About Us


Capacity Building Programs

Capacity Building Programs

Thomson Hunter, Director of Capacity Building Programs

Thomson has been seconded to Hedayah from the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office since October 2016. His CVE-relevant experience includes working for the UK Home Office (Ministry of the Interior) on police community cohesion activities following inter-communal riots in the UK; helping share good practice amongst UK police forces as part of a joint civilian/police unit; and studying CVE academically (his Master’s is in Terrorism Studies, from the University of St. Andrews).

Thomson's CT experience, since 2003, is mainly in the protective security area - people, places, events, civil aviation - in the UK and abroad. He operated regionally from India for almost four years, and then from Singapore for more than three years, providing advice, and planning and leading capacity development activities in many Asian and Asia-Pacific countries. In 2012 he relocated to London, managing the small network of aviation security experts across Africa, Asia and Middle East and he led on the design and delivery of capacity development activities (training courses, mentoring, workshops, seminars and conferences) in those regions. During that period he was personally deployed in many countries, including: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Egypt, India, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey, and the UAE.

Irene Belmonte, Program Manager, EU Strive Program

Irene is a Cooperation for Development professional with over ten years experience working on the ground with NGOs in several countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Prior to joining Hedayah, she worked in Sudan with Sudanese Red Crescent as Spanish Red Cross Delegate. She has extensive experience in program and project management, and managing public funds, in different thematic areas, such as women economic and political rights, rural development, education, health, gender violence prevention and gender mainstreaming.  

Irene holds a B.Sc. in Sociology, a postgraduate Advanced Study Diploma in International Relations, a Diploma in Cooperation for Development, a Diploma in Conflict Prevention and Risk Management from Complutense University of Madrid and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Strategic Management from EOI Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Carlotta Nanni, Grant and Administration Officer, EU Strive Global Program

Carlotta Nanni is a development professional with over eight years of experience working in the field in several countries in Asia and Africa. Prior to joining Hedayah, she worked in Sudan as a project manager with the Italian Cooperation, coordinating a project on primary health care, funded by the European Union in the Red Sea State. Due to her experience in working with multiple NGOs in different thematic areas such as child protection, education and vocational training, she gained valuable expertise in project management and monitoring and evaluation. She played several lead roles over the years in Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Cambodia, where she interfaced and dealt with state and non-state actors in many aspects of project implementation.

Carlotta holds a Master of Science degree in Development Evaluation and Management from the University of Antwerp, Belgium; a Diploma in Cooperation for Development and Management Instruments from the University of Roma “Roma Tre”; and Master of Arts in Literature from the University of Bologna and Mulhouse. She is credited with two masters’ dissertations that focused: 1) on the genocide of Rwanda and, 2) the push and pull factors which lead to radicalization and recruitment into violent extremism (specifically in developing countries).

Cristina Mattei, Program Manager

Cristina is a Program Manager within the Capacity Building Programs Department. Throughout her time in the organization, she has been working on the development and delivery of the Returning Foreign Terrorist Fighters Program in coordination with the Government of Tunisia among other related activities.  She has expertise in youth radicalization and Families and CVE and since 2015 has been working on rehabilitation and reintegration practices. As part of the Capacity Building Programs team, Cristina is primarily involved in training curriculum development and has developed the internal Monitoring, Measurement & Evaluation framework in coordination with the Research & Analysis Department. Cristina is managing the CVE & Education Program and is actively researching to develop a curriculum for social workers, psychologists and educators.

Prior to joining Hedayah, Cristina worked in Brussels in a number of organizations to include Friends of Europe and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She also worked in international security and defence and has been engaged in project management, advocacy and communication. Cristina has a Master’s degree in International and European studies from LUISS University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tuscia University. 

Joseph Gyte, Senior Program Associate

Joseph is the Senior Program Associate within the Capacity Building Department. Prior to joining Hedayah, he worked as a Terrorism Prevention Consultant at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific.   He has also worked in the Office of the EU Counter-Terrorism Coordinator, in Brussels, and as a human rights researcher on the rehabilitation of torture victims, in the southern border provinces of Thailand.

He has experience working on full program cycles, including the design, implementation and analysis of capacity building activities and projects, at both the policy and frontline levels. Joseph’s educational background includes a Master’s degree in Terrorism Studies from St. Andrews University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Cardiff University.



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