Our team

THE TEAM

Mike Butcher

Founder & Chairman, Techfugees Foundation, UK 🇬🇧

Mike Butcher is Editor-at-large of TechCrunch. Mike has been named one of the most influential journalists in European technology by Wired UK, The Daily Telegraph and the Evening Standard. He also founded the annual Europas Awards, the co-working network TechHub and has advised the UK government on tech startup policy. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list of 2016 for services to the UK technology industry and journalism.

Raj Burman

Chief Executive, Techfugees Foundation, UK 🇬🇧

Raj joined Techfugees as CEO in November 2020. Fellows of the renowned Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, Raj brings with him a wealth of experiences in various business fields and experienced leadership. His career spans three decades of scaling high-growth ventures across international markets, with specific knowledge of digital innovation, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. In his previous role at Sustain Ventures, Raj applied his philanthropy experience across  international impact ventures and corporates supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Prior to that, Raj worked for GS1 as well as led the SME scaleup business accelerator in the United Kingdom for an independent body of the European Commission.

 

Olesya Matveychuk

Head of Global Community

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Olesya enjoyed building a tech community in Ukraine. With a career as a  graphic designer to CEO of HUB 4.0 (one of the leading Ukrainian coworking centers), she led an investment team in the development of a national IT and innovation cluster; creating the very first Gallery of Innovations in Ukraine; built a community of more than 12 000 members; arranged local and international tech hackathons including organising digital business meetups with IT, stakeholders and more.

Olesya has a background as a journalist, political campaign manager, and marketing strategist to find solutions by thinking outside the box. During her life she was fortunate to visit 30+ countries; enabling her to understand cultural features, and develop communication skills across many different communities.

Hiba Abou Haykal

Digital Corridor Program Manager
– Lebanon 🇱🇧

Hiba Abou Haykal a PHD candidate at University of Saint Joseph- Beirut majoring Sociology- HR & Leadership and certified Life Coach.I have been working as an administrator at the Lebanese University. During the last 11 years. I had the chance to work in different NGOs: Amel Association, Basmeh & Zeitooneh and Arcenciel where a solid experience was built examining closely Syrians Refugees concerns.

During 2012- 2014 had the chance to lead Educational Programs at Amel’s Association in West Bekaa and experienced the difficulties faced by Syrian kids and youth to cooperate with the educational system in Lebanon and the main role was minimizing the gap. In 2016 joined Basmeh & Zeitooneh as Psychosocial Support Coordinator supervising the implementation of Peacebuilding Program in central Bekaa through Playback Theater techniques to support Syrian kids and youth through their traumas resulting from war and integrating in new society. From 2017 till 2019 I had the chance to work as HR Officer & Employee Relations Specialist at Arcenciel responsible for all HR personnel with a scope of inclusion including Syrian Refugees Employees. Furthermore, my PHD topic research “Employee Turnover Phenomenon, Case of NonGovernmental Organizations in Lebanon” is giving me the opportunity to professionalize my research skills and have a direct exposure with NGOs addressing Refugees needs.

Richard Hodkinson

Rapid Emergency Network Coordinator (Ukraine)
– Germany 🇩🇪

Richard is a social entrepreneur, political and social scientist, information geek, and changemaker. He has a background in emergency response, technology management, journalism, information media analysis and academics.

He worked in the UN Ebola crisis response, travelling to West Africa to coordinate communications technology to support the international Ebola epidemic response, working for NetHope, and worked on improving collaboration among the partner NGOs, the UN and the governments. He hopes to bring his experience to bear in facilitating collaborations among Techfugees’ community and partners in our efforts to help the Ukrainian people.

He is dedicated to improving the lives of all people, working on equality and transparency both in times of crisis and in the way our institutions organise. As a technology entrepreneur he has founded companies to develop products to counter authoritarian state control and surveillance; to counter corruption and kleptocracy; and to bring more effective strategies to counter conspiracy theories and media misinformation.

TECHFUGEES ADVISORY COUNCIL
(Coming soon)

Haidar Baqir

Special Advisor – Switzerland 🇨🇭

Haidar Baqir holds a Master’s degree in engineering and has been working in emergency telecommunications for the last 18 years. Mr. Baqir had been working with the World Food Programme (WFP). He served in multiple field emergency operations, including Sudan 2004, Lebanon 2006, Somalia 2007, South Sudan 2011, Ebola outbreak response in West Africa in 2014, Nepal following the earthquake, and Yemen in 2015. He also served as part of the Global Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) based in Rome and as Regional IT Emergencies Preparedness and Response Officer for the World Food Programme based in Bangkok, covering the Asia and Pacific region. In his role with Global ETC based in Rome 2015-2017, Mr.Baqir led the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) coordination model project for WFP and the humanitarian response community.  His final deployment with United Nations was with the Telecommunications Development Bureau of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) based in Geneva working as emergency telecommunications and climate change coordinator.


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