WASHINGTON, DC—CIVIC, an advocacy group for civilians in conflict zones, today announced its new board and leadership. The diverse backgrounds are a tribute to the organization’s global focus on the plight of civilians before, during, and after conflict.

“CIVIC is a unique organization with a tough job: pressing warring parties to be more responsible to civilians caught in conflict. We’re fortunate to have so many remarkable people at the forefront of their fields lending their support to this work,” said Anil Soni, the new chair of CIVIC’s board.  Soni is the former CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and senior advisor to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has been a CIVIC board member since 2008.

The new board members bring experience from varied sectors and a passion to help civilians in war.  They include journalists Sebastian Junger, whose 2010 book WAR and film “Restrepo” documented the war in Afghanistan from the soldiers’ perspective, and TIME’s award-winning Middle East bureau chief Aryn Baker, whose coverage of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring has brought complex issues of politics and human rights into the spotlight.

They are joined by policy experts Jean-Marie Guéhenno, Director of the Center of International Conflict Resolution at Columbia University and Joost Hiltermann of International Crisis Group.  Guéhenno, the former UN Under Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, is currently working on peace negotiations in Syria.  Hiltermann, the author of two books on Iraq & the Occupied Territories, has managed a team of policy analysts in the Middle East and North Africa for over a decade. Formerly of Refugees International and now with the United Nations in Kenya,  Kristèle Younès brings a wealth of humanitarian experience from conflict zones to the board.

Cecile Aptel of the Fletcher School at Tufts University and Naz Modirzadeh of Harvard Law School and Brookings Project on Law and Security add academic and legal expertise to the board.  Prof. Aptel has participated in international investigations of  crimes, gross human rights violations, and terrorism. Prof. Modirzadeh focuses her research on the intersections between Islamic law, international human rights, and humanitarian law.

Experts in organizational governance joining CIVIC include former US Army captain Griff Norquist of Moelis & Company, David Quigley of McKinsey & Company, and financial consultant Jessica Ginther.  Norquist, a Senior Vice President, brings his experience in the financial sector as well as his experience as a member of the US military. Quigley, a Director with McKinsey, brings decades of strategic and management expertise to the board. Ginther has over 15 years financial and accounting experience, most recently as a consultant for Amtrak.

“Today, many thousands of civilians are living through conflict, and every day we’re working to help them,” said Sarah Holewinski, CIVIC’s executive director. “We’re thrilled to have some of the best minds around joining our team to help change the landscape of war.”


Notes to editors:

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org.


Image courtesy of CIVIC
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