Meg Gardinier began serving as the Secretary General of ChildFund Alliance in July 2015. A global network of 11 child-focused development and humanitarian organizations, ChildFund Alliance helps nearly 23 million children and their families in 70 countries. Together with children, ChildFund creates sustainable solutions that protect and advance their rights and well-being.
Meg provides strategic leadership to increase the impact and growth of Alliance members. As the chief advocate for the Alliance, she works with members to define strategy and ensure that it builds on the experience of ChildFund in the field. She shapes long-term strategic planning and is currently overseeing the Alliance-wide WEB Safe & Wise campaign to help children safely navigate the internet and protect themselves from online sexual predators.
As an international, not-for-profit advocate, Meg has specialized in issues affecting women and children. She has more than 25 years’ experience in NGO development, advocacy, fundraising, strategic leadership and volunteer management. She has held leadership positions in a range of child rights organizations including at Elevate Children Funders Group; as director of Arigatou International New York; managing director of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF; and executive director of the International Catholic Child Bureau, North America.
Meg also has undertaken consultancies for Save the Children and the Global Network of Religions for Children. She is a founding member of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, serves on the leadership team of Joining Forces—an alliance of the six largest child-focused international NGOs, and is a former board member of ECPAT. Meg holds a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University.
Program Administrative Assistant
William Hurwitz assumed the role of Program Administrative Assistant on March 1, having previously worked on a contract basis with the Alliance. His previous experiences include administrative and front-line hospitality roles at The Related Companies as Leasing Coordinator and in Concierge positions, and also at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Guest Services.
Additionally, William is a passionate classically-trained vocalist who remains active within music circles. His experiences include concerts with the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus and the New York Philharmonic Chorus as well as in numerous events with the nonprofit Sing for Hope. William holds a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from The Boston Conservatory, Summa Cum Laude.
Director, ChildFund Alliance Europe Office
Catherine is the Director of ChildFund Alliance Europe Office. Working from Brussels and in coordination with the Secretariat, she provides strategic leadership for the Alliance on policy, advocacy and fundraising initiatives with European institutions, networks and partners. She also supports and strengthens the representation and engagement of the Alliance Members with these stakeholders.
Prior to joining ChildFund Alliance, Catherine held strategic positions in human rights and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations as an advocacy expert and head of programs.
Trained as a lawyer, Catherine holds a LL.B. from the Université de Montréal and a LL.M. from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights.
Advocacy and Policy Advisor
Ryan De Souza
Ryan De Souza has worked in the advocacy and policy space for more than a decade. Throughout his career, he has represented the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, always with the focus of turning legislative policy and framework into action and implementation.
He joined ChildFund Alliance in 2021 as the organization’s Advocacy & Policy Advisor. Currently, he is leading ChildFund’s global online safety campaign for children, WEB Safe & Wise: Creating a better digital world with children. Launched in 2022, WEB Safe & Wise focuses on strengthening protections for children online, while also helping them safely navigate the digital world.
Prior to joining ChildFund Alliance, Ryan worked as an Advisor at the Permanent Mission of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations where he served on various committees at the UN General Assembly. These included the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) and the Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Committee (Third Committee). While at the Mission, he worked on various initiatives to promote and protect the rights of children and the advancement of women through the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
Ryan holds a Master’s Degree in International Trade Policy and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of the West Indies.
Director of Strategy & Engagement
Lisa MacSpadden joined the Alliance as its Strategic Communications Advisor in early 2019, after initially serving as a consultant to the organization in 2018. In this role, she works with the Alliance Secretary General and Alliance members to raise awareness on children’s’ rights and safety, including their right to live a life free from all forms of violence.
Lisa has served as a senior strategist, communications advisor, and spokesperson in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. She has provided counsel to high-ranking elected and appointed officials and C-suite executives, and has managed large teams of communication professionals.
Previous roles include serving as a member of the U.S. Senior Executive Service overseeing public affairs at a cabinet-level agency; Deputy Secretary of State for New York; Deputy Director of the Washington, DC office of the Governor of New York; and Director of Media and Community Affairs for the nation’s federal planning agency. She worked as a senior news producer and television reporter for nearly ten years before transitioning to public service.
Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She is married with two children.
Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs
Faith Nimineh serves as ChildFund Alliance’s Child-friendly Accountability Coordinator, providing guidance and technical support to country offices in the field towards the implementation of this strategic priority initiative.
Ms. Nimineh has more than 16 years of experience in the non-profit sector. As a humanitarian and development professional, she has worked in many conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa and the Americas, championing the rights of children. Her areas of expertise include: child protection and participation, child safeguarding policy development and implementation, prevention and response to violence against children, and broader protection work including social protection strategy.
Before Joining ChildFund Alliance in late 2018, Faith worked with Save the Children United Kingdom, UNICEF, Hiscock Legal Aid Society, and as an independent consultant. She has held senior advisory level and program management roles, including as a technical advisor for the prevention of abuse and exploitation.
She has a master’s degree in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Liberia.
Faith is married and has three sons. She has always had a desire and passion for serving humanity.
Martin Svatek is responsible for engagement with the United Nations (UN), its specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations, regional bodies, and UN Missions. He joined the Alliance as its Representative to the United Nations in March 2023.
He is a multilingual professional with more than ten years of international experience in the private, public, non-profit and civil society sectors. Martin most recently served as the Government Partnerships and Policy Manager at Berlin-based CDP Europe and previously as the Senior Director for International Programs and Partnerships at the American Conference Institute. He is a youth tutor for immigrants and refugees at the International Rescue Committee in NYC and previously volunteered for various Berlin city agencies tasked with accommodating women and children fleeing Ukraine.
Martin earned a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from Kings College in London. He is fluent in English, German and French, and has working knowledge of Spanish and Portuguese.
EU Partnership Advisor
Simona is the EU Partnership Advisor at ChildFund Alliance EU Office, based in Brussels. She provides technical guidance on the development of quality proposals, in compliance with EU requirements and good project development practices. She also gathers, analyses and disseminates strategic information among members on EU programming, as well as EU policy and funding trends. She contributes to strengthening capacities across the Alliance on EU proposal development and the EU application process and management system.
Simona has a background in law and, prior to joining the Alliance, she has worked as an International Cooperation Officer with international NGOs in different development and humanitarian contexts (Central America, Haiti, Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean). She also has worked as Policy Officer and Programme Manager in the EU Commission (DG DEVCO and DG NEAR) on migration, justice, and youth-related programming and interventions.