Tag Archives: IDHA 37

Alumni Update: Thomas Thorhauge (IDHA 37) and Durgavasini Devanath (IDHA 31)


Thomas Thorhauge (IDHA 37), Health Adviser at the British Red Cross, and Durgavasini Devanath (IDHA 31), Senior Emergency Health Officer at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Asia Pacific Zone Office recently met up in Kuala Lumpur. Durgavasini tagged some of her fellow students and friends in her post, saying: “Thinking of the rest of the IIHA/ CIHC family & looking forward to serendipitous meets soon.”

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Second Graduate, Gianluigi Lopes (IDHA 37), earns MIHA Diploma

Gianluigi Lopes - todaydiplomaThe IIHA is proud to announce the graduation of Gianluigi Lopes (IDHA 37) from Fordham University’s Master’s in International Humanitarian Action (MIHA) Program!

Gianluigi, who began his career as a political scientist following his graduation from the University of Bologna in 2004, was employed for almost three years as freelance journalist and press officer for the private sector. He joined the humanitarian sector in 2008, and has since worked in countries including Austria, Belgium, Cambodia, DR Congo, Guinea, Haiti, Holland, Italy, Iran, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malta, Mexico, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Africa, USA, Spain, and Switzerland. Gianluigi Lopes - liberia-exploteam2012His work in humanitarian contexts has spanned the fields of communications, advocacy, training, logistics, information, and project management. A majority of his assignments have been linked to humanitarian medical interventions such as forced migration (Lampedusa, Malta, and detention centres for irregular migrants), displacement and conflict (Sudan), diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria (South Africa, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, DR Congo, and Cambodia), and epidemics (Ebola in Western Africa, Cholera in Haiti and Sierra Leone).

Gianluigi Lopes - myoffice2010In 2015, Gianluigi worked for the World Health Organization (OMS/WHO) in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as regional information manager for the Ebola response, during which time he was seconded as health pillar coordinator in the cluster system at the National stadium of Freetown to support the flood response efforts. Prior to that, he was a senior communications adviser in several MSF headquarters (Brussels, Geneva, Amsterdam, Vienna, and Rome) and was part of the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Ebola Task Force in Sierra Leone as an intersectional advocacy and liaison manager.

In his MIHA thesis, entitled “Embraced by the locals: Perception and acceptance of foreign aid,” Gianluigi examines the evolving impediments faced by international humanitarian agencies in their attempts to provide assistance to populations in need. He analyzes several typologies of the rejection of aid, provides possible causes of this phenomenon, and ultimately suggests that a perception gap characterizes the relations established among aid agencies and local actors within the operational contexts. Through this study, Gianluigi devises possible steps to be taken in order to improve the understanding of the contexts where aid efforts take place, and therefore diminish the misconceptions regarding the humanitarian discourse in emergency response.

Gianluigi Lopes - farewellhaiti2011Gianluigi is currently working for the Italian Red Cross as Head of Delegation in the Occupied Territories in Ramallah – Palestine and is in charge for the operations in the MENA area.

Congratulations Gianluigi! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!


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Alumni Update: Patricia Cole (IDHA 37)


Patricia Cole (IDHA 37) recently moderated a panel entitled “Human Trafficking & Corporate Responsibility from the Business, Government, and Non-Profit Perspectives.” This event, part of Fordham University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s Coffee, Conversation, & Connecting Series and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Anti Human Trafficking Series, emphasized that human trafficking is not only a social justice and human rights issue but also a corporate social responsibility issue.

Through presentations given by David Arkless (President, International CDI), Rosalee Keech (Board Member and UN Observer for the League of Women Voters of the U.S.), Debra Brown Steinberg (Founder VS.: Confronting Modern Slavery), and John Temple (Attorney-in-Charge, Human Trafficking Program, NY County District Attorney’s Office), the panel encouraged good businesses to adopt and expand internal standards that will identify, prevent, and eliminate human trafficking. Important strategies include adopting sound compliance, educating management and staff, notifying partners and suppliers and supporting effective legislation. It is the hope of the organizers that the panel will also continue to foster cross-sector partnership and commitment of government, business, and nonprofits to end human trafficking. Patricia is the Founder and Anti Human Trafficking Program Director of the “What Business Can Do to Fight Human Trafficking” Series at the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, a Representative of the RSHM NGO, and Coalition Member of the UN Committee Stop Trafficking in Persons. To learn more, and to get involved, please contact Patricia (pcole1@fordham.edu).

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