Before photography, Loeïza Jacq worked in the performing arts, acting and directing. An MA in Theatre Studies and a Shakespeare Certificate from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London) are part of that background which is at the root of her unique approach to photography that involves the viewer in an experience. Her installations use human voices along with images. Since her first photographic project, which was on dust, she focuses on what is invisible to the naked eye.
Since 2005, Loeiza has travelled and photographed extensively and in Afghanistan, worked as a photographer for two NGO's.
Loeiza Jacq graduated from the French photography school, in Arles (ENSP), in 2013. As an advisor for Gendro, she endeavours to help us visualize the hidden part of the iceberg. Her website is www.theinvisibleforest.org.
Kala Madhav has a Masters in Computer Applications from India. She is a part of the communications team at GENDRO and works mainly with the website and related issues. In Geneva she has been working with NGOs involved in a variety of sectors. Some of the NGOs she has been working/worked with include World Federation for Mental Health, SAHFA - Smart Access to Health For All, Action for Development (previously Bhaktar Development Network - Suisse).
Founder and President
Shirin Heidari is Senior Research Fellow at the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a Senior Technical Consultant on gender to WHO Gender, Equity and Human Rights Unit. Most recently, Dr. Heidari was the Executive Director of Reproductive Health Matters, and Editor-in-Chief of its academic journal. Prior to that, she oversaw the Research Promotion Department of the International AIDS Society in Geneva and was the Executive Editor of the Journal of the International AIDS Society. Heidari has been a trusted board member of Amnesty International in Sweden. During her time as a member of Council of European Association of Science Editors, she established and co-chaired a Gender Policy Committee, leading the development of the widely cited SAGER guidelines, encouraging researchers to address the sex and gender bias in research. She has also presented a TEDx talk on the topic.
As a gender-equality and human rights advocate, Heidari has served as member of several international expert and scientific committees and engaged in various efforts advancing the integration of sex and gender in the production of knowledge and evidence.
Swiss national born in 1975, Ms. Olivia Mettler studied International Hospitality Management at Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne and graduated in 1999.
With more than 18 years of financial experience in multi-nationals and international non-profit companies, she is the Finance & Administration executive, member of the board of directors of the International AIDS Society (IAS). More recently, Ms. Mettler graduated in Enterprise Risk Management at the University of Geneva.
Aida Mechkene Chourou
Originally from Tunisia, Aïda was born and raised in Switzerland where she studied Business Administration and Economics holding an MSc in Business Administration. She started her career in the private sector in various HR specialties and partnering roles and always strived to link her personal and professional paths with human and social outreach.
Strong with her background in high-paced international environments in both Switzerland and Tunisia, she joined the INGO over a decade ago to contribute to organisations with high social impact. Aïda has continuously developed her HR toolbox to provide world-class HR skills such as conflict mediation and sensitive investigation expertise through hands-on support and servant leadership approach.
Bernard Kadasia is a senior level professional who brings together close to forty years of experience in technical, managerial and leadership positions in government, civil society, private sector, and international non-governmental organizations.
Until March 2015 Kadasia was employed by the International AIDS Society (IAS) Geneva as Deputy Executive Director and Director of Policy and Advocacy, Research Promotion and Communications. Prior to joining the IAS, he worked for 17 years for the International Co-operative Alliance as Director of the Regional Office for East, Central and Southern Africa, in Moshi, Tanzania and in Nairobi, Kenya.
Since 2012 he is the President of the Geneva-based Alliance for Health Promotion, an international NGO in Official Relations with the World Health Organization. The Alliance has official UN ECOSOC Status. Kadasia is also a member of the Supervisory Board of North Star Alliance. North Star Alliance provides quality healthcare across Africa to mobile populations and the communities they interact with.
Gabrielle Landry Chappuis
Gabrielle Landry Chappuis (M.A. in anthropology from the University of Amsterdam, specialized in medical anthropology and women’s health), Director Hi5 Safe Spaces, has worked in global health for close to two decades. She began her career as a management and team trainer at the Instituut Core in the Netherlands. After serving in academic publishing in the Netherlands and Belgium, she joined the University Hospitals of Geneva to launch an international conference on Global Access to Health – the Geneva Health Forum, where she served as Conference Director, and later joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) as Head of Communication and Advocacy. She then supported the strategy, incubation and operationalization of the Global Antibiotic R&D Partnership (GARDP), where she served as Head of External Affairs. She supported the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) as strategy, safeguarding, gender mainstreaming and diversity consultant and as Director of External Affairs.
In response to the #MeToo movement, she trained extensively to specialize in safeguarding (including investigations for sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment); gender auditing; diversity, equity, and inclusion; and organizational ombuds work to address psychosocial risk in the workplace. In addition to running Hi5 Safe Spaces, she also teaches at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland on corporate social responsibility; ethical leadership; diversity, equity, and inclusion; gender equality, and prevention of sexual harassment in the workplace. She serves on the ethics committee of the association for persons of trust in Switzerland (ASPCE). Gabrielle joined as a Board member of GENDRO in 2023.
Former Board Members
Emily T. Blitz
Emily T. Blitz is the director of public health focused conferences with twenty years of experience in public relations, multicultural team leadership and stakeholder engagement. She has intimate knowledge of all programmatic and logistical aspects involved with implementing conferences and events for 25 to 25,000 participants. Ms. Blitz has worked for UNAIDS, UNICEF, Gavi – the vaccine alliance, the International AIDS Society, World Heart Federation and the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.
Blitz is passionate about health and development issues, particularly HIV, TB, NCDs, vaccines, sustainable agriculture, women's health and children's rights. Her early career included communication services for an international research institution, grass-roots health improvement projects and stage management.
Maria Halkias received her PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in the History of Art. She has worked in the field of arts for more than seven years, supporting the promotion and advancement of women in the art world, working primarily with socially engaged artists and art networks. Since then she has contributed to numerous articles and book chapters on the subject.
Halkias worked as Communications Manager at Reproductive Health Matters, before joining a start-up team as Project Manager.