The Elders

The Elders' Team

The Elders are assisted by a small team based in London.

  • David Nussbaum

    Chief Executive

    David became Chief Executive at The Elders in October 2016. Prior to that he was Chief Executive of WWF-UK from 2007 and chaired WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative. He is also non-executive director of Drax Group Plc, and a member of the Board of the International Integrated Reporting Council.

    David originally qualified as a chartered accountant with Price Waterhouse, moved into venture capital with 3i, and then into manufacturing, latterly as FD of Field Group plc through its management buyout and subsequent successful flotation. He joined Oxfam in 1997 as FD and a Deputy CEO and was later seconded to head up Oxfam’s operations in India. In 2002 David joined Transparency International, the leading global anti-corruption organisation, as Chief Executive based in Berlin.

    David has two degrees in theology, one in finance, and an honorary doctorate. He and his wife have four adult children and live in Buckinghamshire.

  • Isobel Archer

    Communications Intern

    Isobel joined The Elders in October 2017. She has recently volunteered in The Philippines as a field evaluator for GlobalGivingUK and has completed internships at international development organisations Women for Women International and SEED Madagascar. She has a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from The University of York and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from SOAS. She enjoys cycling and listening to true crime podcasts and is a passionate feminist. 

  • Tom Brookes

    Programme Officer

    Tom joined The Elders in March 2015, initially as a Policy Intern. Prior to that, he completed an internship at the conflict resolution charity Inter Mediate, and previously worked as a Production Assistant on the documentary film, The Act of Killing.

    Tom has a degree in History from Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. Outside of work, Tom enjoys reading and playing cello, and has an admittedly pretentious-sounding interest in modern jazz music.

  • Karina Cox

    Head of Finance & Grant Management

    Prior to joining The Elders in September 2013, Karina enjoyed a 30-year career in PR & Communications. Born on the bayou near New Orleans and raised on Pensacola Beach, Florida wanderlust and a trusty backpack took her to far-flung places, including a two-year stint teaching English in Tokyo before settling in the UK. Karina holds a BA in English and French from Kennesaw State University, Atlanta, and is currently pursuing the MSc in Charity Accounting and Financial Management at Cass Business School, City University, London.

  • William French

    Head of Communications

    William joined The Elders in February 2015. Previously he was Head of Communications at the Swiss Embassy in London, where he was responsible for media relations and political analysis. Prior to this he was a correspondent for Agence France-Presse in Geneva, covering the UN and other international organisations. William has an MA in French and German from King’s College, Cambridge and also studied at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg. He enjoys reading, theatre and an eclectic range of music, agreeing with whoever said The Beatles were the greatest songwriters since Schubert.

  • Gavin Ganendran

    Digital Communications Officer

    Gavin joined The Elders in September 2015.

    A passionate advocate for refugee and women's rights, he has previously worked at Freedom from Torture and Plan International and has volunteered at Amnesty International. Gavin has a BA in Management with Chinese Studies from The University of Nottingham and a MSc. in Human Rights from the London School of Economics.

    Gavin loves food (both cooking and eating), travel and all things Disney!

  • Mark Hilton

    Chief of Staff

    Prior to joining The Elders in May 2013, Mark was the Executive Assistant to the Director-General at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, a sexual and reproductive health and rights organisation operating in over 170 countries, working on executive level support, governance issues and events and logistics. Before this Mark spent 23 years in the Royal Air Force, serving both overseas and in the UK in a wide variety of human resources roles. Mark worked as part of the Operations team prior to moving to his current role in June 2017.

    Mark has a BSc in International Relations and an MSc in International Development Management, both courtesy of the Open University. He enjoys all things horticultural and coarse fishing and pottering around his garden, and remains perennially pained by the inability of his beloved Nottingham Forest to reach the Premiership.

  • Violet Hudson

    Walk Together Campaign Assistant

    Violet Hudson joined The Elders in June 2017, working on The Elders’ 10th Anniversary programme of activities. Previously she worked as Events Manager at The Henry Jackson Society and Ops Chief at Conservatives IN. She has also worked as a journalist, writing for The Telegraph, The TLS, Standpoint, The Spectator and many others. When not at work she is most likely to be found with her nose in a book, or going for a walk.

  • Sharon Johnson

    Walk Together Campaign Director

    Sharon joined The Elders in March 2017 to lead on a programme of activities to mark The Elders' 10th Anniversary and honour Mandela’s 100th Anniversary in July 2018.

    Sharon’s career has been dedicated to campaigns and social change initiatives for many of the world’s largest not for profit organisations, philanthropies and global brands. Over nearly three decades, she has worked on six continents, with highlights including being part of the team that launched the first mobile phones in Africa, working on the first campaign for the first free elections in South Africa and working across Asia for global brands wishing to bring new services to emerging markets.

    Sharon is a Trustee of Proudly Made in Africa and a Supervisory Board Member of the Wildlife Justice Commission.

  • Nathaniel Kelly

    Policy Advisor

    Nathaniel joined The Elders in March 2016, working on a range of policy issues with a Middle East focus. He was previously Projects Director at the London-based conflict resolution charity Inter Mediate and held several posts in Lebanon with UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees.

    Nathaniel holds a BA in Philosophy and Social Anthropology from Cambridge University and a Masters in Philosophy from the Sorbonne. He has lived in the UK, France, Lebanon and Cambodia.

  • Paul Kuzmickas

    Head of Operations

    Paul joined The Elders in January 2012. Prior to this he worked in the non-profit sector, most recently as Development Associate with the International House at the University of California, Berkeley, and before that with the San Francisco Education Fund as the Development and Program Associate.

    Paul has a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Davis, and an MSc in Public Policy from Queen Mary, University of London. In his spare time he enjoys cooking and backpacking in the outdoors, and he is a passionate supporter of the Chicago Cubs and Arsenal Football Club.

  • Edith Prak

    Director of Development

    Edith joined The Elders in October 2016.

    Her previous role was Director of Development at The Open University, where she was responsible for all fundraising for the OU and also for the OU’s ground-breaking capacity building programmes in the developing world. Prior to this she worked at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford as Deputy Director for Development and Outreach.

    A Dutch citizen, Edith has a background in International Economics and Politics and has worked in teaching, in advisory roles and in fundraising. Previous roles have included Development Advisor at the UN in Fiji, Fundraising manager at Oxfam and Economic Advisor to the Union of Industrial Workers in the Netherlands. Edith is a trustee of Ethiopiaid.

    Born and raised 6 metres below sea level, Edith loves the mountains.

  • Elaine Robinson

    Office Co-ordinator

    Elaine joined The Elders in March 2016 after a 30-year administrative career in the transport and building sectors. Outside of the office, she is kept busy by her daughter and four amazing grandchildren. Spare moments are spent exploring the countryside and visiting friends.

  • Jenny Yates

    Programme Director

    Jenny joined The Elders in June 2015. She worked for the previous 12 years at the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID): leading the UK Government’s efforts to help Indonesia address climate change, based in Jakarta; and also working for DFID in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and in the Communications Division in London. Prior to that, Jenny worked in NGOs and with the governments of Uganda and Swaziland, including working with Oxfam in Mozambique and as an Overseas Development Institute Fellow in the Ministry of Agriculture in Swaziland.

    Jenny has a degree in History from Queens’ College Cambridge and a Masters in Development Studies from the School of Development Studies at the University of East Anglia. She has two children and, outside of work, loves spending time with them and walking in the country.

The Elders are independent global leaders, brought together by Nelson Mandela, who offer their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity.

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