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IofC International Council 2021

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.’

Marta Dabrowska (Poland)
Marta Dabrowska

Marta is an associate professor at the Institute of English Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland. Since her first visit to Caux Conference and Seminar Centre in 1992 as a Caux Forum interpreter, she has stayed actively engaged with Caux Forum in different capacities and departments of the Mountain House, and in 2009-2012 served on the Caux Preparation Group, which was responsible for coordinating the summer conferences. In 2008 - 2016 she was actively involved in the work of Renewal Arts as a team contact person. As of 2020 she been engaged in co-organising various IofC Hub activities online. 

Personal statement: ‘I believe that each of us, however small and invisible, has a role to play in the formation of the future, but that we all need some support as well as recognition from others. Related to this, as a person committed to IofC for nearly three decades, I am passionate about focusing on committed individuals, both in areas with no local team and those working “backstage”, by developing an effective system of inclusion and support for their work. Also, with my Renewal Arts experience and the use of art in the history of IofC I believe in art as a means to re-make the world. I therefore see it as a part of my commitment to restore the arts, both locally and globally, and spreading the IofC message with its help.’

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. 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 mission 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 the guidance with committed people in the IofC network.’

Stephen Kimaru (Kenya)
Steven Kimaru

Stephen Kimaru has been involved with IofC for over 16 years. He met IofC while at university studying for his undergraduate degree in Law. He is a member of the IofC Kenya board and a member of the African Coordination Group. Stephen has been heavily involved in a variety of different initiatives in IofC both in Kenya and internationally. He has 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. A key highlight for him is the many young people he has mentored.

Stephen is an entrepreneur and runs a small tour company that promotes sustainable and impact travel. He is also an advisor to CBO’s and NGO’s, but his favorite role is that of husband and father to two daughters.

Personal statement: ‘Who I am today can be attributed to many decisions I have made, but one key decision was to follow my instincts and respond to what my heart was prompting me, and that’s being part of IofC. I have always believed that volunteers have their heart in the right place since they give where they feel they are most connected to. Over the years I have come to appreciate the rich heritage of volunteering and the diversity of service in IofC, and I want to continue serving and exploring ways how we can use our richness to foster a cohesive global community. My experience and background and skills continue to be useful in achieving our fellowship's mission and purpose.’

Rob Lancaster (Australia)
Rob Lancaster

Rob has worked with IofC teams in eight countries, involved in many programmes including at Caux. He is currently managing a peacebuilding programme in South Sudan on behalf of the Oxford Policy Management, an international development consultancy. He has degrees in Law and Arts, as well as a Master of Public Policy from Oxford University.

Personal statement: ‘Our context is constantly shifting. What does that mean for IofC’s mission to build trust across the world’s divides? As a network, what are the dialogues that are called for? What is the focused action we are called to? What personal changes are we called to? And although space for reflection is timeless, which dimensions of it might we engage with in renewed ways. As time passes, I feel the apparent contradiction between my best self and my worst self seems to grow wider. Whatever else, there is a deep complexity to all this. In our brains and bodies, and in the world.  I’m passionate about finding a clearer sense of how IofC can create these spaces in a range of contexts, in a healthy blend of spiritualism and professionalism.’  

Wimarshana Ranasinghe (Sri Lanka)
Wimarshana Ranasinghe

Wimarshana Ranasinghe is a peace builder and a facilitator. She met the ideas of Initiatives of Change in 2012. In the last 7 years, she has been involved in various programs of IofC India and Sri Lanka and was part of Initiatives of Change for Life (IfL) which is a three year outreach programme. She is a certified trainer of Creators of Peace-Women Peace circles and is experienced with facilitating peace building & Nonviolent communication programs for Inter religious leaders, Government officers, Teachers, University Students and community leaders.

Personal statement: 'I am passionate about community building, inner peace and healing. Being a part of the International Council gives me a chance to exercise this passion for building our network across the world and enables me to work with a wider, and experienced team to explore international support for trustbuilding initiatives, in particular in Sri Lanka.'

Roweida Saleh (Lebanon)
Roweida Saleh

Roweida has been an English as a Foreign Language (ESL) teacher for 23 years and a member of IofC Lebanon for 20 years. She is a Druze (Unitarian) from the Shouf Mountains in Lebanon who was born and raised during the Lebanese civil war. As a result, she has always been an advocate for peace and works with groups in conflict. She first encountered IofC in an exchange program (BAUA) with the UK. She represents Lebanon in the Arab Regional Group where she holds the role of the accountant. 

Personal statement: 'This was not the first time I have been nominated to the IC elections, but this time the answer was not as obvious as the last time. It took a lot of consultation with my team, family, and commitments. It also took a generous amount of quiet time, reflection, and listening. The main reason that made me agree to putting my name forward was the questions that I have been asking myself lately: "How can I help IofC in these critical times?", "How can we, the Arabs, address the root of issues that we face and affect us and the world in a solid IofC spirit?", and "How can we, IofC bodies, help our communities in a more efficient way?" These questions have been present a lot in my mind and heart and my decision to join the IC is rooted in finding answers to them and serving IofC as I know best.'

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.’