Working Group Member Biographies: Innovative Finance for Resettlement


Owen Barder is a Vice President at the Center for Global Development, Director for Europe and a senior fellow. He is also a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and a Specialist Adviser to the UK House of Commons International Development Committee. Barder was a British civil servant from 1988 to 2010, during which time he worked in No.10 Downing Street, as Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to the Prime Minister; in the UK Treasury, including as Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and in the Department for International Development, where he was variously Director of International Finance and Global Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications and Information, and head of Africa Policy & Economics Department. As a young Treasury economist, Barder set up the first UK government website, to put details of the 1994 budget online.

During 2004-2006 Barder worked at CGD, mainly on the Advance Markets Commitment for vaccines. Barder has also worked in the South African Treasury on budget strategy; at Development Initiatives where he helped to establish the International Aid Transparency Initiative; and was a visiting scholar in economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He has lived in several countries in Africa, most recently in Ethiopia during 2008-2011. Barder has been an Associate at the Institute for Government, a member of the Advisory Group of Twaweza, the Board of Publish What You Fund, and a member of the UK Government International Development Sector Transparency Panel. He writes a personal blog at and hosts a development podcast at  He is on Twitter as @owenbarder.

Jeremy M. Weinstein is Professor of Political Science, Sakurako and William Fisher Family Director of the Global Studies Division, and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. His research focuses on civil wars and political violence; ethnic politics and the political economy of development; and democracy, accountability, and political change. He is the author of Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence (Cambridge University Press), which received the William Riker Prize for the best book on political economy. He is also the co-author of Coethnicity: Diversity and the Dilemmas of Collective Action (Russell Sage Foundation), which received the Gregory Luebbert Award for the best book in comparative politics. Weinstein received the International Studies Association’s Karl Deutsch Award in 2013, given to a scholar younger than 40 or within 10 years of earning a Ph.D. who has made the most significant contribution to the study of international relations.

Weinstein has also worked at the highest levels of government on major foreign policy and national security challenges, engaging in both global diplomacy and national policy-making. Between 2013 and 2015, Weinstein served as the Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and before that as the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. As Deputy, Weinstein was a standing member of the National Security Council Deputies’ Committee – the sub-cabinet policy committee with primary responsibility for advising the National Security Council, the Cabinet, and the President on the full range of foreign policy issues, including global counterterrorism, nonproliferation, U.S. policy in the Middle East, the strategic rebalance to Asia, cyber threats, among a wide variety of other issues. During President Obama’s first term, he served as Director for Development and Democracy on the National Security Council staff at the White House between 2009 and 2011. In this capacity, he played a key role in the National Security Council’s work on global development, democracy and human rights, and anti-corruption, with a global portfolio.


Bruce Scoffield is a career Foreign Service officer, currently assigned to the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in Geneva, as Minister Counsellor. Mr. Scoffield began his career with the Department of External Affairs and International Trade in 1989, and later transferred to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration. Overseas, Mr. Scoffield has served in the Republic of Korea (1990), Sri Lanka (1993), Serbia (1996), Turkey (1997) and most recently in Syria, from 2008 to 2011, where he was Minister Counsellor and Area Director for the Middle East at the Embassy of Canada in Damascus. At headquarters in Ottawa Mr. Scoffield’s most recent assignment was as Director General, Integration Programs, with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (2011 to 2013). Previous headquarters assignments included Director of International Operations (2006) and Director, Refugee Policy (2003). In 2013/14 while on leave of absence from the Canadian government, Mr. Scoffield worked as a consultant with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Dr. Cindy Huang is a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development. She works on issues related to refugees, fragile and conflict-affected states, gender equality, development effectiveness, and strengthening US development policy. Most recently, Huang was the Deputy Vice President for Sector Operations at the Millennium Challenge Corporation where she led the strategic direction and technical oversight of a $2 billion portfolio of social sector investments. She also served in the Obama Administration as the director of policy of the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, and as senior advisor to the State Department’s counselor and chief of staff. In her latter role, Huang managed the interagency leadership team of Feed the Future, a presidential initiative launched by a $3.5 billion, three-year commitment to agricultural development and food security. Previously, Huang worked for Doctors Without Borders and the Human Development Center in Pakistan. She has a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University.

Claus Haugaard Sørensen is a Special Representative with the Permanent Representation of Denmark to the European Union. The past year Mr. Sørensen advised European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on crisis management and humanitarian issues. From 2011 he headed the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) in the European Commission. In that function Mr. Sørensen became a driving force in responding effectively to crisis and conflict affected victims and in reforming the international Humanitarian system, leading up to the Istanbul Humanitarian Summit. Mr. Sørensen has a background as a diplomat in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark where he started in 1981. He subsequently held positions as Trade and Finance councillor at the Danish Permanent Representation in Brussels, a member of the Cabinet of Vice-president Henning Christophersen at the European Commission, a member of Sweden’s first Cabinet in the European Union, Director for International Environmental issues, and Head of Cabinet for respectively the Commissioner for Agriculture and the Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian assistance. Mr Sørensen has a Master in Economics from Aarhus University and regularly lectures at the University of Lund, York and Copenhagen.

Eric P. Schwartz has served as Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota since October 2011.  Prior to that, he was Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration.  Mr. Schwartz served as the United Nations Secretary General’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery from 2005 to 2007.  From 1993 until 2001, he was on the staff of the National Security Council, ultimately as Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs and Senior Director for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs.  Earlier in his career, he served as Staff Consultant to the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs, and as Washington Director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch.  Mr. Schwartz received a B.A. from Binghamton University, an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Gunilla Carlsson served as an elected member of the Swedish Parliament and Minister for International Development Cooperation from 2006 to 2013 and is currently a Board Member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI). She has extensive experience in domestic, European Union and international politics and negotiations. In addition, she has expertise in implementation of policy reforms and in mechanisms for ensuring both efficiency and accountability in complex organisations. During her political career, Ms. Carlsson has worked on a range of issues including foreign policy, human rights, development, employment, research, security and defence. Previous positions include: 1st Vice Chair of the Conservative Party, Member of the European Parliament (1995–2002); Vice Chair of the European People’s Party; Member of the World Bank Gender Advisory Council; and Chair of the Swedish-led Commission on Climate Change and Development ahead of Copenhagen 2009. She was appointed by the then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, to the high level panel for global sustainability ahead of the 2012 conference in Rio de Janeiro and to the high level panel for global development goals post-2015.

Hans van de Weerd, a native of the Netherlands, is currently Vice President for US Programs, at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). He has been working in various positions on US refugee integration since 2012. Prior to coming to the IRC, he was a General Director for Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF)/Doctors without Borders. As a humanitarian worker Hans has worked and lived in conflict zones in India, Iraq and Afghanistan. In his younger years Hans was a banker and lived in Singapore and China. He holds a Master of Science, Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Master of Science, European Studies, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Dr. Hillel Rapoport is Professor of Economics at the Paris School of Economics, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, since September 2013. He is also a research fellow at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, IZA, CESifo and CEPII. Previously he held positions at Bar-Ilan University and at the University of Lille and visiting positions at Stanford University (in 2001-03) and Harvard University (in 2009-11). Since 2008 he is the scientific coordinator of the “migration and development” conferences jointly organized by the French Development Agency and the World Bank. His research focuses on the growth and developmental impact of migration and on the economics of immigration and diversity. Jointly with Jesus Fernandez-Huertas Moraga (Carlos III Madrid) he has proposed to combine tradable refugee-admission quotas with matching mechanisms to improve the current allocation of refugees among EU Member States.

Kate O'Malley is the head of global resettlement for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, as Deputy Director of the Division of International Protection based in Geneva. Previously, she was with the Policy Group of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of Australia and held the position of Minister-Counsellor Migration at the Australian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva. Kate has over 20 years’ experience in the Australian government working in both migration and foreign affairs portfolios. Her experience includes development and delivery of Australia’s resettlement program as well as family migration policy and programs. She was also active in the design and implementation of Australia’s current legal framework for migration. Kate has experience in operational roles and working closely with refugees and migrants, with a number of years spent on postings with her government in Vietnam, Thailand and Greece. In Geneva, Kate represented Australia in many migration and refugee forums and led on institutional relationships with the headquarters of key UN and other refugee and migration-engaged organisations and processes.

Mary Louise Cohen co-founded Talent Beyond Boundaries to open a complementary labour mobility pathway for refugees to fill global talent gaps using safe and legal work visas. TBB is currently working on a pilot in Jordan and Lebanon. She is a founding partner of Phillips & Cohen LLP and has represented whistleblowers for more than 25 years in lawsuits brought to remedy fraud against the United States. Her firm has recovered more than $11 billion for state and federal governments in cases filed under the False Claims Act. In 2007, Mary Louise and singer Angelique Kidjo created The Batonga Foundation to support secondary education for girls in Africa. In 2010, together with Dr. Aziza Shad, she founded The Aslan Project to improve survival rates for children with cancer in the developing world.  She also serves as vice chair for the mid-Atlantic regional board of UNICEF USA. Mary Louise graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and was a  2014 fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative.

Dr. Nancy Birdsall is a senior fellow and president emeritus of the Center for Global Development, having served as founding president for its first 15 years from 2001-2016. From 1993 to 1998, Birdsall served as executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio. Before that she worked for 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank. Prior to launching the Center, she served for three years as senior associate and director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace where her work focused on globalization, inequality and the reform of the international financial institutions. She is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and many scholarly papers. Shorter pieces of her writing have appeared in dozens of US and Latin American newspapers and periodicals. Birdsall received her PhD in economics from Yale University and an MA from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Nicola Cobbold joined The Portland Trust in April 2007 and was CEO from January 2009 until September 2015. The Portland Trust is a British non profit ‘action tank’ working with a range of partners to help develop the Palestinian private sector and relieve poverty in Israel through entrepreneurship and social impact investment. Previously Nicola worked as a lawyer, specialising in media and copyright. Interspersed with her legal career, Nicola has worked in reconciliation and coexistence. Notably she compiled a report for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and was a trustee (2001-2003) of the Jewish Council for Racial Equality. She has been a governor of the Hebrew University (2010-2013) and a Board Member of Seeds of Peace (2011 – 2014) and the Eastern Mediterranean International School in Israel (2013-15). She was a founding shareholder of Social Finance Israel and recently joined the Boards of the Institute for Jewish Policy Research and UK Israel Business in London. Since January 2016 she has been supporting Sir Ronald Cohen’s work with the Global Social Impact Investment Steering Group. She is a graduate of Cambridge University.

Peter Sullivan is a Managing Director and Head of the Public Sector Group for Africa at Citi since 2007. He is also a Senior Credit Officer of Citi and is based in London. Peter is responsible for developing business and structuring and delivering product solutions for sovereigns, state-owned enterprises and multilateral institutions in Sub-Saharan and North Africa. He has 27 years of customer relationship and industry experience with Citi and his product background extends from trade and structured finance to fixed income and credit-based structures. Peter has been the lead on a number of innovative transactions in the region including the first fuel import hedging by a SSA Sovereign. He has also been engaged in a number of Blended Finance initiatives including Convergence and the Sustainable Development Investment Partnership with USAID, SIDA. OECD and WEF. Prior to joining Citi, Peter served 2.5 years in the U.S. Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa. He received his MBA from Columbia University in 1989.

Dr. Serena Guarnaschelli is an expert in innovative finance, impact investing and inclusive business models. Serena has experience in structuring innovative financing mechanisms at the intersection of the public and private sectors, including blended funds and impact bonds – for example, to support the social and economic reintegration of Syrian migrants and vulnerable populations in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. She is currently supporting the International Committee of the Red Cross with the structuring and launch of the world’s first Humanitarian Impact Bond, financing physical rehabilitation programs in conflict-afflicted countries.  Serena designed and supported the launch of Convergence, a blended finance platform focused on emerging and frontier markets. Serena also worked with Mercy Corps in Darfur. Serena holds a PhD in Social Sciences from Caltech, with a specialization in Behavioral Finance, and has published in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Will Jones is Lecturer in International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research focuses on the role of refugees in political change, notably in Central Africa. His most recent book, co-authored with Alexander Betts, Mobilising the Diaspora: How Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism, is out now with Cambridge University Press. With Alexander Teytelboym at the University of Oxford’s Institute for New Economic Thinking, he has founded and organisation called Refugees’ Say. Refugees’ Say uses cutting-edge developments in economic theory and refugee studies to improve the way governments and humanitarian agencies resettle refugees. In particular, it allows states to quickly and efficiently ‘match’ refugee families to local authorities to guarantee that refugees are placed in areas which offer the services (such as appropriate housing, education and medical facilities) and support (language, mental health facilities) they need, and incorporates their preferences giving them back control of their lives.