Executive Management Team

Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director


Sanda Ojiambo is the Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in July 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is the Secretary‑General’s strategic policy and advocacy initiative calling for the alignment of business operations and strategies with 10 universal principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. It also motivates companies to integrate the SDGs into their core business strategies and operations.

With more than 10,000 corporate participants and other stakeholders from over 160 countries engaged through 68 country networks, the Compact is the largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative in the world. Endorsed by chief executive officers, it is a practical framework for the development, implementation and disclosure of sustainability policies and practices, committing businesses to sustainability and shared responsibility for achieving a better world.

Ms. Ojiambo, brings 20 years of experience to lead the UN Global Compact. She has served as Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, Safaricom Plc, Kenya since 2010. Ms. Ojiambo was also the Senior Manager of Safaricom and MPESA Foundations, Kenya from 2008 to 2010, during which she led the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and UN organizations.

Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed relationships with key business entities and civil society organizations, including her capacity development work in Somalia with UNDP and CARE International.

Ms. Ojiambo holds a Master of Arts in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Canada.

Melissa Powell, ​Chief of Staff

Lise Kingo

Melissa Powell assumed the role of Chief of Staff in 2016. In addition to managing day-to-day operations and strategic initiatives, her responsibilities include strategic planning and board relations. She also leads a team responsible for ensuring the integrity of the initiative.

Additionally, Ms. Powell oversees the strategic relations of the UN Global Compact with Governments as well as partnerships across the United Nations system, including with the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General.

Previously Ms. Powell was Head of Strategy and Partnerships for the UN Global Compact. In this position, she led a range of strategic initiatives including those focused on connecting companies with the United Nations.

Prior to joining the UN Global Compact, Ms. Powell worked in the Speechwriting Unit of the Executive Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. In this role, she composed messages and articles on behalf of the former UN Secretary-General.

Ms. Powell holds a Master of International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Political Science with honours from Queen's University in Canada

Sue Allchurch, Chief, Outreach & Engagement

Lise Kingo

As Chief of Outreach and Engagement, Sue Allchurch leads the work of the UN Global Compact to engage and work with businesses to take action on the Sustainable Development Goals.

She has been instrumental in developing the UN Global Compact participant engagement model and ensuring that the UN Global Compact translates ideas into practical, valuable initiatives to help business further their sustainability impact.

Prior to joining the UN Global Compact, Ms. Allchurch was Director of Marketing and Communications for Save the Children United Kingdom. In this role, Ms. Allchurch delivered several successful campaigns and contributed to a doubling of impact and outcome.

Previously, Ms. Allchurch has been Global Brand Vice President Lipton tea and Global Brand Vice President Surf and Skip detergents and Laundry Innovation. In all roles, Ms. Allchurch led sustainable development and social purpose as a core part of brand development, with a key focus on innovation product development and supply chain sustainability.

Prior to these roles, Ms. Allchurch was Global Vice President of the Unilever Marketing Academy, building capabilities across the global marketing community. Ms. Allchurch holds a Bachelor of Science with honors from the University of Exeter.

Ole Lund Hansen, Chief, Global Operations

Lise Kingo

In his role as Chief, Global Operations, Ole Hansen leads strategy, development and support for the 70+ Global Compact networks around the world, as well as for the Global Compact Cities Programme.

Mr. Hansen joined the UN Global Compact in 2009 where he previously led different projects and programmes on the Sustainable Development Goals, Breakthrough Innovation, Board Adoption, Responsible Investment and Global Compact LEAD.

Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Hansen was an International Business Development consultant based in Denmark, while also acting as the focal point for the Global Compact Nordic Network and the Danish Base of the Pyramid Learning Lab.

Earlier, Mr. Hansen worked as a Senior Advisor on international trade and policy in the Confederation of Danish Industries, as a Political Risk Advisor in Global Mind and as a private sector consultant on environmental and development projects in Central America.

Mr. Hansen holds a Master of Science in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Copenhagen.

Lila Karbassi, Chief, Programmes

Lise Kingo

In her current capacity as Chief of Programmes, Lila Karbassi oversees the entire work programme of the UN Global Compact on environment, social, governance and finance issues.

Ms. Karbassi has been instrumental in the work of the UN Global Compact on the environment and climate change and has been responsible for the participation of the UN Global Compact in key UN conferences.

In her 13 years at the organization, Ms. Karbassi has lead numerous successful programmes that have driven businesses to engage with the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact worldwide.

In 2016, Ms. Karbassi worked in the Office of the Secretary-General to provide support and advice on business engagement on the Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to joining the UN Global Compact, Ms. Karbassi held positions on policy regulation at Sanofi-Aventis.

Ms. Karbassi holds a Master of Business Administration from the Bocconi School of Management. She also holds a Doctorate in Biology from the University of Paris and a Master of Biology from the University of Grenoble.

Alex Stein, Managing Director, Foundation for the Global Compact

Lise Kingo

As Managing Director, Alex Stein oversees the work of the Foundation for the Global Compact across multiple departments. These include finance, operations, strategy, human resources and digital processes.

Mr. Stein has been instrumental in ensuring that the Foundation fulfills its mission to provide financial, operational and programmatic support for the UN Global Compact.

He has over eighteen years of experience in non-profit leadership, having worked in economic and micro-enterprise development, gun violence prevention and international education.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2011, Mr. Stein was the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of PAX: Real Solutions to Gun Violence for six years where he helped raise more than $20 million in support of proven national awareness campaigns like ASK (Asking Saves Kids).

From 1999 to 2006, Mr. Stein was the Vice President of Finance and Administration for ACCION International's regional New York affiliate where he helped the organization grow to become the largest micro-enterprise development organization in the United States.

Mr. Stein holds a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Whittier College.

Olajobi Makinwa, Chief, Intergovernmental Relations & Africa

Lise Kingo

As Chief of Intergovernmental Relations & Africa, Olajobi Makinwa leads high-level interactions with Governments to strengthen relations and enhance understanding of the UN Global Compact. She aligns priorities of Governments and regional inter-governmental bodies with key directions of the work of the UN Global Compact.

During her tenure as Chief of Transparency & Anti-Corruption, Ms. Makinwa successfully led the development of numerous UN Global Compact projects on transparency and anti-corruption, notably the Siemens Initiative Project on Collective Action in the fight against corruption.

Prior to joining the UN Global Compact, Ms. Makinwa was the Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa. Previously, she served as a Legal Officer with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Kenya, and with the UNEP Regional Office for Europe in Switzerland.

Ms. Makinwa has consulted for various UN Agencies as well as the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa. She is also a member of the International Bar Association and the American Society of International Law.

Ms. Makinwa holds a law degree with honours (LL.B Hons) and a Master of International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos. She was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Ms. Makinwa completed further postgraduate studies in Business Leadership at the University of South Africa.

Dan Thomas, Communications & Strategic Events

Lise Kingo

In his role as Chief of Communications, Dan Thomas leads corporate communications, media relations and strategic events.

During his time at the UN Global Compact, Mr. Thomas has led the creation of a new communications strategy designed to engage a broader coalition of partners in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Prior to joining the UN Global Compact, Mr. Thomas led communication and external relations for the Presidents of the 70th and 71st Sessions of the United Nations General Assembly.

Previously, Mr. Thomas has headed communications, mobilization and outreach for the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Change Support Team within the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. In 2014, he led communications for the UN Secretary General’s Climate Action Summit.

A former journalist with Reuters and BBC Television News, Mr. Thomas joined UNICEF as a multimedia producer in 2000. In 2008, he left the UN system to join GAVI, a public-private global health partnership — eventually becoming Acting Director of Communications.

Mr. Thomas holds a holds a Bachelor of Science (Economics) with honours from the University College in Cardiff.