The Trustbuilding Program - Program Team

The management of the Program is carried out by:

Talia SmithTalia Smith – Program Manager 

Talia has over 11 years’ experience working in the NGO sector, including a long-term commitment to development work abroad, which involved managing projects and budgets in South East Asia. Talia has spent considerable time in Africa and more recently in Peru. She has a master's degree in Development Studies from London South Bank University and has an Agile Project Manager Practitioner qualification. Talia is committed to the core values of Initiatives of Change and has nurtured a personal calling to address the root causes of suffering in the world and enabling people to reach their full potential. She believes that trust is part of the foundation to make this happen.

Alena Vasilyeva Alena Vasilyeva – Program Assistant

Working closely with Program Manager, Executive Director and the Program Steering Group, Alena provides administrative support to all aspects of program management. Born in Belarus, Alena has lived in several countries before settling down in the UK in 2008. Alena has an MA degree in Documentary Photography and worked previously for a non-profit art gallery as Gallery Manager. She is passionate about social change and justice. She believes trustbuilding is key to driving change, because 'in any kind of conflict or disagreement the other party is unlikely to be receptive unless we approach them in a spirit of openness and willingness to listen and learn. No long-lasting mutual engagement is possible without trust,' she says. 

Manon MonhemiusManon Monhemius - Communications Officer  

Manon has been consulting for social impact businesses and NGO’s for almost 8 years with a focus mainly on marketing, communications, and crowdfunding. She has extensive experience in organizing events and hosting co-creation sessions for creative problem solving. She holds a degree in business and is determined to use her knowledge to support businesses and projects that add positive value to society and the environment. Manon believes that everything stands or falls with human connection and deeper connection to ourselves. 'When you are truly connected, which can only consist with a base of real trust, you will feel the effects of all your actions,' 


Roxann Allen KiokoRoxann Allen Kioko - Evaluations Manager

Roxann teaches courses on management and research methods at the Department of Business & Leadership, the Organizational Leadership Studies graduate program, and the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. She has worked in research, operations, management, training, and consulting roles in various contexts in the U.S. and abroad, including positions at Mennonite Central Committee, the Great Place to Work Institute, Humentum, the New Venture Fund, and Cooperative by Design. She holds a PhD in Strategic Leadership with a focus on Nonprofit and Community Leadership from James Madison University. She is fond of the quote 'Leaders must earn the right to make a change. If we want to make positive changes, we must first build that social capital, which is trust.'

Rob CorcoranRob Corcoran - Program Design & Training consultant

Rob is a trainer, facilitator, writer, and racial healing practitioner. He has led trustbuilding workshops among diverse and polarized groups across North America and internationally. He served as national director of Initiatives of Change USA and founded its flagship domestic program Hope in the Cities in Richmond, VA. His book, Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility, has been described as a visionary and compelling account of healing and change. He says, “As a community builder, I have learned that trust depends on the authenticity of our lives, our openness, and our willingness to start with change in ourselves.” He now lives in Austin, Texas. Website

The Trustbuilding Program is governed by a Program Steering Group consisting of:

Alex Wise, US, (Chair); Rob Corcoran (ex officio), US; Kiran Gandhi, India; Barry Hart (ex officio IC); Mohan Bhagwandas, Sri Lanka/Australia; Hsu Shoufeng, Taiwan; Willem Jansen, The Netherlands; Eliana Jimeno, Colombia (ex officio NextGen Program); Imad Karam (ex officio Operations); Wadiaa Khoury, Lebanon; Gordon Robinson, UK; Shakiyla Smith, Fetzer; Ron Lawler, Australia.

Ron Lawler - Planning Committee Chair
Imad Karam - Staffing Committee Chair
Alex Wise - Fundraising Committee Chair

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