Board of trustees
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 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 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 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.
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 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.