Board of Directors

Mary Gordon

Mary Gordon is the Founder, President, and inspiration behind Roots of Empathy. She is recognized internationally as an award-winning social entrepreneur, educator, author, child advocate and parenting expert who has created programs informed by the power of empathy. She is a member of the Order of Canada, the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador and the recipient of a number of awards, including a Public Education Advocacy Award from the Canadian Teachers Federation. In 2002 she became an Ashoka Fellow.
man's face Joost de Smeth

Joost de Smeth

Joost de Smeth is creatief directeur en sociaal ondernemer.
Zijn communicatiebureau heet Strawberry Fields en die naam is niet toevallig gekozen.
Het bureau ondersteunt opdrachtgevers die bijdragen aan een wereld waarin iedereen kan floreren.
“ Steeds meer kwamen we tot het besef dat er één menselijke eigenschap is die een sleutelrol bezit in de ontwikkeling van de samenleving. Empathie. Dus toen ik Mary Gordon en haar levenswerk tegenkwam op het web (en later in levende lijve) was ik diep onder de indruk. Ik zet mij in om Roots of Empathy in het basisonderwijs van Nederland te krijgen en daarmee empathie te ontwikkelen bij onze kinderen en de volwassenen om hen heen. Op weg naar een verbonden en duurzame wereldsamenleving. Als we dat kunnen bereiken dan hebben we echt: Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Nico van Oudenhoven

Nico van Oudenhoven founded ‎International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI) in 1994. He is by training a child psychologist, but in the course of his long career, among others, with the University of Leiden, UNESCO, UNICEF, Bernard Van Leer Foundation, International Child Development Initiatives and International Centre for Child and Youth Studies, he made entries into adjacent social disciplines. He works at the intersection of action research, NGO capacity building, program and policy development, advocacy and training. Nico has worked in all continents, but always on behalf of socially excluded children and youth and with a special focus on their psychosocial well-being. Nico’s areas of expertise include: Early Child Development (ECD), formal and non-formal education (pre-school and basic education), out-of-family and foster care, capacity building and teacher training, policy development and program design for children and youth, program and project research and evaluation, and management of international NGO’s, Universities, UN organizations, and development organizations.

Henk Veldman

Henk Veldman is an entrepreneurial and commercial minded professional with years of experience in project management at Business Scrum, The Scrum Company and international business development, including 2-years work experience in emerging markets. He was a Project and Investment Manager at Talud, and is a Managing Partner of the Norwegian-African Business Association. Currently he is a Manager of Tony’s Chocoloney Foundation with seeks to eradicate slavery and child labour from the chocolate industry. Henk has a bachelor degree in international relations from the University of Groningen, and a Mcs in African Politics from the University of London.

International Advisory Board

photo of Gwynne Dyer

Gwynne Dyer

Advisory Board

Dyer is an author, journalist, filmmaker, lecturer of international affairs and historian.
photo of Bruce Perry

Dr. Bruce Perry

Advisory Board

Perry is Senior Fellow at The Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas and an author, lecturer and researcher.

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