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The International Council provides leadership to IofC in line with the goals of Initiatives of Change International and the decisions of the annual Global Assembly. The Council is made up of nine to eleven members elected by the Global Assembly. Day-to-day leadership and management is delegated to an Executive Team of four members of the Council, including the Executive Vice-President and the Treasurer. For a more detailed description, see the Articles of Association. Its Secretary is Nathalie Renia.
Omnia Marzouk (President) (Egypt/UK)
Omnia was born in Madrid, and spent her formative early school years in Egypt. She moved to Australia as a teenager and studied medicine at Sydney University while her father served as Egyptian Ambassador. At university she was the first woman to be awarded the Hamilton Mott Scholarship at Wesley College for all round contribution to College life. She obtained her MD thesis, with distinction, from Liverpool University and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (FRCPCH) and a Fellow of the College of Emergency Medicine (FCEM). She has been working as Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine for 16 years at UK’s busiest Children’s Emergency Department – Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust in Liverpool. She was Clinical Director of the Emergency Department for 7 years and is currently Associate Medical Director.
Omnia is an accredited mentor, and has a Diploma in Medical Education and in Advanced Medical Management. She is active in many educational roles serving locally on the executive of the School of Paediatrics as RCPCH Regional advisor. She is currently RCPCH National Chair for Paediatric Emergency Medicine training and has taken part in two RCPCH “Train the Trainers” delegations to Jordan and Kurdistan. She has received local, regional and national awards in recognition of her different roles.
Omnia met IofC while at school in Australia and has been actively involved since. For many years, she has been particularly involved in intercultural and interfaith dialogue within the UK as well as taking part in similar initiatives in countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. She is committed to building bridges of understanding between the west and the Muslim/Arab world.
Edward Peters (Executive Vice President) (UK)
Edward Peters has worked with Initiatives of Change for 40 years, in some 40 countries. He was responsible for formal training programmes for young people from 1981-83 and 1995-2000. He was a commissioning editor & monthly columnist of For A Change magazine from 1990-96. From 1993-98 he served as international co-ordinator of Foundations for Freedom, a programme of courses aimed at strengthening democracy in Eastern Europe. He was Chair of the national Clean Slate Campaign - a millennium initiative in the UK in 1999. From 2002-2008 he managed the global internet work of Initiatives of Change. From 2009-2010 he assisted Rajmohan Gandhi during his Presidency of IofC International, including organising the ‘Voyage of Dialogue and Discovery’ which took the Gandhis to 15 countries in the first half of 2010. Edward’s wife is Swedish, they have two children in their twenties, and live on the west coast of Sweden. Edward has been Executive Vice President since October 2010.
Lorne Braun (Treasurer) (Canada)
Lorne Braun (Treasurer) currently works as a consultant to Canadian NGOs doing humanitarian work throughout the world. His first career was in building technology, compliance and management. The past 27 years were spent in international development: working and consulting with NGOs, the private sector, and the Canadian Government. He also spent four years teaching international non-profit management at a college in North Vancouver. Lorne has an MA in Conflict Analysis and Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, Canada. His research on the Eritrean-Ethiopian conflict has led to facilitated dialogue work in Canada and the UK. Lorne has been a member on various Boards including his local church, the Vancouver Airport multi-faith chaplaincy, and several Canadian and international NGO coalitions. He has travelled extensively, including three years working in Ethiopia with his wife Joyce and daughter Megan. For several recent years, Lorne served as Chair of the IofC Canada Council. Lorne has been Treasurer of the IA since October 2008.
Lorne heads up the finances area.
Fabiola Benavente (Mexico)
Fabiola was born in Chiapas, Mexico. She obtained a B.Sc. in International Marketing from the University of Monterrey (UdeM), nominated for the Suma Cum Laude Award. She first came across Initiatives of Change (IofC) during university in 1998 and has since then been part of it. Her interest in conflict transformation lead her to take part in IofC’s Caux Scholars Programme in 2001. She worked for two years for Initiatives of Change-UK doing marketing for For a Change magazine, in London. After working briefly in the corporate world as a Marketing Specialist for a global company, in 2007 she took a position as Director of Leadership Development at a private think tank in Mexico City, starting up an ethical leadership programme for young leaders. With IofC she has also taken part in organizing 'Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy' (TIGE), a conference in Caux, Switzerland (2009, 2010). She co-founded which engages people, organizations and companies in tree-planting in Mexico. Fabiola lives in Belgium.
Mohan Bhagwandas (Australia/Sri Lanka)
After working internationally with IofC (Moral Re Armament) in South Asia, Europe, North America and Australia/Pacific, Mohan moved into a career in the Information Technology industry in 1990. He was employed for 15 years in a senior position in Business Strategy to a global Information Systems company. He brought his IofC leadership skills into his job. He was required to make high- risk decisions, cope with massive change, develop strategic and operational plans and adapt to a global work place. His IofC experience also enabled him to develop integrity and trust in the business and bring leadership skills to his team.
In 2006, Mohan decided to move from full time employment to part time work, in order to develop the Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy (TIGE) conference at Caux. Over the last six years he has held the role of International Coordinator, working with a group of over 30 young people, business professionals, academics, environmentalists, leadership trainers and numerous facilitators – as part of a growing team, to deliver a high quality yearly conference and an on-going year round programme in several countries.
Kiran Gandhi (India)
Kiran Gandhi is a human resource consultant to several small, medium and large companies in India. Previously, he worked as Head, Human Resources at three global Indian companies and the training head of Tata Motors, Jamshedpur. He offers corporate training in leadership and management and serves as an executive coach at leading companies. Kiran has taught as visiting faculty at prestigious management schools such as the Indian Business School, the Indian Institute of Management and the Tata Management Training Centre, and is a regular facilitator at Asia Plateau, the India Center for Initiatives of Change (IofC). He earned a bachelor’s degree in Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and a post-graduate diploma in Business Management from Xavier Labor Relations Institute, Jamshedpur. Kiran developed a passion for building human relations and teams after he met the ideas of IofC as a student.
In the last three years Kiran has conducted two Heart of Effective Leadership workshops at IofC’s Switzerland centre in Caux and one in the ‘Tools for Change’ conference in Kuala Lumpur, organized by IofC Malaysia. These workshops have been well received by participants from multi-cultural backgrounds.
Shoufeng Hsu (Taiwan)
Shoufeng Hsu is from Taiwan and has been associated with IofC for 22 years, mostly working on various initiatives related to youth development in Taiwan and Asia Pacific. He is on the board of IofC in Taiwan and is a member of the Asia Pacific Regional Coordination Team that serves IofC network in that region. Shoufeng believes that IofC is in a unique position to address moral and spiritual issues, with a universal message that speaks to people of all faiths and none. As a professional interpreter who works with IofC on a voluntary basis, he feels called to be a bridge of communication across cultures and generations. Shoufeng is married to Ouyang Huifang, who has worked with IofC for over 20 years and is the incumbent Secretary-general of IofC Taiwan.
Imad Karam (Palestine/UK)
Imad is a 35-year-old Palestinian, originally from Gaza, living in the UK. He’s got a PhD on the impact of the media on Arab youth identity—a key to understanding current events. He was in Egypt when the unrest started and has been there more recently. Imad grew up in Gaza and studied English at university in Gaza; then worked as an English language editor for a daily newsletter. He won a scholarship to do postgraduate studies in media and communications in London. Working with For the Love of Tomorrow Films (FLTfilms), Imad co-produced the award winning film The Imam and the Pastor, the story of reconciliation between Imam Mohammed Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye from Nigeria. Imad’s Arabic version of the movie was broadcast by Al-Jazeera. He is seeking inspiration about the kind of programme or initiative that would help and give a vision to the Middle East and the Arab region. He is currently Head of Communications at IofC UK.
Abiodun Owoseni (Nigeria)
Abiodun Owoseni obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree with honours in 1990 from University of Benin, Nigeria and was called to the Nigerian Bar (B.L) as Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court in 1991. He was awarded a certificate of commendation for his leadership abilities on completion of his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). He worked in the freight/oil and engineering sectors as Legal Adviser and Personal Assistant, before opening his Law firm Owoseni Abiodun & Co, in 2000. He has attended several MRA/IofC trainings and conferences in Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, India, Cameroon and Caux, Switzerland.
In 2009 he initiated the ‘'Teachers’ Dialogue’, a programme aimed at creating partnership among teachers, parents and students for a robust education and intellectual development. The programme is being replicated in Uganda. His membership of the Africa Coordination Group (ACG) thrust more leadership responsibilities on him in addition to those of his office as the General Secretary of MRA/IofC Nigeria. A part-time minister of the gospel passionate about motivating youth to discover and appropriate their potentials.
Cricket White (USA)
Cricket White currently serves as the national director for training and programme development for Initiatives of Change, USA. She has trained facilitators in cities across the United States and in several countries. Her work in the US has focused on designing and delivering curriculum and dialogue formats that enhance trust building and honest conversation between individuals and groups who are separated by ideology, religion, race, class and/or culture. From 2000 to 2003 she worked as the conference coordinator/facilitator for Caux. In 2007, Cricket served as co-director of the Grace Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University, a university leadership programme for women in faith based organizations or higher education institutions. She is married to an enthusiastic environmentalist, Ralph with whom she loves to kayak, hike and camp.
Who we are: Initiatives of Change (IofC) is a world-wide movement of people of diverse cultures and backgrounds, who are committed to the transformation of society through changes in human motives and behaviour, starting with their own.
Purpose: We work to inspire, equip and connect people to address world needs, starting with themselves, in the areas of trustbuilding, ethical leadership and sustainable living.