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Published: March 25, 2024

GISF announces inaugural Board of Directors

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Following a competitive process, GISF's first Board of Directors has been assembled to lead the newly independent organisation into the future.

This week, the Global Interagency Security Forum (GISF) is pleased to announce its inaugural Board of Directors. The Board has been assembled as part of GISF’s transition to becoming an independent Community Interest Company, which was completed in February 2024. Previously, GISF had been hosted by several larger organisations, including Christian Aid and, most recently, the Mines Advisory Group (MAG International). GISF is grateful to MAG International for its support during the transition and for their years of direct support to GISF as a host. 

Jon Novakovic will sit on the Board of Directors in his capacity as Executive Director of GISF. He will be joined by Toby Woodbridge, who sits on GISF’s Member Steering Group, and will represent the Steering Group on the Board.

The rest of the Board is composed of seven individuals, who were selected through an open and competitive process. Among the Directors are Anissa Toscano OBE, the former chair of the CALP Network, and Jane Cocking OBE, former CEO of MAG International. 

Each Board Member brings skills and experiences that have been identified as needs for GISF both now and in the future. This includes individuals with experience in the United Nations and multilateral organisations, senior executives, professionals with legal backgrounds, and several people with existing experience serving on boards. 

The Board Members are: 

  • Jim Arbogast  
  • Jane Cocking OBE  
  • Gurpreet Dhoot  
  • Mark Gibb  
  • Keeley Hazelhurst (Treasurer) 
  • Colin McIlreavy  
  • Jon Novakovic (GISF Executive Director)  
  • Anissa Toscano OBE 
  • Toby Woodbridge (GISF Steering Group Representative) 

Full biographies of all Board Members are now available to view here on the GISF website. 

“Over the past few months, we have been through a comprehensive process to get the best group of individuals to fill our inaugural Board of Directors,” Jon Novakovic said. “I was so pleased with the level and calibre of interest, and the desire to support GISF that was shown.  

“In keeping with our mandate as a global organisation, I was especially pleased to see such a breadth of global experience in the selected Board Members. Among our Board Members, we have professionals who have worked in humanitarian settings in Afghanistan, Burundi, Iraq, Kosovo, Somalia, Sudan, and many more.  This international outlook will be key to ensuring GISF can embed the best security risk management practices in NGOs all over the world to keep all aid workers safe – no matter where they are.” 

Jane Cocking OBE stated: “I have been a keen supporter of GISF since the beginning. In an increasingly complex world for humanitarianism, the work GISF does is becoming more and more important. I feel privileged to be involved.” 

The Board of Directors will meet quarterly, including one meeting per year in person. The Board’s main objectives will be: 

  • To determine the overall direction and development of GISF through good governance and clear strategic planning, and 
  • To ensure GISF functions within the legal and regulatory framework of the sector and in line with the organisation’s governing documents, continually striving for best practice in governance.

While the Board of Directors will be responsible for GISF’s operations as a registered Community Interest Company in England, GISF’s operations in the Americas will continue to be graciously hosted by ChildFund.