Governance

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 four priority countries. These boards reflect a wide range of expertise and experience at the highest levels of government, civil society, academia and philanthropy.

Board Picture (1)
Our global board consists of:
Sally Osberg

Sally Osberg

Chair

Sally Osberg (Chair) - is the former President of the Skoll Foundation and has been an entrepreneurial leader and catalyst for social change throughout her career. She propels those around her with her life philosophy and mantra, captured in one word: "Onward!" As President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, she partnered with Founder and Chairman Jeff Skoll to guide the organization in its search and support of innovators pioneering scalable solutions to pressing global problems. Under Sally’s leadership, the Foundation invested in more than 100 ventures led by social entrepreneurs worldwide; established the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Saïd Business School of Oxford University; created the annual Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship; and brokered cutting-edge partnerships with organizations including TED, the Sundance Institute, and the Social Progress Imperative. 

In 2015, she co-authored Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works with Roger Martin. Together, she and Roger received the Thinkers50 Social Enterprise Award. Sally’s work has appeared in CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, Harvard Business Review, Stanford Social Innovation Review, the MIT Technology Review, Rotman Magazine, and others. She has been recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s Millennium 100 by the San Jose Mercury News and among the social sector’s 50 most influential leaders by The NonProfit Times.

Learn more about Sally Osberg here.

Thorsten  Benner

Thorsten Benner

Thorsten Benner is co-founder and director of the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) in Berlin. His areas of interest include international organizations (focusing on the United Nations), peace and security, data and technology politics, and the interplay of the US, Europe and non-Western powers in the making of global (dis)order. Prior to co-founding GPPi in 2003, he worked with the German Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin, the UN Development Programme in New York, and the Global Public Policy Project in Washington, DC.

His commentary has appeared in DIE ZEIT, International New York Times, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, Handelsblatt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. His publications include The New World of UN Peace Operations: Learning to Build Peace? (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Critical Choices. The United Nations, Networks, and the Future of Global Governance (Ottawa, 2000).

Thorsten is an adjunct faculty member at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, where he has been involved since its founding in 2003. From 2011 to 2015, he worked with the founding team of the School of Public Policy at Central European University. He is a member of the advisory board of Zahnräder Netzwerk, a platform for Muslim social entrepreneurs.

He studied political science, history, and sociology at the University of Siegen (Germany), the University of York (UK), and the University of California at Berkeley, and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Gemma Mortensen

Gemma Mortensen

Co-founder and Vice Chair

Gemma is an award-winning social entrepreneur and thinker and practitioner in transformative, systemic change. She is founder and co-creator of [newconstellations.co]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 Change.org, 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.

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.

Will Somerville

Will Somerville

Will Somerville is Director, UK Program at Unbound Philanthropy. In addition to his Unbound role, he also works part-time as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a think tank based in Washington DC. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield.

Prior to joining MPI in 2006, Will worked at the Commission for Racial Equality, the U.K. Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, Cabinet Office, and the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). He has authored over sixty policy papers, chapters and journal articles, mostly related to migration, and has commented widely in the media, particularly for The Guardian. His most recent book is Immigration under New Labour (2007, Policy Press).

Will holds a degree in History (First Class) from Leeds University, a Master’s degree (with distinction) in Social Policy from the London School of Economics and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).

Learn more about Will Somerville here.

Najat  Vallaud-Belkacem

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem

Najat Vallaud-Belkacem is the director of ONE in France, former CEO of Ipsos Global Affairs, and former French Minister of Education and Research, Minister for Women’s Rights, and Minister for Urban Planning, Youth and Sports. A law graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po, 2000), she worked for a legal firm at the Council of State and the Supreme Court (Cour de Cassation). There, she gained expertise in pharmaceutical law, electoral law and human rights. From 2003, she decided to get involved in local political life, first as Regional Councillor for the Rhône-Alpes region in charge of cultural affairs. She then became deputy mayor of Lyon, where she had the task of organizing major events as well as enhancing local democracy, community life and youth wellbeing. Following which, she was elected General Councillor for Social Affairs.

From 2007, she entered the political arena at the national level. She started off as national secretary of the Socialist Party in charge of societal issues, then became vice-president of Mouvement Européen France, a think-tank that advocates further European integration. She was also spokesperson for socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal. In 2012, she took up the same role in François Hollande’s winning presidential campaign. Following which, Najat Vallaud Belkacem successively held the position of Minister for Women’s Rights, Minister for Urban Planning, Youth and Sports and finally Minister for Education, Higher Education and Research from August 2014 onward. The first ever woman to take up this role, she remained in office for three years. 

In March 2018, she took up the position of Global Affairs CEO at Ipsos, an industry-leading firm in global market and opinion research. There, she led studies that evaluated public policies for international institutions and organisations, NGOs, and other actors which act in the public interest at the global level. In parallel to her endeavours, she also runs “Raison de Plus”, a collection of works dedicated to progressive causes within publishing house Fayard and spearheads a gender equality and public policy programme (Égalité Femmes – Hommes et Politiques Publiques”) at Sciences Po. 

Learn more about Najat Vallaud-Belkacem here.

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.