James Le Mesurier
Founder / Director
James has spent 20 years working in fragile states as a United Nations staff member, a consultant for private companies and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and as a British Army Officer. Much of his experience has involved delivering stabilisation activities through security sector and democratisation programmes. Since 2012, James has been working on the Syria crisis where he started the Syrian White Helmets programme in March 2013. In 2014, he founded Mayday Rescue, and is dedicated to strengthening local communities in countries that are entering, enduring or emerging from conflict.
Project Director, Monitoring and Evaluation
Katie holds a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in monitoring & evaluation and non-profit management, specifically in peace building and conflict settings. Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, she worked as a legal adviser for asylum seekers and refugees after completing her law degree at the Sorbonne, and with time developed an interest in strategic management and programme implementation. Katie has been working on the Syrian crisis and conducting M&E for the White Helmets since September 2013. Katie is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.
Operations Director (Turkey)
Edward has spent many years working within conflict and post-conflict environments, ranging from providing humanitarian support under the United Nations in the Balkans to training and mentoring the Afghan National Police in Afghanistan. In non-conflict environments he has designed programmes and delivered training in the Middle East and Africa, and was employed as an instructor at the prestigious Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. For the past 2 years he has been working on Syria Development Programmes and joined Mayday Rescue on its formation in 2014.
Mary A. Di Salvatore
Mary has gained experience in multiple roles in foreign missions, and has an excellent track record working in cross-cultural teams. She served as a member of the British Consulate General in Istanbul from 1987 to 2011, where she worked in roles such as Personal Assistant to the Consul General and Deputy Consul General, in addition to serving as Senior Accountant for 7 years. She also worked at the Maltese Consulate General for a year as a personal Assistant to the Consul General. In September 2013 she joined Emirates Airlines as Personal Assistant to the General Manager until joining ARK FZC as a Personal Assistant to the Director of the company, where she worked until 2015. She joined Mayday Rescue in November 2015. Mary is of British/Turkish Nationality and speaks English, Turkish, Greek and fluent French.
Project Executive Officer
Ethan has spent much of his career working and researching in the fields of international security and stabilisation. A former U.S. Army cavalry officer and Iraq veteran, he led a reconnaissance platoon conducting counterinsurgency and stability operations in Baghdad and has trained alongside allied militaries in Germany and Romania. As a 2014 graduate of a two-year international affairs master’s programmeat The Fletcher School, Tufts University, he has conducted extensive research on modern conflict, stability operations, and non-state armed groups. He hails from the Boston, Massachusetts area and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Project Officer/Media Mentor
Originally from Homs, Syria, Ola’s participation in the Syrian revolution began in April 2011 when she took part in peaceful demonstrations and the provision of shelter, food and medical aid to displaced Syrians. She left the country as a political refugee in November 2013 and shortly thereafter began her work training and equipping Syrian rescue teams, training as a media and communication officer. Ola has one child, is an electronics and communication engineer, and has a passion for mathematics and algorithms.
Mohamed is originally from Afrin, Aleppo, Syria. He participated in the Syrian revolution as a demonstrator and coordinator, and was one of the founders of Union, a group coordinating the actions of Kurdish youth in Syria. He left his country because he refused to take up arms when the peaceful revolution gave way to armed struggle, and for the past two years has worked training and equipping Syrian rescue teams. Married and with a baby, he is a computer engineer by profession, has trained on satellite internet and communication hardware and software, and has a passion for programing languages. He is proud to be providing humanitarian aid to his country, and is dedicated to saving the lives of people in Syria.
Khaled is a Syrian citizen and a founding member of Syria Civil Defence. Before leaving Syria in September 2014, he was the head of Civil Defence for the Aleppo city sector as well as the head of Hanano Civil Defence center. He served as the spokesperson for Aleppo City Civil Defence, working with many international media outlets (BBC, Getty Images, Die Welt, Der Spiegel, Vice and USA Today). He helped write the first bylaws of the Civil Defence in Aleppo city, coordinated operations and relationships among the teams of Aleppo, and led incident response. He studied Law at Aleppo University.
Manaf Abdul-Ahad is a Kurdish Syrian citizen. He left Syria in March 2012 to avoid conscription in the Regime army, and worked for international organisations supporting the Syrian revolution from the Republic of Turkey for two and a half years as a management and logistics specialist before joining Mayday. Prior to leaving Syria, he was a renowned stage actor.
Per joined Mayday Rescue in September 2015. Prior to joining Mayday Rescue Per was working within the humanitarian mine action sector for the last 4 years, working across the globe overseeing financial operations in some of the worlds largest humanitarian mine action programs. Before entering the humanitarian world, Per worked several years as an accountant and auditor with a top 4 audit firm in Denmark.
Organizational Development and Capacity Building Director
Originally from Homs, Syria, later moving to the United States, Dima has more than 13 years of work experience in the legal, project management, and humanitarian fields. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Juris Doctor degree, and is licensed to practice law in Illinois (USA).
Dede Korkut Kalkan
Procurement and Compliance Manager
Dede joined Mayday Rescue in June 2016. Prior to joining Mayday Rescue Dede was working as procurement and logistics manager within the humanitarian aid sector for the last 4 years in various programs including UK , EU and USA funded programs. Before entering the humanitarian world, Dede worked several years as an financial controller position within private sector in Gaziantep. Dede holds a master degree in Mathematical Finance and he is currently enrolled a PhD program in Business Administration at Gaziantep University.
Bertu joined Mayday Rescue in April 2016.He is studying Maritime Transportation and Management Engineering in Nişantaşı University Bertu is the youngest employee in Mayday Rescue.Also he has certifications for The International Convention on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW),Advanced Fire Fighting,First Aid at Sea and Medical First Aid.Furthermore he worked at private company as interpreter.He speaks fluent English and Turkish.
Community Engagement Director
Natasha is originally Jordanian and has lived and worked on education and protection issues in Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt. For Center for Civilians in Conflict, Natasha conducted fieldwork interviewing armed groups, civilians, humanitarian NGOs, education and health practitioners and others on how to better protect the physical safety of civilians in Syria. She also worked on refugee resettlement, where she traveled 70 percent of the year interviewing refugees from over 15 countries. She has created training materials and trained practitioners on the crises in Syria and Iraq. She brings over ten years of experience in the MENA region and holds a Masters from Georgetown University with a Certificate in Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies.