About us

International Council photo by David Zurgilgen

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

Mohan Bhagwandas (Vice President) (Australia/Sri Lanka)
Mohan Bhagwandas

Mohan’s initial experience with IofC was in conflict resolution work in Belfast in Northern Ireland, Quebec in Canada, South East Asia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. He was an independent facilitator for the Papua New Guinea government, to mediate in the Bougainville crisis, caused by the closure of the biggest copper mine in the world. Entering the corporate world, Mohan was given the role of Senior Strategy Consultant for the Kanbay Group of Companies, a global Information Technology company focusing on financial markets.

He worked with the company’s Board and Management team in defining change processes and strategic directions and helped client’s adapt to the information revolution. From 2006 to 2013, Mohan was the International Coordinator for the ‘Trust & Integrity in the Global Economy’ programme in Europe. In 2012 he joined the International Council and in 2014 became the Vice President of IofC International. Mohan has experience in writing and journalism and is the Author of a book The Jinasena Story, published in Sri Lanka.

Ron Lawler (Australia) (Treasurer)
Ron Lawler

Ron has been for the last 10 years a Manager of planning and contracting community services with the New South Wales State Government in Australia, based in the regional centre of Wagga Wagga. Previously he worked 12 years for the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Commission where he was Deputy Regional Manager responsible for strategic planning, policy, program funding and secretariat support to the elected Aboriginal Council representing one third of the state.

From 1988 with his wife and two young children, lived and worked in a remote Aboriginal community for four years.  He managed the support service to groups returning to live in traditional country.  This followed a sense of vocation to build reconciliation and justice with Aboriginal people gained during 15 years working full time with IofC in a variety of contexts and countries.

He has continued engagement with the IofC network in Australia and the region.  Since his first visit to Indonesia in 1983 and nine subsequent visits he has studied the language and supported the development of the IofC team there.

He completed a Bachelor Degree in the Humanities and a Post Graduate Diploma in Public Management.  His Master of Social Science included a research dissertation on Aboriginal communities and local government. Ron is 63 and apart from English (native) has reasonable knowledge of French and Indonesian languages.

Kiran Gandhi (India)
Kiran Gandhi

Kiran Gandhi is a member of the Board of Trustees of IofC India.

He was elected to serve on the International Council of IofC for a four-years term, which ended in December 2016, and has been re-elected for another two years (2017-2018). He earlier served as a member of the Asia Pacific Coordination Group of IofC from 2011 to 2015.

Kiran earned a bachelor’s degree in Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and a post-graduate diploma in Business Management from Xavier Labor Relations Institute, Jamshedpur.

In a professional career spanning 33 years Kiran has worked as the head of Human Resources at three global Indian companies and as the training head of Tata Motors, Jamshedpur. Over the last 12 years he has worked as an independent human resource consultant to several small, medium and large companies in India. He offers corporate training in leadership and management and has served as an executive coach at leading companies. He has taught as visiting faculty at prestigious management schools such as the Indian Business School, the Indian Institute of Management and the Tata Management Training Centre.

Kiran is a regular facilitator at Asia Plateau, the India Center for Initiatives of Change (IofC). He has designed and delivered several training programmes on ethical leadership for business managers as well as civil servants. He recently designed and co-directed a UNDP- sponsored Training of Trainers programme for the development of a National Pool of Ethics Trainers for the Government of India.

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). He has been a peacebuilding practitioner for 30 years and worked in over 20 countries, focusing on psychosocial trauma and well-being and working to transform conflicts between ethnic and religious groups. He has also taught courses in restorative justice and human rights and dignity with an emphasis on the practical application of these courses in real-world contexts. Earlier in his career he was a prison Chaplin and founded a half-way house for ex-offenders. He was also the director of the first mediation center in the state of Virginia. In 1991 Barry helped plan the Caux Scholars program (CSP) and became a faculty member that year and Academic Director in 1997—a position he held until 2010. He was also the Academic Director of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU for three years. Barry met his wife, Vesna, in Vukovar, Croatia just after the war. They worked together in helping establish a school-based peacebuilding program. They have a daughter, Ana, and son, Philip. Barry is 67.

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.

Wadiaa Khoury (Lebanon)
Wadiaa Khoury

Wadiaa Khoury is a lecturer and researcher in three universities in Lebanon, on educational policy and legislation, with a focus on civics education. She's also engaged with the Ministry of education and the Center of Educational Research and Development (CERD) in the establishment of the national Community Service program and in the Civics Curriculum development processes.

Wadiaa has been active with Initiatives of Change since 2001, when she joined Action for Life 1 for 10 months in India and East Asia.

She was part of a few Lebanese Initiatives and of many International IofC and IofC related programs and conferences, all focused on trust building through active listening and dialogue. She was part of the Gandhi Voyage of trust in 2010 in Africa and Europe, where she got inspired to build on both her Master's degrees in Education and in Public Law to proceed with her doctoral studies and researches on Educational Policy and the inclusion of the ethical and civic skills components in the training of teachers.

This latter idea was legitimized by the frequent encounter with teachers and the reading of curriculums in Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon between 2011 and 2013, and the realization of the clear link between radicalization, fanaticism, OR Entrepreneurship and common good initiatives from one side, and what is being daily conveyed by teachers through the announced and the hidden curriculums from the other side.

Steven Kimaru (Kenya)
Stephen 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.

Camilla Wilhelmsen Nelson (Norway)
Camilla Wilhelmsen Nelson

Camilla Wilhelmsen Nelson works as a teacher in Media and Communication at a high school, in her hometown Drammen, Norway.

After having received her MA in Visual Communication at the National Academy of Art and Design in Oslo, Norway, she worked freelance as a graphic designer and illustrator for five years, before starting to work as a teacher and studying pedagogics to become a certified teacher.

The last 8 years she has 'given' one day of her workweek, to work with and care for IofC and its centre and home in Oslo, Sophus Lies gate 5.

She has been part of the team organizing New Year gatherings here in Norway for the last 30 years, and four Intergenerational conferences in Caux since 2002.

She has also taken part in several international gatherings and Consultations trying to find the way forward for IofC’s work and fellowship.

Camilla is married to her best teammate, Axel Nelson, who is an artist and a teacher. Together they have three sons Jonathan (23), Jacob (16) and Theo (16). They live together with Axel’s brother and his family in Drammen, 40min outside the capital of Norway, Oslo.

Camilla is 48 and fluent in Norwegian and English.

Camilo Villa (Colombia)
Camilo Villa

Inspiration for change would be the label that better describes who I am. And I love to express it through learning experiences, that is: events, workshops, ceremonies, etc. In my toolbox I combine knowledge, methods and tools from different domains varying from social sciences to entrepreneurship, internet tools and native American wisdom. I love to write. I combine business activities in this field with IofC ones.

My level of engagement with the Colombian team has been increasing during the past years. I play a leading role in it and, jointly with my wife we promote reconciliation and forgiveness circles and events. As well, we are engaged in an initiative that supports former prostitutes in their journey to heal their wounds and develop their own businesses.

My journey can be explained in four periods. The first one was the young professional with a rocket career, 1985-2001. In that period I got some degrees, and occupied high level jobs in public organizations and, at the end, became lecturer in one of top Colombian universities. The second period could be labeled as the encounter with my own darkness, 2002-2009. Almost 10 years living abroad. Everything vanished: jobs, enterprises, studies and even marriage. The main outcome: I got rid of a big portion of my ego and started the real journey to find who am I.

My return to Colombia was the closing event of this period. The third one would be the mystic. Exploring myself I had profound mystic experiences that brought me to unexpected realms and experiences. Returning to my homeland was more than a relocation matter, it was above all a profound encounter with Earth and nature. This provided me with a missing link: grounding. I was then ready for the last and current period: the joy of love and entrepreneurship. I met Luz Stella who simply said taught me how to love, how to live in a relationship in which learning, healing, transparency, compassion and God are at the core. We created our firm. I became grandfather and abundance came to my life.