FIM Board of Directors

Ms. Nkoyo Toyo

Board Chair

H.E. Nkoyo Toyo is the incoming Chair of FIM’s Board of Directors Board (2012).  Nkoyo is a lawyer, governance expert and active feminist working as an independent consultant on gender and governance issues in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. In 1994 Nkoyo founded Gender and Development Action (GADA), a national non-governmental organization committed to the pursuit of social justice from a gender perspective. Nkoyo was Chair of the 2003 Commonwealth People’s Forum in Abuja, Nigeria and served on the Board of the Commonwealth Foundation. In addition to FIM, Nkoyo sits on a number of international boards including the Participation and Development Relations Advisory Group of the Institute of Development Studies and the University of Sussex, UK. She has been involved in a number of international and country level research projects and has published and co-authored many articles on gender and governance issues. In 2011, Nkoyo was elected MP for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria. Before launching her political career, Nkoyo was the Nigerian Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mr. Mohammad Tahseen

Vice Chair

Mohammad Tahseen is known for his grassroots activism and policy advocacy work in the civil society circles of Pakistan and South Asia. Mohammad is actively engaged in different national and international networks and movements for peace, ecology, democracy and human rights. As a founding Executive Director of South Asia Partnership Pakistan (SAP-PK), he has worked extensively in South Asia with SAP International, a consortium of SAPs in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and India. SAP-PK is one of the leading national level NGOs in Pakistan working for the rights and economic empowerment of the weakest sections of the society, especially peasants, women and religious minorities. Mohammad is a long serving member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and served as the first Secretary for the Pakistan NGO Forum. He has played a pioneering role in establishing the Pakistan Peace Coalition to work for peace in the region and has served as a founding board member of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. Mohammad continues to play a pivotal role in bringing trade unions, media organizations, peasants’ movements and civil society organizations together at national forums to discuss issues of social justice. Mohammad has been awarded the Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Human Rights Award by the President of Pakistan for his service to democracy and human rights in his country. He is the author of a wide range of articles on the subject of civil society development.

Mr. Fernando Eguren


Fernando Eguren is a rural sociologist and President at the Peruvian Centre for Social Studies. He is the director of the newspaper Debate Agrario associated with the Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales CEPES specialized in agrarian development, problems and possibilities related to agrarian economics and rural societies. He is a member of the directors of the Seminario Permanenete de Investigacion Agraria del Peru and member of the work group on Desarrollo Rural de la Asociacion Latinoamericana de Organizaciones de Promocion (ALOP).

Dr. Ana Falú


Ana Falú is an architect, specialist in social housing and a professor at the University of Cordoba, Argentina. Committed to both housing and women, she was Regional Director of UNIFEM (now part of UN Women) for the Andean Region (2002-2004) and for Brazil and Southern Cone (2004-2009). Since 1989 Ana has directed research programmes and belongs to the National Council of Technology and Scientific Research in Argentina. She is co-founder of the Women and Habitat Network of Latin America, the Centre for Investigation and Promotion Services for the Habitat (CISCSA), and the PIEMG at UNC. She is also the former vice president for Habitat International Coalition. In the past, she has been on the board of directors for Women in Cities International.

Mr. Thierno Kane


Thierno Kane is the founder and leader of grassroots organizations in Senegal, his native country, as well as an adviser and activist for a number of non-governmental and civil society organizations in Africa and worldwide. Trained as an adult educator, Thierno has specialized in issues of popular participation and has much experience in tripartite dialogue and partnerships between civil society organizations, governments and the donor community in Africa and internationally. He has served as Executive Director and Chairman of CONGAD (Conseil des ONG d’Appui au Développement) and the North/South umbrella of organizations in Senegal, and was the founding Secretary General of the Fédération des Associations Villageoises du Fouta pour le Développement, a grassroots movement in Senegal. Thierno is a former global Chair of CIVICUS and has sat on the boards of a number of civil society organizations and think tanks such as the International Group for Grassroots Initiatives (Mexico/New Delhi, India) and the Development Group for Alternative Policies (Washington, US). In 1998, he launched the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Pilot Programme “Civil Society Empowerment for Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa” and led the programme as Coordinator and Chief Technical Advisor for two years. From August 2004 to January 2010, Thierno served as Director of UNDP Civil Society Division (New York, US).

Mr. Nigel Martin


Nigel Martin is the founding President and CEO of FIM and currently a senior advisor. A graduate of Mount Allison University, Nigel has over 35 years of experience in the NGO community in Canada and elsewhere and has served as executive director of several organizations, including the Canadian Council for International Cooperation in Ottawa (Canada), Euro Action Accord in London (UK), as well as the Organisation Canadienne pour la Solidarité et le Développement and Oxfam-Québec in Montreal (Canada). Nigel began his career with the Canadian International Development Agency in 1971, where he was one of the earliest staff members of the then-fledgling NGO programme before eventually pursuing a career in the sector. He is a member of the steering committee of the United Nations Development Programme Platform HD2010 and has been an official advisor on development issues to both the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec. Nigel’s publications include Practice-Research Engagement and Civil Society (co-author, 2001) and Critical Mass: The Emergence of Global Civil Society (co-author, 2008). He also wrote the foreword to Democratizing Global Governance: Ten Years of Case Studies and Reflections by Civil Society Activists (2009). Nigel has served on several boards of directors and is currently on the Carold Foundation Board in Toronto. He is also a co-founder of Mothers’ Call International. 

Dr. Hadeel Qazzaz


Dr. Hadeel Qazzaz, Program Director Pro-Poor Integrity in Tiri-Integrity Action, is a specialist in gender, education, and development. She was born in Gaza Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. She received her Ed.D. from Leeds University. Hadeel has contributed to Palestinian human development reports, the Palestine national poverty report, the Palestine time-use survey, and reports on the right to education. She was involved in the adaptation of the Transparency International Source Book into Arabic. From 1999-2009, she worked as the program manager and deputy director of the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Ramallah. This enriching experience has enabled her to work closely with researchers and activists from many Arab countries and Germany. She is an activist in the Palestinian women’s movement and active member in the Palestinian civil society movement. She has organized and has participated in many regional and international conferences that dealt with issues of development, women’s rights, and democratization processes. Currently she is a board member of the Women’s Affairs Technical Committees and the General Union of Palestinian Women, Ramallah branch.

Dr. Rajesh Tandon

Founding Chair

Rajesh Tandon, PhD, is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. Rajesh founded the Society for Participatory Research in Asia, a voluntary organization providing support to grass roots initiatives in South Asia in 1982. He holds a PhD from Case Western Reserve University (US). Rajesh’s contributions to the enhancement of perspectives and capacities of many voluntary activists and organizations revolve around issues of participatory research, advocating for people-centred development, policy reform and networking in India, South Asia and beyond. He has authored more than 100 articles, a dozen books, and numerous training manuals on these themes.

Rajesh has advocated for a self-reliant, autonomous and competent voluntary sector in India and abroad. He has acted in an advisory capacity on numerous expert groups of several ministries of central and state governments and the Planning Commission of India. In addition, Rajesh has served as an advisor to the Commonwealth Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme and numerous other international agencies. For his distinguished work on gender issues, the Government of India honoured Rajesh with the Prestigious Award in Social Justice in March 2007. In 2008, the University of Victoria (Canada) awarded him the degree of Doctor of Laws (Honoris CaUS) in recognition of his pioneering work in the area of civic engagement, governance and community-based research — and the key role he played in bringing visibility to the vast network of non-governmental and voluntary associations throughout the world, better known as global civil society. Rajesh is the first person to be inducted to the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame (Class of 2010). 

Ms. Elena Topoleva-Soldunova


Elena Topoleva-Soldunova has been the director of the non-profit organization Agency for Social Information (ASI) since 1994. ASI is the only professional agency in Russia which regularly covers and promotes activities of the non-profit sector and socially responsible business to more than 700 federal and regional media, hundreds of Russian non-profit organizations, national and local authorities, corporations and universities. Elena draws on her extensive experience in management, journalism, public relations and marketing to stimulate cooperation between NGOs, the business community and government. Elena is an active member of NGO community in Russia, and she is on the boards of the charitable foundation Life’s Line and the Partnership of Russian Community Foundations. She is also a member of the international working group on developing the guidelines for NGO sustainability reporting (Global Reporting Initiative, NGO sector supplement). Elena graduated from the Moscow State University of Lomonosov with a master’s degree in Philology. She has additional education in social marketing from California State University and the Education Development Center, both US-based.