GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
Aroha operates as a non-governmental, non-profit association under Swiss law and is governed by a Board of international experts in climate change, sustainable development and international cooperation serving in their personal capacity
Chairman and Treasurer, Governing Board
Ross Mountain (New Zealand) has worked in the UN system for over four decades during which he has held senior United Nations positions managing complex humanitarian, reconstruction, development and peacekeeping operations in Africa (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Sudan, Angola), Asia (Afghanistan), the Middle East (Lebanon, Iraq/Jordan, Palestine), the Pacific ( Fiji, PICs) and the Caribbean (Haiti, Barbados, Eastern Caribbean States). As the UN Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director of the Geneva Office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, he also served as the special humanitarian envoy of the Secretary-General for floods in Mozambique and the birth of East Timor as an independent nation. His most recent assignments were at the Assistant Secretary General level as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative and Deputy Special Coordinator in Lebanon and in the Executive Office of the Security General in New York as Senior Advisor on Cholera in Haiti. He has also served in Myanmar as UN Senior Advisor.
Vice-Chair and Secretary, Governing Board
Robert Watkins has been United Nations Resident Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Lebanon and Djibouti. He served as the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan (2009-2011) and the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Georgia (2006-2009). Robert has also worked for the European Commission, as head of the ECHO Regional Office for the Middle East, and for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Member, Governing Board
Currently the Ambassador of Costa Rica to Guatemala, Javier was previously Costa Rican Ambassador for Climate Change and Global Environmental Affairs. He has also served as Director General for Foreign Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica, as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to the United Nations Office at Geneva and as Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to UNESCO in Paris.
Executive Director and Member of Governing Board
Matthew established and headed the secretariat of the Climate Vulnerable Forum and V20, a 48-member cooperation group of nations highly vulnerable to climate change. He has edited several global reports on climate vulnerability and low-carbon development, including the Climate Vulnerability Monitor and Low Carbon Monitor. He has also acted as an advisor on the Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Maldives and Philippines delegations to the UN climate change convention negotiations (UNFCCC). Matthew has also worked at the United Nations secretariat, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UNICEF. Prior to the UN, Matthew worked at the New Zealand Cabinet Office and was Programme Manager of the Global Humantarian Forum convened by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan between 2007-2010.