Board of trustees

Marc Van Bellinghen: Trustee
Marc Van Bellinghen works with the European External Action Services (EEAS) as a Senior Adviser in the Africa Department.
He has worked on conflict prevention & peacebuilding for well over decade both within the EEAS as Deputy Head of the Conflict Prevention Division and with the European Commission as Deputy Head of the Crisis Response & Peacebuilding Unit. His main domain of expertise lies with African countries, in particular the Great Lakes region where he worked in the eighties as a Belgian diplomat before joining the European Commission in the mid nineties.
In recent years, he conducted conflict analysis workshops and worked on dialogue and facilitation processes related to Africa, often in liaison with the UN and NGO partners. He also has experience with security sector reform and transitional justice processes in Africa.
He graduated in Law and Journalism before joining the Belgian Foreign Service in 1982.
Carey Cavanaugh: Trustee
Carey Cavanaugh is director of the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky.  This followed a diplomatic career at the US Department of State centered on peacebuilding, political-military affairs, and humanitarian issues.  In addition to assignments in Washington at the State Department, Pentagon, and the Senate, he served in Berlin, Moscow, Tbilisi, Rome, and Bern.
Carey has long been active in conflict resolution, helping advance for the United States peace efforts involving Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkey.  The South Caucasus has been a particular focus.  In 1992, he established the first American Embassy to the new Republic of Georgia.   He was later appointed Ambassador/Special Negotiator for Eurasian Conflicts.  He also served as US co-chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s Minsk Group, hosting peace talks on Nagorno-Karabakh in Key West, Florida in 2001.
Michelle Davis: Trustee
Michelle Davis specialises in global strategic communications and is currently Senior Communications Manager for an international NGO dedicated to the prevention and treatment of malaria, neglected tropical diseases, and improving child health.
Previous roles include external communications for Muslim Aid, supporting fundraising campaigns and raising the profile of the charity’s relief work across sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and the MENA region, as well as strategic planning and operational support for an Islamic multi-lingual and educational channel.
Michelle has over 10 years experience producing and directing factual programmes and live events for the BBC.  She has led communications training in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and holds an MA in Global Media (SOAS).
Michelle is interested in how communications and technology can influence change and enable a better understanding of diverse perspectives. She is currently learning about the impact of open data initiatives and their potential to support democratic change.
Avila Kilmurray: Trustee

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.  In 1990, Avila 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.  

Avila has long been active in the Women’s Movement and was a founder member of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition.  Avila has written extensively on Community Development, Women’s Issues and Conflict Transformation.  The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland was a founder member of the Foundations for Peace Network, a peer network of independent indigenous funders working in contested societies. 

Avila currently serves on the Northern Ireland Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund; she is a Board member of the Global Fund for Community Foundations; a member of the Working Group for Philanthropy for Social Justice and Peace; and a recently appointed Board member of Conciliation Resources.  Avila has a PhD from the Institute of Governance, Queens University Belfast.

Jeremy Lester: Trustee

Jeremy Lester advises on Conflict Prevention, Mediation and Peacebuilding in the Africa Department of the European Union External Action Service.

He has long been involved with development and diplomacy in conflict afflicted countries. He is interested in diaspora and refugee issues, as well as those of justice, development and human security. He is a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and is a trustee of Oxfam Solidarity in Belgium, and of Conciliation Resources, of Saferworld, and of Refugee Action in the UK.

He has been responsible for relations with several African countries, and been EU Head of Delegation in first Rwanda and later Niger. In post genocide Rwanda, he was particularly concerned with restorative justice and reconciliation.

He graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Moral Philosophy and Economics in 1972, and from the University of East Anglia in the following year with an MA in Development Economics and Administration.

Frederick Lyons: Trustee

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).

Michelle Parlevliet: Trustee

Michelle Parlevliet has been working on the nexus of human rights, justice and peacebuilding for nearly 20 years in various capacities and country contexts. She currently works as a freelance consultant and is affiliated with the University of Amsterdam while completing a dissertation that draws on her practical experiences. 

Between 2006 and 2009 she served as senior conflict transformation adviser for Danida’s Human Rights and Good Governance Programme in Nepal. Before that, she worked with the Centre for Conflict Resolution in South Africa, the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (1995-2005). She has provided facilitation, training, and technical assistance services to the World Bank (Indonesia), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Council for Human Rights Policy, the Northern Ireland Parades Commission and numerous other organisations and networks, including grassroots ones. 
She is associated with consultancy network Facilitating Peace and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Human Rights Practice; the international Advisory Board of the Centre on Human Rights in Conflict (at the University of East London); and the international Advisory Board of a three-year research program on transformative justice in Egypt and Tunisia funded by the UK-ESRC. Michelle has published widely on human rights and peacebuilding, conflict prevention, and transitional justice, and holds a MA in Political Science (Un. of Amsterdam) and a MA in International Peace Studies (Univ. of Notre Dame). 
Peter Price: Chair of Trustees

Peter Price is Chair of the Board of Trustees at Conciliation Resources. He was Bishop of Bath and Wells from 2002 to 2013, and represented the Anglican Church in British Parliament as a member of the House of Lords from 2008 to 2013. Actively involved with peacebuilding, Peter has over 40 years experience in reconciliation work, beginning with Northern Ireland in Europe, but including Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. 

He was greatly influenced by his experiences with the church in Latin America during the ‘dirty wars’ of the 1980s and 1990s. Between 1992 and 1997 he was General Secretary of Us (formerly known as USPG), one of the Anglican Church’s leading mission and development agencies. Peter has represented the Archbishop of Canterbury in matters of foreign affairs, and remains a vocal presence on development, foreign affairs and defence policy.

Catherine Sexton: Trustee

Catherine currently works as a freelance consultant. Herbackground 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.

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