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Hello Madam President

Hello Madam President

June 2020

Let’s be very clear: online meetings CAN be very emotional. We had a very good example at today’s meeting of HQAI’s Board of Directors.

The Board unanimously elected Kate Halff as new President. Kate is a founding member of HQAI and has served on the Board ever since, putting her experience and analytical skills at the service of the organisation. Her background, commitment, questioning and leadership make her the perfect person to fill the crucial position as HQAI’s President. With that in mind, Kate thanked and honoured the leaving President: “I can’t imagine any bigger shoes than Jacques Forster’s to walk in. But I am delighted to take over that new role." Congratulations Kate, your fellow Directors and all members of staff are delighted to have you right here, right now as our President.

Kate Halff is Head Of Division, Cooperation and Coordination within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement at International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Until December 2018 she was the Executive Secretary of the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) an alliance of seven of the biggest humanitarian NGO networks and the Red Cross / Red Crescent. Prior to these Geneva-based positions - including her position as Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) - Kate worked for over twelve years primarily in East Africa, managing humanitarian responses, as Country Director for Action Contre la Faim, Oxfam and Save the Children. During that time, she also worked briefly for OCHA and as a management and humanitarian consultant. Kate Halff holds two Master degrees from Paris 3- Sorbonne, one in International Relations and one in Development. She is married with two children.

Kate Halff

The leaving President Jacques remains a member

Jacques Forster has lead HQAI as its President since the inception of the organisation in 2015 until today. His wise leadership was honoured in a small (online!) ceremony by his fellow Directors and members of HQAI’s Secretariat. Words like experience, kindness, humanity, knowledge, expertise, warmth, wisdom, engagement, gentleman, compassion, commitment, inspiration, humility, humour, investment, curiosity describe the man and leader Jacques Forster. We all at HQAI are very proud to keep him as a member to our General Assembly. We drink a toast to you Jacques, thank you for the memories!

Jacques Forster, professor emeritus at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, was a member of the governing body (Assembly) of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) from 1988 to 2010 and its Vice-President of the from 1999 to 2007. He was Director of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (IUED) in Geneva from 1980 to 1992, He worked for the Swiss development co-operation agency and as a consultant in the field of international development cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and South Asia.

New President
New President

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