Our Team

Executive & Administration Team

Burkhard Gnärig

Burkhard Gnärig

Executive Director



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At the beginning of 2007, Burkhard founded the International Civil Society Centre, originally the Berlin Civil Society Center, together with Peter Eigen and shortly thereafter, became Executive Director of the Centre. Burkhard has over 20 years’ experience of international cooperation and management of civil society organisations (CSOs). From 1998 to 2007 he was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the International Save the Children Alliance, located in London. Before this, Burkhard was CEO of Greenpeace Germany and terre des hommes Germany. As a field director in Papua New Guinea, Burkhard also worked for the German Development Service. Burkhard has been Board Chair and Board Member of various CSOs in Italy, Switzerland, India, Korea and Japan, and has actively participated in a number of major UN conferences, as well as at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Helene Wolf

Helene Wolf

Deputy Executive Director

+49 (0) 30 20 62 46 97 16
hwolf@icscentre.org

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Helene joined the Centre in May 2011 and was appointed Deputy Executive Director in May 2013, overseeing the general management of the Centre and its projects. Prior to joining the Centre team, Helene worked as a Research Officer at the International Crisis Group’s headquarters in Brussels and as a Junior Consultant at a strategic communications consultancy in Berlin. Helene holds an MA in EU Politics and Government from the London School of Economics and has also studied Cultural Studies at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) and in Wroclaw, Poland.

Peter Christiansen

Peter Christiansen

Programme Director

+49 (0) 30 20 62 46 97 18
pchristiansen@icscentre.org

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Peter joined the Centre in December 2015 as Deputy Executive Director. Peter has been working within the civil society sector for the past 20 years, holding various positions in Denmark, Tanzania and Jordan before moving to Berlin. At ActionAid Denmark Peter was the Head of Global Capacity Development, setting up a worldwide educational framework. Also with ActionAid, Peter served as Regional Director of the Middle East Programme focusing on youth empowerment and support to Syrian refugees. Peter holds an MA in Management and Experience Economy as well as a bachelor’s degree in Educational Management. His key professional interests are the changing paradigm for civil society and the new organizational framework required to constantly be able to deliver on social change.

Claudia Ehing

Claudia Ehing

Executive Assistant

+49 30 20 62 46 97 11
cehing@icscentre.org

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Claudia joined the Centre in July 2016 as the Executive Assistant. She holds an M.A. in International Humanitarian Action from the Ruhr-University Bochum and the Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao. During her studies, she did internships with Amnesty International in Paraguay and GIZ in Germany.

Furthermore, she studied International Development and Political Science at the University of Vienna from 2009-2012, focusing on Resource Extractivism in Latin America and Gender Studies. Before joining the Centre, Claudia completed the Postgraduate Program of the German Development Institute in Bonn, where she conducted research on the role of the United Nations in supporting Vietnam to address its climate change challenges.

Aliina Housden

Aliina Housden

Office Coordinator

+49 30 20 62 46 97 10
ahousden@icscentre.org

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Aliina joined the Centre in July 2015 as Office Coordinator. She supports the DED, the daily operations of the office and project work of the Centre. Before joining the Centre she worked at Transparency International UK as Office Manager and previous to that as Data and Financial Assistant at Amnesty International Deutschland e.V. She holds an MA in Chinese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and a BA in Asian Studies from the University of Bonn, focusing on language, culture and politics of the East Asian Region.

Flora Kwong

Flora Kwong

Finance Officer

+49 30 20 62 46 97 20
fkwong@icscentre.org

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Flora joined the Centre as Finance Officer in October 2015. She is responsible for planning, administering and monitoring the Centre’s finances, while developing the Centre’s procedures as it grows. Prior to the Centre, Flora earned her Chartered Professional Accountant designation and worked as a consultant at Deloitte Enterprise Risk Services in Toronto, Canada. With a budding interest in international relations, she moved to Vienna in 2013 to complete her Master of Advanced International Studies. Her master thesis explored the elements for human rights change and the role played by the transnational advocacy network.

Fundraising & Communications

Rhianon Bader

Rhianon Bader

Fundraising and Communications Manager

+49 (0) 30 20 62 46 97 17
rbader@icscentre.org

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Rhianon joined the Centre in July 2015 as the Communications Coordinator and is now managing the Centre's fundraising and communications. Rhianon has 13 years experience working in journalism and communications, including more than six years in the non-profit sector and five years in fundraising. Prior to working at the Centre she worked for five years as Development and Communications Director for the INGO Skateistan – a children’s sport for development organisation focusing on education and gender equality. Originally from Canada, Rhianon studied Political Science and International Relations at the University of British Columbia (Canada), and holds a diploma in Journalism. Rhianon has worked in Afghanistan, Cambodia, South Africa, Germany, Canada, and interned in Bolivia and Ecuador.

Alexia Skok

Alexia Skok

Communications Coordinator

+49 (0) 30 20 62 46 97 17
askok@icscentre.org

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Alexia joined the Centre in November 2015 as Communications and Fundraising Officer, contributing to the overall visibility and reach of the Centre and its projects. She brings to her role a background in photography and communication for development (C4D). Alexia’s experience includes the position of Communication and Photomedia Advisor at an Australian Aid-funded food security program in Timor-Leste, interning at UNDP projects in Kosovo, and providing communication and membership support for environmental and sustainability organisations in Germany. Alexia holds an M.A. (Visual and Media Anthropology) from Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and a B.A. (Photography) from RMIT University (Australia).

Convening Team

Peter Koblowsky

Peter Koblowsky

Project Officer

+49 (0) 30 20 62 46 97 22
pkoblowsky@icscentre.org

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Peter joined the Centre in January 2013, back then as a trainee. He completed the traineeship in the advocacy & campaigning office of World Vision Germany. Back at the Centre, he is now working as Project Officer in the Convening team. He coordinates the Shared Services for ICSOs meeting series and supports the implementation of various other formats. Before joining the Centre, Peter worked for the German Development Institute and the Inter-Parliamentary Working Group in Bonn. During two stays in Nigeria, he worked with a local environmental CSO and organised educational workshops for youth. He studied at the University of Bonn and graduated with an MA in Political Science with a focus on multi-stakeholder advocacy.

Scanning the Horizon

Marianne Henkel

Marianne Henkel

Project Coordinator Scanning the Horizon

+49 30 20 62 46 97 15
mhenkel@icscentre.org

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Marianne manages the Centre’s Scanning the Horizon project, coordinating strategic foresight among ICSOs, bringing diverse actors’ perspectives into the exchange, and supporting the formation of a community of futurists. She has ten years of work experience in research and consultancy. Before joining the Centre, she has worked as Senior Project Manager in a consultancy and think tank for climate, environment and development, conducting projects on water management and sustainable entrepreneurship on behalf of international and national public donors. In a transdisciplinary research project, she has conducted empirical research on the contribution of social entrepreneurs to water supply and sanitation challenges, with case studies in Ecuador and India. Marianne holds a Diploma in Environmental Sciences from the University of Koblenz and a Master in musicology, German and English from the Universities of Cologne, Münster and Cardiff.

Shrinking Civic Space

Miriam Niehaus

Miriam Niehaus

Project Coordinator Civic Charter

+49 30 20 62 46 97 15
mniehaus@icscentre.org

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Miriam joined the Centre in June 2014 as Executive Assistant supporting the work of the Executive Director and coordinating the Centre’s legal and governance related matters. Since 01 July 2016 Miriam is the Project Coordinator of the Civic Charter. Before starting at the Centre, Miriam worked within the GIZ Programme for Local Governance and Civil Society Development in Ramallah, Palestinian Territories. Prior to this, she held positions with VSO International as Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and with VSO UK in the Volunteering Department. Miriam completed an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 2012 and a BA in Islamic Studies and Social Anthropology at Freiburg University in 2011 with stays in Egypt and Turkey.

Global Standard For CSO Accountability

Åsa Månsson

Åsa Månsson

Project Director Global Standard for CSO Accountability

+49 (0) 30 20 62 46 97 24
amansson@icscentre.org

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Åsa joined the Centre in 2009 as PA to the Executive Director. Between 2010 and 2013, Åsa acted as manager of the INGO Accountability Charter (Accountable Now). In September 2013, Åsa took up the role as Director of Development, innovating the Centre's fundraising and communication efforts. Since October 2016, Åsa has been Director of the Global Standard. Originally from Sweden, Åsa earlier worked for a consultancy, evaluating social projects within the public and civil society sector. Åsa studied European Studies and Sociology at universities in Gothenburg and Berlin. She completed her education with a Master’s thesis on the role of civil society in European governance.

Kami Mainkar

Kami Mainkar

Project Coordinator Global Standard for CSO Accountability

+49 30 20 62 46 97 15
kmainkar@icscentre.org

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Kami joined the Centre in June 2015 as the coordinator of the Global Standard for CSO Accountability and is in charge of the daily management and administration of this project. Kami studied Public Management at the University of Potsdam in Brandenburg and Political Science at the University of Delhi in India. For her Masters thesis, Kami researched the root causes of sexual violence against women in India and lack of challenge within the rule of law and the democratic framework, to regressive social norms such as patriarchy and inequalities based on the caste system. Kami has worked for international CSOs such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare, WWF and the Wildlife Trust of India. Her experience spans working with multiple stakeholders from Government, civil society and both public and private sector.

Yvonne Madondo

Yvonne Madondo

Senior Accountability Advisor for Global Standard for CSO Accountability

+263 772 762 002
ymadondo@icscentre.org

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Yvonne joined the Centre in October 2015 as the Senior Accountability Advisor to the Global Standard for CSO Accountability project. She supports the co-creation process for the Global Standard between the project partners, and contributes to the adoption of a community of practice around global CSO accountability. Prior to joining the Centre, Yvonne was the Humanitarian Accountability Coordinator for the PRIZE consortium in Zimbabwe, focusing on the design, implementation and evaluation of rights-based approaches to delivering development assistance. Before that, she was working as an Independent Consultant, evaluating the performance of international CSOs in beneficiary accountability practice. She has facilitated the adoption of community-centred feedback and response mechanisms among ICSOs in Southern Africa, with an emphasis on learning and sharing across the wider CSO network – locally, regionally and internationally. Yvonne holds an MA in Development Studies from Midlands State University in Zimbabwe, where she explored how CSOs working in the food security sector in Zimbabwe were practicing greater accountability to recipient communities.

Isabelle Büchner

Isabelle Büchner

Communications Officer

+49 30 20 62 46 97 15
ibuechner@icscentre.org

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Isabelle joined the Centre in December 2016 as Communications Officer in the Global Standard for CSO Accountability team. She supports and further develops the communication efforts of the project in order to expand its outreach. Before joining the Centre she worked as an intern for the MENA-focused magazine zenith and the communications agency Weber Shandwick. She holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Mannheim, focusing on civil war and democratisation in the Middle East. Subsequently she completed an MSc in Marketing in Edinburgh and wrote her master thesis on the communication strategy of Islamic State propaganda videos.