Inspired and organised by the official event management company of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, the WHF is a high-profile, two-day event.

Inspired and organised by the official event management company of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, the WHF is a high-profile, two-day event.

The forum is held at ExCeL London and runs along a co-hosted portfolio of events, Aid&Trade, International Disaster Management Exhibition and Emergency Show on the 15th-16th April 2020. World Humanitarian Forum visitors have VIP access to these additional events.

There are 9 Thematic Theatres, 3 dedicated exhibitions, 2 conferences, roundtables, workshops and a high-level forum in the centre. It’s the perfect opportunity for governments, organisations and private sector leaders to showcase cutting-edge innovations, discuss global trends and unveil ground-breaking solutions to provoke discussion and inspire creativity in the humanitarian sector, which will help to improve the lives of millions in need.

WHF Advisory Board Members

Feraye Ozfescioglu  

Feraye Ozfescioglu  


Feraye Ozfescioglu is the CEO of the World Humanitarian Forum. She has been working within the group companies for 14 years and she is a strategist with cross-sector knowledge in event management. She is passionate on humanitarian aid and international development and has been involved in humanitarian and international development events since 2010.

She has been involved in the management of G8 - G20 Summits, EXPO organisations and she was the event director of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. She has international expertise and has been a consultant for UN.

She was selected as one of the women leaders who will influence the future of the world by Goldman Sachs and US State Department.

Feraye holds Translation and Interpretation Diploma from Istanbul University. She speaks English, Spanish and Turkish.

Jack Straw  

Jack Straw  

RT. Hon Jack Straw

Chair, WHF Advisory Board

Rt Hon Jack Straw is one of three senior Ministers to remain in Cabinet throughout the 1997 to 2010 Labour Governments under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He was Foreign Secretary (2001-2006), Home Secretary (1997-2001), Leader of the Commons (2006-7), and Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary (2007-10). After Labour lost power in 2010, Straw served for six months as Shadow Deputy Prime Minister, and then stood down from the Shadow Cabinet, having served on Labour’s Front Bench for over thirty years. Straw was a Member of Parliament for Blackburn from 1979 to 2015, when he retired from the Commons.

His approach won praise from Margaret Thatcher, who once declared “I would trust Jack Straw’s judgement. He is a very fair man”. Before becoming an MP, Straw practised as a Barrister, and then worked as a Special Adviser in the 1974-79 Labour Government. Appointed Foreign Secretary in 2001, Straw played a leading role in the dramatic foreign policy problems arising from the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and the resulting interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was instrumental in helping to avoid an extremely dangerous armed conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir in 2002.
Richard Hawkes

Richard Hawkes

CEO, the British Asian Trust

Richard Hawkes joined the British Asian Trust as Chief Executive in September 2015 after having held a range of senior roles in the UK and international not-for-profit sectors for more than 20 years.

Richard has been Chief Executive of Scope (one of the largest not-for-profit organisations in the UK) and International Director of VSO (a UK based international NGO working in 40 countries).  He has worked for the United Nations and been Chair of a number of sector bodies, including BOND (the umbrella body for UK international NGOs) and the UK voluntary sector body on social care.  He has been a member of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee and is currently Chair of Motivation, an international disability NGO, on the Advisory Board of Charity Bank and on the judging panel for the UK Charity Awards.  He has a vast experience of social finance. As CEO of Scope he was responsible for launching the first social investment bond in the UK, a £20m bond that was listed on the Luxembourg Stock Market and the British Asian Trust recently launched the world’s largest education Development Impact Bond.

Mark Astarita

Mark Astarita

Mark Astarita, OBE

Director, Astarita Aldrich & Ward; Former Director of the British Red Cross

Mark Astarita, OBE has been one of the most successful fundraisers in the UK.  During his 25-year career he has been responsible for raising almost £1.5 billion pounds for charity. He has for a record four times been voted the most influential person in fundraising by his peers.

Mark is the former director of fundraising for the British Red Cross, National Deaf Children's Society and Prisoners Abroad. Mark is the former Chair of the Institute of Fundraising a trustee of St Clare Hospice and has previously held the role of Trustee at the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and St Joseph’s Hospice based in Hackney.  Today he advises and supports the recruitment of senior personnel at many of the UK's and Global charities through his company Astarita Aldrich and Ward.

Dianne Dain

Dianne Dain

WHO Innovation Officer, Digital Health and Innovation (DHI)

Innovation and leadership specialist building the technology partnerships at the United Nations Secretariat Office of ICT. She is on the leadership team that created the UN Technology Innovation Labs (UNTIL) network and also leads the UN Reboot Accelerator which engages youth innovators and entrepreneurs. She is an Honorary Professor at the Wise Center for Economic Justice at Glasgow Caledonia University and the President of The Singer Foundation with a focus on supporting women and children globally.

Previously, she served on the Prince’s Trust and chaired the Women’s Council at Claremont Graduate University.

Fatima Gailani

Fatima Gailani

Member of the Board, Afghan Red Crescent Society

Fatima Gailani has been serving as the president of the Afghan Red Crescent Society since 2004. She is the daughter of Pir Sayed Ahmed Gailani, the leader of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan who fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s.

After graduating from Malalai High School in Kabul, Ms Gailani obtained a BA and subsequently an MA in Persian Literature and Sufism in 1978 from the National University of Iran. She also earned an MA in Islamic Studies from the Muslim College in London in 1994. She lived in exile during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and acted as spokesperson in London for the Afghan Mujahideen. She attended the Bonne Conference on Afghanistan in 2001. After her return to Afghanistan she was chosen as a delegate to the Emergency Loya Jirga – Grand Council – of June 2002 and was appointed as a constitution drafting and ratifying commissioner. Ms Gailani is the author of two books (Mosques of London and a biography of Mohammed Mosa Shafi).
Vivian Mercedes Lopez

Vivian Mercedes Lopez

Executive Coordinator of Every Woman Every Child

An initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General to advance the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents globally. Prior, she served as a Senior Advisor for UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, Innovation and Field Results, in the Office of the Executive Director overseeing a portfolio which includes UNICEF’s Supply Division, Field Results Group, Innovative Finance and Innovations teams. Ms. Lopez previously led the Global AIDS Advocacy work for UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS Programme, focused on bringing attention to the situation of women, children and adolescents affected by the pandemic. Ms. Lopez was the Regional Advisor on Adolescent Development and Participation in the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in Amman, Jordan from 2010- 2014. Prior to MENA, she spent seven years in UNICEF’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama as the Regional AIDS Advisor. Ms. Lopez has been working in the fields of Children & AIDS and Adolescent Development since the mid-90s consulted for various international organizations including UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Pan American Health Organization and the UN Secretariat's Youth Unit. She was a Research Fellow in the Medical Faculty of the Catholic University of Chile, a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow, and has also conducted research for the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. Ms. Lopez was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth and holds a Master's of Public Health from the Yale University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University.

Neil Rodrigues

Neil Rodrigues

Director, Global Supply Chain, Medical Corps

Neil Rodrigues is a Supply Chain leader with multi-region & multi-sector executive experience across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia in the international development, aid and relief, commercial logistics, international trade & engineering sectors.

Coming originally from an engineering supply chain & commercial logistics management background working in leadership roles with large multinational corporates; Neil has worked with a range of NGOs in recent years in leadership roles, including International Medical Corps, Save the Children UK and International, Merlin and the Humanitarian Logistics Association. With a passion for and expertise in developing countries, his objective is to drive excellence in high performing supply chain and logistics global operations through effective change management strategies & inspirational leadership with the aim of furthering outcomes. 

Neil is also passionate about humanitarian causes and the potential of business in being an agent for sustainable positive change through effecting the right linkages and partnerships. 
Charlie Bronks

Charlie Bronks

Head of Marketing, Branding & Communications, Crown Agents Bank

Charlie Bronks is a Marketing, Branding and Communications Strategist with deep cross-sector knowledge in international development, fund-raising and complex key account management.

Charlie joined Crown Agents Bank (CAB) in 2016 to work with strategic key government and development sector clients now leading Marketing, Branding & Communications as the bank enters a new and exciting growth phase. She worked with the previous CAB owners; Crown Agents Limited before joining Atos Consulting UK, to lead the key account relationship with HMG and with a superb track record of delivering targets cross-sector and function in the UK and overseas.

Charlie holds an MA in Global Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.

Charlie was Director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award World Fellowship, an International NGO (INGO) for six years where she developed and expanded the fundraising mechanism engaging and working closely with complex stakeholders including donors, governments, high-level dignitaries and high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) from over 30 countries.

Charlie is a member of the winning England Women’s Rugby World Cup squad from 1994, a SOAS Alumni and a Fellow of the Learning & Performance Institute (FLPI), passionate about gender equality and an amateur enthusiast of ethical AI and Robotics.

Dr Márcia Balisciano

Dr Márcia Balisciano

Global Head of Corporate Responsibility, RELX

Engaging colleagues throughout the business, Márcia works to ensure RELX’s extra-financial performance furthers competitive advantage and stakeholder confidence. She drives practice that ensures recognition for RELX as a CR leader: over the last year, RELX ranked 2nd in the S&P 1200 for environment, social and governance (ESG) as reported in the Financial Times; 1st for ESG in the media and publishing sectors (and 17thoverall) among 12,000+ companies assessed by Sustainalytics; held a AAA ESG rating with MSCI; and was one of 36 LEAD companies of the United Nations Global Compact among approximately 10,000 corporate signatories.


She is Chair of the UN Global Compact Network UK; Chair of the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Council of the Conference Board; and a founding member of the Board of the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. She is founding director of London museum and educational facility Benjamin Franklin House and previously was special advisor to the American Chamber of Commerce (UK).


A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, she holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Chicago, and a PHD in Economic History from the London School of Economics. She is a Member of the British Empire (MBE), an honour awarded by the Queen, and lives in London with her husband and two boys.

Sara Vaughan  

Sara Vaughan  

Innovator, Creator Brands with Purpose, Positive Change Maker
Transformation Accelerator  IMAGINE
Global Chief Purpose & Sustainability Advisor Marie Claire reaching 90 million women & girls around the world
Host of The Start Somewhere Podcast for Marie Claire
Host of The Female Quotient x Marie Claire Panel Series

Sara Vaughan is an Innovator, Positive Change Maker and Creator of Brands and Companies with Purpose. She’s done this successfully in-house for De Beers with Forevermark, their ethical diamond brand. The Body Shop, where she was responsible for developing and driving The Body Shop’s global brand repositioning – Beauty with Heart featuring Lily Cole and The Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People Campaign. This remains the largest corporate-led petition ever presented to the United Nations generating some 7 million signatures and effecting change in trafficking legislation in over 20 countries. Latterly she was a Vice-President at Unilever, where she looked after sustainable business and global communications for all the categories and brands and sat on the Global Personal Care Leadership Team. She created and rolled out the People Are Beautiful brand for Unilever Personal Care – a €21 billion company and also worked on the brand purpose for the 16 €1 billion+ brands. 

She now has her own consultancy working with companies and brands such as Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser and Danone to innovate, create and develop their purpose. 

Sara is also Global Chief Purpose & Sustainability Advisor to Marie Claire which reaches 90 million women and girls around the world and host of the podcast series Start Somewhere for Marie Claire. She is also the Transformation Accelerator for IMAGINE the social venture that brings courageous collectives of CEOs together to create positive change in whole industries, the Advisory Chair of Playmob the gaming for good company and Advisory Chair of Stories for Change & Homeless Stories.

Jonathan Brooker

Jonathan Brooker

Director, Solidarites International UK, Global Head of Private Partnerships 

Jonathan Brooker is a humanitarian response expert and strategic planning specialist who has built
up a strong reputation for pushing the boundaries in thought leadership, operational management
approaches, and developing diverse and dynamic partnerships.
He has worked extensively with the United Nations, international media outlets, and international
non-governmental organisations, leading and supporting crisis response in the Middle East, Africa,
and Asia.
Currently, Jonathan is with one of the world’s leading frontline humanitarian response organisations
that specialises in providing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance and disease prevention,
as Director of Solidarités International in the UK and the Global Head of Private Partnerships.
Supporting the START Network, Jonathan is Chairman of the START Fund Committee. He also
conducts independent research and analysis into humanitarian leadership, disaster management
and crises response approaches, and the future of the humanitarian system.

Sir Anthony Ritossa

Sir Anthony Ritossa

Chairman Ritossa Family Office


With a family history of success spanning six centuries, the Ritossa family have been associated with investment excellence for generations; originating from the Veneto region of Italy, with deep roots in the Middle East, to now being one of the world’s most respected leaders in the family office community with headquarters in Dubai.

The wealth of rich history, combined with over 30 years of international financial markets and investment experience, means that Sir Anthony Ritossa’s summits are highly sought after and amongst the most prestigious in the world. 

Before taking the family office role, Sir Anthony had a distinguished Wall Street career in New York as well as holding senior executive positions at Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, BNP Paribas, and Bankers Trust which was acquired by the Deutsche Bank.

An invitation only event, featuring leading philanthropists, former leaders, NGOs and private sector from Oxfam, UN, WHO, Microsoft Philanthropies, Google, KPMG, Red Cross and ICRC. 

An invitation only event, featuring leading philanthropists, former leaders, NGOs and private sector from Oxfam, UN, WHO, Microsoft Philanthropies, Google, KPMG, Red Cross and ICRC. 

The World Humanitarian Forum (WHF) launched in London, April 2019. The Forum's aim is to provide a pedestal for the world’s greatest minds to speak of their expertise and discuss their findings within the humanitarian sector. It is a global call for action.

Inspired and organised by the official event management company of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, the World Humanitarian Forum brings together prominent leaders from the public and private sectors, as well as international thought leaders and pioneers from global aid and international development communities.

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