David Verboom, Chief Executive Officer
David Verboom is a leader and coordinator with 26 years experience in the private and humanitarian sectors. With 20 years of field-based experience, he has been involved in humanitarian interventions in response to all the major recent emergencies in the world, such as the tsunami in Asia, the Syrian conflict in the Middle East, and the Sudan famine in Africa.
David started his higher education at the High Technical College of Automotive Engineering in the Netherlands. He then went on to study at the Twente School of Management, earning his Master of Business Administration degree in 1992.
His work experience started in the Dutch Army as a conscripted officer working at the Technical Service. After finishing his MBA, he worked for four years with various management consultancy firms advising multinationals on how to develop their strategic, financial, and project management capacities.
In 1996 David started his career in the humanitarian and development sector where he worked for NGOs and donors. His first job, as Medair's Country Director for Kenya and South Sudan, was during the 1998 drought and famine. He then took up the Operational Director’s function at Medair headquarters in Switzerland from where he started up and managed the organisation’s emergency relief and recovery programmes in Africa and Asia. In that capacity, he also initiated Medair's Quality Improvement process, resulting in Medair being the first humanitarian agency to become ISO 9001 certified. This application of international quality standards to the humanitarian sector was not only groundbreaking work, it was also unique in defining the affected people as the organisation's primary clients.
In 2002 David returned to the field as Country Director, leading ZOA Refugee Care’s programme in Sri Lanka, which focused on community recovery interventions in response to the civil war. This was followed by the Asian tsunami disaster response, after which he joined the largest humanitarian donor when he was asked to open and lead the office for Sri Lanka and Maldives as Head of Office for the European Union’s humanitarian department (ECHO). This was followed by taking up the function of ECHO Head of Regional Office for East Asia and the Pacific, which included overseeing humanitarian programmes in Mongolia, Indonesia, Myanmar, North Korea, and Papua New Guinea, et al. In 2013, he was asked to take on the job of ECHO Head of Regional Office for the Middle East, covering the response programmes in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, and Yemen.
In 2015, David returned to an implementing agency as National Director with World Vision Jerusalem, West Bank, and Gaza. In this capacity he led humanitarian and development programmes focusing on health, education, resilience, and protection on behalf of affected children.
David Verboom became Medair Chief Executive Officer in April 2018.
David is a Dutch national. He is married to Inge Wessels and they have three teenage children.
Jim Jackson, Executive Office Director
Jim joined Medair in January 2011 as Executive Office Director. His primary responsibilities are to lead and manage Medair’s governance practices and to oversee organisational strategy and planning. He works closely with the CEO, the Executive Leadership Team, and the International Board of Trustees on a range of executive office initiatives including strategy, planning, internal communications, compliance, risk management, and coordination of governance and strategy with Medair affiliates. Jim also acts as Medair’s General Counsel, Organisational Secretary, and Chief Compliance Officer.
A lawyer by training, Jim has more than 25 years of international legal and management experience in the government, private practice, and corporate sectors. His education includes a Bachelors degree in Economics from Duke University, a Masters degree in Economics from the University of Miami (Florida), and a law degree from the University of Florida. After finishing law school, Jim worked in Washington, DC for the US Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition as a trial lawyer. He then worked in private practice in Washington, DC with the law firm, Arnold & Porter. Jim left private practice to join the Altria group of companies in Switzerland. While there, he held a number of senior legal positions before joining Medair on a volunteer basis in August 2010.
Jim and his wife, Cheryl, both native Floridians, have lived in Switzerland since 1992.
Jules Frost, International Director
Building on more than two decades of leadership experience within the humanitarian sector, Jules became Medair’s International Director in March 2016. She is responsible for a far-reaching portfolio with oversight of Medair’s country programmes, including logistics, health and nutrition services, WASH, emergency shelter and reconstruction, security, strategic planning, emergency response, and crisis management.
Prior to Medair, Jules worked for 21 years in numerous roles for humanitarian NGO World Vision. She held key operational roles with portfolios in East Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe, and the Asian Tsunami response.
Jules served as Director of Emergency Response and Disaster Mitigation for World Vision USA. She later worked as the Head of Innovative Partnerships in Australia. Jules then became the Senior Director of Strategic Projects and Finance for World Vision International’s 67 field offices worldwide.
In her position as Senior Advisor for Civil-Military and Police Relations for World Vision, Jules became a leading authority on civil-military relations. By developing relations with the UN, NATO, and other armed forces, she pioneered joint-training relationships and operational guidelines that have had a major influence across the humanitarian and military sectors. As Medair operates in countries affected by conflict, her expertise and networks of connections are vital to our ability to deliver humanitarian aid effectively and safely.
Originally from the United States, Jules now lives in Geneva. In addition to her many interests and credentials, she is a highly effective public speaker and writer.
Cynthia Labi, Human Resources Director
Cynthia Labi has more than 20 years of experience working as an HR & OD professional in diverse sectors, 13 years of which have been in various senior management roles in technical and general management capacities.
Born and raised in Ghana, Cynthia obtained a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Industrial Psychology and a minor in History from the University of Ghana, and later pursued her Master’s degree in Diplomatic Studies (Management option) with the University of Westminster in the UK.
Cynthia is a strategic leader who has worked in various countries in private, public, and non-governmental sectors with international organisations such PricewaterhouseCoopers, Barclays Bank, and World Vision International. After having served for many years at national and regional levels as a strategic business partner, Cynthia's strong business acumen is demonstrated in her ability to quickly understand the core business of an organisation, irrespective of the sector. This is further complimented by her strength in strategic envisioning, communication, cross-cultural engagement, change management, organisational redesign, consulting, project management, financial management, and virtual team management. She is also passionate about sharing knowledge and helping and motivating others to grow.
As a member of Medair’s Executive Leadership Team, Cynthia contributes to the development and implementation of the corporate strategy, leads the development of the HR strategy to support the delivery of Medair’s vision, and manages Medair’s global HR function with care and professionalism to support the organisation in implementing world-class humanitarian aid interventions.
Cynthia and her husband, Kwame, have four children.
Martin Baumann, Finance Director
Martin Baumann has worked in a number of executive management positions, first in the private sector in marketing, then as a business management consultant, and finally as a church leader.
Martin earned a Master’s Degree in General Management from the University of St. Gallen in 1990. He then earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in Stanford, California, USA, in 1996.
Martin’s first professional position was as Brand Manager of Unilever in Zurich, Switzerland where he was responsible for various product groups in the area of fast-moving consumer goods. He then worked for three years as a management consultant for McKinsey in divergent sectors such as telecommunications, industrial engineering and manufacturing, the chemical industry, and financial services.
For several years, Martin pioneered, established, and managed one of the largest evangelical churches in Switzerland. Besides the preaching and teaching, he oversaw the vision, strategy, HR, finances, legal matters, and public relations while managing 12 employees and 300 volunteers.
Martin became Finance Director for Medair in June 2012 where he oversees a team managing global finance at the Swiss headquarters, an auditing team, and a team overseeing finance for Medair’s country programmes throughout the world.
Gregory Pasche, Communications & Fundraising Director
Gregory Pasche is a British-Swiss executive with extensive international experience in marketing and communications, commercial management, relationship management, and business operations. A news media content licensing expert, Gregory pioneered the digital media business for one of the world’s leading news agencies, where he also led the overall marketing and business operations activities.
After a successful career in the commercial sector, Gregory decided in 2011 to make a career change so he could apply the skills he developed in the private sector in new areas. Just before joining Medair, he worked at the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue performing a strategic review of positioning, branding, and communications and specifically focused on increasing funding from non-public sector donors.
Prior to this career change, Gregory worked for 24 years at Reuters then Thomson Reuters initially in a variety of customer service, marketing, and commercial roles in financial information services, then leading the European new media activities of the renowned news agency. Subsequently he was responsible for the overall European marketing functions, progressing to global leadership as Vice President and Global Head of Business Operations & Marketing of the Reuters News Agency.
Gregory earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics with Management from the University of London, Royal Holloway and Bedford College.
He is also an advisor in media, marketing, and sales to several start-ups.
Gregory became Marketing and Relationships Director for Medair in September 2012. He is married to Danielle, with whom he has three children.
Eleanor Meyers, Information Services Director
Eleanor Meyers has extensive leadership and management experience in different industries across the globe, with a focus on bringing technological solutions to enhance the organisation.
Eleanor was born and received her early education in Hong Kong before moving to Canada, where she became a citizen. She has a Bachelor of Mathematics in Computer Science and Statistics, and a Master of Mathematics in Statistics from the University of Waterloo; and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.
Eleanor has 15 years of experience in managing the development and implementation of front-office solutions in trading room businesses, with 10 years in a major Canadian Investment Bank. Then she worked as a freelance consultant for two years before joining an international NGO, World Vision where she started as the Chief Information Officer. During her 11 years at World Vision, she led change management, business process optimization, development of business intelligence solutions, and the implementation of customer relationship management, marketing and digital solutions in many country offices to increase revenue generation and improve operational efficiency.
As a member of Medair’s Executive Leadership Team, Eleanor leads the development and implementation of an IS strategy that supports Medair’s vision. She is responsible for: maximising the effectiveness of Medair’s information systems within the constraints of a developing-world context; capturing the information required to make intelligent management decisions to control the business; developing tools and IS platforms to serve the needs of all global users; and providing evidence of programme impact to supporters and external stakeholders.
Eleanor and her husband, Hugh, have one adult daughter living in Canada.