Public service and civic society

Roger Wilkins AO

Former President of the Financial Action Taskforce, Australia

Having recently retired after a long and distinguished career as a senior public official, Roger Wilkins was a recipient of a Chevening Scholarship to study Law at the University of Oxford. He was Vice-President, then President of the FATF between 2013 and 2015. Before that, he was Secretary of the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department in Australia, Director-General of the Cabinet Office in New South Wales from 1992-2006 and Director-General of the Ministry of Arts in New South Wales from 2001-2006. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2007 for service to public administration.

Chevening was a game-changer for me

Dr Saundarya Rajesh

Founder - President, AVTAR Group, India

Social entrepreneur Dr Saundarya Rajesh was selected in January 2016 by the Government of India as one of the #100Women Achievers in India for her ground-breaking initiative, AVTAR.

Saundarya was awarded a Chevening Scholarship in 2005 to study a course on Women in Leadership at the University of Bradford. Prior to Chevening, she had co-founded AVTAR Career Creators, a recruitment firm with a focus on helping women return to work after a career break. She was inspired by her time in the UK to do more and in 2008 founded the AVTAR Human Capital Trust. It works with underprivileged women and children in skill-building to ensure economic sustainability.

She has published several journal articles on the topics of Gender Diversity, Women’s Workforce Participation and Flexible Working. In addition to her most recent recognition, she has won numerous awards including the SCOPE Women Exemplar award in 2006, the FCCI FLO Women Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2012 and the Naturals Extraordinary Woman award in 2014. 

Raj Gilda

Co-founder of NGO Lend a Hand, India

Raj was a Chevening Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), on the three month Chevening Gurukul Leadership and Excellence Programme. The programme allowed him to develop his project idea to make Lend a Hand India, a global NGO. 

Kristina Hadji-Vasileva

Company Owner and Manager, Strategic Development Consulting, Macedonia

Kristina Hadji-Vasileva has more than ten years of experience in the development and civil sector, working for Macedonian civil society organisations as well as for international organisations like USAID, EAR, and OSCE. She studied at the University of Greenwich through a Chevening Scholarship and graduated with an MA in Gender Politics. Kristina is one of the founders and first president of the Macedonian Chevening Alumni Association (MCAA).

Sonia Boddie

Foreign Service Officer, St. Kitts and Nevis

Sonia Boddie was a Chevening Scholar (2011) at the University of Birmingham, where she completed a Master's of Public Administration. In 2013, she was appointed as the CARICOM Youth Ambassador for St.Kitts and Nevis for two years, and founded the Sonia Boddie Promising Youth Leader Scholarship in 2014. She is also a member of the UNESCO Youth for Human Rights Committee in her country, and is the Leader of the St.Kitts-Nevis Chevening Alumni Group.

Adlah Al Kurdi

Project Manager at the Libyan General National Congress

Adlah has worked in Jordan for five years as a human rights and political researcher at His Majesty King Abdullah’s office at the Royal Court and as a Senior Programmes Officer in a local development NGO. Adlah managed several public sector reform projects and designed capacity building programmes for government officials. She gained her Master’s degree in Development Administration and Planning from University College London through a Chevening Scholarship.

Deus Msipotwa Kibamba

Chairman of Jukwaa La Katiba Tanzania and Executive Director of the Tanzania Citizens’ Information Bureau (TCIB)

Formerly Head of Governance and Capacity Building at the Economic and Social Research Foundation, Mr Kibamba is a trained social and political economist with invaluable experience in policy research and analysis. He has over 15 years of experience in civil society engagement, capacity building, and advocacy. He sits on the Board of Directors of the Tanzania Human Rights Fountain and was previously the Chairman of the Parliament Watch Board at the Legal & Human Rights Centre in Dar es Salaam. He completed his MA in International Studies at the University of Sheffield through Chevening Scholarships. 

Alice Thomas-Roberts

Training and Development Consultant, Grenada

Alice Thomas-Roberts completed the University of Oxford’s prestigious Foreign Service Programme in 1992 through a Chevening Scholarship. With this foundation in diplomacy, protocol and etiquette, Alice carved out an illustrious career as a Foreign Service Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Grenada, working both in the Political and Economic Affairs Division, as well as the Protocol and Consular Division.

Her experience and desire to enlighten others on the subject of Protocol and Etiquette led her to host workshops and to publish two books on the subject, with a third near publication. She also actively runs a website dedicated to sharing her knowledge. In her spare time she also contributes to the continued success of Chevening in Grenada and the Eastern Caribbean as the group leader for Grenada Chevening Alumni.

Cristina Marochi

Adviser, Investment Attraction Department, Parana State Development Agency, Brazil

Cristina has worked in both the public sector and in international development, having been a consultant and programme coordinator for UNDP for six years. With the help of a Chevening Scholarship, she studied for her MSc in Governance and Development Management at the University of Birmingham. She is very active in the Brazil Chevening Alumni network and will be the first Chevening Regional Ambassador for the south region.

Subindra Bogati

Founder / Chief Executive, Nepal Peacebuilding Initiative, Nepal

Subindra Bogati is the Founder of the Nepal Peacebuilding Initiative, an organisation devoted to action on peacebuilding and humanitarian issues. He has developed and managed numerous research advocacy and intervention projects relating to peacebuilding, security and social cohesion in Nepal. He was awarded a Chevening Fellowship in 2008/2009 to study a course on Security and Diplomacy at the University of Birmingham.

Currently, Subindra is a lead researcher of the project “Innovations in Peacebuilding: International Norms and Local Dynamics in Conflict-Affected Countries” which is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He is also a leader of the study for the Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network looking at what added value and outcome certain initiatives have had for people affected by the Nepal earthquake. The outcomes of the study will be hugely important to see how specific initiatives do and can support recovery from the perspectives of affected communities.



Gosia Pearson

Policy Advisor at the European Commission / Research Associate at Oxford University, Poland

Gosia Pearson is a Policy Advisor at the European Commission in the Directorate for Strategy, Policy and International Cooperation, working within the Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. Besides her full-time job, Gosia works as a Research Associate at the Law Faculty at Oxford University. Gosia was awarded a Chevening Scholarship to do one year of PhD research in international relations at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. She was selected to the EU Diplomatic Programme and the Talent Pool Programme of the Women in Leadership Network, and was named a Young Professional Leader by the German Marshall Fund. Gosia also worked in the European Union External Action Service where she was involved in human rights policy-making. Most recently, Gosia was responsible for organising the EU’s participation in the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit where she represented the EU.

Karina Johansen

Founder and CEO of RAW Copenhagen, Denmark

Karina was a Chevening Scholar in 1997/1998 and graduated with an MSc in Politics of Empire and Post-Imperialism from The London School of Economics and Political Science. Karina has subsequently had a career in international politics and human rights working for the UN refugee agency, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and International Rescue Committee (IRC). She worked for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for over a decade in various leading roles such as First Secretary at The Danish Embassy to Ghana. Karina now lives in the UK where she started her own eco-ethical jewellery business called RAW Copenhagen, and is currently writing her first political novel.

Colonel Pekka Holopainen

Executive Director at Oak Cluster League for War Veterans' Heritage, Finland

Colonel Pekka Holopainen was awarded a Chevening Scholarship in 1995 to study Defence and Security Analysis at Lancaster University. After his scholarship ended, he joined the Finnish Defence Forces as Battalion Commander. During his spectacular 35-year career in the Finnish Defence Forces, Colonel Holopainen was appointed to various leading roles such as Head of the Force Capability Unit of the European Union Military Staff department at the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Chief J9 at the HQ Kosovo Force, and Deputy Chief Military Observer and Deputy Head of Mission at the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan. His awards include the Commander of the Order of the Lion of Finland, Freedom Cross 2nd Class, and the Medal of Military Merit as well as Commander of the Order of the Eagle of Estonia.

Colonel Holopainen  is now the Executive Director at Oak Cluster League for War Veterans' Heritage (OCLWVH), an association fostering camaraderie amongst Finnish war veterans and promoting their legacy, while recognising the value and celebrating the tradition of military service.

Andreja Bogdanovski

Researcher at Analytica and Security Analyst, Macedonia

Andreja Bogdanovski is a King's College London graduate with more than seven years of work experience in the think tank world, providing research and policy solutions to challenges affecting stability and security in Macedonia and the Balkans. Security sector reforms covering police, army, and intelligence has been his focus area over the years, including control and oversight, policy planning and management, and EU/NATO integrations. Apart from the policy and academic segments, Andreja also has experience as a political and security risks consultant for Macedonia and the Balkans.


Gisele Raulik Murphy

Partner at DUCO consultancy, Brazil

Dr Gisele Raulik Murphy is a consultant, researcher, lecturer, board member of the Centro Brasil Design, and founding partner of the design management consultancy DUCO. She was awarded a Chevening Scholarship in 2002, which provided her with an opportunity to study strategies for design and innovation at Brunel University. Her studies in design policies led to the first global conference and network addressing the role of design in public policy. This has contributed to several significant developments, including the integration of design into the European Commission’s Innovation Agenda. She has also obtained a PhD on design policy from the University of Wales and has worked for design organisations in Brazil (Centro Brasil Design) and in the UK (Design Council and Design Wales).