Governing Council

The Interpeace Governing Council is the highest decision-making body of the organization and plays a key role in defining Interpeace’s overall strategy. It is the legal authority that is responsible for the organization.

The Governing Council is chaired by former President of Ghana, John A. Kufuor, and is made up of prominent individuals from the government, international, and business sectors. There is also a seat for the host government, Switzerland, and a designated representative of the United Nations Secretary-General.


John A. Kufuor

Chair Emeritus


Former President of Ghana; former Chairperson of the African Union (AU); former Chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

Matthias Stiefel

Acting Chair


Founder and former President of Interpeace

Monica McWilliams

Acting Vice-Chair


Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Ulster; former Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; Member of the Northern Ireland Legislative Assembly until 2003 and contributor to the peace negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement; co-founder of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition political party

Martin Aked

Honorary Treasurer

United Kingdom

Former Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers and former International Treasurer of Médecins Sans Frontières

Alan Doss

United Kingdom

Executive Director of the Kofi Annan Foundation; Visiting Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy; former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General in Liberia

Andrew Gilmour

United Kingdom

Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the Governing Council; Director for Political, Peacekeeping, Humanitarian and Human Rights affairs in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General; Former Representative of the Secretary-General in Belgrade; Former Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General both in South Sudan and Iraq

Heidi Grau


Representative of the Host Government on the Governing Council; Head of the Human Security Division, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs; Former Head of the OSCE Chairmanship Task Force, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs; Former Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations in New York

Necla Tschirgi


Professor of Practice, Human Security and Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego; former Senior Policy Advisor to the Peacebuilding Support Office at the United Nations Secretariat; former Vice President of the International Peace Academy; former Team Leader of the Peacebuilding and Reconstruction Programme at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Martti Ahtisaari

Chair Emeritus and Special Advisor

Recipient of 2008 Nobel Peace Prize; former President of Finland; Chair of the Interpeace Governing Council from 2001 to 2009