Nick started as CEO in December 2013. Prior to this, he was the inaugural CEO of the Walk Free Foundation, a leading international actor in the fight against modern slavery. During his tenure, Walk Free built a global movement with over 5 million supporters, launched the first ever Global Slavery Index, and joined with Humanity United and the Legatum Foundation to establish the Freedom Fund.
Previously, Nick was the Deputy President and Chief Operating Officer of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the world’s leading conflict prevention NGO, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. At ICG he was responsible for the oversight and management of Crisis Group’s programs and operations in some thirty countries around the world. Nick has testified on conflict and human rights issues before the European, UK, Dutch, and Australian Parliaments. He has written widely on international justice, conflict prevention, human rights and modern slavery, with opinion pieces published in the International New York Times, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Boston Globe, amongst others.
Nick is a lawyer by background and, prior to starting work for Crisis Group in 2003, he was Chief of Staff and National Security Adviser to the Australian Attorney-General. He has a law degree with first class honours from the University of Sydney and a Master’s in Public Policy from Princeton University.
Dan Vexler is joining the Freedom Fund as Director of Programs in June. Dan was previously Head of Program Quality and Impact at CARE UK, an international NGO fighting global poverty and injustice. At CARE Dan oversaw programs aimed at increasing political participation and economic opportunities for people living in extreme poverty. Prior to joining CARE, Dan was based in Juba, South Sudan with the National Democratic Institute, where he managed an influential nation-wide public opinion research program. Before this, he was Director of Research at the International Crisis Group. Dan has led research and impact evaluations on a range of complex projects and issues on four continents. He has lived in Kenya, South Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Belgium and the UK.
Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University and a Master’s in International Relations from the London School of Economics.
Ginny Baumann is joining the Freedom Fund as Senior Programs Officer in August 2014. She was previously Associate Director of Programs at Free the Slaves, an NGO that liberates people from slavery around the world, and enables governments, development agencies and businesses to take effective action. As a founding team member of Free the Slaves since 2000, Ginny has developed FTS’ country programs alongside community-based anti-slavery NGOs, especially in India, Nepal, Brazil and Ghana. She helped create its strategy for identifying, articulating and supporting locally-rooted solutions to slavery.
Before that, she worked for UK-based agencies Christian Aid, Shelter, and Quaker Social Action establishing, managing and evaluating programs of community-based development, housing, employment, conflict resolution and human rights. In the Mississippi Delta, she also carried out programs of peer mediation in schools, evaluation of after-school programs, and research on racial discrimination by banks. She taught courses on peacebuilding and on models of international development at University of Surrey, Roehampton, and University of Mississippi.
Humanity United is a U.S.-based foundation dedicated to building peace and advancing human freedom. At home and in the corners of the globe where these ideals are challenged most, we lead and support efforts to lift up the voices and will of people, ensure good governance and the rule of law, engage markets and business as a force for change, and encourage the exploration of promising ideas and innovations to end conflict and slavery—all with the belief that everyone has the right to a life that is peaceful and free.
The Legatum Foundation is the development arm of the Legatum Group, a multi-billion dollar investment firm. Drawing on Legatum’s investment heritage, the Foundation allocates capital to projects, people and ideas to help the most disadvantaged in society. For over a decade, the Legatum Foundation has funded thousands of small, community-based organisations across the developing world and impacted over 35 million lives, many of which have been through major anti-trafficking and abolitionist initiatives. The Foundation has a proven track record of catalysing high-impact, large-scale initiatives such as the Freedom Fund and the END Fund.
The Walk Free Foundation is a global organisation focused on ending modern slavery in our generation by mobilising a global activist movement, generating the highest quality research, enlisting business and raising unprecedented levels of capital to drive change in those countries and industries bearing the greatest responsibility for slavery today.
The Freedom Fund offers a platform, vision and plan for partners to join in this global effort to combat modern-day slavery. This Fund is about demonstrating that strategic, targeted and measurable giving can help make a very real difference in ending this most horrendous of crimes.
Potential donors will be invited to participate in the Fund’s work in three main ways:
The founding organisations are underwriting all of the start-up and initial overhead costs, so all future donor contributions will be spent directly on combating slavery.