Meet Our Senior Associates

Mohammad
Al-Rozzi

Andrew.png

Andrew Azzopardi

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Angie Bamgbose

Sara Lim Bertrand

Kristen Castrataro

Stephanie Delaney

Aïda Diop

Leilani Elliott

Judi Fairholm

Clare Feinstein

Julia Freedson

Nidhi Kapur

Susan Kreston

Laura Lee

Stella Motsi

Ruth O'Connell

Claire O'Kane

Kirsten Pontalti

Caitlin Procter

Hannah Thompson

Christina Torsein

Claire Whiting

Timothy Williams

Mohammed Al-Rozzi

is a researcher in the field of Childhood Studies. He holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He has authored book chapters and articles on child-related topics including education, child labour, and child detention among other topics. Al-Rozzi has worked with many international non-governmental organisations and UN agencies since 2008. His main areas of expertise are child protection and participation, education in post-conflict settings, and psychosocial wellbeing in emergencies. He is a native Arabic speaker who is fluent in English with basic knowledge of French and Italian.

 

Andrew Azzopardi

is a seasoned senior manager with 15 years experience working with victims, survivors and perpetrators of abuse in NGOs, iNGOs, faith-based and sport settings. He specialises in safeguarding investigations and prevention in organisations and received his MA in International Politics & Human Rights from City University in London. Professional, creative and service-oriented,  Andrew is currently the Coordinator of the Catholic Church Safeguarding Taskforce and Head of Safeguarding Commission. He speaks Maltese and English with native fluency, and is also fluent in Italian.

 

Angie Bamgbose

is a registered social worker, consultant and coach. Since 2000 she has focused on child protection and safeguarding in international development and humanitarian contexts. Areas of child protection expertise include social welfare workforce strengthening, case management, sexual and gender-based violence and psycho-social support. She also works extensively to safeguard against sexual exploitation and abuse. Angie is passionate about developing capacity; she is a skilled facilitator, has an MSc Coaching and Mentoring and is an accredited action learning set facilitator. Angie has regional experience in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, West, East and Southern Africa and Latin America. She is a native English speaker.

 

Sara Lim Bertrand

drives for results, especially for children and young people in humanitarian and development settings.  This has involved relentlessly searching for and testing promising practices during her 18 years of programming in child protection, gender-based violence, education in emergencies, and learning and development.  

Since 1996, Sara has worked in 18 countries and provided high-quality, remote support to field-based child protection coordination groups in more than 40+ countries.

 

Kristen "K" Castrataro

is a professional writer and editor with two decades’ experience in technical writing, instructional design, and knowledge management. She specialises in developing clear, accessible resources for a variety of audiences. She has a Master’s in Teaching and is committed to developing guidance and trainings that improve practitioners’ ability to safeguard, protect, and support women and children, not just increase their conceptual knowledge. Kristen is a native English-speaker and has worked on projects for clients across the globe. 

 
 

Stephanie Delaney

is a child protection practitioner with over 15 years’ international experience. She is a social worker (MSW) and has a post-graduate qualification in systemic therapy. Stephanie’s particular focus is on child protection and safeguarding interventions. Her experience includes undertaking needs assessments; evaluations of services; developing policies and procedures; and designing and delivering appropriate capacity building initiatives. She adopts a pragmatic approach, aiming to support stakeholders (including children) to find contextually relevant solutions which can be implemented in practise. Stephanie has regional expertise in Asia, MENA and, South East Europe.

 

Aïda Diop

has worked in child protection, focusing on the protection of children on the move, in Europe and Africa since 2003. Her technical knowledge stems from providing direct services to unaccompanied and separated asylum-seeking and refugee children. She has led national and regional research on child protection in the context of mixed migration throughout Africa for UN agencies and INGOs. Aïda has also designed and delivered training programmes for frontline professionals involved in counter-trafficking activities. Aïda is completing her doctoral research on community-based resolution mechanisms in the case of sexual violence against children in Zanzibar. She is a native French speaker, fluent in English and German, with conversational knowledge of Kiswahili and Wolof. 

Leilani Elliot

is a senior human rights, child protection, and PSEA specialist. As a practitioner, qualitative researcher, and trainer, she has worked in a range of humanitarian, transitional justice, and development settings since 2004. Her strengths include designing and facilitating child- and community-centred participatory action research; preparing technical reports, guidance notes, and assessments; and curriculum development and training. Leilani holds a PhD in International Human Rights Law and has regional expertise across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia Pacific. Leilani speaks English and Swedish (both native), is fluent in Portuguese, and is proficient in French and Spanish. 

 
 

Judi Fairholm

joined Proteknôn in October 2019 and has since worked on Safeguarding and Child Protection projects with Caritas, Sesame Street, The Alliance, and UNICEF. Previously, Judi was National Director of the Canadian Red Cross Respect Education programme, which she grew from a grassroots initiative to a national/international award-winning programme. With programmes that promoted respect, responded to psychosocial issues, provided safety, and prevented violence, Judi worked with governments, researchers, Indigenous communities, children and youth, organisations, sport, NGOs, and Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies. She has received numerous awards, having worked on projects in over 20 countries. Judi has regional expertise in Asia, North America, and some countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. English is her working language.

 

Clare Feinstein

is an experienced senior level child protection professional. She has over 30 years experience working in the human and child rights field in both development and humanitarian contexts. Her thematic areas of expertise include: child protection, child safeguarding, child participation and child rights. She is also highly skilled in strategic planning, capacity building, organisational research, evidence and learning and leading teams to deliver quality results on time. Clare has a M.A. Latin America Area Studies, University of London, UK. Clare has regional experience in East, Southern and West Central Africa. She speaks English with native fluency and has working proficiency in French & Spanish.

 

Julia Freedson

is an expert in the field of international child protection and child rights. With over 20 years of experience, Julia has worked extensively on a wide range of human rights and humanitarian issues conducting research, advocacy, policy development, training/manual development, network building, strategic consulting, and facilitation. Julia’s work has focused on children and armed conflict, as she was the founding director of the world’s leading NGO network on this topic, the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict. Julia has a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and has working proficiency in Spanish.

Nidhi Kapur

is a child protection, gender, and inclusion specialist with over 12 years of field-based experience. She is motivated by an interest in the programming complexities in conflict and post-conflict zones. Nidhi has worked for international organisations on various issues with, and on behalf of, children and their families. She completed her Masters in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Nidhi is a native English speaker with professional proficiency in French. She was based in East Africa from 2008-2021, having lived and worked globally. Nidhi now lives full-time in Canada.

 

Susan Kreston

has 30 years’ experience in the criminal justice field, as both a prosecutor and academic, focusing on crimes against women and children. She also has 10 years’ experience as an independent consultant on legal and human rights issues. She is a two-time recipient of Fulbright Professorships in Psychology and Law, focusing on issues of human trafficking and violence against women and children in South Africa. She has published numerous peer-reviewed and accredited articles and provided training on violence against women and children to over 10,000 members of the allied criminal justice community throughout the world.

 

Laura Lee

has more than 15 years of experience in working with children, youth and communities to strengthen wellbeing in adversity settings through research and programming. Laura’s work seeks to amplify the voices of children and youth. She specializes in the wellbeing of children and youth, community-based participatory research methodologies, art and play-based approaches, participation, health equity and participatory program planning and evaluation. Laura has been recognised as a leader among Canadian Women in Global Health and holds a PhD from the University of British Columbia, where she is an Adjunct Faculty member (Faculty of Medicine). Laura has regional expertise in East and Southern Africa and has experience in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North and South America. She speaks English with native fluency and has working proficiency in French and Swahili.

 
 

Stella Motsi

is a child protection specialist with 15 years' experience in development and humanitarian work and holds a Master's degree in Developmental Studies, Bachelor's degree in Social Work and a Registered Managers Award.  Stella possesses knowledge and experience of International experience in Child Protection and Child Rights programming and research specializing in prevention, reporting and response to Violence against Children and Gender Based Violence.  She is currently the Country Director for Childline Zimbabwe managing over 400 qualified and intercultural staff members including volunteers.  She has managed programmes funded by various donors DFID, UNICEF, TDH, KNH, BMZ and USAID.

Ruth O'Connell

is a mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) and child protection practitioner specialising in community-based approaches. She is an experienced trainer and programme facilitator, and develops tools for children and family-based MHPSS programmes. She is particularly interested in multi-sectoral approaches and programming. She started her work in Emergencies in 1998 and has worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and at the global level. She has a Masters in Community Theatre for development, specialising in child participation. She has working proficiency in French and is a native English speaker.

 
 

Claire O'Kane

has over 25 years’ experience in international child rights work. She is passionate about children’s rights to participation, association, protection and care. Working as a practitioner, adviser, researcher and evaluator, she builds upon individual and collective strengths by supporting collaborative participatory processes with adults, children and young people to increase the realisation of children’s rights, social justice and peace. Claire has authored over 60 publications on these issues, including practical toolkits, training materials, strategic guidance, research and evaluation reports, and journal articles. Claire has a Masters in Applied Social Studies and a Diploma in Social Work.

 

Kirsten Pontalti

is a researcher, policy advisor and mother with over 15 years of experience on issues related to children, youth and social change in conflict-affected, low-income contexts. Kirsten earned her doctorate from the University of Oxford for her dissertation on how childhood and children's transitions to adulthood have been changing in Rwanda and how children influence social change processes across generations, from colonialism to the present. She also has thematic expertise on governance and conflict, complex emergencies and development. Her recent clients include UNICEF, ECPAT International, UK DfID, Oxfam International, Girl Effect Rwanda, Grand Challenges Canada and the Rwanda Ministry of Justice.

Caitlin Procter

is an academic with eight years of experience working in humanitarian settings. Her main areas of expertise are youth, forced displacement, and irregular migration. She earned her PhD in International Development at the University of Oxford Refugee Studies Centre and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Social and Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence. She has previously worked with UNCHR, UNICEF, UNRWA, and multiple INGOs. Caitlin has regional expertise in the Middle East and East Africa. She speaks English and has working proficiency in French, Arabic, and Italian.  

 
 

Hannah Thompson

has supported programmes within the contexts of complex emergencies, natural disasters, and refugee receiving and developing countries since 2000. Her areas of focus are child protection, sexual and gender-based violence, and education. Her expertise includes family, social, and economic reintegration; case management; systems strengthening; promoting gender equality in education; and violence prevention in schools. Her competencies include developing best practise guides and programme tools; participatory research with children, communities and other stakeholders; learning and development; and staff wellbeing. Hannah has a Masters in Anthropology and Development and has experience working in South and Southeast Asia,  Africa and the Middle East. Hannah is a native English speaker with French fluency.  

Christina Torsein

is a child protection practitioner with over 20 years’ experience, including over twelve years of field experience providing technical guidance to child protection programmes for UNICEF in Mali, Haiti, Palestine, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sri Lanka. She focuses on systems strengthening and has advised donors, governments, NGOs, and UN agencies on building national child protection systems, including the development of strategic organisational documents. Christina holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law and a Masters in Public Policy and Public Administration. Christina is under contract to write ‘Child Protection Systems in the Developing World’ for the series Palgrave Studies on Children and Development. Christina is a non-resident Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Bath, Centre for Development Studies. She is a Director with Proteknôn Foundation for Innovation and Learning.

 
 

Claire Whiting

is a child protection and humanitarian specialist with over 18 years experience in the fields of child rights, protection, safeguarding and humanitarian policy and practice. Her core skills include research and consultation; policy development and guidance; online and face-face training development and delivery; evaluation; and inter-agency coordination. Recent clients include The Alliance for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action, IRC, UNICEF, ICVA, Pact and Plan. Claire also acts as an expert evaluator for the European Commission. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Humanitarian Diplomacy and an MSc by distinction in Childhood Studies and has regional expertise in the Middle East and North Africa, Asia, Europe and East Africa.

Tim Williams

is a researcher with over 15 years’ experience in child protection, education, forced migration, and social policy. His recent clients include UNICEF, UNHCR, the Brookings Institution, the World Bank, Save the Children, and the Center for Global Development. Tim received his PhD in International Development from the University of Bath in 2015. Since 2016, he's been an adjunct faculty member at Boston College, where he teaches on global child protection to MSW students. Tim has regional expertise in East Africa, particularly Rwanda, where he has written extensively about the country’s education system.