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Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is responsible for alignment with respective organisational strategies and quality standards, supervision of the programme manager, approval of reports and recruitment. A representative of both Oxfam Novib and Hivos have the authority and capacity to make decisions on key matters including the final say in appeals about grant decisions.

  • Will Janssen

    Director Open Society Programme, Hivos, Netherlands
    Will Janssen works at the Hivos Global Office as director of the Open Society Programme, including four themes: Transparency & Accountability, Freedom of Expression, Women's Empowerment and Sexual Rights and Diversity. Before she was director at the regional office East Africa (based in Nairobi) between 2007-2015, including Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, implementing programmes in the Open and Green Society domain. From 2000 until 2007 she was Programme Manager at the DOEN foundation (related to the Dutch Postcode Lottery) for Sustainable Development worldwide, that promotes sustainable, social and cultural pioneers, believing in a green, socially inclusive and creative society; it supports innovators and brings them into contact with each other. DOEN operates by providing subsidies, loans and guarantees, small, medium or even large with a flexible approach.  Before that she was programme manager at Mama Cash for the worldwide programme. Mama Cash was the first international women’s fund in the world. They fund and support women’s rights initiatives around the globe that challenge the root causes of injustice. Will has a master in economic history (University of Nijmegen) and Social-Cultural Science (Free University Amsterdam.

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  • Catherine Essoyan

    Thematic Unit Manager, Governance and Financial Flows and Conflict and Fragility, Oxfam Novib, Netherlands
    Catherine Essoyan is currently leading two Thematic Clusters in Oxfam Novib focusing on Governance and Financial Flows and Conflict and Fragility. The aim of the Thematic Units is to develop multi country thematic programs with a strong emphasis on influencing to attract funding from institutional donors. Catherine has worked at Oxfam Novib based in the Hague since 1992 when she started as a program officer for the Middle East and Maghreb region. In this capacity she supported local development partners in Lebanon, Egypt, OPTI and Morocco working on human rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights and livelihoods programs. She was also active in supporting the humanitarian response of Oxfam and its partners to crises and conflicts in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria. From 2003 to 2015 Catherine was a Regional Director at Oxfam Novib, first for Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union, Middle East and Maghreb and then for Middle East and Maghreb when Oxfam Novib withdrew from the Former Soviet Union. Catherine has also had an active role in Oxfam cooperation since the mid 1990s when Oxfam Novib joined the Oxfam confederation. She has led the Middle East and North Africa regional governance group for Oxfam, promoting cooperation between Oxfam affiliates and partners in the MENA region in fields such as social and political participation and gender justice and women’s transformative leadership. Catherine has also played an important role in Oxfam advocacy efforts in relation the Israeli Palestinian conflict. She serves on the Steering Committee of the Oxfam Knowledge Hub on Governance and Citizenship. Prior to working with Oxfam Novib, Catherine worked for 10 years with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), initially in relation to Lebanon relief and reconstruction work after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon and later on legal aid and early childhood programs in the West Bank and Gaza. She then served as the Regional Manager for the MENA region for AFSC. Catherine was raised overseas as the daughter of a foreign correspondent, living in Moscow, Hong Kong, Cairo and Beirut as a child. She graduated from high school at the American Community School in Beirut and has a BA in Literature from Yale University and a MA in Middle East conflict resolution from Harvard University.

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