Cover - Judith and Patricia Catalystas Team New

Who Are The Catalystas?

Our Team

  • Beatrice Maneshi
    Beatrice Maneshi
    Founder, Programing Innovator
  • Aviva Stein
    Aviva Stein
    Partner, Strategy and Development Consultant
  • Judith Vollebregt
    Judith Vollebregt
    Associate Consultant
  • Sofía Cossar
    Sofía Cossar
    Associate, Law and Technology
  • Ambika Varma
    Ambika Varma
  • Alex Muia
    Alex Muia
    Associate, Financial Controls

Our Story

Established in the spring of 2018, our hybrid collective was developed following the realization that a gender lens was continuously missing from the field of international development. Across our activities in the business, development, humanitarian assistance, and governmental spheres, the absence of gender sensitivity became increasingly apparent and obviously detrimental in the application of government funding, NGO interventions, and humanitarian aid. As a result, Catalystas Consulting was born, and since beginning operations our team has successfully supported numerous governments, NGOs, civil society organizations, and social sustainable enterprises in creating, evaluating, and innovating through a gender lens within the field of international development all over the globe. 

What is Feminism to Catalystas?

  • Our Feminism is gender sensitive, inclusive of men, and participatory
  • Our Feminism recognizes inequities as structural
  • Our Feminism is intersectional
  • Our Feminism is transformative, not misandrous
  • Our Feminism is built on the foundations of accountability in governance, environmental sustainability, open market economic progress, empowered civil societies, and technological innovation.

Methodologies and Practice

  • Everyone is Unique — We believe in  tailor-made solutions that fit each specific context and keep every audience and ambition in mind.
  • Equity-Focused Approach– We focus on inclusion through human-centered designs, with localized contexts and issues at the core, and special attention given to the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.
  • Theory Vs. Practice — We utilize our training across various sets of standards and methodologies to ensure high quality and easily adaptable services (Sphere Humanitarian Standards, OECD DAC evaluation criteria, Core Humanitarian Standards, Scrum and agile management).
  • Data-Driven — We actively practice qualifying our qualitative findings and research with quantitative figures, primary sources, and native language analysis.
Beatrice Maneshi holds a focus group on entrepreneurship with youth in Mosul in July 2018.

Some of Organization we have worked with

YBI logo
Catalystas Consulting Former Client: James Martin Center for Nonproliferation studies CNS
center for gender and development studies american university of sulaimani
Catalystas Consulting Client: ActionAid Netherlands
Catalystas Consulting Client: WIPLF Women International League for Peace and Freedom
Edukasyon logo catalystas
Catalystas Consulting Client: Stichting Help Kobane
MENAQUA - land restoration and water resource management
Catalystas Consulting Client: WIPLF Women International League for Peace and Freedom
women's initiatives for gender justice logo
groningen university logo
CRIS Ghana Logo
Stichting Voice of Afghan Women logo
GPPAC A network of people building peace logo
TDA Logo logo customers of Catlaystas Consulting

Interested in learning more?

As a team of experts, we are here to offer our support to non-profits, social sustainable enterprises, international organizations, governments, and private companies who want to grow, change, or develop in new ways.

Beatrice Maneshi
Founder, Programing Innovator

[email protected] | Amsterdam, Netherlands

An Iranian-American with 6+ years of experience in international relations, economic development, and political empowerment, Beatrice is heavily invested in making the world a better place. Her work spans multiple regions of the world, often including high-risk environments, and her clients include non-governmental organizations, governmental bodies, and small-to-medium sized corporations throughout the US, EU, Middle East, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Originally in the areas of economic development, security, and disarmament, Beatrice turned to the humanitarian field, where she focuses on international security policy, gender equality, and innovation planning. She is a highly skilled grant writer, program designer, auditor, and capacity and impact assessor, as well as an authority on client and donor relations and ethical corporate engagement strategy.

Her personal and professional interests come together in the use of technology and data to provide solutions and insight into human rights, higher education, sexual reproductive rights, and environmental preservation.

Languages: Arabic, Farsi, French, Dutch

Aviva Stein
Partner, Strategy and Development Consultant

[email protected] | The Hague, NL

Aviva is a Middle East and North Africa (MENA) development and political stability specialist, with a focus on peacebuilding, development, and female and youth empowerment. She has experience in program development, implementation, situational analysis, and strategic planning in multiple regions of the world, including highly volatile areas.

Holding a Master’s in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, she has worked at organizations including Boston University’s African Presidential Center and the Nobel Peace Prize winning Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

A lover of the written word, Aviva is an expert in writing and communications, and embraces the challenge of creating content for a variety of audiences. Her passion is humanitarian work, and she has experience with a diverse portfolio of clients, including NGOs, diplomatic missions, universities, and individuals.

Languages: English, Dutch, Arabic, Kurdish


Judith Vollebregt
Associate Consultant

[email protected] |  Netherlands

Judith is a passionate development and humanitarian professional with over 8 years of experience working for actors ranging from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to INGOs, where she was working on program design and development, policy development and program management in the fields of improved business development, access to the labor market through higher education, humanitarian aid and justice and security governance.

Holding a MSc in Conflict Resolution and Governance at the University of Amsterdam as well as a BSc in Political Science and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from Leiden University, her experience focuses on fragile regions in the Middle East, South East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, where she has lived and worked for the last couple of years for various NGOs.

She has extensive experience in developing and setting up projects, including scoping potential partners, finding the unique selling point and grant-writing. In terms of project implementation, Judith is highly passionate about working with those actors on the ground who can make a real difference.

Languages: English, French, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish

Sofía Cossar
Associate, Law and Technology

[email protected] | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Sofía is an Argentinian-Italian with 4+ years of experience in law and politics of international relations from a critical perspective with regard to power structures. She holds a Master’s in International Security, and has worked with governmental, non-governmental, and civil-tech startups in South America, the United States, and Europe.

Sofía started out in the field of human rights and international criminal law. A firm believer in disruptive, sustainable, and preventive approaches to security issues, her current focus is blockchain for social good. This includes analyzing the legal, political, and technical issues arising from blockchain applications to self-sovereign identity management, liquid democracy, and UBI.

Having contributed to a variety of initiatives through communication, research, and project management, Sofía’s desire is to promote and support new institutional frameworks in favor of decentralization of political and economic power.

Languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French

Ambika Varma

[email protected] | Amsterdam, Netherlands

Ambika has specialised experience in research and programme management globally. She has conducted research on youth in Canadian rural cities, conducted democratic governance research in Moldova, and has experience running educational programmes for disadvantaged youth in India. She has experience working with global organisations to analyse the Women, Peace and Security agenda and institutional inequality and also writes for several think tanks to advocate for intersectional gender equality. She is particularly focused on the intersection of youth and women and is dedicated to increasing their access to decision-making spaces. She volunteers her time with Women of Colour Advancing Peace and Security – France by organising events, researching international affairs, and coordinating with partners across the world.
With a Bachelor’s degree from Canada in Biomedical Science and a Masters degree from France in International Security focusing on project management and global risks, Ambika aims to view problems through an interdisciplinary lens, emphasizing an intersectional approach to issues across the board in order to help ensure a comprehensive and fair assessment of situations.

Languages: English, French, Hindi, German.

Alex Muia
Associate, Financial Controls

[email protected] | Rotterdam, Netherlands

Alex is a dedicated finance professional with seven years of extensive experience in financial control and administration within international NGOs. He was born in Kenya, and currently lives in the Netherlands.

After attaining a Bachelors in finance in Kenya, Alex developed his international career. He has worked in dynamic project locations including Afghanistan, Syria, and South Sudan, and has worked with local and international partners across Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and Europe. He has specialized in policy compliance, monitoring, preparation, and analyzing expenditure and budget reports for major donors like the EU, USAID, DANIDA, UN, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His projects have touched on various social impacts, ranging from water and sanitation, to sexual health and reproductive rights, disaster response, and land rights.

His wide range of experience has given him the expertise to easily understand project proposals and translate them into feasible financial proposals.

Alex is continuously improving his professional skills, and is currently obtaining his MSc in Accounting and Auditing at the Erasmus School of Economics in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Languages: English, Dutch, Swahili