ZOA announced today that its Supervisory Board has chosen Edwin Visser to be the organization’s next chief programme officer (CPO). Visser, who currently serves as director of the Syria Response for ZOA, will be joining the board as of 1 April, 2019.
“The board is pleased to be able to announce Edwin Visser this fast,” says Harry Paul, chairman of the Supervisory Board. “Edwin has extensive field and managerial experience in relief and recovery. The world is crying for help, more refugees than ever are in need. Due to his media background, we hope he can strengthen ZOA’s external visibility. ZOA’s Strategic plan is very ambitious. We are confident that Edwin and Chris are able to meet the goals.”
One of the challenges for Edwin Visser in his new role, is to strengthen the relationship with ZOA’s constituency. “I’m not just talking about the money; it is about connecting ZOA’s country programmes to people’s lives in the Netherlands.” He also sees big challenges for ZOA, as technological developments and scaling up are getting more important in the NGO-sector. “We should not only follow, but also dare to stick our neck out and be an initiator of change. We can only do this if we constantly seek cooperation with other parties, in the Netherlands and abroad.”
As of May 2018, Edwin Visser is nowadays ZOA’s country director in the Syria region. The Syria Response project provides emergency aid to Syrian refugees and IDP’s affected by the war. In some areas in Syria, ZOA is already planning recovery and rebuilding activities.
For the last twenty years, Edwin has been almost continuously living in the Near East and North Africa, intermittently working for Woord & Daad and Medair in various managerial and coordinating roles.