Maha Muna is the Regional Gender Adviser for the UNICEF Regional Office of the Middle East and North Africa (MENARO), promoting gender-transformative strategies and programming, with a focus on girls’ wellbeing and empowerment. In response to the COVID19 pandemic, high-impact interventions have focused on girls’, and other marginalized children’s ability to continue learning and skills-building in the digital age and workplace. In both development and humanitarian settings, Maha has collaborated across sectors to address gender-based violence, and overcome bias and restrictive gender stereotypes through programming and policy advocacy. Previously, Maha served with UNFPA and UNIFEM in HQ, regional and country office posts, as well as with International Rescue Committee and Save the Children. Maha has earned a Master’s at Columbia University School for International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelors in International Affairs from the University of California.
Martine Najem is an Instructor of Public Health Practice at the Center for Public Health Practice (CPHP) and the Department of Health Promotion and Community Health at the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) since February 2012. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH), with over 22 years of experience in strategic planning, program management and coordination, program monitoring and evaluation, capacity development and training, policy change, advocacy and communication. Her expertise as an engaged practitioner is in the areas of public health, population issues, social development, ageing, humanitarian response, gender equality and gender-based violence, child protection, human rights, youth health and wellbeing, reproductive and sexual health and rights, and social behavior change communication. Ms. Najem has a track record in building strong networks and partnerships across sectors and with agencies from the public, private, UN and civil society in Lebanon and the Arab region. At the national level, she was appointed as member of the National Commission for Lebanese Women and elected to its executive board in 2017 and then reappointed for a new three-year mandate in 2020.
Stephanie Shanler joined the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a Child Protection Specialist in May 2020. Her work with MENA country offices bridges humanitarian and development action and focuses on Ending Violence Against Children (EVAC), Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS), and strengthening child protection systems. Stephanie has been with UNICEF for nearly 15 years. Prior to joining UNICEF, Stephanie worked with UNHCR for nearly three and a half years. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Mount Holyoke College (Politics/Economics), a Master of Public Health (MPH) in International Health and Development from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and a Law Degree (JD) from Tulane University Law School. She is currently based in Amman, Jordan.
Zaman Ali Hassan is a Child Protection Specialist with UNICEF in Sanaa, Yemen. She focuses on GBV response programming and prevention of harmful practices, particularly Child Marriage and FGM. She has worked with UNICEF for 5 years now. Zaman previously worked with UNICEF Lebanon as the Child Protection Officer focusing on gender-based violence (GBV) programming. Her management of the GBV portfolio prioritized service delivery and prevention interventions with UNICEF partners. Zaman co-led the National Social Behavioral Change Strategy on Child Protection and GBV known as Qudwa from research to design to implementation from 2017 to 2021.
Before joining UNICEF, Zaman worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), managing programs on Women’s Protection and Empowerment in Lebanon. She has worked in the field of GBV, gender, and protection in the humanitarian sector for more than 9 years.
Ismahan Ferhat is passionate about child protection and working to reduce inequalities and prevent violence against children.
She has worked in the field of child protection for 12 years in 7 countries like Lebanon, Iraq, South Sudan, Guinea Central Africa Republic, Madagascar and Mauritiu. Ismahan started her career with INGOs such as Save the Children and Joined UNICEF 4 years ago. A French citizen, she holds a Master degree in Humanitarian Action from Paris XII University. She is a mother of two years old Baby boy.