Frederick Lyons joined the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a UK/UNA volunteer in Bolivia in 1971, and retired from the UN in 2008 as a senior Resident Coordinator/Resident Representative following assignments in Benin, Mexico, Kenya, Russia, Iran, and Sri Lanka. From 2005–2006, he headed the UNDP office in Afghanistan. He currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the British–Irish Afghanistan Agencies Group (BAAG).
Board of trustees
Jean Arnault is a Professor of Practice at Sciences Po Paris, where he currently teaches International Mediation and the Settlement of Civil Wars, and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation of New York University.
He previously served as United Nations Special Adviser to the Group of Friends of Pakistan from 2008 to 2009. He was Special Representative of the Secretary General in Georgia from 2006 to 2008, in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2006, in Burundi from 2000 to 2001, and in Guatemala from 1997 to 2000. He was a mediator in the Guatemala peace negotiations from 1992 to 1996.
He holds a Masters Degree in Philosophy from the University of Sorbonne-Paris I, as well as a postgraduate diploma in Conference Interpretation from the University of Westminster. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum, New York.
Avila has been Director of the Community Foundation for Northern Ireland since 1994. Previously she was Regional Coordinator of the Rural Action Project (NI) – an EU Anti-Poverty initiative – and Development Officer with the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action.
Avila has long been active in the Women’s Movement and was a founder member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition. In 1990, she was appointed the first Women’s Officer for the Amalgamated Transport & General Workers’ Union (now Unite). She served on the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) and on the Executive Council of the ICTU.
Holding a PhD from the Institute of Governance, Queen's University Belfast, Avila has written extensively on Community Development, Women’s Issues and Conflict Transformation.
Margo Picken is a visiting fellow at LSE and an associate of its Centre for the Study of Human Rights. She directed the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia from 2001 to 2007.
She worked for the Ford Foundation from 1988 to 1995 where she was responsible for the Foundation’s international human rights program. She directed the office of Amnesty International at the United Nations in New York from 1976 to 1987.
She has published several articles on human rights and has served on the boards of a number of non-governmental organisations. She is a graduate of the University of London.
Catherine currently works as a freelance consultant. Her background is in international development in the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions and she has managed country-based programmes in Indonesia and Cambodia. Catherine was formerly CEO of Responding To Conflict.
She has a MA in Leading Innovation and Change, and recently completed studies in Organisational Development and Consultancy at Sheffield Hallam University. She is currently undertaking a part-time doctorate in Practical Theology through the Cambridge Theological Federation.
She has a special interest in organisational development and leadership. She is a fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and an associate consultant with IOD/PARC, Triple Line Consulting and the Craighead Institute in Glasgow.
Teresa Whitfield is a Senior Advisor and Fellow at Center on International Cooperation at New York University and Senior Adviser to the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, responsible for liaison with the United Nations.
Teresa has published widely on the dynamics of internal conflict, peacemaking and United Nations peace operations. In March 2010 she was awarded a grant by the United States Institute of Peace to research and write a book examining efforts to end the Basque conflict in Spain.
Previously Teresa was Director of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum. She has also worked as an official within the UN’s Department of Political Affairs.