Huda A. Al Khawaja


Huda has 30 years’ experience as a leader, a consultant, a coach, and a trainer. Her experience includes developing and delivering highly customized programs in the areas of leadership, general management, strategic planning, Training of Trainers, and in self-and organizational effectiveness.

Huda’s experience as a Senior Consultant, Master Facilitator and a trainer extends to Governmental and non-Governmental Institutions, FMCG, Education, Banking and Investment, Oil and Gas, Telecommunication, Airport Management Services, Hospital Management, and not profit educational and social institutions.

Working with non- profit organizations is a practical translation of Huda’s personal mission; she is continuously affiliating with regional and international organizations who serve women, youth, and refugees; building leadership capacities at organizational; team, and individual levels.

Heidi Burkhart


Heidi has 25 years of experience as Managing Director of Hilfswerk Austria International (HWA), one of Austria´s leading Development Agencies for disaster relief, economic development, capacity building and health and social inclusion programs worldwide. Heidi was on numerous missions in more than 30 post-conflict and post-disaster areas including Africa, South-East-Europe, Caucasus, Latin America and South-East Asia. In these countries she has set up humanitarian activities and international project teams from scratch and achieved to create sustainable local structures, able to cope with all kinds of challenges in humanitarian projects. Heidi has strong executive skills and a rich training experience in a most diverse cultural context. She is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish. In 2005 she received the award as Humanitarian of the Year from the International League of Humanists and nominated Austrian of the Year for Dedication to the Humanitarian Cause in 2005 and 2011.

Michele Cueni


Michele is master trainer for Leadership for Humanitarians. She has worked intensively with senior management in global companies on the roll-out of major strategic initiatives by providing leadership training and coaching. Michele is a sought after trainer and engaging speaker who captivates and challenges her audiences. Through stimulating their thinking, encouraging reflecting, and demonstrating the importance of accountability, she directs managers to develop a vision for a 21st century type of leadership. Michele’s experience with humanitarian organizations includes UNHCR, WHO, HMN, UNIDO and the KIANDA Foundation in Kenya. She has facilitated humanitarian programmes in such diverse places as Nepal, UAE, Montenegro, Kenya, South Africa, Switzerland and Tanzania.

Frederic Dacqmine


Fluent in French, English and German, Frederic has been coaching, training and consulting internationally since 1989, for both mid and large-sized organizations. He specializes in leadership, project management, conflict resolution and team building. He has a masters in economics and is a multi-certified Executive Coach (Columbia Business school, Franklin Covey, and Erickson College). Alongside his work for Leadership for Humanitarians, Frederic is Chairman of “The PRASAD Project”, an NGO which provides services (health, education, community development) to communities in need in India, Mexico and the US.

Eric James

Co-Director and Senior Facilitator

Eric’s professional experience in international development spans over twenty countries and almost twenty years. On the ground, Eric has worked in numerous disaster areas including Afghanistan, Albania, Burundi, Liberia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. From Director of Program Development and Emergency Response for American Refugee Committee to senior consultant for ChildFund International and Country Director for Relief International in Afghanistan, Eric has held key leadership and management roles in programme development, project start-up, capacity-building and organizational development, security, monitoring and evaluation. He has also worked as an entrepreneur, focusing on technology for social impact. Eric has a Master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy, holds a PhD in International Development, and is a Fellow for the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He has lectured at several universities and published a number academic articles. Eric is the author of Managing Humanitarian Relief: An Operational Guide for NGOs (Practical Action, 2008).

Lars Jepsen


Lars Jepsen is a development economist and has been engaged in the humanitarian and development field since his adolescent – first in various NGOs and later in his professional career. Lars has worked 10 years for the United Nations including postings in Sri Lanka, Thailand, New York and Copenhagen. He has undertaken assignments for NGOs, UN and other development partners in 50+ countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In addition Lars is a solid administrator having managed global funds for the UN and – as programme coordinator at the Danish Embassy in Ghana – been sector head and managing and designing USD 100 mio. + Danida programmes. Lars is a highly experienced facilitator focusing on training as a mean to achieve extraordinary results. He has enjoyed teaching and facilitating processes since he started training others on a voluntary basis in various youth organisations and other non-governmental organisations in his early life. He has facilitated and trained numerous nationalities and mixed groups on four continents.

Daniel Lutz

Communication Support

After a career helping commercial companies innovate their communications, Daniel turned to the humanitarian and non-profit sectors. He worked for a number of years for the UN organization responsible for information and telecommunications, then for a start-up NGO dedicated to promoting more sustainable cotton production. While working with these sectors, he witnessed first-hand the dramatic need for transformative leadership. He is passionate about intersection of communications, leadership and behaviour change.

Shannon Meehan


Shannon Meehan has worked in conflict areas and complex emergencies in the humanitarian field for more than 25 years, implementing missions in Afghanistan, Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sudan, the DR Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and in the Middle East: Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. An expert on the humanitarian and protection needs of displaced populations and refugees, Meehan is also known for her expert training skills to international audiences: from humanitarian workers and government officials to multi-national military and community leaders. She has served as the Country Director for the United States Peace Corps in Burkina Faso and for the American Refugee Committee in Kosovo, and was Director of Advocacy and Policy for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in both Brussels and Washington. Her humanitarian work was highlighted in the book, Those Who Dare, by Katherine Martin (2004). Meehan speaks French, Malinke and Wolof.

I have chosen to work with Leadership for Humanitarians because I have seen how leadership training can make a difference and save lives in the field. Leadership is not rocket science – quite the opposite. It’s about applying values, instinct, experience – all the assets of an individual or a team – to overcome overwhelming circumstances. The opportunity to sharpen one’s leadership skills and to apply them in a humanitarian context is an incredibly enriching, challenging and humbling experience.

-Michele Cueni, Managing Director, Franklin Covey Leadership Institute, Switzerland

Nadeem Nahhas


Dynamic, inspirational, authentic – some feedback that clients have used to describe Nadeem Nahhas at the conclusion of his overviews and multi-day learning programs. Even more importantly, clients appreciate his ability to help them execute on their highest priorities to get their desired results in the simplest ways.

Nadeem has 25 years of diverse corporate experience in sales management, marketing, and executive leadership roles in the insurance and financial sector. He has held several senior executive positions including: Head of Retail, and General Manager within the training & consulting sector. Prior to joining FranklinCovey, he was responsible for Sales, operations, training, and business support to 300+ personnel across 90 branches.

Nadeem’s personal experience, and the clients with whom he works, represent a number of industries including banking and finance, FMCG, Oil & Gas, Media, Service industries and multiple Governmental organizations across the GCC with clients such as Nestle, Etisalat, ADIA, ConocoPhillips, SABIC, Saudi Airlines, Saudi Electricity, Chevron, Americana and many more.

Nadeem’s approach to both business and life in general is guided by his governing values: professionalism, integrity, fitness, family, fun, contribution and discipline.

Recognized as a valued team member with a proven record of success, Nadeem is a Senior Consultant and Master Facilitator with FranklinCovey Middle East.

Nadeem holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Jordan with multiple advanced certifications along the years in areas related to performance, effectiveness, emotional intelligence, insurance and coaching.

Jimmy Naudi


For over 18 years, Jimmy has worked on projects serving both the private and not-for-profit sectors. He has delivered leadership programmes in Kenya, India, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Brazil for INGOs and international development agencies. His key skills also include organizational development, talent management, leadership coaching, and psychometric assessment. Jimmy is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development. Alongside his work with Leadership for Humanitarians programmes in Nepal and France, Jimmy has worked with organizations like Christian Aid, Sightsavers, Tearfund and other local housing and social development organizations.

Simona Palenga


Simona has over 10 years experience in humanitarian work, spanning Haiti to Sudan and from the bustling Middle East to the remote regions of Afghanistan. She has worked in drought affected Kenya and against the social unrest in East Timor. With various organisations and as each situation required, she has been admin support, program manager, logistics coordinator, public information provider, camp manager and emergency coordinator. With a political science background and degree, Simona campaigns to raise awareness and funds for humanitarian causes, as well as develop effective partnerships between developed and developing countries.

Lydia van der Brugge


I had been deeply impressed by those that dedicated their lives to humanitarian and Emergency and Relief work for a long time yet I felt that I had very little to contribute myself. After all, I could not heal people, nor build houses, nor teach children nor provide IT support. As a Country Director for FranklinCovey, all I really knew how to do well was train people. But why would humanitarians need Personal Effectiveness and Leadership Training when there are so many seemingly more pressing needs?

As so often in life, all I needed to do was turn the question on its head…and the answer was obvious.

Developing humanitarians’ leadership abilities is probably the single most important contribution anyone can make – with the most impact. I have come to realize that if anything can transform lives, this can. Great leadership increases people’s ability – across the board – to heal, build, teach and support. When it is absent, the effects can be crippling.

Today I feel privileged to lead an incredible team of immensely dedicated individuals, diverse in background and skills and experience, yet joined in our common mission to empower people to transform their lives.