Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Assistant Director, Head of Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Sandy Africa served as a senior official in the South African security services from 1994 to 2007. This included periods heading the training academy of the civilian intelligence services, the corporate services function, and serving as a senior aide in a ministerial office. This period in the security sector was preceded by ten years of working in civil society organisations and political movements up to the 1990s when she contributed, both as an academic and as a delegatee, to the negotiations that led to new policy frameworks, new mandates and the institutionalization of democratic controls over the security sector. After her career in government service, Sandy worked as a researcher and consultant on SSR/G for governments, academic institutions, think tanks, and civil society organisations. From 2008 to 2016, she also took up a full time academic post to teach Public Policy, and Security and Strategic Studies in the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria. She is the Vice-Chairperson the African Security Sector Network, a Pan-African network promoting democratic governance of the security sector. Sandy majored in Economics and Comparative African Government, has a Master of Arts degree in African Politics from the University of South Africa, and a PhD in Public Policy Management Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. She joined DCAF in 2017 to head the Sub-Saharan Africa Division.
Anne Bennett has spent the past decade designing and managing international development programs in countries emerging from conflict or faced with humanitarian crisis. Her extensive field experience includes assignments in India, Algeria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, and South Sudan. As Country Representative in Myanmar for the Swiss NGO Fondation Hirondelle, she led a team of experts working with ethnic armed groups participating in the peace process as well as the Myanmar parliament to address issues of transparency and credibility. She has served as a consultant to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and United Nations Office in Geneva.
Ms. Bennett is a Senior Fellow and Visiting Scientist at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) where her research includes lessons learned from the 2014-2015 Ebola crisis. She is also President of the Board of Directors, and former Executive Director, of Hirondelle USA, a non-profit organization that helps to build and sustain independent media in post conflict countries.
Bennett graduated from University of California Berkeley with a degree in History and holds a Masters in International History and Politics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Project Assistant, Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Armelle Vessier is a project assistant for the DCAF Sub-Saharan Africa Division. She formerly worked for the DCAF Research Division on the Ombuds institutions for the armed forces in Sub-Saharan Francophone African states (2013-2014).
Prior to joining DCAF, she worked as a teaching and research assistant at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) within the International Law Unit. She holds a Masters degree in Public International and European Law from the Faculté Jean Monnet Université Paris XI. She completed a PhD in International Law from the IHEID, focusing on the protection of children's rights in conflict and post-conflict situations.
Interests: post-conflict peacebuilding, transitional justice, rehabilitation and reintegration processes in post-conflict settings.
Finance Officer, Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Chamila Kodikara is the Finance Officer of the Sub-Saharan Africa Division at the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces (DCAF). She is responsible for providing accounting and budget management support to the division, coordinating closely with the DCAF financial department.
Prior to joining DCAF, Chamila was the Finance and Administration Officer of the Sri Lanka Australia Natural Resource Management Project in Sri Lanka, which was funded by AusAID through the Government of Australia . She has held Accounts and Administration Officer posts including the Governance and Institutional Strengthening Project funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Chamila has completed the intermediate level of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) United Kingdom. She has a diploma from the Society of Certified Management Accountants (CMA) Sri Lanka.
Project Coordinator, Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Administrative Assistant, Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Ornella joined DCAF in July 2014 as a project coordinator for Sub-Saharan Africa. She leads the work of the Sub-Saharan Africa Division in support to independent oversight institutions, civil society and the media for enhanced public oversight of the security sector, mainly in West African countries.
Prior to joining DCAF, Ornella worked as a Human Rights and Protection of Civilians expert for a peacekeeping predeployment training programme funded by the US State Department. In that capacity, she developed and delivered training for Burkina Faso battalions preparing for deployments to Darfur and Northern Mali. Before that, Ornella worked with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Togo as a governance and crisis prevention analyst and a project manager, in charge of transitional justice, parliamentary support and electoral programmes. She had previously served as a research analyst with the Africa Desk of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, at the French Ministry of Defence. She also has extensive experience delivering governance and election training to West-African audiences as a consultant for various regional and international organisations.
Ornella holds a master's degree in International security, from the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), and a graduate certificate in Criminology from the Faculty of Law of the University of Grenoble, France. She also holds a Bachelor in Modern Literature and Philosophy from the University of Paris 3 Pantheon Sorbonne, and studied election administration at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon.
Ornella is the editor of the Toolkit for Security Sector Reform and Governance in West Africa, published by DCAF at the request of the ECOWAS Commission.
Secondee, Sub-Saharan Africa Division
Sophie Frediani has been seconded to DCAF by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. She joined DCAF in February 2016 as an Adviser within the Africa Programme, Sub-Saharan Africa Division.
Prior to joining DCAF, Sophie worked for the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, first within the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire, as a Chief of the Rule of Law Office in Daloa and, second within the UN Mission in Liberia, as an Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Rule of Law. Prior to this, she was a Legal Officer at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, in Freetown working, successively, within the Office of the Registrar and the Appeals Chamber. In the past, she worked as a Legal System Monitor for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Kosovo, and for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.
Sophie holds a Ph.D. in International Law from the University of Law of Bordeaux, France, focusing on the relationships between States authorities and International Criminal Courts and Tribunals.