We are delighted to announce the election of two new members to our board of directors: award-winning journalist Zaina Erhaim and marketing and product development executive Hayley Nelson.

“We are lucky to have such committed and capable women joining our Board of Directors, just as we develop a new strategy to guide our efforts in the coming years,” said Heba Aly, CEO of The New Humanitarian.

I have always believed in journalism as a force for equity, peace and justice.

Zaina Erhaim is a Syrian journalist and freedom of expression advocate. She works as a communications consultant and trainer and, until recently, was communications manager for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

"I have always believed in journalism as a force for equity, peace and justice,” said Erhaim. “That belief has been reinforced by the conflicts we have lived through in the Middle East over the last decade, so I am very happy to be joining the board of The New Humanitarian, which produces fact-based journalism about crises to hold governments and international agencies accountable while putting the people in need at the centre of its work.”

Erhaim fled Syria in 2016 and was displaced in Turkey for two years before relocating to the UK where her claim for asylum has been accepted. She covered parts of the Syrian revolution for the BBC and has also published in The Economist, the Guardian and German newspaper Die Zeit; and directed and filmed short documentary films.

When the Syrian revolution began, she participated in various efforts to help refugees, distribute aid, and provide psychological and other support to women.

Erhaim studied journalism at the Faculty of Literature in Damascus and has a master’s degree in international journalism from City, University of London.

“We believe that to truly hold ourselves accountable, our governance should include people who have lived through humanitarian crises,” Aly said. “Zaina’s experiences in her native Syria and as a refugee, her insights into the framing of media narratives, and her mentorship of local journalists will help guide us on our journey to decolonise our journalism.”

I am eager to help the organisation accelerate its efforts to reach a wider audience, diversify revenue streams, and engage readers across platforms.

Hayley Nelson brings 25 years of insights in the business side of media and skills in technology, media marketing, and innovation. She has helped both start-ups and big companies alike navigate digital disruption, transforming their approach to publishing and their relationship with their audience.

“I’m delighted to be joining the board of directors for The New Humanitarian to support them in the practice of independent, fact-based journalism that is attempting to reach beyond the areas covered by the mainstream press, to the forgotten crises around the world,” said Nelson. “I am eager to help the organisation accelerate its efforts to reach a wider audience, diversify revenue streams, and engage readers across platforms, using data and insights to inform an audience engagement approach.”

Vice President of Content Marketing at Salesforce since July 2019, Nelson has led innovation efforts in product development and marketing at various companies: She leads the global brand editorial strategy at Salesforce, created a content marketing approach for Airbnb, led digital innovation efforts at The New York Times, and built an award-winning digital team at Wired Magazine.

Nelson is a frequent speaker on media, marketing and innovation and an advisor to start-up founders and CEOs. She holds an MBA in Strategic Management from Wharton School of Business, a master’s degree in Economics and International Affairs from Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in History from Northwestern University.

“Hayley will be such a valuable resource as we navigate tough strategic choices, continue expanding our reach and develop new streams of revenue,” added Aly.

Read the latest stories from The New Humanitarian or find out more about us.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.