Geneva (ICRC) – The new Directorate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – the organization's executive body – will take up its duties tomorrow. Setting its agenda for the next four years, the new leadership declared that the organization needed to find innovative ways to reach more people adversely affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.
"Highly complex and violent emergencies such as those in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and the Central African Republic are leaving ever greater numbers of people in dire need of assistance and protection," said Yves Daccord, the ICRC's incumbent director-general. "Our activities, particularly in health, will have to expand if we are to effectively address those needs. Adapting to a fast evolving world, the ICRC will explore new partnerships with other organizations, including with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, to obtain greater and quicker access to people who need help."
Mr Daccord added that the ICRC would step up its efforts to address widespread violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, in particular those involving the use of sexual violence in armed conflict and the lack of respect for health facilities and personnel. "Civilians are all too often the targets, and their protection is paramount," he said. "In the years to come, we will strive to boost support for our activities and to bring about greater adherence to the laws that protect people caught up in armed conflict or other violence."
The make-up of the six-member executive appointed for a four-year renewable term is as follows:
Yves Daccord will continue as director-general, a position he has held since 2010. A former journalist, he joined the ICRC in 1992 and held various positions in the field before moving to headquarters.
Dominik Stillhart has been appointed as the new director of operations. Mr Stillhart joined the ICRC 23 years ago and has served as deputy director of operations and as head of the ICRC delegations in Israel and Sudan.
Helen Durham is the new director for international law and policy, joining the ICRC from the Australian Red Cross where she was director of international law, strategy, planning and research. Prior to that, Ms Durham held several positions with the ICRC in the field.
Gherardo Pontrandolfi takes over as director of human resources. Mr Pontrandolfi has held various senior positions in the field and at headquarters with the ICRC over the last 14 years, including most recently as head of the organization's delegation in Afghanistan.
Helen Alderson has been re-appointed as director of financial resources and logistics, a post she has held since 2010. Ms Alderson, who first joined the ICRC in 1985, has held a number of posts in field delegations and at headquarters.
Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet will continue as director of communication and information management, a position she has held since 2010. Ms Lindsey-Curtet has held a variety of positions with the ICRC in the field and at headquarters since 1993.
"I'm looking forward to working with the new team to address the ever more complex challenges facing us," said Mr Daccord. "It is a privilege to be part of this organization which, thanks to the dedication of its 13,000-strong staff in more than 80 countries, is at the forefront of humanitarian action."