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New Executive Director for Partnerships, Advocacy & External Relations appointed

We are happy to announce that Nirvana Shawky has started as the new Executive Director for Partnerships, Advocacy & External Relations (ED PAER) on 1st of December.

Posted on 08 Dec 2023

With over 23 years of experience in strategic leadership, global advocacy, partnership development, journalism, political research and academia, and humanitarian aid, Nirvana Shawky brings a unique set of experiences to DRC.  

“I am truly honored to be able to welcome Nirvana Shawky to DRC. Nirvana will bring a visionary approach to our continued development within partnerships, advocacy and external relations. With her long experience from Care International and Crisis Action in the MENA region, she is used to leading and collaborating in very complex and fragile contexts and will bring new perspectives to our leadership in DRC. I look very much forward to working with Nirvana and welcome her to the Executive Management Team”, says Secretary General, Charlotte Slente.

Nirvana Shawky comes from CARE International, where she held the position of Regional Director in Middle East, North Africa and Eastern Europe since 2018. Before that, she was Global Partnerships and MENA Director in Crisis Action from 2011 to 2018, where she also started as their Head of Advocacy and Campaigns in 2010.  She has a proven track record of establishing trust with a wide range of stakeholders, managing high-level relationships, and developing strategies to influence positive partnerships.

Nirvana studied political science and international relations at the American University in Cairo and is an alumnus of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Center for Security Studies -ETH Zurich, and Rockwood Leadership Institute, California.  She has been an advisor and board member to several institutions in the Middle East and is recognized for her strategic advocacy on issues pertaining protection of civilians affected by conflicts.

“I am incredibly proud to be able to join DRC. I have always been impressed by the significant impact of DRC’s work and its people; the solid operational strategies, the variety of partnerships and innovative and transformative programs.  I have a great admiration for DRC’s important mission and vital work helping people affected by displacement to survive, recover, and rebuild their lives; All of this is done with a clear commitment to upholding and advancing human rights agenda globally. I look very much forward to contributing to this important work,” says Nirvana Shawky, who started as Executive Director for Partnerships, Advocacy & External Relations on 1st of December and is based at the Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

About the new position

The Executive Director for Partnerships, Advocacy & External Relations (ED PAER) is part of DRC’s global Executive Management Team (EMT). The new ED PAER will lead the efforts to facilitate business development and help consolidate and expand lasting high-level relationships that offer access to more sustainable and flexible funding from both institutional donors, global foundations, private contributors and private sector partners.

She will furthermore lead the harnessing of DRC’s advocacy, communication and press efforts across DRC countries, regions, representations and HQ and thus setting the direction for external engagement and position the organisation as a globally relevant influencing and dialogue partner for donors, political partners peers and the humanitarian system.

The Department of Partnerships, Advocacy & External Relations has until recently been part of the larger Department for Programme, Policy & External Relations (PPE), which since 1 June has been divided into two departments. Therefore, an important part of the ED PAER role will also be to establish Partnerships, Advocacy & External Relations as a new department, to bring the different divisions and representations together to capitalize on the unique added values of each, while at the same time ensuring high-level strategic alignment and coordination across the organization.

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