Dr Jemilah Mahmood appointed Chair of the Humanitarian Leadership Academy

Published: 10 February 2016

The Humanitarian Leadership Academy is pleased to announce the appointment of the distinguished humanitarian Dr Jemilah Mahmood, Under Secretary General for Partnerships at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), as the new Chair of its Board of Trustees.

Dr Mahmood brings a wealth of field and strategic experience to the role, which she takes over from Mr Jan Egeland of the Norwegian Refugee Council [1]. Previously, she was founder and President of MERCY Malaysia and Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat at the United Nations in New York, and she is the recipient of numerous national and international awards for her contribution to civil society and work in support of marginalised communities.

Dr Mahmood said: “Humanitarians must work closely with communities affected by crises, conflicts and disasters if we are to respond effectively and help people recover and become more resilient. The Humanitarian Leadership Academy is in the best place to help empower national and local organisations, facilitate key partnerships and share knowledge, and I look forward to bringing my knowledge and experience to the team.”

Saba Al Mubaslat, CEO, Humanitarian Leadership Academy, said: “Dr Mahmood’s vast experience of responding to emergencies on the ground will ensure the Academy continues to focus on what the sector needs most; strengthen aid workers capacity and bring global experience and knowledge to national and local platforms.

Dr Mahmood’s experience of the challenges and opportunities will help us identify key relationships and training required by grassroots level communities affected by crises and bring them together with those organisations that respond to emergencies across the globe.”

Previous chair, Jan Egeland, Secretary General, Norwegian Refugee Council, said:

“The Humanitarian Leadership Academy is an ambitious organisation with a large remit. I am proud to be the inaugural Chair and start the exciting work – now I leave it in the very capable hands of Dr Mahmood and wish the Academy well.”

Dr Mahmood’s first task is to address humanitarians, Governments and national NGOs at a global conference titled ‘Our Voice at Istanbul – A Conference for Civil Society’ in Kenya on 17-18 February, where attendees will identify the main issues facing the sector, develop solutions and present recommendations ahead of the World Humanitarian Summit in May.

Also joining the Academy’s Board are Professor ‘Funmi Olonisakin, founding Director of the African Leadership Centre at King’s College London and Mr Jeffrey Tarayao, Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).

[1] Jan Egeland will be moving on to be the Senior Adviser to the UN in the Syria peace talks.