Geoff Loane, Head of Mission
Geoff Loane is head of mission for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in London where he manages relations with the UK government and other stakeholders involved in humanitarian work in armed conflict.
Previously, he was head of delegation for the United States and Canada for five years. He oversaw ICRC visits to the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and was responsible for working relationships with the governments of the United States and Canada. He liaised with the national Red Cross Societies and served as the ICRC's representative to the public at large in both countries.
Geoff has also worked in the Balkans and the Middle East, and spent more than a decade in the Horn of Africa during the major conflicts there.
He has published books on the unintended consequences of humanitarian assistance and has conducted extensive field research in assistance operations. Geoff was a senior scholar for the Conflict Prevention Network in Berlin where he prepared a number of research papers for the European Commission. He has organized and managed an emergency roster of personnel on behalf of the Irish government.
Geoff is a graduate of the University of Dublin, Trinity College.
Mona Sadek, Deputy Head of Mission
Mona Sadek is deputy head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mission in the United Kingdom and Ireland. She engages with political, military and non-government contacts on a range of issues related to the ICRC’s humanitarian work in armed conflict and other situations of violence.
In 2011 Mona was deployed to Libya to lead the ICRC's protection operations there. Previously she was responsible for all programmes in Afghanistan involving protection of the civilian population, detention visits, and the restoration of family links. She has also worked with the ICRC in Gaza, Liberia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Jordan.
She joined the ICRC in 2002 after completing an MA in human rights in London, having worked in the field of human rights in Cairo.
Sean Maguire, ICRC Spokesman in the UK and Ireland
Sean Maguire is the spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) mission in the United Kingdom. He is the public face of the ICRC in the UK, broadcasting regularly to explain the ICRC's policies and operations in zones of conflict. He also builds relationships with political, military and civil society stakeholders to generate support for the ICRC's humanitarian work in armed conflict and situations of violence.
Sean spent 20 years as a correspondent, bureau chief and news editor for Reuters. He specialized in covering conflict, the economic development of eastern Europe and political risk and spent much of the 1990s covering the break-up of Yugoslavia. He also reported the Gulf war of 1991 and the Iraq war of 2003 from inside Iraq. In his last role at Reuters, as global editor for international affairs, he set strategy for coverage by 2000 reporters across the globe. He interviewed personalities as diverse as Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, US General David Petraeus and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. He has published essays in the London Review of Books and Political Quarterly and book chapters on the laws of war and the ethics of reporters embedding with the military.
Sean joined the ICRC in 2012. He is a graduate of Oxford and Yale universities.
Sarah Cotton, Public Affairs and Communications Adviser
Sarah Cotton is the public affairs and communications adviser for the ICRC mission in the UK and Ireland. She is responsible for ICRC engagement with the UK parliament and legislative assemblies and also works to communicate ICRC priorities and key concerns. Sarah has held this role since February 2011. Previously she worked as a research officer for the ICRC, based in London, working in particular on the issue of those missing in Northern Ireland.
Sarah holds an MA (with distinction) from King’s College London in international relations, focusing in particular on humanitarian intervention.
Sarah has worked as the features editor for a national magazine, as an English teacher in Siberia, studied conservation in Cambodia and been a ski instructor in Austria. She also holds a first-class degree in English literature from the University of Liverpool.Contact Sarah
Liz Harris, Sourcing Delegate
As an ICRC sourcing delegate, Liz Harris seeks out candidates speaking languages essential for the ICRC's field operations – such as Arabic, Pashto, Urdu, Farsi and Russian, amongst others. She represents the ICRC at recruitment events and manages engagement programmes with selected universities in the UK and Western Europe.
A linguist herself, Liz started her career with the ICRC as an Urdu interpreter in Jammu and Kashmir, India, where she worked for several years visiting detainees held in connection with the territorial dispute there. She then studied Pashto in Afghanistan under the auspices of the ICRC and worked as a detention delegate there before returning to the UK to obtain an MA in war studies. She also speaks French and is studying Spanish.
Mark Thomlinson, Research & Administrative Officer
Mark Thomlinson is ICRC London's research & administrative officer, a role he has held since the start of 2011. His research involves examining judicial, legal and political developments in the UK. He also provides support to the head of mission and is in charge of logistical planning for visitors from the field and headquarters.
Mark is part of the humanitarian policy team, briefs field delegations about analysis – particularly relating to the Middle East – generated in UK think tanks, universities and NGOs, and engages in public event participation, networking and case work.
Previously, Mark interned for a number of NGOs in the UK and abroad and spent a year teaching English in the Czech Republic. He holds an MA (Hons) in French & Politics from the University of Edinburgh, is fluent in French and speaks Arabic.
Jenny Tobias, Events & Online Officer
As part of the humanitarian policy and communications teams, Jenny helps to organize a programme of events that aims to stimulate discussion amongst government, academia, think tanks and humanitarian organizations and contribute to the humanitarian policy debate in the UK. She is also responsible for maintaining the web presence of the ICRC mission in the UK and Ireland.
Prior to joining the ICRC, Jenny worked for a London technology start up and interned with the Democratic Party in California. She has a degree in modern languages from the University of St Andrews and an MA in conflict, security and development from King's College London, in which she achieved a distinction. She is fluent in Spanish and speaks Russian.
Phone +44 (207) 877 7164
Walter Jeanty, Head of Office
Walter Jeanty is head of office for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Belfast, where he is responsible for ICRC activities in Northern Ireland and manages relations with the devolved government and a broad range of stakeholders.
Having first joined as staff on loan from the Belgian Red Cross, Walter has been with the ICRC for 12 years, with assignments taking him from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nepal to Pakistan and Afghanistan among other places. During this time, he was responsible for the setting up of aid provision to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries on multiple occasions.
Walter holds a BA in development studies and an MSc in humanitarian action, and speaks English, Dutch, French and German.
Mike Ritchie, Northern Ireland Programme Officer
Mike Ritchie is Northern Ireland programme officer in the Belfast office and joined the ICRC in September 2011. Previously he had been director of a leading human rights organization, the Committee on the Administration of Justice, and of Coiste na n-Iarchimí, which assisted former IRA prisoners in the context of the peace process. He has 25 years experience in the fields of human rights, dealing with the legacy of conflict, prisons and prisoners related to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland. Currently, his principal role concerns the ICRC's interest in monitoring the detention of separated prisoners in the Northern Ireland prison system.
Ita Connolly, Programme Officer
Ita Connolly is a programme officer with the ICRC in Belfast, working on community-based projects.
Prior to joining the ICRC, Ita worked as research associate at the Transitional Justice Institute (TJI) at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland). She has co-authored a number of journal articles on issues such as conflict/post conflict, transitional justice and social movements. She was Deputy Course Director of the (LLM) in Human Rights and Transitional Justice, and Research Coordinator for the 'Northern Ireland: Local and Global Perspectives' research cluster. She also taught criminal law at undergraduate level.
Ita has also worked in the Northern Ireland Political Collection of the Linen Hall Library, Belfast. She is a graduate of the Queen's University of Belfast.