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Our staff

  • Christine Knudsen
    Executive director


    Appointed Executive Director in 2014, Christine has brought over 20 years of humanitarian experience to the post. Formerly the Humanitarian Partnerships Manager in UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Programmes, she has negotiated and built common policies on key issues with the United Nations, the Red Cross and the NGO community. Before joining UNICEF, she worked with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and with Save the Children, leading child protection responses in Sudan, Somalia, Chad, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mozambique and Indonesia. She also worked in Burundi, Gambia, Iraq and in the Russian Federation.
    Christine holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies as well as a degree in literature from the Université de Paris-Sorbonne.

  • Romain Benicchio
    Strategic communications and membership


    Romain joined Sphere as Strategic Communications and Membership Director in August 2018. Prior to this, he worked with Oxfam and IFRC in various positions focusing on advocacy, campaigns and communication. Over time, he worked on a variety of issues including DRR, migration, climate change, health, trade or financing for development.
    Romain holds a postgraduate degree in international relations from the University of Amsterdam and a Masters in development economics from the University of Grenoble. He speaks French and English.

  • Tristan Hale
    Learning and Training


    Tristan has been Sphere’s Learning and Training Manager since 2017. Prior to joining Sphere, he worked as a Senior Content Manager at Thomson Reuters and held various finance roles at Capita Life and Pensions. He also serves as Board member at Lake Aid, an association supporting refugee and migrant children in Annecy (France). Tristan holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Bath (United Kingdom).
    He speaks English and French.

  • Wassila Mansouri
    Membership and network


    Wassila has been responsible for the coordination of the global Sphere network since she joined Sphere in 2015. She has several years of experience in the humanitarian sector, including with Oxfam and Médecins du Monde. She also worked in the occupied Palestinian territories as part of a peacebuilding mission.
    Wassila holds a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland). She speaks English, French, and Arabic.

  • Aninia Nadig
    Policy and practice


    Aninia joined Sphere in 2008. For the past two years, she was heavily involved in the revision of the SphereHandbook 2018, overseeing the process during much of the second year. Prior to joining Sphere, Aninia was Country Analyst at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) where she was responsible for the Horn of Africa. Before that she worked in the Netherlands, focusing on Dutch and EU refugee and asylum policy issues with Dutch non-profit organisations. Prior to that, she did refugee status determination for the Swiss Federal Office for Refugees.
    Aninia holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Lausanne and a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). In addition to English and French, she speaks German, Dutch and Spanish, and some Italian.

  • Barbara Sartore


    Barbara has been in charge of Sphere’s communications since 2017. Before then, she worked with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and managed the communications department at ICMC, a humanitarian organisation focusing on displacement.
    Barbara holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva), an undergraduate degree in Human Rights from the University of Padua (Italy), and an Advanced Certificate in Corporate Communications from the University of Fribourg's School of Management. In addition to English and French, Barbara speaks Italian and Spanish.

  • Loredana Serban
    Finance and administration


    Loredana joined the Sphere team in 2015. She has experience working with non-profit organisations and with the private sector in the areas of finance, operations and program management. For several years, she also served as treasurer for the Geneva chapter of the Organisation of Women in International Trade.
    Loredana holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and a Master’s Degree in Financial Management. In addition to English and French, she speaks Romanian and Italian.