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A New Director for QUNO Geneva

The Quaker United Nations Committee (Geneva) is delighted to announce that they have appointed a new Director for QUNO Geneva, to take up the post in June 2011, when David Atwood, the present Director, retires.

The appointed Friend is Jonathan Woolley, a British national who has put down roots in Mexico. He has also lived in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, Nigeria and Sri Lanka and has worked in many other countries during a long career in participatory agricultural research and in institutional change. Recently, from 2003 to 2009, he was Program Director of the Challenge Program on Water and Food, an international network based in Sri Lanka, and now works as a consultant. He joined the Religious Society of Friends in Britain Yearly Meeting and is now an elder in Mexico City Meeting, part of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

His professional knowledge of food, water, development, migration, climate change, international politics and economics will contribute to the work of QUNO, as will his considerable experience of advocacy, project design and program leadership. He has built and managed harmonious and effective teams and has been responsible for significant budgets and successful and substantial fundraising. He has worked for and with several UN agencies, including the FAO.

Jonathan says: “Even when I lived far from regular Friends’ meetings, Quaker support and insights helped me to build understanding and cooperation among people. I feel extraordinarily fortunate now to focus that intention as a member of QUNO which, for over 60 years, has been such a consistent and inspired presence for a more peaceful and just world. Please hold all of the QUNO Geneva team in the Light as we respond to evolving challenges while remaining true to the original vision of supporting the UN’s goals through quiet diplomacy in small groups.”

David Atwood is not only Director of QUNO Geneva but also its Disarmament and Peace Representative. Arrangements are being made to ensure this crucial strand of QUNO’s work can continue.

The Quaker United Nations Office, located in Geneva and New York, represents Quakers through Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, Quakers have shared that organisation’s aims and supported its efforts to abolish war and promote peaceful resolution of conflicts, human rights, economic justice and good governance.

QUNO Geneva is governed by a committee of Friends representing Friends World Committee for Consultation and Britain Yearly Meeting (through Quaker Peace & Social Witness). It is in the process of becoming a more clearly independent Swiss Association, but the relationships with these two bodies will continue to be close.

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Contact name: Helen Drewery

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