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Our Team

Oak Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees that includes: Natalie Shipton (Chair), Caroline Turner (Vice Chair), Kristian Parker (Vice Chair), Christopher Parker, Sebastian Turner, Benedikte Turner, Jette Parker, and Alan Parker.

An Advisory Panel also supports the Foundation’s work on a range of grant-making issues. Current members are Douglas Griffiths (President of Oak Foundation), Barbra Rothschild, Julie Sandorf, and Susan Tierney.

Our working environment is diverse, inclusive, and engaging. Our team of just over 90 staff members has a mix of expertise and experience in philanthropy and other sectors including: not-for-profits, finance, development, government, media, law, and academia, among others. Together we represent 37 nationalities.

Our main administrative office is located in Geneva, Switzerland. We also have offices in Denmark, India, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Meet our team members

We respect both the privacy of our partners and our staff. Below represents a selection of team members across our foundation, including the directors of programmes.

A profile photograph of Adrian Arena, Director of the International Human Rights Programme at Oak Foundation.

Adrian Arena


International Human Rights Programme

Adrian started the International Human Rights Programme on joining Oak Foundation in February 2003. In its first year of operation, the programme had an annual budget of USD 2 million and largely focussed on supporting international NGOs. Since then, it has expanded to a programme with six staff and an annual budget of around USD 30 million, operating in diverse geographies with both local and international organisations.

A profile photograph of Adriana Craciun, Senior Adviser 
for Organisational Development & Capacity Building at Oak Foundation.

Adriana Craciun

Senior Adviser

President’s Office

Adriana leads Oak’s organisational development and capacity building work, which she established after joining Oak in 2013. She advises and helps grantees with their organisational strengthening journeys, recognising that strong organisations enhance the effectiveness and impact of both the foundation and our partners. Capacity building is an essential part of Oak’s support to our partners, with approximately 15% of the annual budget invested in this area of work.

A profile photograph of Brigette De Lay, Director of the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme at Oak Foundation.

Brigette De Lay


Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme

Brigette joined Oak Foundation in 2012 as a programme officer for the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme. She currently holds the position of director, overseeing 9 staff in two locations and a multi-million dollar budget. The programme is currently one of the biggest of its kind. It is dedicated to supporting courageous leaders and survivors around the world working to end child sexual abuse in our lifetime.

A profile photograph of Cheryl Chang, Chief of Staff at Oak Foundation.

Cheryl Chang

Chief of Staff

President’s Office

Cheryl joined Oak Foundation as Chief of Staff in 2019.
In this role, she supports the president, coordinates organisational strategy and planning, and serves as
a liaison between various foundation functions.

A profile photograph of Chris Gee, Campaigns Lead for the Environment Programme at Oak Foundation.

Chris Gee

Campaigns Lead

Environment Programme

Chris is campaigns lead for the Environment Programme. He works across both energy and food, with a focus on single use plastics reduction and tackling food injustices across Europe  especially via healthy, sustainable and just food environments. He joined the Oak Foundation in late 2019 after leading international campaigns with NGOs and politics. See Chris profile on LinkedIn.

A profile photograph of Douglas Griffiths, President of Oak Foundation.

Douglas Griffiths


President’s Office

Doug joined Oak Foundation in January 2019. In his role as President, he is thrilled to knit together his professional experiences advocating for human rights, humanitarian relief, social development and environmental protection. The president’s office includes a team of six that work to ensure that we have: robust monitoring, evaluation and learning systems; efficient communication practices; and a strong foundation working to achieve our mission.

A profile photograph of Esther Nørregård-Nielsen, Director of the Oak Foundation Denmark.

Esther Nørregård-Nielsen


Oak Foundation Denmark

Esther joined the Oak Foundation Denmark programme in 2007. The programme currently has an average grant-making budget of USD 6 million and has two staff. The Oak Foundation Denmark Programme supports innovative solutions to improve the lives of socially vulnerable and marginalised groups at the community level. As well as supporting not-for-profit organisations in Denmark, it also support organisations in Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

A profile photograph of Géraldine Limborg, Director of Operations at Oak Foundation.

Géraldine Limborg

Director of Operations


Géraldine joined Oak Foundation in 2021 as Head of Finance and became Director of Operations in January 2023. She leads the teams responsible for Oak’s core services including: Finance; Grants Administration; Information Technology; Human Resources; and she oversees real estate and facilities. Her mandate extends from setting clear priorities to optimising delivery of objectives for a knowledge-based organisation.

A profile photograph of Greg Mayne, Programme Officer for the International Human Rights Programme at Oak Foundation.

Greg Mayne

Programme Officer

International Human Rights Programme

Greg joined Oak Foundation in 2009 as a consultant and has been a programme officer in the International Human Rights Programme since 2011. He works across the entire human rights portfolio, with a particular focus on the strategic grant-making priority areas of pre-trial detention and torture, corporate accountability and the countries of Brazil and India.

A profile photograph of Heather Graham, Director of the Learning Difference Programme at Oak Foundation.

Heather Graham


Learning Differences Programme

Heather joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Learning Differences Programme in December 2017. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 30 million in 2022 and has five staff.  The programme envisions a world in which schools unlock the creativity and power of every young person and equip each one to shape more just and equitable communities.

A profile photograph of Helena Duch, Head of the Solutions sub-programme which is part of the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme at Oak Foundation.

Helena Duch

Head of the Solutions sub-programme

Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme

Helena joined Oak Foundation in 2017 as a programme officer for the Prevent Child Sexual Abuse Programme. She currently holds the position of Head of the Solutions sub-programme. The Solutions team focuses on building the evidence base on what works to prevent child sexual abuse and ensuring that solutions are widely implemented and impactful. The solutions team is funding predominantly in East and Southern Africa, as well as Europe.

A profile photograph of Katharina Samara-Wickrama, Director of the Issues Affecting Women Programme at Oak Foundation.

Katharina Samara-Wickrama


Issues Affecting Women Programme

Katharina joined Oak Foundation in 2013 as a programme officer for the Issues Affecting Women Programme. She currently holds the position of director. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 32 million and has six staff. The programme envisions a world where women have the rights, capacity and opportunity to live their lives free from violence and enjoy their full and equal human rights.

A profile photograph of Masego Madzwamuse, Director of the Environment Programme at Oak Foundation.

Masego Madzwamuse


Environment Programme

Masego joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Environment Programme in 2021. The programme has an average grant-making budget of USD 70 million and has thirteen staff.  The programme seeks to safeguard our future by restoring our connection to nature, and help change the ways we feed and fuel our world. 

A profile photograph of Medina Hear, Programme Officer for the Issues Affecting Women Programme at Oak Foundation.

Medina Haeri

Programme Officer

Issues Affecting Women Programme

Medina joined Oak Foundation in 2010 as a programme associate for the Issues Affecting Women Programme. She was promoted to programme officer in 2015. In this role, Medina works with partners around the world who are focused specifically on ending trafficking and exploitation and advancing women’s rights movement building.

A profile photograph of Nathalie Gachet, Office Logistics Coordinator   at Oak Foundation.

Nathalie Gachet

Office Logistics Coordinator – Receptionist


Nathalie joined Oak Foundation in 2004 as the administrative assistant to administration before joining the Child Sexual Abuse Programme in 2007. In 2012 she transitioned to her current role within the administration department as office logistics coordinator and receptionist.

A profile photograph of Rachel Quick, Director of the Special Interest Programme at Oak Foundation.

Rachel Quick


Special Interest Programme

Rachel joined Oak Foundation as the director of the Special Interest Programme in 2014. The programme has an average grant-making budget of over USD 80 million and has eight staff. Special Interest grants cover a wide range of fields, including health, humanitarian relief, education and the arts. They are made to organisations whose activities the Trustees wish to support, irrespective of country or region.

A profile photograph of Diane Buczynski-Ruchonnet, Programme Officer for the Special Interest Programme at Oak Foundation.

Diane Buczynski-Ruchonnet

Programme Officer

Special Interest Programme

Diane Buczynski-Ruchonnet has worked at
Oak Foundation since 2012. As a Programme Officer, Diane is responsible for managing a large portfolio of scientific and health-related grants, and for organising and coordinating Oak’s Medical Advisory Board meeting, which takes place once a year with Trustees and experts.

A profile photograph of Suzanne Amrein, Executive Assistant for the President at Oak Foundation.

Suzanne Amrein

Executive Assistant

President’s Office

Suzanne joined Oak Foundation as Executive Assistant for the President’s Office in 2023.

In this role, she provides administrative and organisational support for the President and Chief of Staff, and ensures coordination between the President’s Office and Trustees.

A profile photograph of Silvia Guizzardi, Senior Adviser for Impact at Oak Foundation.

Silvia Guizzardi

Senior Adviser for Impact

President’s Office

Silvia joined Oak in April 2023 as Senior Advisor for impact. In her role, Silvia works with colleagues across all programmes to better understand the impact of Oak grant-making, improve the Foundation’s effectiveness, and learn from results to drive decision making. Silvia has a background in facilitating and leading the development of effective Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) and reporting systems in the not-for profit sector.

A profile photograph of Vinit Rishi, Director of the India Programme at Oak Foundation.

Vinit Rishi

Special Advisor to the President
& Director of India Programme

India Programme

Vinit Rishi currently works part-time as Director of the India Programme and Special Advisor to the President at Oak Foundation. The India Programme, focuses on supporting acutely marginalised populations living in the tea gardens of North Bengal and in the Sundarbans. He previously served as Director of Administration and  Foundation Secretary.  

A profile photograph of Virginia Ruan, Head of Communications at Oak Foundation.

Virginia Ruan

Head of communications


Virginia joined Oak Foundation as a communications officer in 2011. Her current position is Head of communications. In this role, she works in collaboration with staff, Trustees and partners to develop communication strategies that support internal and external goals. She is the main media contact for the Foundation.

A profile photograph of Brian Robson, Director of the Housing and Homelessness Programme at Oak Foundation.

Brian Robson


Housing and Homelessness Programme

Brian joined Oak Foundation in early 2024 as director of the Housing and Homelessness Programme.  The Programme supports organisations in the United Kingdom and United States to end homelessness and create housing opportunity.  The Programme team of seven staff are based in London and their work focuses on renter rights, supply and access to affordable homes, and reduction and prevention of homelessness.