Network Director, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Steina Bjorgvinsdottir co-leads Funder Safeguarding Collaborative. As FSC’s Network Director, she promotes greater collaboration and learning among private funders to strengthen safeguarding practices.
Steina’s career has focused on child protection and safeguarding in refugee and humanitarian settings through work with agencies such as UNICEF, UNHCR, International Medical Corps, Terre des Hommes, and Save the Children. Most recently, she headed Oak Foundation’s child safeguarding work.
Steina has a master’s degree in international development, a postgraduate diploma in international human rights law, and a bachelor’s degree in social work. She is fluent in Icelandic, English, French, Swedish, and Danish.
Regional Advisor – UK, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Tom Burke is Funder Safeguarding Collaborative’s Regional Advisor leading support for network members based in the United Kingdom. Tom has been engaged in safeguarding issues for most of his life – transitioning from service user to practitioner. He has previously worked at the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, leading policy and law reform on participation rights, and at Y Care International, the international development agency of the YMCA movement in the UK and Ireland, where he spent eight years in a variety of senior roles. As a freelance consultant, Tom has led multiple safeguarding projects and programs for charities, including delivery of the UK government-funded Safeguarding Training Fund and development of the NCVO Knowhow safeguarding guidance suite. He was co-author of the report “Safeguarding young people during the Covid-19 pandemic: a guide for designated safeguarding leads in voluntary youth organisations.” Tom regularly conducts training and speaks at national conferences on policy and practice in safeguarding in charities. More widely, Tom works on issues related to evaluation and research on services for children and young people with a particular interest in equalities and participation in decision-making. He continues to undertake direct work with children and young people.
Operations and Learning Associate, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Leila Conroy provides administrative support to Funder Safeguarding Collaborative and onboards new members. Her experience prior to joining FSC includes almost ten years of working in administration roles, most recently as an Administration Manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international hospitality and tourism management from the University of Surrey.
Regional Advisor – US, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Carissa Coons is Funder Safeguarding Collaborative’s Regional Advisor for the US, working to develop FSC support and services for US members. Carissa began her career as a teacher in the US and in France, and after several years of teaching, she accepted a position at Rotary International where she oversaw international youth protection efforts in over 150 countries. Carissa also recently worked for the U.S. Center for SafeSport, where she managed the implementation of the 2022 Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies, which aim to protect US minor athletes from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Currently, Carissa serves as the Director of Youth Protection at the University of Southern California, where she oversees compliance with safeguarding requirements that help to promote the safety and wellbeing of tens of thousands of young people entrusted to the university’s care each year. In her free time, Carissa also serves as a volunteer advocate for a local rape crisis center, where she provides crisis intervention counseling and advocacy to individuals who have experienced sexual violence. Carissa is fluent in English and French.
Regional Advisor – Nigeria, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Oluchi Ihedoro leads support for network members with funding portfolios in Nigeria. She is a safeguarding expert with 11 years of experience implementing development and humanitarian programs. As an independent consultant, she has supported organizations in Nigeria, Yemen, Palestine, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, India, and Germany in putting in place policies, practices, and procedures for safeguarding; for the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and sexual harassment (SEAH) and other forms of harm; and for responding effectively when harm does occur. She is a trained and certified mentor and is skilled at influencing leadership and organizations on the necessity of having a safer organizational culture and appropriate safeguarding measures in place. Oluchi is passionate about promoting the rights and wellbeing of women, girls, and people with disabilities and has worked with organizations such as Palladium to integrate gender equity and social inclusion into their work.
Oluchi worked as the National Representative for Nigeria Hub in the multi-country Safeguarding Resource and Support Hub project. She holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English and literary studies and is a graduate of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership at Deakin University, Australia. She successfully completed CHS Alliance’s Investigator Qualification Training Scheme Tier 2 – SEAH Investigation Theory. She is a monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning specialist and has implemented projects funded by USAID, CDC, Netherlands, and FCDO.
Oluchi currently consults for organizations in developing relevant safeguarding toolkits, and she designs and facilitates tailored trainings on safeguarding implementation.
Regional Advisor – Cambodia, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Pauline McKeown leads support for network members with funding portfolios in Cambodia. Pauline began her career as a Child Protection Social Worker in the UK and has spent the last 35 years working in international development in senior leadership and management positions. She has worked for child-focused and development organizations in emergency and development contexts globally. Throughout, Pauline has played a key role in leading or supporting the development and implementation of child protection and safeguarding policies and participatory practices, ensuring their relevance to partners and to partners’ context. She has a particular interest in promoting women’s leadership, diversity, and inclusion. Pauline is now based in Cambodia, working as an independent safeguarding consultant in Asia. She is an Accredited Partnership Broker with facilitation, brokering, negotiation, and coaching experience in complex, multistakeholder programs as well as community-based organizations, the private sector, and academia.
Regional Safeguarding Lead, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Shermin Moledina is the Regional Safeguarding Lead for Funder Safeguarding Collaborative (FSC), where she supports the Regional Advisors for FSC’s communities of practice in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya. Shermin is passionate about social justice and challenging cultural norms that prevent women and children from living as equal citizens. She has a master’s degree in social work and 27 years of experience working on child protection, safeguarding, homelessness, and mental health programming with children, youth, and families. She has worked with nongovernmental organizations, primarily in East Africa and the US, leading, developing, and managing evidence-based programming on child welfare, protection, homelessness, and trauma-informed care. During the last ten years, Shermin has worked as a consultant supporting organizations and governments in developing interventions and methodologies in working with children, youth, and their families, with a particular focus on child protection, systems strengthening, family reintegration, alternative care, and safeguarding. Currently, Shermin is also a Safeguarding Advisor with Segal Family Foundation (SFF), providing support in enhancing SFF’s safeguarding policies and procedures and developing a strong safeguarding culture and practice for SFF and its partners.
Regional Advisor – South Asia, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Anuradha Mukherjee leads support for network members with funding portfolios in South Asia. Based in India, Anuradha has extensive experience working in grassroots, national, and international organizations on child rights, child safeguarding, gender-based violence, women’s and girls’ rights and empowerment, and grant management. As an independent consultant, Anuradha has been supporting nongovernmental organizations and implementing partners of funders to strengthen their safeguarding practices. She has worked with Oak Foundation, Human Dignity Foundation, Terre des hommes Foundation, and Ashoka. Anuradha has a master’s degree in development communication. She is fluent in English and Bengali.
Regional Advisor – Kenya, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Hedaya Odhiambo leads support for network members with funding portfolios in Kenya. Hedaya has 13 years of experience in safeguarding and child protection, working for nongovernmental organizations and in collaboration with government statutory institutions, juvenile justice institutions, and government field offices. Over the years, she has gained expertise in strengthening safeguarding competency frameworks and risk assessments of organizations in diverse development environments and cultural settings. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and a certificate in counseling, and she has had training and practice in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy.
Hedaya began her career in 2004 as a Risk Management Assistant at Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, and in 2010 she began working at Women’s Rights Awareness Program (WRAP). She then joined CEFA (European Committee for Training and Agriculture), where she supported Kenya’s Department of Children Services in implementing juvenile justice system reforms, strengthening case management, establishing monitoring and reporting systems on child rights in the children statutory institutions, and developing, establishing, and implementing platforms for participation by children in the juvenile justice system. She later served as a Child Protection Officer at Moving the Goalposts before shifting to Kesho Kenya in the country’s vast coastal region. After working briefly in St. Patrick’s Missionary Society in Kenya and South Sudan, she served as a Safeguarding Manager at Leonard Cheshire, covering Kisumu, Migori, Siaya, and Homabay counties. Hedaya currently works at VSO as a Project Safeguarding Officer in the global implementation team.
Safeguarding Advisor, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Shameem Sadiq-Tang is a UK-based safeguarding consultant working with Funder Safeguarding Collaborative. She has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years including at direct delivery charities in the UK and internationally, as well as over three years as a Safeguarding Lead at Comic Relief, a large funder.
Shameem has extensive experience in human rights, most recently in the preventing violence against women and girls sector working with Refuge, the UK’s leading domestic abuse charity. She has also worked in an international context at the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, where her work included leading the global Individuals at Risk Campaign. Shameem was the architect of Survivor Activism at Freedom from Torture, a charity supporting torture survivors.
In recent years, she has supported charities in reviewing and strengthening their safeguarding structures and practice, developed and implemented programs of work around lived experience engagement including activism, and managed change processes in underperforming areas. Throughout her career, she has specialized in trauma-informed practice, safeguarding, ethics, and user engagement led by people with lived experience of trauma and mental health issues, all of which are areas of genuine passion.
Technical Director, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Karen Walker-Simpson co-leads Funder Safeguarding Collaborative, which promotes greater collaboration and learning among funding agencies to strengthen safeguarding practices. Karen started her career working with children in care in the UK before moving to Ecuador to run Fundación Juconi, which provides therapeutic support for street-working children and their families. Karen spent the last eight years as a Safeguarding Specialist for international NGOs working across Africa, Asia, and Latin America before moving to Comic Relief as the organization’s Head of Safeguarding. Karen has a master’s degree in international human rights and is completing her professional doctorate, which examines the effectiveness of safeguarding standards and donor requirements when applied by NGOs in East Africa. Karen is fluent in Spanish.
Regional Advisor – Ethiopia, Funder Safeguarding Collaborative
Blain Worku leads support for network members with funding portfolios in Ethiopia. She is an Ethiopian social development expert trained as a human rights lawyer. Blain began her career as a Public Prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice in Ethiopia and subsequently served as Head of the Justice Office, where she led the office’s investigation and prosecution activities and participated in different legal drafting assignments. She has extensive experience in civil society policy and legal frameworks, drafting and co-drafting more than 15 directives and regulations for the proper implementation of the country’s civil society law. Blain’s engagement in the development world began in 2013, when she took on the role of Social Protection and Advocacy Specialist at World Vision Ethiopia. She then went on to serve as a Child Protection National Program Manager at Save the Children International before joining the DFID/Girl Hub project (later named Girl Effect), where she served in different capacities for five years, including as a Gender and Safeguarding Manager and Senior Program Manager for Impact - Gender, Safeguarding, and Evidence. In addition to leading Girl Effect’s gender and safeguarding technical work, Blain also led on government partnerships and initiated and led the Rural School Program, which is a UNICEF-Girl Effect flagship program. Blain currently works at the Office of the President of Ethiopia as Director of Programs, where she is responsible for managing the president’s initiatives and bilateral and multilateral engagements and assisting the president with constitutional duties.