About us

Governance & Assurance

We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of transparency and accountability and competent management over public funds programmed through our member organisations and partners.


Start Network is a company and charity registered in England and Wales with company registration number 09286835 and charity registration number 1159483. 

Governance & Assurance> Governance bodies| Management & Administration| Due diligence & vetting| Impact

Governance bodies

The Start Network is governed by its Board of Trustees, which takes its steer from the membership, represented by the Assembly. The Board is responsible for implementing the agreed strategy as well as all other governance matters, such as cost-effectiveness and efficiency, brand protection, and oversight of the Sub-Committees and the Start Network CEO and CFOO. 

Read Start Network's Strategy 2020-2022.



Start Network’s Assembly is made up of representatives from each member. It sets the network’s strategic direction and acts as a sounding board that informs the network’s evolution. Its primary role is an advisory one, but the Assembly retains three important governance responsibilities:

-  approving new members to the network

-  approving the election of new Trustees to the Board

-  overseeing the Board’s performance.


Chair: Christof Gabriel Maetze (Independent)

Oversees the sub-committees and team performance; provides strategic steer; approves the annual business plan and budget; considers new programmes and services. The Board has delegated authority to make decisions on behalf of the Assembly, but takes its steer from and is accountable to the membership. 

We believe that decisions about the Network should be transparent, so we publish summary Board minutes here.



The board /  The assembly

Anwer Iqbal

CFO, HANDS (Health And Nutrition Development Society)

Nasser Abu Al Atta

President, PARC

Benjamin Laniado


Lola Gostelow

Humanitarian Policy Analyst

Mujeeb Akhtar

Institutional Funding Manager, Muslim Aid

Samar Muhareb

Director, ARDD-Legal Aid

Anthony Bonhommeau

Operational Development Manager, ALIMA

Francis Atul Sarker

Executive Director, Caritas Bangladesh

Mark Bulpitt

Head of Humanitarian, World Vision

Jennifer Poidatz

Director, Humanitarian Response Department

Benjamin Laniado


Annelies Claessens

Humanitarian Director, Cordaid

Gareth Owen

Humanitarian Director, Save the Children UK

Isabelle Risso-Gill

Programme Manager Disaster Risk Management Unit, Plan

Matthew Carter

Humanitarian Director, Cafod

Jamie Hall

Head of Performance & Accountability, Relief International

Binny Prabhakar


Noreen Gumbo

Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Trocaire

Mohammed Al-Ghamdi

Executive Director, Qatar Charity

Ellen Waters

Director of Development, Doctors of the World

Sanjayan Srikanthan

Emergency Field Director, International Rescue Committee

Aleema Shivji

Director, Handicap International

Juliet Parker

Director of Operations, Action Against Hunger (ACF)

Ognjen Radosavljevic

Director of Programmes and Partnerships, International Medical Corps

Mireille Flores

Humanitarian Programmes Manager, World Jewish Relief

Paul Astruc


Normann Steinmaier

Deputy Head & Coordinator Humanitarian Assistance, Welthungerhilfe

Selena Victor

Interim Director of Policy & Advocacy, Mercy Corps

Christof Gabriel Maetze

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Helen Thompson

Deputy Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Care

Nick Guttmann

Head of Humanitarian Division, Christian Aid

Oenone Chadburn

Humanitarian Director, Tearfund

Maria Rudencinda Orella

Executive Director, PRO-VIDA

Andre Krummacher

Director of programmes, ACTED

Mike Noyes

Head of Humanitarian Resilience & Response, Action Aid

Wim den Hartog

Partnerships Manager, Dorcas Aid

Richard Corbett

Humanitarian Lead, Oxfam

Mohammed Afsar

Head of Humanitarian, Islamic Relief

Bob Ruxton

Head of International Support, Concern Worldwide

Andrew Collodel

Head of Humanitarian Team, HelpAge International

Mahendra Gunatilleke

National Director, Caritas Sri Lanka

Degan Ali

Executive Director, Adeso (African Development Solutions)

Rabia Sabri

Associate Director, Community World Service Asia

Waseem Ahmad

Director of International Programmes, Islamic Relief

Dan Collison

Programme Director, War Child

Noreen Gumbo

Head of Humanitarian Programmes, Trocaire

Darren Cormack

Director of Business Development & Partnerships, Mines Advisory Group (MAG)

Fiona Gannon

Head of Programmes, GOAL

Rose Caldwell

Executive Director, Concern

Alexandre Giraud

Director of Operations, Solidarites International

Shaima Al Zarooni

Director of Special Initiatives at the Office of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein


There are five sub-committees to the Board with delegated decision-making authorities.



Chair: Paul Astruc (Independent)

Advises the Board and Start team on financial operations, audit and risk management. The responsibilities of the Committee include having oversight on all financial matters, including the annual accounts, budgeting and financial management, as well as identifying and understanding all financial and operational risks to the Start Network. 

Plan International and three independents



Interim Chair: Bob Ruxton (Concern)

Oversees the selection and onboarding of new members, the membership policy and annual membership contributions. Responsibilities include receiving applications to membership and making recommendations the Board of Trustees, as well as overseeing the due diligence process. 

CAFOD, World Vision UK, Adeso, Concern, and three independents



Chair: Shaima Al-Zarooni (Independent)

Responsible for appointing individuals to the Board and ensuring a good balance of skills are held by the Trustees. Responsibilities include recommending the skills and experience that should be sought in the nomination and election of Trustees, as well as leading the election process when there are vacancies that need to be filled. 

Trocaire and two independents



Chair: Christof Gabriel Maetze (Independent)

Advises on the development and implementation of the Start Network's People Strategy, as well as other policies and procedures relating to human resources such as personnel and performance management, and staff remuneration.

CADENA and three independents



Chair: John Brooker (Solidarities International)

Oversees the management, operation and strategy of the Start Fund. Strategically, the Committee provides advice and input to the Board, particularly around the principles and the processes for decision-making. The Committee has delegated authority from the Board and, through decision-making subsets called ‘rotas’, makes decisions on funding allocations, stewards the progression of the project selection procedures, and participates in associated learning and evaluation peer reviews. 

The Start Fund committee is made up of all Start Network members.



Start Fund Council 

The Start Fund Council brings together all Start Fund donors to review their investment in the Fund. The Council has have direct governance oversight over the risk management of the Start Fund, the policy of which the Council reviews and endorses on an annual basis.


Read more about Start Network's governance



Over the next three years, Start Network will work across four complementary and mutually reinforcing areas of work aimed at catalysing system change and driving more effective humanitarian action to assist and protect communities in need.

Our Strategy 2020-22


Find out more about how you can work with us