The World YWCA office comprises of team members based in Geneva and beyond. The team plays many core functions- is a supporter, a strategist, a catalyst and an advocate for the YWCA movement. All team members can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Casey Harden General Secretary (United States)
General Secretary (USA)
Casey (she/her) joined the YWCA movement 20 years ago and is herself a testament to the YWCA’s mission to create space for young women to be leaders, and in doing so, define and contribute to gender equality.
She joined the World YWCA in 2018 as the Deputy General Secretary and in January 2019 was appointed as the 15th General Secretary.
Through various executive and leadership positions, Casey has worked in the local and national sphere on issues around health and wellness, gender-based violence, economic security, racism and social justice, while growing into a professional adept at administration, strategy, governance, and activism. Casey has shown how to harness a movement that is rich and wide-reaching in its diversity toward a common goal for collective impact.
An aspiring astronaut, proud mama, and YWCA torchbearer who is passionate about the simple joys of life, Casey believes that young women and girls will lead the way in realizing the global goal of leaving no one behind.
Director of Operations (Switzerland and Tunisia)
Aïda (she/her) comes with over 10 years of experience working both in profit and non-profit organisations in service of a more equal, fairer, and sustainable and prosperous future.
She joined the World YWCA in 2014 where over the years she has utilized her expertise in strategy and partnership management, general planning and management, and operations and event coordination in multiple roles.
She is passionate about taking impact based work towards helping the World YWCA and the movement achieve the goals envisioned around the empowerment of women, young women and girls. Prior to World YWCA, Aïda has worked for the World Economic Forum in Geneva, non-profit initiatives in North Africa and Switzerland, as well as in the energy sector in Canada. She carries with her dual educational background in Business Administration and International Relations.
Suchi Gaur (Ph.D.)
Director of Global Engagement and Impact (India)
Suchi (she/her) carries with over 10 years of experience working at the confluence of gender, public health and communications technology in the non-profit, startup, parliamentary and research sectors. She joined the World YWCA in 2018, where she is combining her expertise in behavior change, social marketing and community mobilization into her passion and experience around young women and women`s empowerment.
She currently oversees the World YWCA’s daily engagement, programmatic, mission impact and communications activities.
Passionate about writing around issues of service delivery and access, advocacy on rights-based policies for women and youth engagement comes naturally to her. She loves to volunteer to train youth and women across the world. A researcher by training, she was awarded a gold medal and the prestigious Fulbright scholarship for her doctoral work in participatory community communications.
Lead – YW4A Partnership and Initiative (Zimbabwe)
Thabani (she/her) is a strategic partnerships, resource mobilization and grants management professional with 12 years of experience. With specialized expertise in sourcing funding for different thematic areas such as SRHR, HIV and AIDS, MNCH, women and girls empowerment, she joined the World YWCA in 2018.
At World YWCA, she is coordinating and guiding the development of strategic partnerships, mobilizing resources and donor building to enhance the sustainability of the World Office and the movement.
She is keen on linking her expertise in resource mobilization and her commitment to gender equality into generating revenue towards the YWCA Goal 2035 and beyond. She envisions a world where young women have better access to information and reproductive health. She carries with her a MSc. in Strategic Management and in Development Studies.
Caterina Lemp Bitsacopoulos
Senior Specialist- Movement Building (Chile)
Caterina (she/her), with more than 15 years of experience in the YWCA movement and system both locally and nationally at Chile and globally at the World YWCA office, is a champion of movement building, organisational development, good practices and accountability. She began her life as a young women volunteer and staff in the Valparaiso, Chile YWCA.
Working in World YWCA Office since 2007, she has been supporting member associations and governance work, streamlining her work with the larger goals of gender equality, ensuring women and young women are supported and empowered for sustaining the YWCA movement.
Fluent in Spanish, French and English, Cate has utilized her educational background of journalism to strengthen her linkages with the global member association movement.
Senior Specailist- Finance and Operations (Philippines)
Originally from Philippines, Helen (she/her) carries with her over 17 years of experience in finance and accounting. She joined World YWCA in September 2013 working with the finance and operations team. With her expertise in accounting, and her understanding of the development sector, she is working collaboratively around young women`s development and donor management.
Before joining the World YWCA she worked as an accountant for a trust in Geneva providing administrative and related financial management. Thereafter, she moved to a philanthropic office where she developed knowledge in investment accounting and philanthropic activities. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Accountancy from St. Louis University (Philippines).
Daniela Zelaya Raudales
Project Specialist (Honduras)
Daniela (she/her) joined the World YWCA, from Honduras, as a young intern in 2016. Currently championing initiatives and engagement at the World YWCA, Daniela has worked across communications and programme roles, coordinating peace building and young women empowerment and leadership programmes. Before joining the World YWCA, she was a volunteer and board member at the YWCA of Honduras where she worked as a peer educator for social and gender justice, violence against women and girls, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
She has over the years linked her passion and ground knowledge around different thematic areas into young women leadership for development. She carries with her a degree in communications and advertising, with a specialty in administration.
Executive and Operations Associate (Brazil)
Victoria joined the World YWCA in 2018 and currently supports the executive operations.
She applies her experience in a start-up environment to her current role. The causes of stopping Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), human trafficking, and forced child marriage are close to her heart, and she connects deeply with the work of the global YWCA movement.
Victoria has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Since moving to Switzerland in 2015, she learned French and now considers the country her new home. She enjoys reading and is a fitness geek and foodie.
Finance Associate (France)
Catherine Wanjiku Kinyanjui
YW4A Technical Programme Manager
YW4A Finance and Admin Associate
Talisa Avanthay Garcia
Communications Associate (Switzerland and Ecuador)
Talisa (she/her) joined the World YWCA in 2019 with experience of bringing effective communication systems into the development world. Through her work, she has utilised communications in addressing human rights violations in armed conflicts and internal displacements of refugee women in Colombia.
She is keen on enhancing the awareness on effectively utilising communications for better policies for human rights, particularly for less represented communities and minorities.
Passionate about defending freedom of speech and information, gender equality and the fight against early and forced child marriage, she is keen to stand up for the rights of young women and girls.
Our Board Officers
Ms. Mira RIZEQ was born in East Jerusalem – Palestine. She got her graduate degree in Business Administration in the United States then did her second master’s degree in International Development in the Hague.
Mira is a recognized leader with over 30 years of solid local and international experience in the NGO sector and Municipal Development, especially in areas of strategic planning, good governance, monitoring and evaluations. She is an activist in the area of human rights, and especially women’s rights. She has served on several boards of women institutions and international churches in the USA, and established herself as a passionate public speaker on human rights and justice issues.
She accredits her first development experience Save the Children U.S.A. in Palestine where she started her career by designing credit as well as entrepreneurship development programs specifically for women, to be soon replicated in the Middle East region.
In the early 90’s, Mira worked as Team Leader for the Local and Rural Development Program at the United Nations Development Program in Palestine (UNDP). She succeeded in designing one of the most successful fiscal decentralization and partnership programs between civil society and local governments, who were trained to implement participatory gender-sensitized strategies to empower women as equal partners in local development.
Later, Mira has headed the first Palestine National NGO Project funded by the World Bank and managed by a consortium of international NGO’s headed by Welfare Association. Through this program, she has designed special training manuals for NGO’s especially in areas of strategic planning, fundraising, good governance, monitoring, evaluations and reporting. She has joined a team of professors to deliver NGO management courses in the university of Toledo – Spain, for NGO leaders in the whole of the Middle East while doing her second graduate degree.
Mira has been an active YWCA member since her childhood, and served as the National General Secretary at the YWCA of Palestine from April 2006 to April 2020, until she was elected as President in the 29th World YWCA Council Meeting held in Johannesburg South Africa.
Emma is Treasurer of the World YWCA, and has previously served as the treasurer and president of YWCA Australia. She is a chartered accountant with over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, and she currently works for the Australian government as a director of finance.
Previously, Emma worked for a fund manager in Sydney, Australia, managing investment portfolios and bespoke investment products. She has also audited various companies, government organizations and departments, and NGOs.
Emma believes passionately in the power of the YWCA movement. She is excited to have been elected for a second term as Treasurer, as the World YWCA seeks to grow more sustainable and remain relevant to young women in the future, on the path to achieve Goal 2035
Vice President (Zambia)
Vice President (Korea)
Young woman Middle East
Vacant positions under filling procedure. To be announced on September 2021.
Vice Presidents (Honduras)
Isabella has been involved in the YWCA movement since 2014. She currently manages a scholarship program in Honduras focused on providing low-income kids with opportunities and access to private, quality education.
She previously served as Vice President of YWCA Honduras, and in 2017, was selected as the representative for Latin America for the movement’s young women’s Global Advisory Council, which provided counsel and feedback towards working to achieve Goal 2035.
Isabella is passionate about working with and for young women and girls, and she believes that when women empower and support each other, they can all grow and strengthen their lives for the better.
Caroline Midttun Rostrup
Vice President (Norway)
Jamie Medicine Crane
Vice President (Canada)
Our Board Members
Dede Fafa Eyram Attiogbe
Board member (Togo)
Dede has been involved in the YWCA movement for nearly 14 years, and is a leader at YWCA Togo, where she pioneered their first-ever youth section and works with young people to raise funds to provide school kits to girls in need. Additionally, Dede created “Vacending,” a safe space project that she has coordinated for the past three years aimed at empowering girls.
In addition to the World YWCA Board, Dede currently serves on the Nomination Committee and the National Board of YWCA Togo. Previously, she served as the youth coordinator at YWCA Togo. With her experience across different levels of nonprofit social justice work, Dede brings robust analysis and understanding of advocacy, governance structure, and youth leadership to her work.
Fluent in French, English, and German, Dede holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Ghana, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Buea in Cameroon. She is passionate about advocacy and human rights, with a focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. She occasionally appears on an English radio program to discuss various topics related to women, girls, and youth.
Board member (India)
Dr. Margaret Jip Kou
Board member (Taiwan)
With a lifelong passion for volunteerism, Jip has been involved with the YWCA movement since 2003. She became a board member of the National YWCA of Taiwan in 2009 and currently serves as the second vice president.
Jip has over 20 years of experience as a university educator and sports nutrition and human sciences consultant, and she utilizes her expertise in visioning and intergenerational leadership to promote gender equality, sustainability, and the transformative leadership of young women and girls. She believes in the power of love to champion change, and strives to create a safe, healthy, and sustainable world for women and girls.
Jip has a doctorate degree in nutrition and food science from Fu Jen University, and is passionate about sharing knowledge about women’s health and promoting human rights and welfare. She enjoy running, and in 2014, ran an ultra-marathon to benefit the International Training Institute of Young Women.
Board member (Grenada)
Rickol is a junior accountant in Grenada who is dedicated to advocating for the rights of women, young women, and girls throughout her island. Before being elected to the World YWCA Board in 2019, she was the President of the YWCA Grenada: Youth Arm.
Rickol loves numbers and accounting information systems, and is currently working towards her ACCA Professional Qualifications. She cherishes her Christian values, and enjoys spending time on the beach with a warm cup of coffee. Her favorite quote is “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
Board member (Haiti)
Board member (Great Britain)
Board member (Malawi)
World YWCA Board Member (Switzerland)
Yvonne was elected to the World YWCA Board at the 29th World YWCA Council in 2019. She first joined her local YWCA/YWCA over 15 years ago, and has continued to develop her leadership skills through different positions within YWCA/YMCA Switzerland.
Starting from a local scouting group and growing into the regional, then national and international levels, Yvonne has had the opportunity to teach the next generation of leaders and share her passion for feminism and youth participation. She previously served on a number of boards and commissions, and is particularly enthusiastic about youth participation, transparency and good governance on boards.
Yvonne holds a Bachelor’s degree in history and German language and literature and a Master’s degree in history and gender studies from the Univesrity of Berne in Switzerland. She has been passionate about feminism, challenging archaic role models, and hearing stories from women around the world since she was a child.
Gabriela Cerda Oyarce
Board member (Chile)
Board member (USA)
Board member (Canada)
Board member (New Zeland, Aotearoa)
Our Nominations Committee includes Dede Attiogbe (Togo), Young Hee Won (Korea), Jeannette Van Dongen (Netherlands) and Valeria Rojas Borda (Bolivia). One Nominations Committee position is vacant and currently under filling procedure, to be announced on September, 2021.