Colleen Striegel, Executive Director

Colleen Striegel, the founder and Executive Director of HumanitarianHR, is a global aid professional with more than 17 years of experience building and promoting equitable, safe, and human-centered workplace culture for aid organizations. In tandem with the global movement to end impunity for sexual harassment and exploitation, Colleen launched HumanitarianHR to eradicate the sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking of refugees and displaced people. At HumanitarianHR, she helps organizations develop the highest standards to safeguard dignity and restore hope for those silenced in global development and aid settings. Colleen is a lifelong champion for survivors of sexual exploitation and abuse, leading investigations and developing policies to safeguard vulnerable people from Congo to the Catholic Church. Colleen has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics and a Master’s Degree in Human Development


Kelly Striegel, Safeguarding Operations

Kelly Striegel assisted in the launch of HumanitarianHR and, in addition to supporting the organization’s safeguarding operations, manages the design and development of outreach and communications materials. Prior to HumanitarianHR, Kelly served as Director of Development and Communications at ECPAT-USA, an NGO working to end child trafficking, where she developed and oversaw long-range development and communications strategies for all aspects of fundraising, marketing, and communications initiatives to support the organization’s mission. Previously, as Communications Officer for Happy Hearts Fund, now All Hands and Hearts, she designed and managed the implementation of communications strategies to publicize the organization’s work in rebuilding schools and supporting children following natural disasters.


CElia  Guilford, Protective Accompaniment

Celia has worked to support vulnerable populations for more than twenty years, bringing a combination of experience and achievements in both national and international settings to HumanitarianHR. Her work in protective accompaniment in conflict and post-conflict environments exposed her to the dire need for further protection of vulnerable populations from sexual exploitation and abuse. Celia is a skilled trainer and has proven expertise in handling crisis situations and developing safety and security strategies in Timor, Aceh, and Papua in Indonesia, as well as Pakistan, El Salvador and Rwanda. Celia holds a Master’s Degree in Human Security and Peace Building. 


Istar Ahmed, Gender and Policy Advisor

Istar is known for her leadership and work on gender policy and mainstreaming and on women and youth empowerment in Africa and Canada.  Istar is skilled in connecting with elders and conservative members of communities to see women and gender development processes through a different lens. She has effectively brought government institutions, local organizations and development partners together in coordinating solutions to their communities' most pressing problems. Istar has worked with the United Nations and with international and national NGOs in Somalia, Kenya and Canada. She was National Youth Policy Advisor to the Federal Republic of Somalia between 2014-2015 and is currently a senior advisor on policy and programs for Jubbaland Ministry of Youth in Somalia including advisor to the Youth Union Network, Galmudug Youth Association and Puntland Youth Association Network. Istar holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations, Peace, and Development.


Carolyn is a licensed attorney specializing in investigating and preventing sexual exploitation/abuse and sexual harassment in the humanitarian and development sectors. She has an extensive background in victim/survivor-centric approaches to human rights’ violations of discrimination and violence. Her experience includes working in the INGO sector as a safeguarding expert, leading the Ethics Team in the General Counsel Office at Mercy Corps on investigations of sexual exploitation/abuse, child safeguarding violations, and sexual harassment. She has also led agency-wide prevention efforts, including policy development, implementing reporting and investigation procedures, developing training materials, capacity building for investigators, and supporting the development and roll-out of community-based feedback and complaint mechanisms that address safeguarding concerns. Carolyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and a Juris Doctor degree.

Dorit Heimer, SEA Investigator and Legal Advisor

Graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, Dorit is a skilled lawyer who has devoted many years to working with international NGOs and U.S. organizations. She has considerable experience in investigating sexual misconduct cases, and serves as an impartial fact finder for Yale University’s Committee on Sexual Misconduct. She works with victims of domestic violence and supports an international NGO dedicated to rule of law issues including human trafficking programs. Dorit is an experienced trainer on international issues including human resources, investigations, and fraud.



As HumanitarianHR’s representative in the Middle East, Samah assists organizations in building strong safeguarding practices to protect the people they serve. Samah is a certified HR professional with considerable experience in the humanitarian relief and development sectors. She has worked for major international NGOs and has provided HR support on several USAID-funded projects. She has expertise in talent management, employee capacity building, and organizational and leadership development. She is trained in the protection of vulnerable populations from sexual exploitation and abuse by aid workers, and has served as an investigation assistant for HumanitarianHR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages (French and English) and a Master of Business Administration with a focus on Human Resource Management.