Smruti Patel

Founder and Co-Director


Smruti is the founder of Global Mentoring Initiative (GMI). She has management experience in the business sector and has been working in and on humanitarian action since 1995. She was one of the evaluators and authors of the Tsunami Evaluation Consortium's study on the impact of international relief response on local capacities. 

She played an instrumental role in getting the idea of the network (NEAR) from paper to the launch of the network at the World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016. She is now actively involved in advocating for the change to more locally led response. She is a member of Charter4Change coordination group and a member of the International Convening Committee of Alliance for Empowering Partnership.

She has been working on accountability to affected populations and safeguarding for over 10 years. She has been facilitating reflections on accountability and safeguarding in humanitarian operations, organisations, within teams and at community levels in various countries. She has accompanied organisations to carry out self-assessments and audits against the HAP standard (now Core Humanitarian Standard) and mentored investigators carrying out PSEA investigations. She is certified to use Human Potential tools and coaches organisational leaders, individuals and teams to achieve their full potential.

Koenraad Van Brabant

Co-Director and Principal Consultant for our Sub-Division ‘Navigation 360’


Koenraad brings extensive programmatic and organisational management experience, drawing on 25+ years of work in and on volatile environments, where humanitarian action, violence reduction, peace work & governance improvements take place.

He has dealt with situations of rapid growth and rapid scaling down, and periods of organisational restructuring, decentralisation or re-centralisation. This includes situations of financial and trust crises and recovery therefrom. He has been part of or facilitated many strategic analysis and planning exercises.

For years he was co-director of a ‘Leadership’ training course.  He has also led the development of an innovative course on ‘Effective Advising’, covering the complementary skills that thematic experts need: interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, understanding the functioning of organisations in a wider socio-political and economic context, organisational capacity-strengthening, and change management.

He has often been focal point for or informal driver of collaborative work within organisations across units and silos, and between organisations in coordination platforms, networks, coalitions and partnerships, or less formalised multi-stakeholder processes.

He has a strong ability to ‘zoom in & zoom out’: seeing the relevant detail, while maintaining a holistic perspective on the organisation and seeing it within a wider, evolving, landscape.

He uses a diversity of techniques and approaches from facilitation, coaching, partnership brokering, adult learning, organisational development & change management, to enable inclusion, participation, trust building and convergence towards agreement, underpinned by critical thinking and results-orientation.

Bhavesh S Patel

Advisor and Mentor

I design and facilitate learning and development for people, organisations, and networks. My methods are drawn from an eclectic mix of complexity science, participation, dialogue, coaching, cognitive science, etc. I believe that in an increasingly uncertain world, there are no off-the-shelf pre-defined ideal solutions. Instead organisations can find their evolutionary capacity through engaging the hearts and minds of their own people. I also work as a trainer delivering workshops that explore skills in self-management, communication, coaching, designing and delivering training and facilitation. My clients are a mix of social and corporate, from Deutsche Bank to WWF.

Jonathan Potter


Jonathan Potter has worked in the humanitarian and development sector since 1991, most recently as the Executive Director of Qatar Charity UK and, before that, of People In Aid, a global network of NGOs. Under his leadership People In Aid grew into the largest transnational network in the sector, focussing agencies’ and individuals’ attention on quality and accountability on a range of issues such as good management, staff security, local staff development, coaching and competencies – and much more. People In Aid pioneered organisational certification for the humanitarian sector.

In his last years at People In Aid Jonathan co-led the development of the Core Humanitarian Standard for the sector and also the establishment of the CHS Alliance. He has been part of many interagency collaborations, chairing, for example, ELRHA, the START Network’s Surge Capacity Project and the Emergency Personnel Network. He has undertaken consultancies for major actors in the sector, for example researching the capacity of local NGOs for ECHO in 2012. He has been directly involved, and has managed colleagues in all aspects of running a non-profit: governance, HR, communications, fundraising, finance and projects. He is currently a strategic advisor with Muslim Aid, supporting the CEO on governance, organisational development and internal systems.


Eun Jung Yi


Eun has hands-on experience of designing and implementing humanitarian assistance in various countries. She has managed multi-sectoral projects and long-term programming with donor, UN agencies, INGOs and governments and is specialised in grant and contract management and cash transfer programming. As strong supporter of accountability to affected populations she hopes to find ways aid recipients can be genuinely engaged and respected. She is based in Myanmar.


Rachel Houghton

Associate and Coach

For the past 20 years Rachel has worked in a variety of collaborative initiatives and networks in the humanitarian sector, engaging with colleagues from across the UN, NGOs, the Red Cross, media development organisations, and national and local partners. She is an accredited partnership broker, through the Partnership Brokers Association, and is passionate about the power of collaboration.

Rachel is also a trained coach. As a psychosynthesis leadership coach Rachel is concerned with the nature and nurture of her clients’ selves as much as with their professional development; with their being as much as their doing. On weekends throughout the year, Rachel runs Visual Medicine groups in her local community.

Rachel’s most rewarding professional experiences have been in providing coaching support to leaders at all levels, and in supporting teams toward the development of greater coherence and identity; in convening, shaping and positioning global networks and consortia; in connecting high-profile, global organisations in their search for solutions to shared challenges; and in providing leadership and implementation capacity, as both a CEO, team member, and consultant, to leaders and teams as they go through change processes toward the development of new strategies and approaches to work. She particularly enjoys the challenge of bringing creative practices into the meetings and workshops she facilitates, mostly in the humanitarian sector.

Rachel led the CDAC Network for over five years; was the Partnerships Manager for the Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB); co-led the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition, based out of ALNAP; and worked with the Education Cluster for 18 months toward an assessment of global capacity and to uncover critical factors for success. Most recently she held an interim leadership role at ActionAid UK, where she led the humanitarian team in the creation of its first ever strategy. Rachel authored this strategy, titled: HPP Strategy 2019 - 2022: Leading Gender Transformative Humanitarian Action, Now and Into the Future. She also recently co-authored the chapter 'Follow the Leader? Leadership in a Collaborative Model' for the book Shaping Sustainable Change: The Role of Partnership Brokering in Optimising Collaborative Action published by Greenleaf in Autumn 2018.

For more information about Rachel, please visit:


Mi MI Thin Aung

Associate and PSEA mentor

Mi Mi has been working as an Independent Consultant and Trainer with different agencies in the area of gender equality, social work principle, techniques and practices since 2018. She works as a Lay-Counsellor with Myanmar Clinical Psychology Consortium in the area of providing counselling service especially for survivors of Gender Based Violence in 2019. Prior to this, she worked with UNFPA over 4 years to manage the multi-sectoral response and prevention program for GBV survivors in conflict area and to provide technical supports with regards to GBV response and prevention, GBV information management system, development of policy and guidelines. She worked at the Gender Equality Network for over one year to manage and provide her technical inputs for assessment, research and training program.

She has also been contributing towards the betterment of the social work field and education in Myanmar as a pro-bono External Resource Person for Department of Social Welfare and as Field Instructor and guest/ part-time Lecture for Social Work Postgraduate Diploma Course at University of Yangon.

She received Master in Social Work (MSW) in 2012 at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle, the United States. She is a Fulbright Alumna.