Strengthening the network governance: Welcoming two new H2H Board members

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The H2H Network is delighted to announce the appointment of two new members to the Board, one from the membership and one independent. Their experience and expertise will contribute to strengthening the network's strategy and development. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our newest board members:

Meg has spent most of her career working to improve accountability to people in crisis from different angles in programmes in Haiti, Pakistan and Syria, and within coordination in Iraq, Nepal and Haiti, and most recently in global policy, where she held advisory roles at UN OCHA, WFP, the Start Network and more. Meg sits on several boards, including the Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance and Bendigo Community Bank, and has advised many high-level processes on accountability and humanitarian reform.

Meg said: “The potential of the H2H Network to improve aid quality cannot be underestimated. As more and more resources are channeled into a small group of the largest and most powerful humanitarian agencies, and progress on quality and accountability lags pitifully behind the rhetoric, diverse and agile ‘helper’ organizations are critical. I’m looking forward to supporting the H2H Network’s big job in this and helping to leverage funding, complementary expertise, viewpoints, and advocacy opportunities of H2H Members to promote and catalyze systemic change.

Manisha Thomas is an independent consultant with over 20 years of experience in various positions in the humanitarian sector. Having worked in different humanitarian networks and coordination bodies (NGO and inter-agency), including on quality and accountability initiatives and issues, she has a strong understanding of the humanitarian system’s development and the areas for improvement. She’s currently the Women’s Refugee Commission’s (part-time) Geneva Representative.

Manisha shared: “The aims of the H2H Network to drive change and bring cross-cutting services into humanitarian response resonate with work that I have previously done around trying to make humanitarian response better. Having worked with many of the H2H Members, I find them critical to improving humanitarian response. I am looking forward to supporting the Network’s efforts and contributing to further enhancing the Network’s unique role in the sector as an independent H2H Board member.

The H2H Board has previously been comprised of five elected network members, one representative from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), and one independent. With her community and accountability experience, Meg will represent the membership constituency Communication, Community Engagement, and Accountability.

Over the past few years, the H2H Board has greatly benefited from having an independent member, currently Monica Blagescu. Manisha will now join as the second independent member. With her broad network, facilitation, presentation, and advocacy skills, she will help the network to tackle some of the key strategic challenges.

Both new members bring unique perspectives and relevant qualifications to our board, which will be instrumental in steering our network toward our vision that all people affected by crises and disasters are supported by effective, efficient and accountable humanitarian action.