Sarah F. Cliffe

Vice-Chair of the Board and Chair of the Operations Committee

Sarah F. Cliffe is the Director of the Center on International Cooperation at the University of New York. Prior to that, she was Special Representative for the World Bank’s World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development as well as Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General of Civilian Capacities to the United Nations. Ms Cliffe has worked for the last twenty-five years in countries emerging from conflict and political transition, including Afghanistan, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, South Sudan, South Africa, Somalia, and Timor-Leste. At the World Bank, her work covered post-conflict reconstruction, community-driven development, and civil service reform. Ms. Cliffe was the Chief of mission for the Bank’s programme in Timor-Leste (1999 to 2002). She led the Bank’s Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries Group (2002-2007) and was also the Bank’s Director of Strategy and Operations for the East Asia and Pacific Region (2007 to 2009). Ms. Cliffe has also worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Rwanda, the Government of South Africa, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, as well as for a major management consultancy company in the United Kingdom on public sector reform issues. She joined HD’s Board in 2015.


The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) is a Swiss-based private diplomacy organisation founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence. Our mission is to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflict through dialogue and mediation.

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Foundation Board

As a Swiss nonprofit Foundation, HD is supervised by a Board, which serves on a voluntary basis. It sets the mission and the general policy of the Foundation and provides overall supervision of the development and implementation of the organisation’s programme and administration, as managed by the Senior Management Team.

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HD’s team has grown from a small group of 6 people in 1999 to more than 300 from over 40 different nationalities today, supervised by a 11 member Senior Management Team. The organisation is made up of individuals driven by meaningful objectives who are dedicated to making a difference through peace and mediation efforts.

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