Marcel Smits

My role is Head of Standards and Market Intelligence at Finance for Peace. Before joining this fantastic team, I worked in the world of business, finance and peace as a consultant through my own social enterprise, FCS Impact.

On my journey so far, I have had several roles. I contributed to the Institute for Economics and Peace, an organization driven by data and research. At Oxfam, I served as the Policy Specialist on Private Sector and Conflict, where I closely examined the intersection of policy and social change. Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of directing several organisations operating in fragile countries and territories and conflict-affected areas across South Asia, Africa, the Balkans and the Caucasus. Among them were the Forum on Early Warning and Early Response, the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and the Institute for War and Peace Reporting-NL .

A highlight in my career was during civil war in Sri Lanka, where I was Country Director for the Nonviolent Peaceforce. I worked alongside an international civilian peacekeeping team, engaging in negotiations with rebel and paramilitary groups to secure the release of child soldiers.

My academic background is in international law and politics, with a focus on finance and business and their influence on peace. I have progressively honed my expertise in conflict sensitivity, analysis, and human security. I live in the Netherlands with my wonderful Sri Lankan wife and our delightful daughter.

Elina Mariutsa

I am a peacebuilder focusing on policy and, more importantly, learning every day with the Finance for Peace initiative at Interpeace.

I previously lead programme development in Ukraine with Interpeace, applying the concept of peace responsiveness to advance a peace and health agenda as part of a strategic partnership with the World Health Organization and its country office in Ukraine. Before that, I worked on broader policy at Interpeace, having previously been a visiting researcher at the United Nations Office in Geneva, where I focused on global disarmament and the ethics of artificial intelligence. I also conducted research at the Global Resilience Institute at Northeastern University in Boston (United States of America) into the aftermath of hurricane Katrina in New Orleans (Louisiana, United States of America); I supported the scheduling and external affairs team at the executive bureau of the Office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey; and I worked part-time as a gun violence prevention advisor at the same office.

I believe in systemic change, a nexus approach and strengthening capacities of individuals, institutions and states to improve lives and build sustainable peace. This is why I consider myself extremely lucky to now have this opportunity to generate policy ideas that could enable finance to meaningfully contribute to peace outcomes.

Daniel Hyslop

I am the Head of Research and Senior Peacebuilding Advisor at Interpeace, an international non-governmental organisation for peacebuilding headquartered in Geneva (Switzerland). I am currently leading Finance for Peace initiative, which seeks to catalyse more peace-promoting and lower-risk private-sector investment in fragile countries through new financial structures, standards, frameworks and partnerships.

I have published research on the economic costs of violence and on the measurement of peace and positive peace, which I am pleased has been widely cited. For several years, I led the development of the Global Peace Index and I contributed to several flagship studies on international peacebuilding policy, such as the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development States of Fragility report and the United Nations–World Bank Pathways for Peace report. I have consulted to the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank and the Commonwealth Secretariat, and I have worked with various United Nations agencies on their peacebuilding approaches.

Sixtine Vernet

I am a Policy Support Officer at Finance for Peace. In my career, I have focused on finding ways to operationalize the development–peace nexus by working at non-governmental organisations or start-ups dedicated to harnessing sustainable development to empower local communities struggling with a lack of opportunities in fragile or conflict-affected contexts. Prior to joining Interpeace, I spent a few months at the United Nations, first at the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, then within the prevention and sustaining peace section of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, where I learned first-hand about contemporary challenges to peace and security and about the United Nations toolbox for conflict response.

I have a bachelor’s degree in politics and international relations from the University of Bath (United Kingdom), and a master’s degree in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland), for which I majored in global security.

I am thrilled to support Finance for Peace to bridge the gap in peacebuilding funding and promote sustainable development by channelling more private-sector funding into frontier markets according to peace-responsive principles.

Emilia Hinkkanen

I am Communications Advisor at Finance for Peace. I have 20 years’ professional communications experience from several sectors and viewpoints, including international politics and development, human rights, sports governance and business. My previous workplaces include: the United Nations Office for Project Services; the European Commission; Amnesty International; the governing body for football in Europe (UEFA); the Asian Football Confederation; and Huhtamaki, a global sustainable-packaging company. I am passionate about working to solve global issues by bringing people and agendas together through cross-sectoral collaboration. I believe that is the only way to effect sustainable positive change.

I have a bachelor’s degree in politics and journalism from the University of Central Lancashire (United Kingdom), a master’s in international relations and European studies from the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), and an executive certificate in advocacy in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland).

Marijn Lamaker

In my role as Policy Support Officer I work to support Finance for Peace with my strong belief in its potential to bring about structural change to the peacebuilding sector. I am from the Netherlands but I grew up in several places around the world. I have a bachelor’s degree in public administration from Erasmus University (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) and a master’s in international affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva (Switzerland). I derive great meaning from being a part of Interpeace, an organisation filled with unique and warm people whose determination to foster peace is exhibited through their hard work every day. I have been aiming to work in the world of peacebuilding for as long as I can remember, so I am right where I belong as I contribute to the mission of Finance for Peace.