The work of GAPS is coordinated by our staff and member organisations, and overseen by our advisory board and management committee.
Director (maternity cover)
Zarina Khan joined GAPS in February 2017. She has previously served on the GAPS Management Committee, and chaired the GAPS policy working group. Zarina came to GAPS from the International Rescue Committee UK where she was the Women’s Protection and Empowerment Policy Adviser, leading policy and advocacy on women and girls’ protection from gender-based violence in humanitarian settings. She previously held positions at Saferworld, Womankind Worldwide and Amnesty International, working on gender, peace and security; women’s rights and development; women’s participation in peacebuilding; and violence against women and girls. Zarina has also trained in working with survivors of sexual violence for voluntary work in the UK.
Director (maternity leave)
Hannah Bond is Director of Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS). Hannah has worked with CSOs and government in the UK and Global South. In the early stages of her career, Hannah worked for the Women’s National Commission, focusing on violence against women. She has since worked for humanitarian and development NGOs in the UK and Global South and for the British Embassy in Addis Ababa where she worked on Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somaliland. Hannah lived and worked for six years in Ethiopia, where she specialised in conflict, gender, human rights, community-based development and economic empowerment. Hannah focused on conflict and gender in her Master’s degree at King’s College London.
Josephine Roele joined GAPS in May 2017. Previously, she supported the disarmament programme, Reaching Critical Will, at the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) in Geneva. She has experience in disarmament and international security policy and advocacy, and in undertaking research on Women, Peace and Security and arms control issues. She also interned at WITNESS on the gender-based violence campaign. Josephine completed her Master’s on gender and international development at UCL in 2016, where she focused on girls’ education in fragile and conflict-affected contexts and feminist international relations.
Baroness Fiona Hodgson of Abinger CBE
Fiona Hodgson is Chair of the Advisory Group of GAPS. She works on international women’s issues, especially in the context of developing and conflict countries. She has had a particular interest in women’s rights in Afghanistan. Fiona is on the Steering Board for the Foreign Secretary’s Initiative to Prevent Sexual Violence in Conflict and Post Conflict countries. She is also on the Association of Oxfam, a Trustee of the Chalker Foundation, the Conservative Human Rights Commission and a Patron of Afghan Connection. Fiona was awarded the CBE in the New Year’s Honours List 2012 for her work on gender equality. She was appointed to the House of Lords in October 2013.
Anne-Marie Barcia de Leiva
Anne-Marie Barcia de Leiva is a banking and finance professional. During her banking career she worked in New York, London, Hong Kong and South Asia. In London she launched her first all-female consultancy practice, providing training to bankers, investors and regulators in credit, corporate finance and risk management. She later sold that business to Fitch Ratings and subsequently co-founded Adeva Partners Ltd. She works on a global basis with both development banks and local wholesale and commercial banks in an advisory and training capacity.
Anne-Marie has a long standing track record as an advocate of women. In the 1980s her company was one of the first to provide a flexible working environment for female finance professionals, working in markets around the world. Her philanthropic activities have been focused on fundraising to help the underprivileged, creating scholarships for schools and university. She is currently a trustee for UK Friends of Georgetown University and a member of the Georgetown University Library Board. She joined the GAPS Advisory Board in December 2014.
Professor Christine Chinkin
Christine Chinkin is Professor of International Law at the LSE and a barrister, a member of Matrix Chambers. Together with H. Charlesworth, she won the American Society of International Law, 2005 Goler T. Butcher Medal ‘for outstanding contributions to the development or effective realization of international human rights law’. She is an Overseas Affiliated Faculty Member, University of Michigan and has been a Scholar in Residence for Amnesty International (2005), as well as Visiting Professor at Columbia University (2004) and at the Arts and Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University (2003).
Janet Cooper FRSA
Janet enjoyed a distinguished career in the City as a corporate partner in global law firm Linklaters for more than 20 years, and global practice head for 15 years. She is a co-founding partner of Tapestry Compliance, another global law firm, which advises some of the world’s leading global companies on HR-related legal and tax issues. Janet has had a long-standing commitment to human rights and is on the board of the UN Women UK National Committee. She is also on the Council of the University of Roehampton and the Resources Committee of the Trustees’ of the RNLI. She is also the Vice Chair of the Global Equity Organisation, the Vice President of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reward panel and on the advisory board of IFS Pro Share.
Dame Audrey Glover
Audrey is a former Foreign Office Legal Counsellor and an experienced international lawyer who specialises in human rights law, international election monitoring and gender equality. She was Director of the OSCE Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (1994-97) and Leader of the UK Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission (1998-2002). She has helmed 12 Election Observation Missions for the OSCE. She has worked with many international organisations and NGOs and developed the ODIHR’s capacity in the rule of law, human dimension, election observation and Roma. Audrey helped to create the Ministry of Human Rights in Iraq (2004-6). She is a trustee of the Prison Reform Trust and adviser to the British Institute of Human Rights. She is on the Board of Electoral Reform International Services and most recently has become an adviser to GAPS, reflecting her belief in the need for women to play a part in any peace and stabilisation process in post conflict countries.
Joan Link is a retired British diplomat. When working in the FCO, she led work on the development of action planning to take UNSCR 1325 from the UN in New York into concrete action at the national level, including the establishment of a UK National Action Plan in 2005-6. She has also promoted engagement between UK government, parliamentarians and women’s organisations. Joan is Vice Chair of Peace Direct.
Dr Joan R Smyth CBE
Joan is based in Northern Ireland and works as a board member for the Electricity Grid for Ireland (Eirgrid). She has recently stepped down as Chair of the Progressive Building Society in Northern Ireland. Joan has been Chair and Chief Executive of the Equal Opportunities Commission of NI, Women’s National Commission member for Northern Ireland and on the Board of the British Council. Joan was Federation President of Soroptimist International GB and Ireland and remains a member. She currently chairs the Woman’s Fund for Northern Ireland which aims to provide small grants to enhance women’s potential. Joan has been involved with GAPS for a number of years and is committed to its important work at home and overseas.
Brita Fernandez Schmidt
Originally from Germany, Brita grew up in Venezuela, where she went to school and developed her keen passion for addressing poverty and inequality. Brita holds a master’s degree from Sussex University and has since overseen and carried out research projects on a number of different subjects such as gender equality and the new international aid architecture, networking for women’s organisations, UN reform, CEDAW and women’s human rights, violence against women and women’s civil and political participation. Brita has a strong record of work on women’s human rights, gender, social inequality, conflict and development. She has worked with a number of different national and international human rights and development institutions over the past 20 years, including Womankind Worldwide and the European Women’s Lobby in Brussels. Brita led the Gender and Development Network in the UK as its Chair for five years. She also served as Commissioner to the National Women’s Commission from 2008-2010. Brita is currently the Executive Director of Women for Women International UK.
Susana is Director of International Programmes at Saferworld. She previously worked for eight years as Head of Programmes for an international organisation based in London, working in partnership with women’s rights organisations across Africa, Asia and Latin America focusing on eliminating violence against women, increasing women’s political and civil participation, and increasing women’s access to resources. Prior to that, she was director of an organisation providing frontline services to refugee and migrant women and advocating at policy level to ensure their needs were incorporated in policies and practices. Before moving to the UK, Susana worked as Commissioner at the Defensoria del Pueblo (Human Rights Commission) in Peru, carrying out research on human rights to provide recommendations to the government, and managing programmes to strengthen good practices and respect for human rights across local governments and other stakeholders. Susana has also been Assistant Lecturer in International Human Rights Law in Peru. Susana is a lawyer and has a Masters degree in Public Policy from UCL.
Diana Trimiño is a Women’s Protection and Empowerment Policy Advisor for the IRC in the UK. She has more than 10 years’ experience in women’s rights and displacement issues.
Her experience with refugee protection and displacement issues includes international legal and policy work. She has previously worked for the University of London’s Refugee Law Initiative, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and as a Refugee Resettlement Coordinator and Migrant’s Rights Adviser at the International Organisation for Migration’s (IOM). Her experience on women’s rights issues includes her work in different world regions; with the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights.
Diana holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from Lund University, Sweden. She has used her positions and her focus on gender issues, trafficking and asylum to hone her high level advocacy and policy development skills and deepen her understanding of comprehensive programming on women’s protection in emergencies and fragile settings.
She is on the Board of Trustees of UK-based charity Project 17, which works to end poverty among migrant children. She is also an adviser for Asylum Aid’s Women’s Project. As part of her role with the IRC UK, she co-chairs the Humanitarian Working Group of the UK Gender and Development Network.
Lucy has worked at Amnesty International for more than eight years. Before Amnesty, she worked for Médecins Sans Frontières and Oxfam in Spain and Argentina. She has a strong track record of success on a broad range of human rights and development issues. She has led advocacy work on women’s rights for more than seven years, including work on violence against women, trafficking, women with insecure immigration status, women human rights defenders, Women Peace and Security, gender-based violence criteria in the UN Arms Trade Treaty and most recently on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI).
Lee Webster is Head of Policy and Influencing for Womankind Worldwide, where she leads their policy, influencing and communications work on women, peace and security, violence against women and women’s participation and leadership. She spent three years living and working in Mozambique, and has a decade’s experience of working in policy, advocacy, campaigns and communications for international development organisations and UK charities. She is also a trustee for British Afghan Women’s Society.