Leading humanitarian service with a servant’s heart
David Verboom is a leader and coordinator with 26 years experience in the private and humanitarian sectors. With 20 years of field-based experience, he has been involved in humanitarian interventions in response to all the major recent emergencies in the world, such as the tsunami in Asia, the Syrian conflict in the Middle East, and the Sudan famine in Africa.
David started his higher education at the High Technical College of Automotive Engineering in the Netherlands. He then went on to study at the Twente School of Management, earning his Master of Business Administration degree in 1992.
His work experience started in the Dutch Army as a conscripted officer working at the Technical Service. After finishing his MBA, he worked for four years with various management consultancy firms advising multinationals on how to develop their strategic, financial, and project management capacities.
In 1996 David started his career in the humanitarian and development sector where he worked for NGOs and donors. His first job, as Medair’s Country Director for Kenya and South Sudan, was during the 1998 drought and famine. He then took up the Operational Director’s function at Medair headquarters in Switzerland from where he started up and managed the organisation’s emergency relief and recovery programmes in Africa and Asia. In that capacity, he also initiated Medair’s Quality Improvement process, resulting in Medair being the first humanitarian agency to become ISO 9001 certified. This application of international quality standards to the humanitarian sector was not only groundbreaking work, it was also unique in defining the affected people as the organisation’s primary clients.
In 2002 David returned to the field as Country Director, leading ZOA Refugee Care’s programme in Sri Lanka, which focused on community recovery interventions in response to the civil war. This was followed by the Asian tsunami disaster response, after which he joined the largest humanitarian donor when he was asked to open and lead the office for Sri Lanka and Maldives as Head of Office for the European Union’s humanitarian department (ECHO). This was followed by taking up the function of ECHO Head of Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific, which included overseeing humanitarian programmes in Mongolia, Indonesia, Myanmar, North Korea, and Papua New Guinea, et al. In 2013, he was asked to take on the job of ECHO Head of Regional Office for the Middle East, covering the response programmes in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, and Yemen.
In 2015, David returned to an implementing agency as National Director with World Vision Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza. In this capacity he led humanitarian and development programmes focusing on health, education, resilience, and protection on behalf of affected children.
David Verboom became Medair Chief Executive Officer in April 2018.
David is a Dutch national. He is married to Inge Wessels and they have three teenage children.
Jim is currently serving as Medair’s Engagement Director. He joined Medair in January 2011 as Executive Office Director and took on the engagement director’s position in 2018. His primary responsibilities are to lead Medair’s Engagement team in building relationships with Medair’s supporters in Switzerland. Jim is an innovative and creative leader and has a real passion for people. In his role as Executive Office Director, Jim also serves as Medair’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer.
Jim has more than 30 years of international legal and management experience in the government, private practice, and corporate sectors. His education includes a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Duke University, a Master’s degree in economics from the University of Miami (Florida), and a law degree from the University of Florida. After finishing law school, Jim worked in Washington, D.C. for the US Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition as a trial lawyer. He then worked in private practice in Washington, D.C. with the law firm, Arnold & Porter. Jim left private practice to join the Altria group of companies in Switzerland. While there, he held a number of senior legal positions before joining Medair on a volunteer basis in August 2010.
Jim and his wife, Cheryl, native Floridians, are American and Swiss, and have lived in Switzerland since 1992.
Cynthia Labi has more than 20 years of experience working as an HR & OD professional in diverse sectors, 13 years of which have been in various senior management roles in technical and general management capacities.
Born and raised in Ghana, Cynthia obtained a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Industrial Psychology and a minor in History from the University of Ghana, and later pursued her Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies (Management option) with the University of Westminster in the UK.
Cynthia is a strategic leader who has worked in various countries in private, public, and non-governmental sectors with international organisations such PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barclays Bank, and World Vision International. After having served for many years at national and regional levels as a strategic business partner, Cynthia’s strong business acumen is demonstrated in her ability to quickly understand the core business of an organisation, irrespective of the sector. This is further complimented by her strength in strategic envisioning, communication, cross-cultural engagement, change management, organisational redesign, consulting, project management, financial management, and virtual team management. She is also passionate about sharing knowledge and helping and motivating others to grow.
As a member of Medair’s Executive Leadership Team, Cynthia contributes to the development and implementation of the corporate strategy, leads the development of the HR strategy to support the delivery of Medair’s vision, and manages Medair’s global HR function with care and professionalism to support the organisation in implementing world-class humanitarian aid interventions.
Cynthia and her husband, Kwame, have four children.
William has worked with Medair since June 2010, when he joined as International Programmes Manager, with line management responsibilities for Medair’s country programmes. In February 2017, he was promoted to Deputy International Director, and he served as interim International Director for the second half of 2018. Prior to joining Medair, William worked for Christian Aid, where he held multiple roles, including Regional Project Officer (based in Kenya), Programme Funding Officer (UK) and Country Director (Zimbabwe). He has also worked for other agencies including AfghanAid and Tearfund.
As Quality and Innovation Director, William leads Medair’s technical sector and quality teams, the logistics team, and the other critical operational support functions including donor accountability, external representation, and innovation. In collaboration with the other members of Medair’s Executive Leadership Team, he passionately inspires Medair to be a humanitarian sector front-runner that experiments, adapts, scales, and shares innovative approaches to serving people in need.
William has a Master’s degree in Theology from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and a Diploma in Business Administration from the Open University.
William is a British national. He is married to Christina, and they have three daughters.
BingMei Hao has over 25 years of wide-ranging financial experience, having worked in China, across Asia Pacific, and in the US and Switzerland, including in audit and serving as a trustee and advisor to non-profit organisations.
A globally experienced chief financial officer, Bing has held positions as Global Controller, Finance Director, and Audit Manager with major pharmaceutical companies. She has vast experience, expertise, and knowledge of financial management and accounting systems, budgeting, planning, cost management, accounting, auditing, and transformation which she uses to lead Medair’s finance team with a strong focus on quality and financial accountability. As a business partner for Medair’s CEO and members of the Executive Leadership Team, Bing assesses and guides organisational performance against both the annual budget and the organisation’s long-term strategic objectives. She and her team develop financial modelling, financial forecasts, and financial analyses and provide insightful recommendations to support the annual business plan and long-term strategy.
Bing is Chinese-American, and has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the NingXia Technology College in China. She also has an MBA from the University of Massachusetts and is a certified as a public accountant and internal auditor.
Bing has been living in Switzerland since 2015.
Anne Reitsema has 14 years of experience in leading humanitarian teams in conflict and post-conflict settings. She has served with Medair in leadership roles in Zimbabwe, Angola, Uganda, Sudan, South Sudan, and at Medair’s Global Support Office overseeing Medair’s programmes in Somalia and Somaliland. Anne has broad experience in humanitarian programming, strategic planning, and operating in emergency relief and recovery contexts.
Having lived and worked in different countries with Medair, Anne has been very active in humanitarian coordination efforts as a member of various NGO steering committees, security management teams, humanitarian country teams, and UN managed pooled funding advisory boards. She has been closely involved in building and strengthening partnerships with a wide variety of actors active in the humanitarian aid sector, and she been an active member of Integral Alliance and EU-CORD. Anne has a passion for training and capacity– building. Before joining Medair in 2004, Anne worked as a social worker with various organisations.
In her role as International Programmes Director, Anne oversees Medair’s country programmes and the Global Emergency Response Team. She plays a key role in coaching and growing the leadership capacity and programmes in the countries where Medair operates.
Anne has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from the North West University Potchefstroom in South Africa, and a Master of Arts in Counselling from CTS in Saint Louis, Missouri, in the USA.
Anne is Dutch. She moved to Switzerland in 2019.
Heidi Cockram has more than 20 years’ experience in a wide variety of information technology and leadership roles in the private and humanitarian sectors, including Compassion Australia, Chevron, Murdoch University, and Doctors Without Borders. She worked with Medair as Country Director in Nepal, the Philippines, and Myanmar.
As Information Technology Services Director, Heidi leads the development of global Information Technology Services strategies, objectives, budgets, and plans, and ensures effective and efficient use of information technology and communications resources globally within Medair. She also supports country programmes and technical specialists to develop relevant and creative ways in which innovation and technology can be successfully used to enhance the delivery of Medair’s humanitarian aid.
Heidi studied Telecommunications Management and has an MBA from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. She also holds a graduate certificate in International Development from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.
Heidi is Australian and moved to Switzerland in 2019.
International Board of Trustees for Governance
Klaas is a manager/leader with over 30 years of international experience in business and the non-profit sector. Klaas previously served as chair of the Medair Netherlands board.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, and engineering from the Hogeschool in Enschede, the Netherlands.
Klaas began his career with IBM in the Netherlands, then began a long association with the Gillette Company in The Netherlands, Germany, London and Geneva, culminating his work with Gillette as VP Europe for Grooming and Personal Care.
Klaas joined the not-for-profit world to work for Medair as first Deputy Country Director then as Country Director for Southern Sudan. Upon leaving Medair, Klaas founded ClassConsult Strategic Consulting in the Netherlands, with a focus on not-for-profit organisations. He also worked as part-time Executive Pastor of Thousand Hills International Church in Hilversum, the Netherlands.
In 2012, Klaas became CEO of Netherlands based NGO Wilde Ganzen (Wild Geese). Wilde Ganzen supports small scale development projects for disadvantaged people working to build a better future for their communities. Wilde Ganzen works in over 60 countries.
In 2016 Klaas and his family moved to Cape Town, South Africa where he took up his consultancy again (now under the name of Truffle Consulting) with a focus on People/Organisational Development, Economic Development, Social Impact and Marketing.
Fraser works as a consultant to non-profit boards that are going through CEO leadership transitions. Previously he led the Global Development practice of an Executive Search firm, helping INGOs, Foundations, and UN agencies to appoint senior leaders.
Fraser has a long history with Medair, having first served in South Sudan in 1997. He also established the UK affiliate office, led Medair’s emergency response in Darfur, and served as Country Director in Uganda.
Fraser brings a broad range of governance experience with UK organisations. He is a trustee of Urban Devotion, governor at Bluecoat Academy, and serves as an elder at Heart Church. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Hampton Manor.
Fraser earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters in Public International Law from the University of Nottingham.
Torsten is Chief Executive Officer for Principalis AG, a family office and investment advisory firm based in the Zurich area. He is also an Investment Manager with PMG Fonds Management. Previously, until 2017, he was the Chief Executive Officer for Rianta Capital, a family office based in Zurich and London.
Before Torsten joined Rianta Capital in 2013, he was the CEO of LGT Capital Management, the traditional asset manager of LGT Group. Torsten oversaw CHF 23 billion in assets under management and was also responsible for the overall investment strategy for LGT Group.
Torsten joined LGT in 2007 from Barclays Capital in London, where he was the director of the Commodity Investor Solutions businesses in Europe and Asia. Before joining Barclays Capital in 2004, he was an Executive Director with Goldman Sachs in London.
Torsten graduated with a master’s degree in International Management and was a European Union scholar studying Business Administration at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), ESB Reutlingen (Germany), and Middlesex University in London. He completed his B.Sc. in Mathematics and Physics at the Friedrich-Alexander-University in Germany.
Torsten began serving on the Medair board in 2010.
Arno IJmker has worked in a variety of professional sectors during his successful career, including insurance, banking, NGO upper management, and business consultancy.
He has a master’s degree in Business Administration/Economics from the VU University in Amsterdam, and pursued a postgraduate course in Information Management and another in Management and New Media at the University of Amsterdam. Arno also participated in the Strategic Leadership Programme at Nyenrode Business University.
Arno began his career with the Ansvar Insurance Company’s finance department then moved to the banking industry, working first for Nederlandse Crediet Bank then at MeesPierson Bank. He then joined the NGO sector, working for Dorcas Aid International in the Middle East region out of Cairo, Egypt. Arno returned to MeesPierson/Fortis Bank, and from there, he joined Quint Wellington Redwood, a global management consultancy firm, with whom he works today. He currently serves as Managing Partner, responsible for a number of global key accounts of Quint.
Patrick Beringer has held senior management positions at Nestlé since 2003, where he has helped to shape the legal aspects of Nestlé’s approach to Mergers and Acquisitions, Nestlé Nutrition, and Nestlé Skin Health.
Patrick has a Master of Arts degree in history from St Catharine’s College, University of Cambridge, UK, where he additionally followed a Law Conversion Course. He also pursued a Law Society Finals Course at the College of Law in Chester, UK.
Since September 2018, Patrick has been General Counsel and Head of Compliance for Nestlé Skin Health, a division of Nestlé which provides products for skin care.
From 2008 to 2018, Patrick was General Counsel for Nestlé Nutrition, a business line within Nestlé International, the largest food and beverage company in the world, where he helped bring transformational change through various global accreditations, acquisitions and disposals. Prior to that position, Patrick was Head of Nestlé’s Mergers & Acquisitions Legal Competence Centre, a team which he created to develop an operating framework for legal support for M&A transactions. In that capacity, he provided legal management of a number of significant acquisitions and disposals. Leading up to this position, Patrick was a legal advisor in Nestlé’s European Zone.
Patrick began his legal career as a Solicitor for Allen & Overy in London and Budapest, and later as Legal Advisor for PPP Healthcare Limited in the UK.
Patrick began serving on the Medair board in June 2018.
Jacques Demaurex is an experienced finance manager in corporate finance and in asset management, earned in diversified financial and cultural environments in the US and Europe.
Jacques earned a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Lausanne.
Jacques began his career with a Swiss bank in Lausanne, then transferred to the US to work for SBC Warburg. He worked in San Francisco and in New York City before returning with the same corporation in Geneva as Director of Corporate Finance.
Jacques then took management positions in the finance industry, first with the private bank, Bonhote Bank, then for the Tetra Pak Group. Presently, Jacques works as head of asset management for a large family office, Sureco Investments SA.
Anne Headon is an international business leader operating at the board level with a strong strategy, innovation and marketing background. She is a business mentor supporting start-ups and scale-ups, in collaboration with leading universities in Switzerland and the UK.
Anne earned a Master of Science in Business with honours from HEC Lausanne (Faculté des Hautes Études Commerciales) in Switzerland, where she later served as a Business Advisory Board Member. She also holds an MBA from INSEAD (the European Institute of Business Administration) in France.
Anne is currently a member of four corporate boards and one non-profit board (Medair). She was a past board member of two non-profit and two corporate boards.
She works as Growth Expert and Tutor in the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Said Business School of the University of Oxford. Prior to this, Anne was co-founder and partner of Crescendo Marketing in Switzerland, a market research and marketing strategy agency. She served as Marketing Director of the L’Oreal Group in the UK and worked in brand management for Procter & Gamble in Switzerland. Her first career steps were in management consulting with McKinsey & Co in Switzerland.
Anne began her service on the Medair board in 2018.
Sam brings to the International Board of Trustees (IBoT) a unique combination of humanitarian experience, financial expertise, and a passion for corporate governance and good stewardship, all motivated by his Christian faith.
He has worked exclusively in the humanitarian sector for more than 15 years, both in the field and in HQ settings, with World Vision, Save the Children, and Lutheran World Federation. Sam first encountered Medair when he was in Angola from 2002 to 2008, and came away deeply impressed by the professionalism of the team and inspired by their faith motivation. His primary expertise is in finance, administration, and grant management, with an extensive background in external and internal auditing. Since 2011, he has worked for UNICEF in Geneva as Finance Manager for the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division.
Samson began serving on Medair’s board in 2016.
Henk-Jan Muusse has operational experience in programme management, having served in Uganda and Kenya. He has a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the Hogeschool in Haarlem. He had a year of leadership, military, and management training before joining the officer’s ranks in the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 1983.
After a couple of years in several management roles, Hans-Jan was selected for the Test Pilot School in the USA and graduated in 1990 to participate as a flight crew member in a major upgrade programme for the F16 aircraft.
Henk-Jan joined Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in 1992 and has served in a wide variety of roles such as line pilot, project manager, and aviation director. He is currently serving as MAF’s Regional Director for Africa. He is a member of the Executive Team of MAF International and serves as a Board Member for MAF’s Flight Training School in the Netherlands.
Henk-Jan is currently working on an MA in Missiology & International Development via All Nations Christian College in the UK.
Henk-Jan began serving on the Medair board in 2017.
Peter Wilson has been a leader in both the public and private sectors, including UK central government departments and FTSE top 20 and blue chip corporations. Peter began his career working in advertising agencies in the UK and abroad before becoming Marketing Manager with GlaxoSmithKline. From there, he moved to Marketing Controller with Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and then on to Marketing Director with Kettle Foods.
Peter then moved to the public sector as Deputy Director of HMRC (UK’s taxation/customs authority), the UK’s largest organisation (£450 bn), where he led a project to “improve society’s financial capability”. He then advanced to a director’s position in fraud prevention and cyber security in The Home Office in the UK, launching a global-first fraud and cyber-crime reporting system, which enabled public and private sectors to improve the protection of those most vulnerable to fraud.
Since October 2013, Peter has served as Deputy Director for the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism of The Home Office, where he is Head of Unit for research and communications, leading a team of specialists across public and private sectors in the UK, EU, and other partner countries to protect the vulnerable.