Our board

HelpAge International is governed by a strong and diverse board of trustees. At least six of our board members are representatives of our affiliates. 

Arun Maira (Chair)

Arun Maira at the World Economic Forum (c) Eric Miller/World Economic Forum

Arun Maira has held leadership positions across the private as well as the public sectors, working with the Tata Group in India, and Arthur D Little in the USA, before returning to India as Chairman of the Boston Consulting Group.

In 2009, Mr Maira was appointed by the Prime Minister of India as a member of the Planning Commission of India and has been Chairman of the Axis Bank Foundation and Save the Children India. He has authored several books on topics including leadership, capitalism, democracy and his home country of India.

Ferdous Ara Begum

Ferdous Ara Begum

Ferdous Ara Begum is a former member of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (2007-2010) and is a gender and ageing issues specialist.

As a former civil servant, she was the first woman to lead Bangladesh Television as Director General, and also the first female Commissioner of Taxes in Bangladesh. She served as a board member of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Grameen Bank for six years.

In her 32 years of continuous public service, she has been active in educating and creating public awareness on the importance of women’s rights and actively influenced women’s financial independence.

At present she is involved with the International Institute on Ageing (UN-Malta) and the Satellite Centre for South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Countries. She has a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University and is CEO of the Active Ageing and Research Centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

David Causer, FCA

David Causer, FCA, HelpAge Board member

David is a non-executive director and audit committee chairman of Schroder Income Growth Fund plc, an investment trust listed on the London Stock Exchange. He is a qualified chartered accountant and a member of the Securities Institute.

David has held a number of senior positions within financial services organisations, including as finance director of Mercury Asset Management Group plc and as a managing director of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers until 2001.

He was finance director of The British Red Cross Society until December 2007. He is a trustee of a number of charities and of a pension fund.

Mathew Cherian

Mathew Cherian, HelpAge Board member

Mathew has worked in the area of rural development with cooperatives, in association with the National Dairy Development Board. He was a consultant to voluntary agencies and to the National Wastelands Development Board.

His further assignments include the post of Director, Oxfam, UK and India, Programme Director, South Asia, Plan International, and Country Representative, Charities Aid Foundation.

He is the Founder of Association of Third Sector Researchers in India, Resource Mobilization Network in India, Campaign for Human Rights (Dalits and Tribals), and CAF India. Mathew serves full time as Chief Executive of HelpAge India.

Follow Mathew on Twitter @mathewhelpage.

Cho Hyunse

Cho Hyunse, HelpAge International Board member

President of HelpAge Korea, Mr Cho has been instrumental in promoting initiatives like the ASEAN Homecare programme and other regional initiatives like the OPA leaders regional event and supporting links for KOICA and other Korean donors.

He has been instrumental in providing direct funding for small projects in Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Ageing, Seoul City and member of the Policy Forum for the Elderly and the Policy Department for the Elderly in Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Korea.

John Kingston

John Kingston, HelpAge Board member

John is the Founder and Director of Venturesome (2001-11), a company which pioneers social investment in the UK. He was previously a director of Save the Children UK, and before that at 3i plc.

He was also Chair of the BIG Social Investment Committee (2011-12) and of the NCVO Commission on Tax Incentives for Social Investment (2011-12).

Currently, he is Chair of the Association of Charitable Foundations, a senior advisor at Social Finance Ltd and non-executive director of Big Society Capital and of the European Venture Philanthropy Association. 

Laura Machado

Laura Machado, HelpAge Board member

Laura Machado currently holds the position of International Coordinator to the United Nations for the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG).

She is also Executive Director of InterAge Consulting in Gerontology.

She was the Latin American Regional Representative for the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) between 1997-2009.





Abla Sibai

Abla Sibai, HelpAge International trustee

Abla Sibai is professor and chair of the Epidemiology and Population Health Department at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and the co-founder of the University for Seniors program at the University. She is also the co-founding Director of the Center for Studies on Aging in Lebanon, a HelpAge affiliate.

She is an activist on ageing and has led the way to placing older adult issues at the forefront on the national agenda and in the region. She has published over 150 scientific papers and book chapters and a member of several local and international advisory boards on aging and health.


Vappu Taipale

Vappu Taipale, HelpAge International board member

Vappu Taipale holds is a specialist in child and adolescent psychiatry, but is today more active in the field of ageing, especially gerontechnoogy. She is the chair of the Union for Senior Services in Finland.

Previously, Vappu has served as Finland's minister of health and minister of social affairs. She lead a national research institution on health and social policy, and held chair positions with different international research bodies. She was a member and chair of the United Nations University Council and as an NGO activist Vappu is a founding member of Physicians for Social Responsibility in Finland and was co-president of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War.

Vappu is an active writer and has published several books and articles, mostly in Finnish.

Robin Talbert

Robin Talbert, HelpAge International trustee

Robin Talbert is a writer and consultant for non-profit organisations. She was formerly the President of the AARP Foundation, and served in a variety of leadership roles at AARP, a membership and advocacy organisation in the US for individuals aged 50 and over.

She has served as a member of the board of directors of HelpAge USA since 2010. A former legal services attorney serving low-income clients, she also served as a volunteer mediator with the DC Superior Court. Robin received a Juris Doctor degree from Washington University in St Louis and a BA degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Sola Mahoney

Sola Mahoney, HelpAge Board member

As a Gambian, Sola Mahoney worked for the Government of the Gambia for over 10 years in various aspects of development work before moving to international banking.

Having worked in the field of international banking for close to 20 years, during which he worked in a number of different countries and regions across Sub-Saharan Africa, Sola is currently on sabbatical from his banking career. He lives in The Gambia.

Follow Sola on Twitter @SMahoney.


Isabella Aboderin

Isabella Aboderin, HelpAge Board member

Isabella is a senior research scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya.

She currently leads the programme on ageing and development in sub-Saharan Africa.

She is also a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing at the University of Oxford, UK.

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