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IofC International Council 2019

International Council

Providing leadership to IofC International

International Council

The International Council provides leadership to IofC in line with the goals of Initiatives of Change International and the decisions of the annual Global Assembly. The Council is made up of nine to eleven members elected by the Global Assembly. The President interfaces at a high level with stakeholders and keeps an oversight on vision, mission and good governance. The Council’s governance work is led by the Vice President, working closely with the Treasurer and Executive Director. The Executive Director is responsible for the day to day operations of IofC International and reports to the Vice President. For a more detailed description, see the Articles of Association.

Current Members

Suresh Vazirani (India) (President)
Suresh Vazirani

Suresh is a dynamic, visionary, entrepreneurial, action-oriented person. He is the founder and Managing Director of TransAsia/Erba group, India’s largest multinational medical diagnostics company, which is based on the principles of integrity, trust and transparency and exports high quality medical instruments to over 100 countries. 

He has served on the Board of IofC India for 20 years and brings with him the deep spiritual roots of Initiatives of Change, combined with extensive business and financial skills. 

Suresh aims to build on IofC’s international identity as a global fellowship in which national teams, programs, and Caux and Asia Plateau, are all interconnected. 

Mounir Beltaifa (Tunisia/France) (Vice President)
Mounir Beltaifa (Tunisia/France)

Born and raised in Tunisia, Mounir spent 17 years in Sousse before heading to Paris in 1981. In 2008, Mounir graduated from Ecole des Ponts Business School with an Executive MBA, then he founded Bridgers One, a consulting company focusing on accelerated development strategies for SMEs in the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). He is currently serving as treasurer of Initiatives of Change France.

Personal statement: ‘As of today, I am convinced humanity’s major challenges are global and growing faster than any approaches & solutions locally thought and/or implemented can solve. These challenges would be better addressed with a complementary consolidated approach at a global level. Being a member of IC would help enable this strategy and reinforce the positive energy that IofC network requires to increase its impact locally and globally and I am more than happy to help and more than honored to be part of the IC.’

Bill Hamilton (USA) (Treasurer)
Bill Hamilton

Born and raised in East Texas and Houston, he is now residing in Austin. Bill retired from Texas state government in 2002 after 30 years and has now a small management consulting business. He has served on the Board of IofC USA since June 2014, currently serving as Vice Chair and as chair of the Board Nominating and Development Committee.

Personal statement: ‘The legacy of Frank Buchman motivates me, both for what it has done for me, and for what it can mean for the future of IofCI. At Caux in 2016, I gladly joined the IA Review Group (RG) with a personal goal to broaden the appeal and relevance of IofC for programs worldwide.

Having been encouraged by individuals both inside and outside the RG to offer my name for the IC, I am commited to continue the hard work toward making IofCI better and viable for future generations.’

Cecilia (Thembi) Silundika (Zimbabwe/Canada)
Cecilia (Thembi) Silundika (Zimbabwe/Canada)

Cecilia is a Zimbabwean born Canadian citizen. She has spent over 20 years in the Canadian federal public service coordinating international cooperation on Arctic issues. Her involvement with Initiatives of Change spans over 20 years. Cecilia played an active role mainly during the inception of Creators of Peace. She is also a member of the Canada IofC Board responsible for Communications and Outreach.

Personal statement: ‘The question of how to lead in a world where Trust is plummeting has become central in today’s world. This gives me the conviction that the world needs more of the IofC approach to leadership and trustbuilding than ever before. For over 20 years of my affiliation with IofC I have witnessed the power of its transformative programs locally and globally. I believe that the programs I have contributed towards are important within the global discourse. I want to utilize this strong foundation, along with the experience from my secular work to serve IofC at a higher level.’      

Barry Hart (USA)
Barry Hart (USA)

Barry Hart, PhD, is professor of Identity, Trauma and Conflict Studies in the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), United States. He has been a member of the International Council for four years and will continue for another two years.

Personal statement: ‘It has been an honor to serve on the IC for these last four years. Working with and learning from talented and committed colleagues has challenged and provided me with a much deeper insight to the IofC governance and membership structure. What has motivated me to seek an additional two years on the IC is that I wish to provide an important bridge between an IC that is losing critical members and leadership to a new IC that will have a few current and relatively new members and as many as five completely new members.’

Olena Kashkarova (Ukraine)
Olena Kashkarova

Olena is a Ukrainian with Russian family background. She became involved in IofC work through its program for Eastern Europe ‘Foundations for Freedom’ in 2001 and travelled within Europe, to South-East Asia, Latin America and USA with different IofC initiatives.

For three years she coordinated development of the training platform and community house in Baranivka village in Central Ukraine.

Her major interest lies in dialogue work, especially in Ukraine between people of different background and political views. She started the work through ‘Healing the Past’ project, which explored different understanding of history as a root of conflict in the Ukrainian society, initiated dialogues between people of different political views during Maidan revolution in 2013-14 and worked for UN Programme for Development as a Specialist on Reconciliation. She studies Non-Violent Communication and explores Embodiment practices to develop an integral approach to dialogue.

Yeonyuk Jeong (South Korea)
Yeonyuk Jeong (South Korea)

Yeonyuk, known as YY, is a civil engineer by education and has worked full-time with Initiatives of Change over 20 years. While in Australia, he supported and coordinated all five Action for Life programs over 10 years from 2001. YY now serves as a director of IofC Korea and also helped set up the Asia Pacific Coordination Group (APCG) as a founding member.

Personal statement: ‘I see the challenges to find leadership to hold the IofC work internationally. I can't do it alone and not sure with my ability but I am ready to follow guidance for the work required. This is the only way forward I can see and at the same time have hope. I am ready to work to search for guidance with those already in the IC and with those elected at the same time as me.’

Steven Kimaru (Kenya)
Steven Kimaru

Stephen Kimaru has been an IofC Volunteer for the last 9 years. He met IofC When in university studying Law. After Graduation in 2009 he decided to give time to IofC for one year but God had other plans. Ever since he’s been a full time volunteer.

He’s a member of IOFC in board in Kenya as the Secretary and treasurer and also a member of the African Coordination Group.

Over the years Stephen has been heavily involved in a variety of different initiatives in IofC both in Kenya and internationally. This has exposed him to a variety of trainings and different environments. He’s been involved in major programs like Clean Elections Campaign, Eastern Africa Youth Program, Workshop for Africa and A journey of healing for national reconciliation in South Sudan just to mention a few.

Currently he’s heavily involved in reconciliation processes through the De-Radicalisation program through interfaith Dialogues and also in the ILLP initiative in Baringo County, Kenya.

Stephen is also a director of three companies, Effective Change Consultants, Xperience Media and Penguin Group. He is married with one child.

Mayur Shah (India)
Mayur Shah (India)

Mayur is an entrepreneur and change-maker at heart with a sense of adventure. Over the last 15 years, he has been proactively involved in various initiatives and programs of IofC India. He has helped host 4 Action for Life groups on their outreaches. He co-founded ‘Lead for Change’ program that helps young people find deeper meaning and higher purpose in life led by inner voice.

Personal statement: ‘This opportunity to serve on the International Council is giving me a chance to exercise my passion for building our network across the world.

My other passions are to work on the issues faced by the youth and combating corruption. IofC has a far greater scope of growth and impact in our world. I hope to bring to the work of IofC an innovative dimension with entrepreneurial approach and fresh optimism.’