More in Common is overseen by a global board responsible for the overall strategy and governance of the organization. We also have national boards in each of our six priority countries. These boards reflect a wide range of expertise and experience at the highest levels of government, civil society, academia and philanthropy.

Our global board consists of:
Gemma Mortensen

Gemma Mortensen


Gemma is an award-winning social entrepreneur and thinker and practitioner in transformative, systemic change. She is founder and co-creator of New Constellations, which exists to help individuals and communities imagine and begin to create futures of human and planetary flourishing.  She sits on the advisory council of Yale University’s International Leadership Centre. She was previously Chief Global Officer at, the world’s largest platform for social change, and CEO of Crisis Action - an organisation that won the MacArthur and Skoll Awards for its innovative model of collective action. She co-chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Council on systems leadership.

Learn more about Gemma Mortensen here.

Edwin Bendyk

Edwin Bendyk

Edwin Bendyk serves as the President of the Board of the Batory Foundation, one of the country’s best-known foundations. He is a founder of the Collegium Civitas Centre for Future Studies,  columnist for the Polityka weekly current affairs magazine, a member of the Polish PEN-Club and a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Edwin lives in Warsaw, Poland.

Mayada Boulos

Mayada Boulos

Mayada Boulos is a widely recognized communications expert, having held senior positions in both the private and public sectors. She is currently the CEO of the French advertising and communications agency Havas Paris, a position she has held since September 2022. She previously served as the main communication and press advisor to the French Prime Minister Jean Castex during President Emmanuel Macron's first term. Prior to that, Mayada was a Senior Partner and Deputy CEO of Havas from 2016 to 2020. During her first tenure at Havas, she worked with numerous leaders and companies with high exposure in public relations, public affairs, digital and advertising both in France and internationally. In both her private and public sector roles, Mayada has acquired significant experience in crisis management and communications. Mayada is also highly engaged in societal issues in France and internationally.

Baroness Arminka Helić

Baroness Arminka Helić

Baroness Arminka Helić is a foreign and defence policy specialist and member of the UK House of Lords. Having found refuge in Britain from the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, she studied International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science before working as an adviser for successive UK Shadow Foreign and Defence Secretaries. From 2006-2015 Arminka was Senior Special Adviser to former UK Foreign Secretary William Hague. While in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Arminka was instrumental in establishing the UK's Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative, with which she remains closely involved as a member of the Foreign Office Advisory Board for the Initiative.

Arminka was appointed to the House of Lords in 2014, and served two terms on the Lords' International Relations and Security Committee from 2016-2020. From 2015-2021 she was a board member of the Trust Fund for Victims of the International Criminal Court, representing Western European and Other States, and a member of the UN Secretary General's advisory board on Disarmament Matters from 2018-2021. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge, and from 2022-2023 was a Visiting Parliamentary Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford.  

Photo: House of Lords. Used under Creative Commons licence Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0). Image cropped (background only).

Ali   Noorani

Ali Noorani

Ali Noorani currently serves as the Program Director of U.S. democracy at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He joined the foundation after serving for 14 years as President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum in Washington. Ali is fellow at the University of Chicago Center for Effective Government, a fellow of the fourth class of the Civil Society Fellowship, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He is the author of two books also serves on the US board of More in Common. Ali lives in the Bay Area in the United States.

john a. powell

john a. powell

john a. powell is an internationally recognized expert in the areas of civil rights, civil liberties, structural racism, housing, poverty, and democracy. john is the Director of the Othering & Belonging Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, a research institute that brings together scholars, community advocates, communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world.

john holds the Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion and is a Professor of Law, African American Studies, and Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University where he also held the Gregory H. Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties at the Moritz College of Law.

john has written extensively on a number of issues including structural racism, racial justice, concentrated poverty, opportunity-based housing, voting rights, affirmative action in the United States, South Africa and Brazil, racial and ethnic identity, spirituality and social justice, and the needs of citizens in a democratic society. He is the author of several books, including his most recent work, Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.

john also founded and directed the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He has also served as Director of Legal Services in Miami, Florida and was the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was instrumental in developing educational adequacy theory.

john has lived and worked in Africa, where he was a consultant to the governments of Mozambique and South Africa and has also worked in India and Brazil. He is one of the co-founders of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council and serves on the board of several national and international organizations. john has taught at numerous law schools including Harvard and Columbia University.

Learn more about john a. powell here.

Michael Schwarz

Michael Schwarz

Michael Schwarz is Managing Director of the Baden-Baden Entrepreneur Talks (BBUG). The Baden-Baden Entrepreneur Talks is a non-profit network of outstanding leaders from business, politics and society. BBUG is supported by around 120 member companies, including most of the DAX companies. The goal of BBUG is that the participants, young top executives in their companies and institutions, make a contribution to strengthening our society beyond their own organization. BBUG is about learning, exploring, reflecting and acting together across sectors and borders.

Previously, Michael Schwarz was Managing Director of Stiftung Mercator, a private, independent foundation. Through its work, the foundation strives for a society that is characterized by openness, solidarity and equal opportunities. In order to achieve these goals, it promotes and develops projects that improve opportunities for participation and cohesion in a society that is becoming more diverse. Stiftung Mercator wants to strengthen democracy and the rule of law in Europe through its work, addresses the effects of digitization on democracy and promotes climate action. Michael Schwarz helped shape the successful development of the foundation's international work, particularly in China and Turkey. The daughter institutions Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS), the German-Turkish Youth Bridge (DTJB) and the German Network for Education about China (BNC) were founded under his responsibility. He initiated numerous projects in the areas of think tanks, promotion of young talent, international and intersectoral exchange, dialogue and encounters.

He has worked in foundations since 2005, when he joined the Robert Bosch Foundation after working as a consultant at CNC AG (now KekstCNC), an international strategic communications consultancy. At the Robert Bosch Foundation, he first worked as a project manager in the Science and Society division, then as an assistant to the management board and finally as head of communication.

He studied political science and public policy at the University of Konstanz and at Rutgers University.

Mabel van Oranje

Mabel van Oranje

Mabel van Oranje is a serial entrepreneur for social change working globally to advance equality, freedom and justice. During the last decade, she played a catalytic role in the global movement to end child marriage, including the creation and growth of three entities central to efforts to support girls’ futures: Girls Not Brides (2011), the Girls First Fund (2018) and VOW for Girls (2018). Mabel is currently a board member of Fondation Chanel, the Lego Foundation, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and VOW for Girls (Chair). She is also an advisor to Apolitical Academy Global, Co-Impact’s Gender Fund, Global Witness, the Graca Machel Trust and The Elders. Mabel is a global champion of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and a co-founder and chair emeritus of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

In 1993, Mabel founded the European Action Council for Peace in the Balkans and was its CEO until 1997. In 1997, she joined the Open Society Foundations as Executive Director of its Brussels office, becoming OSF’s London-based International Advocacy Director in 2003. From 2008 until 2012, she was the first CEO of The Elders.

Mabel helped found the Dutch foundation War Child (1995), the global NGO coalition ‘Publish What You Pay’ (2002) and the Independent Commission on Turkey (2004). She has been actively engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS and in global efforts that led to the establishment of the International Criminal Court in 2002. Her former (advisory) board memberships include the Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Crisis Action, Interpeace, the Jo Cox Foundation, Malala Fund, the Open Society Foundations, the Trust for Civil Society in Central & Eastern Europe, and Trust Women.

Mabel is founding patron of the Dutch Masters Foundation, a UK charity which champions the advancement of Dutch arts by supporting three of the Netherlands’ leading cultural organisations: the Nederlands Dance Theater, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis.

Mabel is also a patron of The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN).

Mabel holds masters degrees in Economics and in Political Science (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. She holds an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Glasgow Caledonian University (2018).

Mabel is the author of ‘Publishing What We Learned’ (with Henry Parham, 2009); the Dutch pamphlet ‘In vrijheid blijven geloven’ (March 2007); ‘Building Donor Partnerships’ (with Terrice Bassler, 1997); and numerous articles and op-eds. In 2019, she delivered the annual ‘jaarthematekst’ at the request of The National Committee for 4 and 5 May, on the occasion of 75 years of freedom of the Netherlands.

The World Economic Forum named Mabel one of its Global Leaders for Tomorrow (2003) and one of its Young Global Leaders (2005). Mabel received a Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship (2014), the John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award (2014) and the ICRW Champions for Change Award for Innovation (2015) for her work with Girls Not Brides. Her work on HIV/AIDS was acknowledged with the World Without AIDS Award from the Deutsche AIDS-Stiftung (2017) and the AmsterdamDiner Award (2018). On behalf of Girls Not Brides, she accepted the Dutch Geuzenpenning (2018). In 2020, she received a Her Hero Lifetime Achievement Award from Huntington National Bank. In 2018 and 2019, she was included in Apolitical’s Gender Equality Top 100.

Mabel lives in London with her two daughters. You can follow her tweets @MabelvanOranje

Tim Dixon and Mathieu Lefèvre also sit on the Global Board as Executive Directors with no voting power.