Claire holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (Honours) from the University of Adelaide, and a Masters in Human Rights Law from the London School of Economics.

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Varsha Gyawali

Varsha Gyawali

Research and Evaluation Manager

Varsha Gyawali PhD joined the Freedom Fund as the Research and Evaluation Manager in February 2022, where she will primarily support research for the hotspots in South Asia.

Varsha has over ten years of experience working on human rights, justice, gender and social inequalities, violence and exclusion, and armed conflict, mostly within the non-government and voluntary sector in the South Asian region, particularly Nepal and India. She has worked on various research, policy and advocacy-based projects with national, international and grassroots level organizations including the United Nations Development Programme, the Carter Center, Faith in Community Scotland and the Centre for Conflict Resolution & Human Security.

Varsha was awarded her doctorate in 2021 from the Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University, UK where her research critically examined victimhood and agency within the complex lived realities of the conflict victims in post-conflict Nepal.

Varsha is fluent in Nepali and Hindi and is based out of the Freedom Fund’s London office.

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Melanie Hargreaves

Melanie Hargreaves

Media & PR Manager

Melanie joined the Freedom Fund in June 2022 as Media and PR Manager, to develop and lead the organisation’s global media relations. She has worked in media and public relations roles in the charity sector for 12 years, having previously worked at international development organisation Christian Aid where she covered humanitarian emergency response, as well as campaigns addressing global displacement and violence against women and girls.

Melanie also led media relations at UK domestic charity, Hospice UK and prior to entering the charity sector, Melanie worked as a journalist for The Press Association (PA Media).

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Holly Harridence

Holly Harridence

Program Operations Manager

Holly Harridence joined the Freedom Fund in January 2017. She provides operational and logistical support to the program team, as well as assistance with events and communications.

Previously, Holly was Digital Content and Communications Manager at the Legatum Institute, an international think tank. She also spent four years in the communications and engagement department of the UK’s public health website. Prior to that, she worked in the public affairs department of a membership body in Adelaide, South Australia.

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Louise Hemfrey

Louise Hemfrey

Program Manager, Ethiopia

Louise joined the Freedom Fund in 2021 as Program Manager for Ethiopia, managing two new programs, including the flagship ‘Reducing the prevalence of domestic servitude in Ethiopia’ funded by the U.S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) under the Program to End Modern Slavery (PEMS). Louise was inspired to join The Freedom Fund from her work on the intersections of women’s economic rights and violence against women and girls with Womankind Worldwide, themes combined in modern slavery and human trafficking that disproportionately affect women and girls.

Louise has seven years of experience in managing rights-based and partner-lead projects, particularly centering feminist approaches in her work. This has included everything from proposal co-design and background research, upskilling and tools design through to monitoring, donor reporting and evaluation.

A firm supporter of increasing the access to opportunities and alternative voices in international development, along with her day-job Louise has co-designed, and currently runs, a mentoring program. Working through the London International Development Network, the program pairs people in early
and mid-career roles in International Development with professionals with up to 30 years’ experience in the sector, with the overall goal of breaking down barriers to progression and leadership.

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Sophie Hicks

Sophie Hicks

Program Manager

Sophie Hicks joined the Freedom Fund in 2018 as a Program Assistant. Previously, she worked as a Program Development Officer for African Revival in London. Prior to joining Freedom Fund, Sophie was based in Gulu, Uganda with African Revival, where she worked as a Communications and Fundraising Field Officer.

Country experience also includes Tanzania and Togo, where she worked for eight months for grassroots NGO SADIL-TOGO. Before moving into International Development, Sophie worked for the British Council in Istanbul, Turkey as an English teacher.

Sophie holds a MSc with Distinction in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of African and Oriental Studies, and a BA in Philosophy from Durham University.

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Tom Hutchinson

Tom Hutchinson

Interim Head of Fundraising

Tom joined the Freedom Fund in March 2019 as Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager. He has over 15 years’ experience fundraising for various sectors including peacebuilding, humanitarian and environmental amongst others, mainly from governments, multilaterals and foundations. Previously he has held roles at ClientEarth, HelpAge International, Medical Aid for Palestinians and most recently Conciliation Resources.

He is responsible for supporting and developing relationships with donors, in particular developing funding bids and grant reports for a range of government agencies, institutional foundations and private sector donors.

Tom has a PgDip in European Journalism from the London College of Communications, a BA Hons from Manchester University in Comparative Religion and is currently part way through an MA in Strategic Studies at University College Cork.

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Eva Jew

Eva Jew

Creative Content Producer

Eva joined the Freedom Fund in 2022. She supports the organisation’s communications activities by producing print and digital materials. Prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Eva worked for Royal Society for Public Health, a campaigning and educational charity dedicated to improving and protecting the public’s health, as a content creator. Eva graduated with a degree in Illustration from University of Brighton and has worked in a number of creative roles incorporating video production, animation, illustration and graphic design.

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Ruth Kimani

Ruth Kimani

Senior Program Manager

Ruth Kimani joined Freedom Fund in 2022 as the Senior Programme Manager in in charge of setting up hotspot programs in East Africa to address various forms of modern slavery. Ruth is a human rights advocate and an accomplished and results-driven social development professional with over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector in organisational development, program management, resource mobilisation and grants administration.

In her previous role as the Regional Roving Grant Coordinator, she managed and administered grants at Hivos, including an €86 million Voice Programme funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to support marginalised groups in six countries in Africa towards more responsive and inclusive societies.

Ruth is highly proficient in setting up grant making structures and systems to enhance accountability and transparency for donor funded programmes. She has supported at least 200 grassroots organisations across Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Niger and Mali to access financial and technical support. She is keen on mobilisation of grassroots organisation to promote community ownership in implementing projects that place the rights holders at the centre of programming.

Ruth has built robust alliances of development partners in Europe, North America and Africa to build a platform for shared learning and co creating innovative solutions to global development problems and social challenges. She thrives in facilitating thought processes in designing innovative programmes and projects for women, young people, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, sexual and gender minorities. Ruth is highly skilled in the design and development of learning materials, facilitation guides and training manuals and toolkits in Behaviour Change Communication, Sexual Reproductive Health, partnership building, organisational development and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Ruth holds an MA in Project Planning and Management and a BA in Economics and Sociology.

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Jeannette Laouadi-Gilliver

Jeannette Laouadi-Gilliver

Partnerships and Events Manager

Jeannette joined the Freedom Fund in December 2018. As part of the Strategic Partnerships team, she oversees all Freedom Fund external events, convenings, donor trips and hotspot visits. Prior to this, she worked at research, advisory and advocacy consultancy Development Finance International which advises developing countries and IFIs on debt relief, aid, public sector financing, tax justice and inequality.

Jeannette facilitated worldwide capacity-building and training events, high-level ministerial meetings and press briefings in collaboration with the IMF & the World Bank, UN agencies, international institutions and NGOs. She co-managed a network of finance ministers from Francophone low-income countries and assisted a team of Oxfam researchers in providing background data on labour rights, gender discrimination and gender-based violence for a global inequality index.

Before switching to the international development sector, Jeannette taught French and worked in the Africa department of an energy corporation. She is a qualified French translator from the University of Westminster.

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Cecile Lim

Cecile Lim

Finance Officer

Cecile joined the Freedom Fund in 2020, providing support to our London finance team. Cecile previously worked in the same position for a luxury retail company and as a Payroll Administrator for a financial accounting firm.

Cecile graduated with a degree in Business Management from Middlesex University with First Class Honours and is currently studying for AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) accreditation.

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Yuki Lo

Yuki Lo

Head of Research and Evaluation

Yuki joined the Freedom Fund in June 2016. She leads our work to measure the impact of our investments in countries with the highest incidence of slavery, and drives the Fund’s support for research, evaluation, and knowledge-sharing across the broader anti-slavery community.

Previously, Yuki was Manager of Evidence, Measurement and Evaluation at the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, managing research and evaluations in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Kenya and Tanzania. Prior to that, Yuki was at UN Women Cambodia assessing the impact of its ending violence against women and economic empowerment programmes.

Before switching to the international development sector, Yuki was in the finance industry and worked for Nomura, Lehman Brothers and Accenture. Yuki holds an MSc in Development Planning from University College London, and a BSc in Information Technology from the University of Technology, Sydney.

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Zoe Marshall

Zoe Marshall

Managing Director, Finance and Administration

Zoe Marshall joined the Freedom Fund as Director of Finance and Administration in 2018. Immediately prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Zoe worked for a medical research grant making charity called Fight for Sight as Director of Finance and Resources for two years.

Zoe graduated with a degree in Politics and Economics from Newcastle University before joining Deloitte to train as an accountant. After gaining her Chartered Accountancy qualification, Zoe transferred into Deloitte’s Charities Team, working with clients such as Christian Aid, Tearfund, Mencap, Samaritans and the Disasters Emergency Committee. She left Deloitte to join international development charity Concern Worldwide (UK) as Director of Finance and Operations where she worked for nine years in total – including spending one year on secondment in DR Congo.

 

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Sonia Martins

Sonia Martins

Senior Program Manager

Sonia joined the Freedom Fund in 2020 as Senior Program Manager for the Ethiopia hotspot. Prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Sonia worked for 11 years with CARE International UK. She started at CARE as Latin America program officer, then moved to the Africa desk as program management coordinator, before taking a number of managerial roles as Deputy Head of the Africa Team and then the interim Head at the end of 2019.

Sonia has over 15 years of program management experience of large and complex contracts, working with fund managers and institutional donors.

She was project leader on a number of exciting programs focusing on women’s rights and gender-based violence.

This includes innovative interventions to reduce intimate partners violence in Rwanda as part of DFID’s flagship program What Works to prevent violence against women and girls. She also worked on domestic workers rights, supporting the work of feminist organisations in Latin America.

Prior to CARE, she worked on health programs in Latin America focusing on leprosy and communicable diseases, and before that, on trade development programs in China working for a private consultancy.

Sonia holds a Master’s degree in Governance and International Development from the Institute of Development Studies.

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Mahlet Mekbib

Mahlet Mekbib

Program Officer

Mahlet joined the Freedom Fund in January 2021 as a Program Officer. Mahlet has years of experience implementing programs and projects focused on children, youth and girls and women empowerment working for Save the Children, Institute of International Education and Compassion International in programs and projects implemented both within Ethiopia, the Eastern Africa region and beyond.

Mahlet is an advocate for the rights of children, majorly girls, and women and is also a board member for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA).

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Daniel Melese

Daniel Melese

Country Representative

Daniel Melese transitioned from Geneva Global to Freedom Fund in 2019. Daniel has more than a decade of extensive experience in community development, program design and management, program Monitoring, Evaluation & learning, and Research. Besides, Daniel has a multi-disciplinary role in working with cross cultural organizations including organizations in the US, UK, West and East Africa.

Daniel serves as a Country Representative for the Freedom Fund in Ethiopia. In this capacity, Daniel provides leadership, advice, and support to the Ethiopia hotspot program, ensures effective grant management with frontline organizations, liaison with government for coordinated advocacy, and advocate for new policy formulations and for implementation of existing laws on migration, trafficking, and slavery.

Previously, Daniel helped set up the Ethiopia hotspot program through Geneva Global, provided leadership & support to ongoing national advocacy programs, identified and screen potential grantee partners, conducted due diligence ( grant qualification process) for new partners, designed monitoring and evaluation plans, provided financial oversight, support coordination of program level research’s, provide reporting and analysis, conducted organizational capacity assessment and support development of plans, contributed to the strategic plan development.

Daniel has a wide range of experience in international development and detailed local expertise. Daniel is passionate, creative, and problem solver. An advocate, team player, and dedicated to the work. Daniel workers in a team without confusing individual responsibilities.

Daniel previously worked for Evangelical Churches Fellowship of Ethiopia, Geneva Global Inc, Trusted World Foundation, & worked as a consultant on projects from World Vision, Plan International, Sussex University, and more than 15 NGOs in Ethiopia.

Daniel has an MBA, Post Gradate Diploma in Biblical Studies, and MSC in physics.

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Sarah Mount

Sarah Mount

Senior Program Manager

Sarah joined the Freedom Fund in 2018 as a Senior Program Manager. Sarah manages the Freedom Fund’s work in seafood supply chains. She has over ten years’ experience in human rights and legal project management in Asia, Africa and Australia.

Most recently, Sarah worked at Anti-Slavery International as the Asia Program Manager. In this role, Sarah worked in partnership with local civil society organisations on projects focused on addressing forced labour and promoting safe migration of migrant construction, agricultural, garment and domestic workers.

Sarah has also lived and worked in India and in Australia, working both in human rights and indigenous land rights. She holds a Bachelors degree in Law (Honours) and Arts from Monash University Australia as well as a Masters in Public and International Law (Honours) from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

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Antonia Musunga

Antonia Musunga

Program Manager, Movement Building

Antonia Musunga joined the Freedom Fund in 2022 as the Program Manager, Movement Buiding, a portfolio that focuses on shifting power within the movement towards individuals most impacted by exploitation, those with lived experience.

Antonia has over six years of experience in policy work, programme management, research and advocacy specialist in programmes, strategy and movement building within gender equality, women’s rights, feminism, economic justice, and the Global South’s counter-trafficking spaces.
Before joining Freedom Fund, Antonia was the International Project Manager for the Young Urban Women Project at Action Aid International. Antonia is also-founder and Advisor on Strategy and Programmes at Azadi Kenya, an organisation in Kenya that focuses on building community and solidarity for survivors of human trafficking in Kenya. Antonia is also part of vibrant feminist collectives in Kenya and the East African region.

Antonia is an intersectional feminist passionate about protecting human rights, gender equality, social justice, inclusion, governance, and development. Her academic background is in Sociology, Gender and Development Studies.

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Paola Narracci

Paola Narracci

Strategic Partnerships Manager

Paola joined the Freedom Fund in June 2019 as Strategic Partnerships Manager. She supports the management of contracts with institutional and private sector donors, the development of bid proposals and the improvement of internal management systems.

Previously, she worked in a similar role at Anti-Slavery International. She started her professional path on institutional funding while working in a tiny community-based organisation in London in 2009, and she then perfected her skills over several international development assignments while being based in Kenya, Italy and Ethiopia.

She holds a Masters’ degree in International Cooperation and Development and a Masters’ degree in Economics and Management of Arts, Culture and Communication. She speaks Italian, English and Spanish fluently.

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Nicola Peckett

Nicola Peckett

Head of Communications

Nicola joined the Freedom Fund in August 2021 to oversee the development and delivery of the organisation’s global communications strategy. She manages media relations, brand, content creation and digital activity.

Nicola has worked in the charity sector for more than 25 years in a wide range of communications and external relations roles, including leading the communications function at the Disasters Emergency Committee and CARE International UK, as well as at UK domestic charities Samaritans and the Lullaby Trust. Also previously worked at ActionAid and was a VSO volunteer in Nigeria. She has a Master’s degree in International Development and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

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Erin Phelps

Erin Phelps

Senior Adviser to the CEO

Erin Phelps is Senior Adviser to the CEO in the Freedom Fund’s New York office. She joined the Fund in May 2016. Previously, she served as Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager at the Freedom Fund from 2016-September 2021. Before the Freedom Fund, she was Strategic Initiatives Officer for GoodWeave International, a non-profit working to end child and forced labour in the carpet industry and other sectors. She has also worked with several U.S. organizations serving immigrant communities, including designing and organising Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service’s first Refugee Leadership Academy.

Erin is a 2012 recipient of the Fulbright Student Research Grant to Nepal, where she conducted qualitative research with Nepali children and teens whose parents had migrated abroad for work. She has contributed to migration-related publications and projects through the Nepal Institute of Development Studies and IOM Nepal, guest lectured at Tribhuvan University and presented at the Nepal National Conference on Migration. She has also been a regular contributor to The Migrationist, a collaborative international migration blog.

Erin received her BA in Sociology from Pomona College in Claremont, California, and completed courses in Nepali studies and language with Pitzer College in Nepal.

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Art Prapha

Art Prapha

Senior Program Manager, Corporate Accountability

Art Prapha joined the Freedom Fund as Senior Program Manager, Corporate Accountability in 2022. He oversees the corporate accountability global initiative to invest in cutting-edge accountability-based programs designed to shift corporate behaviour as a driver of forced labour across all sectors of the global economy.

Previously, Art spent eight years working at Oxfam America and Oxfam in Asia as Senior Advisor (Campaigns & Advocacy) and Private Sector Advisor. In his recent role, Art co-led Oxfam’s global Supermarket Campaign, Behind the Barcodes, to influence the world’s largest food retailers and companies to tackle inequality and human rights violations in their global supply chains. His policy expertise includes labour rights, gender justice, supply chain transparency and the adoption of human rights due diligence in corporate supply chains.

Art is a New Zealand-trained Chartered Accountant. He holds a master’s degree in international development from the London School of Economics (LSE). Currently, Art is pursuing an Executive MBA at Judge Business School, Cambridge University.

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Amy Rahe

Amy Rahe

Managing Director, External Relations

Amy Rahe is the Managing Director of External Relations at the Freedom Fund. She is a leading voice on the need for survivors of human trafficking to be included in more meaningful ways within the anti-slavery movement through avenues such as employment and leadership. She joined the Freedom Fund in 2020 to manage major partnerships and engagements through outreach and public speaking.

Amy is a passionate advocate for sustained liberation pointing to the need for long term support to survivors and working to dismantle the root causes that allow modern day slavery to flourish. She is an activist, storyteller, catalyst and connector.

Prior to joining the Freedom Fund, Amy was the Managing Director of Survivor Alliance and prior to that worked at BlackRock as a Chief of Staff to the head of the Factor Based Strategies Team. She taught at UC Berkeley on Domestic Sex Trafficking in 2013 and continued volunteering through MISSSEY as a mentor while working in finance.

Amy is currently part of the Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking (FAST) Initiative’s Steering Group and previously sat on the Steering Committee of Code 8.7.

Amy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Deepika Reddy Allana

Deepika Reddy Allana

Program Manager

Deepika Reddy Allana oversees the Freedom Fund’s Rajasthan hotspot. She has over 12 years of experience in law and policy, and leading social sector projects. Previously, Deepika worked at ICF International as the Anti-Human Trafficking Team Leader for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center. She oversaw, executed and monitored a multi-faceted capacity building program for anti-human trafficking NGOs.

Deepika has worked for several NGOs in Washington, D.C. as a public policy attorney, advocating on issues related to human trafficking, women’s reproductive health and gender.  She started her career practicing intellectual property law for six years at large corporate law firms. Deepika holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University in Psychology and Public Health, and a law degree from Boston University.

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Fiona Reidy

Fiona Reidy

Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager

Fiona joined the Freedom Fund in 2019. Fiona manages relationships and collaborations with our funding partners, to develop opportunities for programs to end modern slavery worldwide. This includes experts from government agencies, institutional foundations, research institutions and private sector donors. Areas of expertise include the commercial sexual exploitation of children, child and forced labour in global supply chains and the impact of climate change on communities vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.

Prior to this, Fiona worked with a range of local and international non profit organisations dedicated to supporting marginalised groups and vulnerable communities, including Womankind Worldwide and Options Consultancy Services.

She has an MSc in Sociology from the University of Amsterdam with a specialisation in Gender and Sexuality. She is also an experienced individual and couple psychodynamic counsellor and psychotherapist, with a special interest in the impact of trauma on mental health and relationships.

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Niamh Riddles

Niamh Riddles

Administration Officer

Niamh joined the Freedom Fund in 2021 as Administrative Officer. Niamh has an undergraduate degree in Geography with International Development from the University of East Anglia, focussing primarily on social anthropology and humanitarian crises.

Niamh has previously worked in HR and Recruitment at Single Homeless Project. Prior to this role, Niamh has worked in Recruitment at the University of Oxford, supporting the various departments with their temporary recruitment requirements.

Niamh currently volunteers as a mentor at The Baytree Centre providing English and integration support and has previously volunteered as a Researcher for Oxfam, researching the theory of integrating social norms into international humanitarian law.

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Andrew Rizzardi

Andrew Rizzardi

Global Communications Manager

Andrew joined the Freedom Fund as the Global Communications Manager, based in New York in November 2021. Andrew was previously the Communications Officer for Trickle Up, a nonprofit dedicated to ending extreme poverty where he implemented multimedia communications channels and managed print and digital collateral production and outreach projects.

Prior to that, Andrew managed communications and technology at the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University and provided program support and research for Freedom House.

Andrew holds a master’s degree in International Relations and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from American University’s School of International Service and School of Communications respectively.

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Shabnam Sadaat

Shabnam Sadaat

Finance Officer, Grants Management

Shabnam joined the Freedom fund as Finance Officer, Grants Management in 2022. Prior to this role, Shabnam worked as a Finance Officer at the British Embassy in Kabul, IFRC/Danish Red Cross and the Danish Committee for Aid to Afghan Refugees.

Shabnam has a BSc in Finance and Accounting from Dunya University of Afghanistan and is an ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) finalist; expecting to become an ACCA member this year.

Shabnam speaks Dari, Pashto, English, Urdu, Hindi and Persian.

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Adrian Storey

Adrian Storey

Program Finance Manager

Adrian Storey joined the Freedom Fund as Program Finance Manager in 2019. He worked previously at ActionAid International, where he was a member of the international internal audit team that provided assurance on the operations of other members of the ActionAid Federation.

Prior to working with ActionAid, Adrian worked in the corporate sector in a variety of Finance roles. He became involved in International Development through volunteering assignments arranged through Accounting for International Development (AfID). The assignments were based in various countries, primarily in East Africa where Adrian helped local NGOs develop their finance processes and improve internal control frameworks to include donor requirements and relevant good practices.

Adrian is a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and has substantial experience of project accounting, internal audit and process/control development.

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Danielle Stouck

Danielle Stouck

Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager

Danielle Stouck joined the Freedom Fund in 2021 as a Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager based in the New York office. With expertise in human rights and gender policy, Dani has supported the growth and development of organisations including the Human Rights Funders Network, Women’s Refugee Commission, World Food Programme, Near East Foundation and, most recently, as Director of Development for the Global Justice Center.

Dani graduated from Barnard College and earned her Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

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Cat Townley

Cat Townley

Business Operations Manager

Cat Townley joined the Freedom Fund as Team Assistant and Office Manager in 2018, providing support to the Executive Assistant to the CEO and the programs team. In 2019, she transitioned into Business Operations Management, supporting the CEO and the Director of Finance and Administration.

Previously, Cat worked at a Technology firm as their Human Resources Manager and Corporate Social Responsibility advocate. Prior to that she worked in Los Angeles in a rehabilitation centre for survivors of human trafficking and also worked for a pregnancy crisis centre. She holds a Master’s Degree in Law.

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Rosie Urbanovich

Rosie Urbanovich

Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager

Rosie joined the Freedom Fund in 2022 as Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager, supporting the development of funding proposals for institutional foundations and private sector donors.

Over the last ten years Rosie has worked in both fundraising and communications roles within a diverse range of sectors including human rights, disability, healthcare, and sustainability. She has previously held positions at UK charities including War on Want, Royal College of Nursing Foundation, and Scope. More recently she has worked in a consulting capacity through Black Fox Philanthropy, where she developed funder-centric messaging and strategic fundraising assets for global NGO clients.

Rosie has an MA in Contemporary Global Ethics from King’s College London and a BA in Communications and English Literature from Chapman University in California. Alongside her fundraising and communications career, Rosie works as a lecturer and instructor of ethics and impact, applying ethical theory to global issues such as poverty, inequality, animal welfare, and the climate crisis.

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Dan Vexler

Dan Vexler

Managing Director, Programs

Dan oversees the Freedom Fund’s grant-making programs, which support grassroots organisations in eleven slavery hotspots in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and promote greater corporate accountability for labour exploitation in supply chains.

Dan was previously Head of Program Quality and Impact at CARE UK, where he led teams working on governance, private sector engagement, and impact measurement. Prior to joining CARE, Dan was based in Juba, South Sudan with the National Democratic Institute, managing an influential nation-wide public opinion research program. Before this, he was Director of Research at the International Crisis Group. Dan holds degrees from the London School of Economics and McGill University.

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Havovi Wadia

Havovi Wadia

Director of Programs

Havovi joined the Freedom Fund in 2021 as Director of Programs. Havovi has over two decades of experience working with vulnerable children, to ensure education, build life skills, particularly for girls, and improve protection systems.

Previously she was CEO of Vipla Foundation, an implementation organisation based out of Mumbai where she focused largely on organisation building. She was also previously the Director of Impact at Magic Bus where she was a key part of fundraising efforts both in-country and internationally, led on implementation of the organisation’s then largest successful grant for organisational development, and served as the Child Safeguarding Officer of the organisation for the duration of her tenure.

Havovi has an MPhil in English Literature and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Pune in India.

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Saba Zewdu

Saba Zewdu

Senior Program Officer

Saba joined the Freedom Fund in 2020 as the Senior Programs Officer for the Thrive Project in Ethiopia. She graduated from Morgan State University with a BA in Psychology and MA in International Development from Ohio University. Prior to her role with the Freedom Fund, Saba worked as an Interim Director/Youth Programs Manager for the YWCA National Capital area in Washington D.C., as well as other youth development NGOs in different capacities.

In her seven years as a youth and community development specialist, Saba has successfully demonstrated the ability to design, implement, manage and evaluate moderate to complex programs. In her previous role at the YWCA, Saba oversaw and designed DC public schools first all girls in-school based leadership and mentorship development program including the first and only Social Emotional Learning Lab. Outside of her work, Saba enjoys volunteering with a number of women and youth shelters providing sports, recreation, self-empowerment, mindfulness and financial literacy workshops.

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