Leadership Team

Joel Hafvenstein (Executive Director) - Joel has been the UMN executive director since June 2016. He grew up in Nepal, studied ethics, politics & economics at Yale University, and has an MA in international relations from Boston University. Before coming to UMN he worked for seven years with Tearfund, including two years as Afghanistan Programme Director and one year as Geographic Head for Eurasia, Latin America & the Caribbean. He is passionate about serving marginalised groups, reaching remote areas, and seeing the church fearlessly living out love of neighbor.
Dhana Lama (Programme Director) - I have been entrusted this role of managing UMN's clusters since 2010. It's been a privilege to serve in this position as I am in direct contact with almost all the staff of UMN, especially the Cluster Team Leaders, and directly as well as indirectly with others, including the community people. It is quite exciting and a very humbling experience of learning, sharing, growing, and serving together, because it's about people; changing people and transforming lives. I am grateful to God and to my colleagues for the opportunity to contribute and grow and to demonstrate the love I have to those in need, and for the joy to experience and share  while working in UMN.
Bibhu Singh (Funding Management Team Leader) - Bibhu Singh has been working with UMN since 1996 in various roles. She is currently Funding Management Team Leader, providing overall co-ordination and leadership for funds management within the organisation. This includes sourcing of new funds and ensuring sufficient financial support for the organisation to fulfill its objectives. She has a Masters degree in Statistics from Nepal's Tribhuvan University another Masters degree in Organisational Leadership and Management from the Allahabad Institute, India.
Paul Chhetri (HR & Support Services Team Leader) - I come from a management background and have been working in UMN since 2009. From 2009-2013, I worked as a Cluster Team Leader in Mugu (Far West Nepal). Currently I am working as a HR & Support Services Team Leader providing overall coordination and support in the HR & Support Services management within the organization. While in Mugu I gained very unique, valuable, and unforgettable work experience, skills, and knowledge in team building, and community development, which has further enhanced my passion in building teams to achieve organizational objectives. I am also very motivated and passionate about building local churches located in remote and difficult parts of Nepal.
Madhu Thapa (Learning, Policy & Strategy Team Leader) - I came to UMN in 2008 to lead Bajhang cluster in the Far-West, UMN's newest cluster. I served there for three years and then joined the Learning Policy and Strategy team after one year of further studies. I have a Masters Degree in Population, Gender and Development from Pokhara University, Nepal and another Masters Degree in Applied Development from the University of Reading, UK. I am passionate about learning and generating evidence to inform development approaches, goals, policies and strategies. I am grateful to God for his continuous support, even in situations where hope seems nowhere to be found. I want to stick to the calling he placed in my heart before joining UMN, and look forward to wherever he wants me to lead.
Peter Lockwood (Programme Advisor) - Peter joined the Leadership Team in August 2015 having returned to Nepal with his family, for a third period of service with UMN in 2012. He is from Northern Ireland where he worked for many years as a Consulting Structural Engineer. During his previous time in Nepal he was the Health and Safety Officer in Khimti (I) Hydropower Project and has worked on Andhikhola project and for DCS in Butwal. He currently has the privilege of working in the Programme Team as an advisor and has been enjoying the wide variety of challenges and work, only some of which are engineering based. Since returning to Nepal this time he has become an avid cyclist and can be seen out early in the morning enjoying some exercise along the 'flat' Nepali countryside.
Bal Kumari Gurung (Peacebuilding Team Leader) - Bal Kumari has worked with UMN for more than 20 years and is involved in peace building since 2004. She is currently the Peace building Team Leader and has joined the Leadership Team in August 2015. She has an MA in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies from Pannasastra University of Cambodia. Her passion is to enhance the capacity of individuals and communities for positive change in their attitudes, behaviours, beliefs and practices towards fullness of life that God has envisioned for humankind. She believes that while working for transformation one has to be transformed from within first, have a strong faith that change is possible and should keep on pursuing with God’s Grace despite being tested many times. She feels privileged to be serving with UMN.

 

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