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Meet the Team

Find out more about the people behind the forum and get in touch.

Jon Novakovic

Executive Director

Jon Novakovic joined the GISF Secretariat in March 2023.

Jon started his career in government in Australia before moving into overseas development.

In almost 10 years in the aid sector, he has been involved in SRM within local and international NGOs, and private consultancy. He has spent significant time in Afghanistan and Timor Leste, and is now based in Scotland.

As the Global Manager of Crisis Analytics at Mercy Corps, Jon was a key part of the team defining and growing the new offering that proved a key point of difference in Mercy Corps’ access and operations in high risk environments. He ran the Syria and Nigeria teams, and set up new operations in Mozambique and Ethiopia. He fostered the introduction of new AI-based technologies, and the recruitment of OSINT specialists to enable work in hard-to-access areas.

With his political and communications background, Jon is adept at leading campaigns to bring about sustained policy change.

Contact Jon Novakovic

Heather Hughes

Deputy Director

Heather Hughes joined the GISF secretariat in November 2019.

Heather was Oxfam GB’s first Global Security Adviser, where she worked for over 20 years, focusing on strategic and operational security risk management including policy and practice, learning and development, supporting and managing serious incidents and crises, lessons learned and networking. Her career in Oxfam began in humanitarian and development programme support and management roles, including the Balkans conflict.

After leaving Oxfam GB, Heather was Director of Risk Advisory Services at International Location Safety, where she worked with a wide range of NGOs to support improvements in their security risk management approach and practice.

Heather has been involved with GISF since its inception in 2006, and was a member of the Steering Group for many years. As Deputy Director she will support the strategic work of GISF.

Contact Heather Hughes

Panos Navrozidis

Americas Deputy Director

Panos Navrozidis is a seasoned practitioner and thinker with 18 years of frontline humanitarian aid and emergency response experience in a range of contexts. As a Country Director for Action Against Hunger and the International Rescue Committee he worked in Ethiopia, Kenya and Greece setting a visionary direction for the respective organisations while advocating for principled humanitarian action on the ground. Earlier in his career he worked in Iraq, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Uganda building a more inclusive, adaptable, and accountable humanitarian future.

Having served in three Humanitarian Country Teams (HCTs), Panos has been involved in several high-level advocacy efforts as well as field negotiations allowing for sustainable humanitarian access in hard-to-reach communities. He is passionate about promoting mental health awareness across the sector and is also very active in providing pro bono support to local NGOs.

As Deputy Director for the Americas, Panos will support the Americas team.

Panos holds a MSc in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Athens, Greece.

Contact Panos Navrozidis

Justina Amenu

Business & Operations Manager

Justina Amenu joined GISF in September 2014.

She has over 15 years’ experience in working with non-profit organisations – managing membership, event organisation, and general administration.

Justina graduated with a BA in Economics before embarking on a career in the not-for-profit sector (NfP). This journey and experience began as an Administrator with the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain, PESGB. With increasing knowledge and experience in the sector she joined The InDus Entrepreneurs UK as Membership Director. After completing a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Westminster Business School, and a short career break, she joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders Ltd (now Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading) as Executive Secretary.

Justina manages the business and operational functions of GISF - ensuring the secretariat is supported and runs smoothly.

Contact Justina Amenu

Dimitri Kotsiras

Research and Programmes Manager

Dimitri Kotsiras joined GISF in November 2023.

Dimitri is a seasoned research and programmes specialist with 8 years of experience in the peacebuilding and development space working for non-profit organisations in Europe and Canada. As a Research Manager at Peace Direct, Dimitri oversaw Peace Direct’s research portfolio and strategy, and he supported strengthening research practice both internally and with local partners. Among other initiatives, he led on the USAID-funded ‘Stopping As Success’ project on effective partnership transitions, managed global consultation forums and mapping efforts on Platform4Dialogue and Peace Insight, respectively, and spearheaded Peace Direct’s research on decolonising the wider aid sector.

He has previously supported democracy strengthening programmes at Westminster Foundation for Democracy, acted as a researcher and campaigner with Crisis Action and Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, and worked at the United Nations reporting on the UN Security Council.

In his role, Dimitri is responsible for driving GISF’s research strategy and practice forward, including producing relevant and original research papers and best practice guides.

Dimitri holds an M.A. in Conflict, Security and Development from King's College London, and a B.A. in Political Science from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Contact Dimitri Kotsiras

Tara Arthur

Senior Projects and Membership Officer (Americas)

Tara Arthur joined the GISF Secretariat in 2019.

Based in the US, Tara has a passion for working on cross-cutting solutions aimed at improving the lives of underserved populations, both domestically and internationally. With over 10 years' experience in the development and humanitarian space, she has served in various capacities including programmes, safety and security and advocacy, both in the field and at the headquarters level.

She holds a B.A. in Political Science from Virginia Wesleyan University and an M.A. in International Development & Social Change from Clark University. As well as this, she has over 25 years of experience in martial arts. Her most recent work before joining GISF was leading the Faces of Martial Arts Project, which included advancing social change concepts and initiatives within and around the martial arts community; including designing and conducting workshops, programmes, training and interviews.

In her role, she is responsible for fostering GISF member engagement in the Americas by developing member services including US-based Members' Forums, workshops, webinars, podcasts, and more.

Contact Tara Arthur

Megan Hooson

Projects and Membership Officer (Europe)

Megan Hooson joined the GISF Secretariat in September 2020.

Megan graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature, in 2017. After graduating, Megan gained most of her experience by working as an administration assistant within the retail sector. Megan first joined the secretariat as an Admin and Projects Assistant, and after assisting with several projects, events and membership engagement, transitioned to become the European based Projects and Membership Officer in November 2021.

In her role, Megan is responsible for tracking, maintaining and enhancing GISF member engagement. The primary function is to develop the member services component of GISF, including bi-annual forums, workshops, webinars etc.

Contact Megan Hooson

Linda Ineza

Americas Admin and Project Assistant

Linda joined GISF in July 2022.

Linda graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BA in Political Science and minored in International Relations with a concentration on comparative politics in Europe. She has volunteered or worked in the nonprofit sector since childhood and interned with Congressman John Yarmuth. Also, Linda has worked with local nonprofits in Kentucky such as Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) and Catholic Charities of Louisville. She's had the opportunity to represent Cameroon on behalf of the University of Kentucky at the South Regional Model UN (SRMUN) conference and was able to pass two resolutions. Linda also participated in the Patterson School of Diplomacy Simulation Crisis as a communications officer for the US. Previously, Linda worked for a year and a half at ChildFund International as a Fundraising Coordinator providing support to donors, she also provided support to representatives as an escalation supervisor as well.

In her role, Linda will work closely with the Americas team and provide support on a plethora of projects, events, and budgeting.

Contact Linda Ineza

Jacob Readman

Administrator & PA to the Executive Director

Jacob Readman joined the GISF Secretariat in May 2023.

After completing his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of East Anglia, Jacob went on to study a Master’s in International Security at the University of Bristol. His final project allowed Jacob to investigate the intertwining effects of geopolitics, discourse and ideology on social groups in Myanmar. Subsequently, he gained an interest in helping marginalised peoples achieve security and well-being across the world.

During this time, he interned at Community Insights Group (CIG), a human-rights consultancy organisation, where he was able to gain administrative and research experience in a professional role.

Jacob is now a general administrator and PA to the executive director for the UK team.

Contact Jacob Readman

Imogen Ferrell

Admin and Projects Assistant

Imogen joined the GISF secretariat in May 2023.

Imogen studied an undergraduate degree in International Relations and Development at the University of Sussex, where she developed an interest in conflict, security, and humanitarianism, with her dissertation analysing the efficacy of development interventions in post-invasion Iraq. During her studies, Imogen was a member of the Amnesty International Society. After graduating in 2021, Imogen went on to complete a postgraduate diploma in Investigative Reporting.

She has gained experience volunteering with a variety of charities, including Care4Calais and Migrant Help, solidifying her desire to work in the humanitarian sector since her return from travelling Central America.

In her role, Imogen works as part of the administration and projects team.

Contact Imogen Ferrell

Tolani Ubhi-Mohideen

Communications Officer

Tolani joined the GISF secretariat in May 2023.

After completing her undergraduate degree in International Relations, Tolani went on to study Msc Politics of Conflict, Rights and Justice at SOAS University, where she explored the conceptual inadequacy of Islamophobia as an analytical concept for her final dissertation. Since graduating, Tolani has spent some time undertaking a variety of voluntary work, including working as a Casework and Research Volunteer at Asylum Links and an Outreach Volunteer for Refugee Network International. Most recently, Tolani has founded an awareness campaign highlighting the colonial legacies underpinning the humanitarian sector in order to contribute to ongoing efforts aimed at fostering a new era of humanitarian action.

In her role, Tolani will support the research and communications team.

Contact Tolani Ubhi-Mohideen

Christian Kriticos

Communications Lead

Christian Kriticos joined the GISF Secretariat in February 2024.

Christian grew up in Saudi Arabia, before achieving a BA in English Literature from Durham University (United Kingdom) and an MA from Northwestern University (United States).

He began his career as a fundraiser for museums and heritage sites, before transitioning to the humanitarian sector with roles at UNICEF’s offices in London and Geneva. At GISF, he manages communications across all channels to promote good security risk management to keep humanitarian aid workers safe.

Christian also works as an arts and culture journalist in his spare time. His articles have been published by The Guardian, the BBC, The Telegraph, and many more publications.

Contact Christian Kriticos