LOCATION / Geneva
Katharina Samara-Wickrama joined Oak Foundation in 2013 as a Programme Officer for the Issues Affecting Women Programme (IAWP). In that role, she led and significantly expanded Oak’s support for women’s organisations in the Balkans and built strong partnerships with intermediary grantees. She has also led the programme’s work in situations of crisis and strengthened our relationships with organisations promoting women’s meaningful participation in peace and security processes. In January 2018 Katharina was promoted to Director of IAWP.
Katharina is an Australian lawyer with 20 years of experience working in the humanitarian sector. She worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for over a decade in their legal division and in the Refugee Women and Gender Equality Unit where she focused on developing programmes to enable refugee women to better access their rights as well as mainstreaming a gender equality perspective across UNHCR’s programmes. Katharina then spent four years setting up systems and trainings for NGOs to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries. She also worked with NGOs to ensure that their programmes were accountable to communities affected by disasters and crises.