Executive Management Team

Executive Management Team

Sofía Sprechmann Sineiro, Secretary General of CARE International

A leader in international development and humanitarian response, Sofia brings over 25 years of experience of working at CARE.  She spearheaded CARE’s first program strategy and was integral to placing gender equality at the very heart of CARE’s worldwide work. In CARE’s 75th year history, her leadership remains pivotal to the development of our 2030 Vision in contribution to Sustainable Development Goals.

Sofia, originally from Uruguay, lives in Quito, Ecuador. First joining CARE in 1994, she has served in several positions, providing support to programs in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. With extensive experience in program design and implementation; impact measurement and evaluation; and advocacy, Sofia remains dedicated to transforming power relations inside and outside of the organization. Her unshakable commitment to gender equality is drawn from many years of working alongside some of the worlds most marginalised women; from domestic workers, women working in the garment sector and victims of gender-based violence.

Prior to working in international development, Sofía worked in the field of public opinion polls and audience research. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay and an MSc in Epidemiology from the University of London/London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Allison Burden, Program Director 

Allison has over 25 years’ experience in international development and humanitarian aid in Africa, Asia and globally with Voluntary Services Overseas, Christian Aid, Oxfam, CARE International, Equality Now and Plan International.  She studied French and Spanish at Salford and Liverpool Universities and also speaks Mandinka.  In a variety of regional and global management and advisory roles, Allison worked in partnership with civil society, governments, peer agencies and private sector and increasingly became known as recognized leader on human rights and champion for gender and diversity in organisations and programming.  She returned to CARE as Head of Gender Equality in 2017 and became Programme Director in November 2020.   As a feminist, Allison works for a world that respects and nurtures the balance between the environment and humankind; a world of hope, inclusion and social justice where all people can live equally with dignity and security.


Andres Gomez de la Torre Barrera, Director of Governance & Confederation Development

Originally from Peru, Andres has spent most of his life working on international development and humanitarian programmes, policy, operations and organisational change across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He has worked for a variety of national and international civil society organisations, including networks, and in partnership with the private sector and governmental actors.

Andres started his career as a corporate lawyer in the private sector, working for firms such as EY. He moved into human rights, spending time in the academia and with the Peruvian government. Before joining CARE, Andres worked for Family for Every Child, a global network of 50 national members and prior to this, he led the Programmes, Policy and Operations work in CARE International UK and CAFOD. Andres has also worked for Womankind and ChildHope, and is a Board Member of Women for Women International.

Andres is a strong advocate for human rights, gender equality, inclusion and diversity, as well as an active supporter of localisation and shifting the power initiatives.


Aïda Mechkene-Chourou, Head of Human Resources and Administration

Originally from Tunisia, Aïda was born and raised in Switzerland where she studied Business Administration and Economics holding an MSc in Business Administration. She started her career in the private sector in various HR specialties and partnering roles and always strived to link her personal and professional paths with human and social outreach.

Strong with her background in high-paced international environments in both Switzerland and Tunisia, - having worked in the pharmaceutical industry at Merck Serono, in commodity trading at Bunge and in the finance sector at General Electric, she joined the INGO over a decade ago to contribute to organisations with high social impact. Aïda has continuously developed her HR toolbox to provide world-class HR skills such as conflict mediation and sensitive investigation expertise through hands-on support and servant leadership approach.

Working at CARE International for the past 7 years and while growing her family with three children, she built up and strengthened the HR framework alongside key areas of focus such as Safeguarding and Gender & Inclusion in her capacity as Head of HR & Administration.


Celine Mias, EU Representative and Head of Brussels Office

Céline Mias has over 20 years of experience in leading humanitarian and development NGO programmes and advocacy, with a strong passion for gender equality and social justice. Céline began her career working on rural women’s development programmes in Burkina Faso. She subsequently oversaw humanitarian and development programmes for different NGOs in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, as well as leading European advocacy for a women’s health organization, prior to joining CARE International in 2013. A French national, Céline has a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Russian from McGill University. In addition to her role at CARE, Céline has served as Vice President of the Board of CONCORD Europe since 2018.


Clare Spurrell, Global Head of Communications

Clare originally worked as a journalist in the UK for major national outlets including The Independent and The Times and has launched award winning digital platforms including the mental health forum BigWhiteWall.com.  

Having worked for many years in digital teams at the BBC and NBC Universal, she also has specific expertise in building mass audiences to drive new business and revenue growth. She has worked in public relations and crisis management for pharmaceutical companies, and later as Head of Strategic Communications at the policy think tank the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (part of the Norwegian Refugee Council) in Geneva.  

Clare has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Zoology & Microbiology, and a master’s degree in Psychology. 

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