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New ICRC executive team assumes office

30-06-2010 News Release 10/120

Geneva (ICRC) – The new Directorate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – the organization's executive body – which will take up its duties on 1 July, has outlined its priorities for the next four years.

While emphasizing that the ICRC's fundamental objective – to help people adversely affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence – remained unchanged, the new leadership declared that the organization needed to further strengthen its ability to adapt its humanitarian activities in order to meet new challenges.

"Recent crises such as those in Gaza or Kyrgyzstan illustrate the ever more diverse needs of people afflicted by violence, " said Yves Daccord, the incoming director-general. " We have to be able to effectively address these needs across the board – from quickly delivering medical and food aid in major emergencies to providing long-term psychological and social support. To achieve this we have to work in proximity to those who need our help, and put the Red Cross Red Crescent principles of humanity, independence, neutrality and impartiality into practice."

Mr Daccord added that his wide-ranging discussions over recent months with ICRC staff and others concerned by the ICRC's work had shown that, while the organization's approach and structure remained pertinent, some changes were needed.

"One priority of the incoming executive team will be to reinforce ICRC partnerships in the field, especially with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, " he said. " We will also have to make internal changes, especially in the way we manage our staff. The talent and experience of our 12,000 employees are our most valuable resource when it comes to helping people in need."

The make-up of the six-member executive appointed for a four-year renewable term is as follows:

  • Yves Daccord takes over as director-general after having served as ICRC director of communication since 2002. A former journalist, he joined the ICRC in 1992 and worked in various field postings before moving to headquarters in 1997.
  • Pierre Krähenbühl will continue as director of operations, a position he has held since 2002. Mr Krähenbühl joined the ICRC in 1991. He occupied various positions in the field before becoming the personal adviser to the ICRC president in 2000.
  • Helen Alderson is the new director of financial resources and logistics. Ms Alderson is currently chief executive officer of the World Heart Federation, where she has also held the posts of director of development and chief operating officer. She previously worked for the ICRC from 1985 to 2000.
  • Caroline Welch-Ballentine takes over as director of human resources. Ms Welch-Ballentine has held the post of director of human resources (Europe) for Alcoa since 2007. Prior to that she was head of human resources for Europe at Nestlé.
  • Philip Spoerri has been appointed for a further term as director for international law and cooperation, a post he has held since 2006 after spending 12 years in various roles in field delegations and at headquarters.
  • Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet is the new director of communication and information management. Ms Lindsey-Curtet joined the ICRC in 1993, initially for five years in various field postings. She has held a number of positions at ICRC headquarters, most recently that of deputy director of communication.

"I am looking forward to working on such a high-calibre team, " said Mr Daccord. " We can provide the ICRC with the leadership it needs to meet the ever more complex challenges facing it. Fortunately, we will be able to build on the work of the outgoing Directorate headed by the current director-general, Angelo Gnaedinger."

See also : 

Interview with Yves Daccord, the ICRC's new director-general
ICRC Directorate

 For further information, please contact:
 Carla Haddad Mardini, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 22 730 24 05 or +41 79 217 32 26


From left to right: Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, Philip Spoerri, Helen Alderson, Yves Daccord, Pierre Krähenbühl, Caroline Welch-Ballentine  

From left to right: Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, Philip Spoerri, Helen Alderson, Yves Daccord, Pierre Krähenbühl, Caroline Welch-Ballentine
© ICRC / T.Gassmann / ch-e-00637