We have a creative and dedicated team of people that have launched Coalition Peace and keep it driving towards its objectives. We are completely voluntary-run, deriving support from volunteers and our accomplished Board of Trustees who share their experience in the fields of conflict and peacebuilding, human rights and technology. Here, meet the team…

Polly Winfield

Polly Winfield is the Founder of Coalition Peace and has experience working across non-profit, think-tank and parliamentary settings, through previous roles at the European Parliament, ISS Africa and various international development NGOs. These have been largely focussed on peace, security and development issues in Western and Southern Africa. She is a Master’s graduate in Conflict Resolution from King’s College London and is currently an ESRC-funded doctoral candidate at the University of Bath with her research focussing on memory, identity and sustainable peace in South Africa. Contact:


Mark White
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mark is a security and justice, governance, conflict and peacebuilding specialist with 15 years’ experience of designing, managing and evaluating complex DFID and HMG programmes. He has worked in a range of fragile and conflict affected states in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, North Africa and the Former Soviet Union. Mark was formerly Principal for Governance, Security & Justice at Coffey International Development, Deputy Head of the UK Government’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund, and Deputy Head of the UK Stabilisation Unit. Mark is currently Director at First Call Partners, a conflict, security and governance consultancy which operates across the world. 


Gwendolyn Myers

With over ten years experience in peace and non-violence education, Gwendolyn is Founder & Executive Director of Messengers of Peace in Liberia and remains engaged with the UN after delivering the inaugural address to the UN Peacebuilding Commission on youth as equal partners in peace in 2015. Gwendolyn is an FBA Young Mediator & Global Shaper, a member of the UN InterAgency Network on Youth Development Working Group on Youth for Gender Equality, and an Expert in Human Rights by the World Economic Forum. In 2016, Gwendolyn was awarded the Extraordinary Humanitarian Award in Peace, Education and Youth by Chicago Bright Foundation.

Faraz Shibli

Faraz is a British international development lawyer with over 10 years' experience in refugees, migration and human rights, including with the UN. As a barrister, he specialised in refugee cases involving Sri Lankan Tamils fleeing political persecution, unaccompanied Afghan children and Pakistani ‘honour killings’. He has also worked for the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Mongolia on international labour standards, including forced labour, child labour, gender equality, discrimination, freedom of association, collective bargaining, human trafficking and migrant workers' rights.

Alpaslan Ozerdem

With practical and academic experience of nearly 20 years in conflict and peace studies, Alpaslan is a Professor of peacebuilding at Coventry University with research experience in the politics of humanitarian interventions, conflict prevention, disaster response, security sector reform, reintegration of former combatants and post-conflict state building. Alpaslan is also the Co-Director of Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry and won the International Peace Medal 2015 of the Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN) in recognition of his lifetime achievements and outstanding leadership in the field of peacebuilding.

Ellie Wong
Partners & Research Assistant

Ellie is currently a student of Modern Languages and European Studies at the University of Bath, with a developing interest in conflict resolution and peacekeeping. She has previous experience working in sustainable development and in the political sphere. Ellie is looking forward to working in a new field, developing research skills and having the opportunity to connect with communities across the world.

Sébastien Thys
Social Media & Programmes Assistant

Sébastien is currently studying at the Université libre de Bruxelles for a Master's degree in Political Science: International Relations with a specialisation in Security, Peace and Conflict. Previously, he obtained a degree in Human and Social Sciences at the Université Catholique de Louvain, where he also completed a minor in Entrepreneurship at the Louvain School of Management. Through his various experiences, Sébastien aims to develop his skills as he looks to start a career in the peacebuilding field. With a keen interest in project development, he is helping Coalition Peace develop its online presence, programs and partner relationships.