Martin Aked joins Interpeace’s Governing Council
April 16, 2014
It is with great pleasure that Interpeace welcomes Mr. Martin Aked in his role as Honorary Treasurer to the Interpeace Governing Council, the organization’s highest decision-making body. Mr. Aked brings with him a wealth of finance knowledge that stems from extensive experience within both the public and private sector. He was an audit partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for over 25 years. More recently he worked as the International Treasurer for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He is currently on the board of a biotech start-up and a member of the audit committee of WWF International, the international association of the Worldwide Fund for Nature and Conservation.
Motivations for joining Interpeace
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Aked in Geneva. We had an interesting discussion around his reasons and motivations for joining Interpeace.
“After retiring from PwC, I spent three years working as International Treasurer at MSF. Much of the work that they undertake is within areas suffering from conflict. What excites me about moving to Interpeace is that its work addresses the core issues of conflict. It attacks the root causes.”
In addition, Mr. Aked explained that once he met the team he knew moving to Interpeace was the right step for him to make. “I was able to meet some people from Interpeace, and I was impressed by how highly motivated and knowledgeable they were. I was captivated by the issues, and knew I wanted to be a part of Interpeace’s efforts.”
Utilizing past experience
Mr. Aked’s main goals for the organization are where his expertise lies. Mr. Aked feels his most important task is to help Interpeace further enhance its financial base. He believes Interpeace’s values and professionalism will be assets for the organization.
“Financial security depends on many things. For me, a key issue is that Interpeace raises its profile among the general public. The more well-known and recognized we are, the easier it is for governments to fund us with the support of their electorate. We need to ensure that their constituents understand who we are and what we are trying to achieve.”
We asked how he thinks this experience within the private sector will influence his work with Interpeace. “My previous job as an auditor allowed me to become accustomed with the inner workings of many companies all over the world. These privileged insights allowed me to make comparisons and infer best practice in many areas. I expect this experience and knowledge to assist me in my work at Interpeace.”
Looking forward to a new challenge
After an extensive career in finance, Mr. Aked is looking forward to the opportunity to further broaden his knowledge base. Recently he had the chance to attend a discussion with young people in Abidjan. “It was a fascinating experience that really drove home to me the importance of Interpeace’s work. I will never forget that occasion. I knew I had made the right choice.”
Mr. Aked admits that “When one starts at a new organization there is often a steep learning curve in the beginning. At Interpeace I am encouraged to invest in this learning process because the programmes that Interpeace is running are so interesting and valuable, and because the people within the organization and on the council are so able and so motivated.”
Mr. Aked’s views on peace
To conclude the interview we were interested in understanding what peace means to him. “I think it is something that not only exists at a national or interstate level. It is also something that exists within families and organizations. I think all people are seeking peace at some level, be it physically or mentally.”
After attending last year’s Governing Council meeting in Accra, Ghana Mr. Aked has been officially accepted to the board.
Interpeace welcomes Mr. Aked and looks forward to his contributions and the application of his expertise while he serves on the Governing Council.