On 9th April 2020, EISF relaunched as the Global Interagency Security Forum. On 15th April, we hosted virtual celebrations, bringing together voices (and ears) from all around the world. With speakers from our original network and beyond, the event told the story of GISF and our core values of inclusivity, collaboration and innovation.
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins has had an incredible career in diplomacy and global security.
Demand from NGOs based in North America was an early factor in our move to go global. As the former Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the U.S. Department of State, Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins brings a valuable perspective to the story of GISF.
Bonnie Jenkins is the founder and president of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) nonprofit organisation. She is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and president of Global Connections Empowering Global Change LLC., where she works with several academic institutions on issues of global health, infectious disease and defence innovation.
As an aid worker and former abductee, Steve brings first-hand experience of the effects of poor security risk management.
While working with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Kenya in 2012, armed men attacked a convoy that Steve was travelling in. In the attack, five staff members, including himself, were shot. Tragically, a driver named Abdi Ali died. The armed men then kidnapped Steve and four colleagues and forced them into Somalia. They were later rescued in another violent gunfight.
In 2015, Steve filed a court case against the NRC, showing that reasonable measures had not been taken to protect him and his colleagues. He has since dedicated himself to campaigning for duty of care and stronger accountability within the aid sector.
Offering a personal account of the story of GISF is our Steering Group Chair, Fredrik Palsson. As the Global Safety Adviser for the Danish Refugee Council, Fredrik advises on all safety-related issues and is a permanent member of the Crisis Management Team.
Fredrik has extensive field experience from the mine action community. Before joining DRC, Fredrik was Country Director for the Danish Demining Group in Afghanistan. He has also worked in Sri Lanka, South Sudan and others.
Reflecting on the value of our Forum, Fredrik says:
“Together we are part of setting the standards for Security Risk Management for the entire sector. This helps me in my decision making to determine thresholds for risk in the conflicts we operate in around the world.”