Geneva (ICRC) – The Assembly of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has appointed two new members, Suba Umathevan and Rémy Best.
Suba Umathevan was born in Sri Lanka. When she was only two years old, she fled the country with her family to Bern, Switzerland. She holds a master's degree in international affairs with a specialization in international humanitarian law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She also holds an honours degree in international studies and modern languages from the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Umathevan has spent several years in non-profit management focusing on women's and children's rights, starting as a research fellow at UNESCO's International Bureau of Education, assessing mother tongue and bilingual education in sub-Saharan African countries. She has led development programmes in Africa, Asia and South America, and dedicated some years to designing and facilitating learning programmes for people, as well as strategy development across the globe to prepare leaders and organizations to transform.
Her thematic expertise includes women's economic empowerment, education and gender-based violence. She is now the CEO of Plan International Switzerland, for which she previously developed a clear fundraising strategy as its head of major partnerships. Plan International Switzerland's work seeks to tackle the root causes of gender inequality and to remove barriers that keep children and young adults, especially girls and young women, from reaching their full potential.
Rémy Best was born in Geneva, Switzerland, where he graduated from law school. After being admitted to the Geneva Bar in 1990, he joined McKinsey & Company to serve financial institutions from offices in Switzerland and the United States. In parallel, Best obtained an MBA from INSEAD.
In 1997, Best joined the privately owned wealth and asset manager Pictet & Cie Group in Geneva. He became one of its seven managing partners in 2003. Today, the group has 4,500 employees spread across 28 offices. During his time at Pictet, Best has led various departments, including institutional and private clients, investment management and operations. His focus while serving clients, colleagues and members of the community has always been on achieving a positive impact and demonstrating that business can be a force for good.
Besides being a member of the board of INSEAD, Best is also chairman of the circle of patrons of Geneva's opera house and treasurer of the International Council of Museums Foundation. From 2002 to 2012, he was vice-chairman of Avenir Suisse, a think-tank focused on the future of Switzerland.
Umathevan and Best will take up their respective duties in June 2020.
The Assembly is the supreme governing body of the ICRC, comprising between 15 and 25 members of Swiss nationality. It currently has 20 members, who oversee all the ICRC's activities, define its institutional strategy, formulate policy and approve the budget and accounts.
For further information, please contact:
Ewan Watson, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 244 64 70