Staff and Board
Board of Directors
David Whittlesey, Board Chair
David Whittlesey is a Senior Advisor with Interpeace and founder of MaineStreams Finance. In the span of the past 30 years, David has worked as a Foreign Service Officer with the US Department of State as a Consular Officer and in the Bureau for Refugee Programs; as Head of the Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance Division and subsequently as Director for Strategic Planning and Human Resource Development at the International Organization for Migration (IOM); and as Director of Operations and Senior Advisor with Interpeace. Now living in Maine, he is focusing his attention more locally through serving in local town government and spearheading local development initiatives, while continuing to consult with Interpeace.
Richard (Dick) Harter, Board Treasurer
Dick Harter serves as a director, trustee or advisor for affiliates of the United Church of Christ and other non-profit organizations. Dick serves as a Trustee of Chicago Theological Seminary and served as its interim president in 2002. He also previously served as President of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and as a director of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay. In addition, he served as President of the Union Club of Boston. Dick retired from serving as a partner in the large law firm Bingham McCutchen LLP.
Dan Connell, Board Member
Dan Connell is a researcher and writer whose primary focus over the past 40 years has been Eritrea, from its war for independence from Ethiopia and its emergence as a promising new state in 1991 to its return to war seven years later and its rapid descent into despotism. He is currently working on a book on refugees and migration routes for which he has interviewed more than 500 Eritreans in camps and communities in nineteen countries across five continents since 2014.
Dan is a visiting scholar at Boston University’s African Studies Center and a retired senior lecturer in journalism and African studies at Simmons College. His reports and commentary on Africa were carried by the BBC, Voice of America, Associated Press, Reuters, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Washington Post and other media, and he’s the author or editor of ten books, including Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution (1997); Conversations with Eritrean Political Prisoners (2005); and a Historical Dictionary of Eritrea (2010). He is also the founder and former director of Grassroots International, the chair of the Cape Ann Forum, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Middle East Research and Information Project.
Larry Minear, Board Member
Larry Minear is a researcher and writer on humanitarian action in conflict situations. He has been active in efforts to improve the quality and accountability of humanitarian action by groups such as the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance (ALNAP), Development Assistance Research Associated (DARA), and professional associations, such as the International Council of Voluntary Action (ICVA) and InterAction.
Co-founder of the Humanitarianism and War Project in 1991, his research group at Brown University and then Tufts University carried out studies of the responses of the international community to the major conflicts of the post-Cold War period. Reflecting the group’s findings, Larry prepared a background paper for the then proposed Good Humanitarian Donorship Principles in Practice. Following his retirement from Tufts’ Feinstein International Center in mid-2006, he has published Through Veterans’ Eyes: The Iraq and Afghanistan Experience.
Peter Woodrow, Executive Director
Peter Woodrow joined CDA in 2003, and became CDA’s Executive Director in 2013. As an experienced mediator, facilitator, trainer, and consultant, he has facilitated issue resolution within organizations, as well as multi-party environmental and public policy disputes. He has also developed and implemented international programs in consensus building, problem solving, decision-making and inter-ethnic conflict resolution in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
Elizabeth D. Gibbons, Board Vice-Chair
Elizabeth Gibbons’ career in social development and humanitarian affairs has spanned more than three decades, during which she lived and worked in Togo, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. She is currently a Visiting Scientist at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights in the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Kozmetsky Center of Excellence in Global Finance at St. Edwards University. Prior to these academic appointments, Elizabeth enjoyed a lengthy career in the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and served as head of UNICEF’s offices in Haiti and in Guatemala. Elizabeth is the author of Sanctions in Haiti: Human Rights and Democracy under Assault, and a contributing author to several other books.
Jenny C. Aker, Board Member
Jenny Aker works on economic development in Africa, with a primary focus on the impact of information and information technology on development outcomes, particularly in the areas of agriculture, agricultural marketing and education; the relationship between shocks and agricultural markets; the determinants of agricultural and environmental technology adoption; and impact evaluations in the area of social protection (cash transfers and vouchers). Jenny has conducted field work in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, DRC, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone and southern Sudan, as well as Haiti and Guatemala.
Jenny is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the Fletcher School and Department of Economics at Tufts University. She is also a Non-Resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development, a member of the Advisory Board for Frontline SMS and the Boston Network for International Development (BNID). She also serves as the Deputy Director of the Hitachi Center for Technology and International Affairs.
Maxine Hart, Board Member
Maxine Hart brings extensive human resources and organizational development expertise to the CDA Board. She is currently Chief Human Resource Officer for Reading Cooperative Bank and has held senior level human resource positions with for-profit and non-profit organizations in the Boston area since 2003. She is a trained mediator and negotiator and previously worked in change management with governmental and private sector organizations in South Africa and as an independent consultant in Mexico.
Judith Kumin, Board Member
Judith Kumin worked for UNHCR from 1979 until 2012, and has also taught at Carleton University and at the Free University of Brussels. In the early years of her career at UNHCR Judith led the agency’s program for Orderly Departure from Vietnam and managed the resettlement of Indochinese refugees out of Thailand. She was Chief of Mission in Belgrade during the war in the former Yugoslavia and subsequently served as UNHCR’s Representative in Germany, Canada, the Benelux countries and to the European Union. At UNHCR Headquarters she was Director of Public Information and Spokesperson for High Commissioner Sadako Ogata. She concluded her career at UNHCR as UNHCR’s Director for Europe and authored UNHCR’s State of the World’s Refugees 2012.
CDA is not currently hiring.