Off the Record

Off the Record: Candid Conversation with Humanitarians series

Our Off the Record: Candid Conversations with Humanitarians series features speakers with interesting insights on topical humanitarian issues or contexts. If you would like be involved in the series, please email Find a gallery of pictures from the events at the bottom of this page.

Off the Record: Manisha Thomas

Our sixth Off the Record speaker featured Manisha Thomas, a lead contributor in the humanitarian space over past 20 years. Manisha has been the Coordinator  of the Emergency Appeals Alliance (EAA) since March 2017. The EAA brings together over 130 diverse aid agencies to raise funds quickly through national appeals across 11 countries when disaster strikes or conflict creates major humanitarian crises to help save lives and rebuild communities. Manisha has also been consulting since the autumn of 2016. Manisha has been focusing recently on the comprehensive refugee response framework (CRRF) in Tanzania, Uganda, and at the global level, as well as advocacy related to the forthcoming Global Compact on Refugees.

Off the Record: Glen O’Neil

Glen O’Neil featured as our fifth speaker for the series. Glenn is founder of evaluation and research consultancy, Owl RE based in Geneva, Switzerland. For 15 years, Glenn has carried out some 100 evaluations and studies in over 50 countries for 40 international organisations, NGOs, governments and foundations. Glenn has a focus on emergency response, communications and advocacy for the humanitarian sector. Glenn was previously a humanitarian field worker for the International Committee of the Red Cross with postings in Sri Lanka, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina, Somalia and Rwanda. Glenn’s recent publications on humanitarian surge are available online:

Off the Record: Aarathi Krishnan

Our fourth event in the series featured Aarthi Krishnan Aarathi Krishnan has over 10 years’ experience leading global programs for INGOs. She supports a more localised humanitarian system and deeply believes in grassroots innovation to drive change. Aarathi is a future thinking strategist who seeks to understand future trends to make organisations more agile and better able to respond to community needs.

Off the Record: Dr. Patrick Meier

Our third even in the series featured Dr. Patrick Meier. Patrick has over 15 years’ experience working with Next Generation Humanitarian Technologies. Patrick is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of WeRobotics. Patrick was previously Director of Crisis Mapping at Ushahidi, and Co-Founder of Crisis Mappers and Standby Task Force, both early and notable pioneers of digital humanitarian action. This technology is easily accessible and widely available, free to humanitarian organisations and volunteers globally. His innovative approach to utilising technology has revolutionised the effectiveness of humanitarian relief efforts.

Off the Record: Leanne Smith

Our second Off the Record event featured Leanne Smith, who had recently returned to Australia following 3 years as Chief of Policy and Best Practice at the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. Leanne is an Australian diplomat and lawyer with experience in political analysis, policy development, bilateral and multilateral negotiations, crisis management, legal drafting, project management and implementation of international law, particularly in the field of human rights and rule of law. She has extensive experience working in the Australian judicial system, the NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, the Australian Government and the United Nations across Southeast Asia, Africa, the Balkans and Afghanistan.

Off the Record: Paul White

Our inaugural event featured Paul White, Paul has recently returned from a deployment as Protection Adviser to the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, based in the office of UN OCHA. He roved between Jordan, Turkey and Syria working on protection related displacement issues inside Syria. Previously he was with UNHCR in Iraq, where he spent 6 months in Baghdad and then 6 months in Dohuk, in the Kurdish Region of Iraq near the border with Syria and Turkey.

Off the Record – Leanne Smith

Off the Record – Paul White

Humanitarian Advisory Group
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