Abby Maxman, President and CEO, Oxfam America
Abby Maxman joined Oxfam America as president and CEO in 2017. With more than 30 years of experience in international humanitarian relief and development, she brings a strategic focus on addressing the policies and systems that perpetuate global poverty. Maxman has particular experience in gender and power in social change; humanitarian preparedness and response; and organizational development, behavior and culture. Throughout her career she has also focused on prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse within the aid sector, and currently plays an important role within the Oxfam Confederation and among US-based NGOs to improve safeguarding practices.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Maxman served as Deputy Secretary General of CARE International in Geneva, providing leadership across the CARE Confederation. She previously served as Vice President of International Programs and Operations for CAREUSA, and in other country and regional leadership roles in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. Before CARE, Maxman had assignments with the US Peace Corps, German Agency for Technical Cooperation, UN World Food Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency, and the US Department of Agriculture. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Colorado College and a Masters of International Administration from The School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director, Oxfam International
Gabriela Bucher is Executive Director of Oxfam International. She is an experienced global social justice leader and deeply committed to gender equality and human rights, and to tackling economic inequality.
Bucher, who grew up in Cali, Colombia, is a champion for feminist leadership and believes in the power of collaboration. Prior to Oxfam, Bucher was the Chief Operating Officer at Plan International and led Fundación Plan Colombia, where she worked alongside children and communities affected by Colombia’s decades-long armed conflict and contributed to peace building and youth active citizenship, influencing the country’s approach on restorative justice for children.
Latanya Mapp Frett, CEO and President, Global Fund for Women and Oxfam America Board Member
Latanya Mapp Frett is CEO and President of the Global Fund for Women. She formerly served as the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She also worked for eight years as a human rights officer for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and for 10 years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Frett served as a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and continues to fight for the human rights of women. She has received many honors and awards, including two Esteemed Meritorious Honor Awards from the US government and the highest honor in civil service, the Superior Honor Award, from the US State Department. Frett was one of 30 Foreign Service officers honored with the Colin Powell Fellowship by then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She currently serves as Board of Director at Oxfam America, CHANGE, and Inwood House. Frett is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and author of four UN human rights reports and manuals. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and Alum of ICAP. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in government and politics, a Master's in public policy, and a J.D. from the University of Maryland.
Gina Cummings, Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances & Policy, Oxfam America
Gina Cummings is the Vice President of Advocacy, Alliances & Policy for Oxfam America, where she oversees research, policy, advocacy, campaigning, and building Oxfam's network of US allies, partners, and supporters to influence the US government and US corporations. Cummings joined Oxfam America in 2006 as an Organizing and Alliances Manager, where she developed the Sisters on the Planet Ambassadors program, as well as alliances with chefs and other key allies. She then served as Director of Campaigns, setting the strategic direction for Oxfam’s advocacy campaigns and developing the team structures to support them. Prior to joining Oxfam, Cummings was Chief Operating Officer of Physicians for Human Rights, a nongovernmental organization that uses medicine and science to document and advocate against mass atrocities and severe human rights violations around the world.
Oscar A. Chacón, Executive Director, Alianza Americas
Oscar A. Chacón is a co‐founder and executive director of Alianza Americas. Before stepping into this role in 2007, Chacón served in leadership positions at the Chicago‐based Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights, the Northern California Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, the Boston‐based Centro Presente, and several other community-based and international development organizations. Chacón has also served on multiple advisory committees to national and international processes, including the Civil Society Consultation process associated with the Global Forum on Migration and Development and the World Social Forum on Migration. Chacón is a frequent national and international spokesperson on transnationalism, economic justice, the link between migration and development, migrant’s integration processes, human mobility, migration policies, racism and xenophobia; and US Latino community issues.
Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni, Global Health and Access to Medicines Consultant
Dr. Mohga Kamal-Yanni is a senior health advisor with 40 years of experience in health policy and programming with international and national development agencies, including NGOs and governments in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. She is currently providing technical and policy support to UNAIDS and the People's Vaccine Alliance on access to COVID-19 health technology and a key advisor to the NGO board members to UNITAID.
Kamal-Yanni's in depth experience and knowledge of policy and advocacy on access to medicines and healthcare includes: Producing policy papers, targeted briefings, publishing articles, presentations at conferences and relevant meetings; engaging international organizations related to health, including WHO, Global Fund including the Market Dynamic Committee, UNITAID, Medicine Patent Pool and the World Bank; representing and leading NGOs on boards, consultations, and key meetings; and engaging with traditional and social media including currently providing regular information on COVID-19 in Arabic on Twitter.
Dr. Vanessa Kerry, CEO, Seed Global Fund
Dr. Vanessa Kerry is the co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health (Seed), a nonprofit that focuses on the power of investing in health and the health workforce for social well-being, economic growth, equity which transforms countries. Through partnership with governments and in-country academic institutions, under Vanessa’s tenure Seed has helped train more than 17,000 doctors, nurses, and midwives and has impacted hundreds of thousands of lives. Seed’s impact is rooted in its unique leveraging model that not only provides better care to patients, but also trains future generations, supports the health sector, and catalyzes change in the health system.
Kerry’s work has been featured at conferences, in print, online, and media, including the Aspen Ideas Festival, the United Nations, the World Health Assembly, NPR, PBS, MSNBC, and Marie Claire, the New England Journal of Medicine, the New York Times and The Lancet.
She graduated from Yale University summa cum laude and Harvard Medical School cum laude, completing her clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned her Master’s in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from the London Schools of Economics and of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is currently a critical care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and serves as the Associate Director of Partnerships and Global Initiatives at MGH Global Health. She directs the Global Public Policy and Social Change program at Harvard Medical School, where she focuses on links between security and health. She is a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Social Entrepreneur, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She as awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Public Policy from Northeastern University in 2015. She was recently appointed to the prestigious President’s Council for International Activities at Yale University, as a Global Advisor to the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and one of only 24 inaugural Fellows of WomenLift Health awarded by Stanford University and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She is the mother of a four- and eight-year-old.
Robbie Silverman, Senior Manager, Private Sector Advocacy, Oxfam America
Robbie Silverman is the Advocacy Manager in Oxfam America’s Private Sector Department, where he manages a team focused on engaging and challenging for-profit corporations to advance Oxfam’s mission of combating poverty and injustice worldwide.
In his role at Oxfam, he has worked to launch a produce certification label, the Equitable Food Initiative, that prioritizes farmworkers’ rights, helped to establish an impact investing fund to support women’s entrepreneurship in Guatemala, and led company engagement for a successful campaign against US poultry processors regarding their treatment of workers. He is currently focused on ensuring free and equal access to all COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, implementing Oxfam’s global campaign against inequality, with a focus on stopping corporate tax avoidance, and advancing Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes campaign challenging America’s largest supermarkets to improve conditions for workers in their global supply chains.
Prior to Oxfam, he spent several years working on affordable housing policy advocacy in the United States, including two years as a Skadden Legal Fellow in Chicago. He holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Harvard and a J.D. from Yale.
Susana Gauster, Head of Research and Advocacy, Oxfam in Guatemala
Susana Gauster earned her Ph.D. in Social Sciences at the University of Vienna. She is originally Austrian, and has been working in Guatemala for 25 years. Her experience in Guatemala includes 10 years in research on land, peasant agriculture and food systems; and about seven years working with Oxfam focusing primarily on inequality, social protection, and private sector influencing.
Matt Hamilton, Senior Advisor, Traders and Inclusive Value Chains, Oxfam America
Matt Hamilton (he/his) is a Senior Advisor, Inclusive Value Chains, within the Private Sector Department. His focus is on sustainability and human rights issues within the agribusiness sector. He manages and provides support on the confederation’s relationships with 7 major agribusinesses: ADM, Barry Callebaut, Bunge, Cargill, Louis Dreyfus, Olam, and Wilmar. Prior to joining Oxfam, Hamilton's work experience included positions with the World Trade Organization, United Nations, Ralph Lauren, and Fairtrade America.
Hamilton earned his B.A. in International Studies at American University and his Masters in International Affairs at The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. He serves as co-chair of OUS’s LGBTQIA+ Employee Resource Group. He is originally from Austin, Texas, and currently lives in Washington, DC.
Chef Irene Li
Irene Li operates Mei Mei Street Kitchen and Mei Mei Restaurant in Boston and works to drive the industry forward in ethical sourcing and fair employment practices. A Boston native and Cornell University graduate, Li has worked on farms, taught in prisons, and watched hours of YouTube videos on food and cooking. Since 2012, Mei Mei has been featured by Food & Wine, Eater Boston & National, The New York Times, Restaurant Hospitality, People, Bon Appetit, The Boston Globe, and more. She is an Eater Young Gun, Zagat "30 Under 30" and Forbes "30 Under 30" winner and four-time James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef semi-finalist.
Oliver Gottfried, Senior Global Campaigns Manager, Oxfam America
Oliver Gottfried serves as the Senior Global Campaigns Manager at Oxfam America. He oversees Oxfam’s campaigning on food issues, working to build a better food system, one that produces enough for a growing population and empowers poor people to earn a living and feed their families. He previously led Oxfam’s campaign to improve working conditions and wages for America’s 250,000 poultry processing workers. Prior to coming to Oxfam America, he spent 14 years leading campaigning and advocacy work for political campaigns and labor unions across the United States. He received his undergraduate degree from Haverford College.
Degan Ali, Executive Director and Board member, Adeso
Degan Ali is a strong believer that the current humanitarian and development aid system needs to be transformed to give more power and voice to local communities and civil society organizations. Following this belief, Ali continues to innovate and develop new solutions to build the infrastructure that will truly shift power and resources.
In 2016, Ali launched the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR), a vibrant Global South network of CSOs that has since increased to over 200 members. She was the one who suggested to establish a 20 percent target of direct humanitarian funding to local actors, which was later adopted and increased to 25 percent in the Grand Bargain commitment at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).
Ali also focuses on changing the way aid is delivered on a regional level: Given the dignity, agency and effectiveness of providing cash to households, she led Adeso in introducing humanitarian cash transfers in Somalia in 2003, which was later scaled up during the 2011 famine. It was Ali’s strong strategic advocacy and demonstration of success of cash transfers in Somalia through the work of Adeso that contributed to the global acceptance of cash. This ensured that Somalia led the global use and scale up of cash transfers in the humanitarian system.
Ali joined Adeso (formerly Horn Relief) as Deputy Director in 2003 and she became Adeso’s Executive Director in 2006. She has more than 20 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, organizational development, program management and business development strategies, continuously demonstrating the ability to lead diverse teams of professionals to new levels of success in a highly competitive and fast-paced environment.
Ali is dedicated to provide local communities with a voice, and passionate about democratizing the way humanitarian and development aid is currently delivered. She believes in the values of partnership and collaboration.
Carlos Mejia, Executive Director, Oxfam Colombia
Carlos Mejia has worked for over 25 years on humanitarian and development issues, leading programs and teams to effective strategic aid worldwide. Before stepping into his current role as Executive Director for Oxfam Colombia, Mejia was Humanitarian Director for Oxfam America, where he led strategic work to transform the humanitarian system through effective partnerships with global, regional and national organizations. He spent 15 months on a secondment at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as Senior Program Officer for its Emergency Response Team, developing and leading their capacity building initiative for the humanitarian portfolio. Other past experience includes work at Save the Children, where he served as Deputy Program and Operations Manager. Mejia has spent time in numerous conflict and disaster areas including South Sudan, Colombia, Ethiopia, China, Kosovo, and Yemen. From 2004-2006, Carlos was the Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University in New York. He also worked for the Jesuit Refugee Service and American Friends Service Committee.
Mejia received B.A. in Theology and Philosophy and an M.A. in Theology from Javeriana University in Bogota, Colombia. He also has numerous publications to his credit, including Amor y Gracia; A Theological Approach to the Humanitarian Crisis of Displaced Communities in Colombia and Mapmakers of Life, a basic manual for humanitarian workers, as pedagogical tools mapping out in visual posters the cycle of emergency response systems (AECID Spain and Save the Children UK).
Tijani Ahmed Hamza, Country Director, Oxfam in Ghana
Ahmed Hamza Tijani, Oxfam Country Director in Ghana since April 2017, has over 20 years’ social development leadership experiences across different themes, including natural resource governance, social policy, education, political governance, and fiscal policy. Before he joined Oxfam as Country Director in April 2017, he previously worked with ActionAid in Ghana (1997-2001) and Oxfam IBIS (2001 to 2017), during which period he was also Country Director in Sierra Leone and Ghana. Ahmed Hamza was part of the team that led the transition to "One Oxfam" in Ghana in partnership with Oxfam America, Oxfam Great Britain, and Oxfam Denmark.
He has an M.A. in Leading Innovation and Change from the York University, UK, Master's (course work only) in Democracy, Governance and Law from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, with a B.A. Honors in Law and sociology from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Ahmed Hamza is a Ford Foundation Fellow on African NGO leadership. He writes on organizational development, organizational leadership, and civil society in Africa.
Clémence Abbes, Project Manager, Oxfam in Peru
Clémence Abbes works in Peru as the manager for the Protecting the Amazon project. Her work seeks to support communities in the Amazon whose territorial rights and livelihoods are affected by large-scale agribusiness. She campaigns to secure indigenous land rights and address forest loss.
Laura Victoria Gómez Correa, Program Manager, Oxfam Colombia
Laura Gómez is the current manager of Oxfam Colombia’s Right to Equality Program, which focuses on territorial agendas of rural women and youth. She has more than twenty years of experience with the cooperation for development, project design, implementation, capacity building, knowledge process and training with organizations such as the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), United Nations Development Programme, projects of the European Union, among others, in Colombia and in other countries of LAC.
Andrea Perera, Vice President for Public Engagement, Oxfam America
Andrea Perera leads Oxfam America's Public Engagement division, which aims to broaden Oxfam's brand reach, engage our supporter base, influence public policy, and raise money to fight the injustice of poverty.
Perera joined Oxfam America in 2004 as a campaigns writer. In addition to supporting Oxfam’s early advocacy efforts, she also chronicled our program work with farmers and fishers in East Asia. In the years that followed, Perera managed our website content and fundraising efforts, helped develop our first communications strategy, led the day-to-day operations of the Communications team as the Deputy Director, and wrote the Oxfam America Brand Story while Communications Director.
Perera previously worked as a newspaper reporter for the Orlando Sentinel and Los Angeles Times. She has a B.A. in Communications Studies and Public Policy from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.
Karen Harrison, Global Brand Lead, Oxfam America
Karen Harrison, Oxfam America Global Brand Lead started with Oxfam nearly 10 years ago following a career in the private sector. Harrison started her career in brand management working for Levi Strauss & Co. in San Francisco and Levi’s Argentina. After nearly 10 years of Levi’s, she decided to make a transition into non-profit marketing and branding and start a family. Prior to joining Oxfam, Harrison worked for The Trustees of Reservations and Rockport Music (on Cape Ann, MA), where she lives with her husband and two kids.
Thomas Kurmann, Vice President for Resource Development, Oxfam America
Thomas Kurmann leads Oxfam America’s Resource Development division, which aims to grow revenue and supporters in the competitive and disrupted landscape of US philanthropy.
Kurmann joins Oxfam America with 16 years of senior management team experience leading Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders’ fundraising efforts in the US, Germany, and Switzerland, and supervising fundraising development in Mexico. Throughout his career, he has contributed to raising more than $2.5 billion.
Kurmann teaches fundraising at academic institutions in Switzerland and is a recognized speaker at fundraising conferences in the US and overseas on topics, such as strategy and donor journey mapping, creation of business canvas and value proposition models, innovation and behavioral economics.
Before his fundraising career, Kurmann worked as a freelance journalist and public relations professional, and as a dramaturg for a theater. He holds a Master’s degree in Italian literature, philosophy, and psychology from the University of Zurich, and professional certificates in design thinking and corporate social responsibility.