Who are the Catalystas?

Our Team

Beatrice Maneshi

Founder, Partner

Aviva Stein

Co-Founder, Partner 

Sofía Cossar​

Principal & Operations Manager

Rami Touma​

Principal & Creative Director

Nancy Adossi


Noura Amkieh


Valeria Campos

Junior Associate

Our Story

Established in 2018, our hybrid collective was born out of a need for a gender lens in the field of international development and cooperation. The absence of gender sensitivity in activities and programs across business, development, government, and humanitarian sectors was continuous and detrimental, leading to unintended consequences, unsustainable changes, and insignificant impacts. Since beginning operations, our team has successfully supported numerous governments, NGOs, civil society organizations, and social sustainable enterprises in mainstreaming gender as a means of creating lasting transformation, meticulously evaluating existing programs and activities, and creatively innovating new solutions all over the globe.

What is Feminism to Catalystas?

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).


We actively practice qualifying our qualitative findings and research with quantitative figures, primary sources, and native language analysis.

Organizations We Have Worked With

Beatrice Maneshi

Founder & Partner
Amsterdam, Netherlands

An Iranian-American with more than ten 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 focused on the areas of economic development, security, and disarmament, Beatrice turned to the humanitarian field, where she has expanded her expertise to include 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.

Aviva Stein

Co-Founder & Partner
The Hague, Netherlands

Aviva is a development and political stability specialist with over eight years of experience working in and on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa, and South & Southeast Asia. She focuses on the intersection of peacebuilding, empowerment, and gender equity, with an emphasis on interweaving growth and sustainability throughout social, political, and economic development. Aviva has experience in program development, implementation, situational analysis, and strategic planning in various contexts, including highly volatile areas.

Holding a Master’s in Conflict Studies and Human Rights from Utrecht University in the Netherlands, she has worked with organizations large and small, including Search for Common Ground, SPARK, the Netherlands Entrepreneurship Development Agency (RVO), the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank (FMO), 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 – from grant proposals to awareness raising campaigns. 

Sofía Cossar

Principal & Operations Manager
Paris, France

Sofía is a professional with more than six years of experience in research, project management, fundraising, training & capacity building, public speaking, and communications strategy design in the fields of international law, democracy and governance, and new technologies. She holds a Master’s in Law applied to International Security from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and a Bachelor’s of Science in International Relations from Universidad Católica de Córdoba, Argentina.

A doctoral student in legal theory and legal tech, she is part of the BlockchainGov project, an interdisciplinary effort financed by the European Research Center and comprised of members of Harvard University and MIT.

She started out working in The Hague in the field of law-making, public international law, and human rights with major international non-governmental organizations and international organizations, as well as members of parliament from democratic countries all over the world.

More recently, she has collaborated with startups, social enterprises, civil society organizations, and academic networks in the Global North working on blockchain-based applications to identity, voting, representation, and currency. Sofia has also advised NGOs promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Global South.

Judith Vollebregt

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Judith is a passionate development and humanitarian professional with more than eight years of experience working for actors ranging from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs to INGOs, where she has worked on program design and development, policy development, and program management. She is an expert 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 over the past decade for various NGOs.

Judith has extensive experience in developing and initiating projects, including scoping potential partners, finding a program’s unique selling point, and grant-writing. When it comes to project implementation, Judith is highly passionate about working with those actors on the ground who can make a real difference.

Rami Touma

Principal & Creative Director
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Rami Touma is a creative consultant and business developer with more than fifteen years of experience in developing key messaging, establishing brands, solving operational problems, creating disruptive marketing strategies, and creative advocacy and awareness campaigns.

He uses a unique data-driven creative process that is a tailor-made fusion of design thinking, behavioral psychology, and project management.

His portfolio includes consultancies for non-governmental organizations, multi-nationals, start-ups, universities, and government entities throughout the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa.

Beyond this range of technical expertise, his real strength lies in his unrivaled passion for humanitarian issues and empowering people, and his skill in marrying content and form when it comes to spreading important messages. 

He is passionate about street art, photography, cinematography, pottery, and all forms of art.

Amélie Desjardins

Montreal, Canada

Amélie is a French-Canadian strategic development consultant with over 15 years of international experience on all continents, with the past six years focused on Asia Pacific and East Africa. Former social entrepreneur, regional NGO exec, researcher and lawyer-by-trade among other titles; she is a diverse professional currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. Amélie has worked in consulting on and off for 11 years across a range of industries and sectors, and has notably provided multiple market penetration and M&E analysis services, as well as risk assessments on the topics of forced labor and child labor in supply chains in Africa and in Asia.

Amélie completed her law degree in Quebec, Canada, and holds a Masters in International Law gained in Beijing, China. She has worked with organizations including the Thomson Reuters Foundation as Asia Pacific Manager (2019-2021), where she managed a portfolio of 250+ human rights research and advisory projects, prior to which she co-founded a social enterprise in the renewable energy sector in Rwanda, on the border of the DRC.

Amélie is proud to dedicate her time to driving social change through economic development and sustainable growth projects concretely in Southeast Asia and East Africa, and globally virtually. Amelie loves travelling, eating, and getting out of her comfort zone.

Nancy Adossi


Dr. Nancy Adossi is an expert with more than ten years of experience in international development  and political affairs in Africa and North America, with a focus on peace building, disaster response management, youth policies, women’s empowerment, and entrepreneurship. She also has experience in strategic planning, program development and management, proposal writing, and data analytics in the Global South.

Holding a Doctorate of Education and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Houston and a graduate certificate in Data Analytics from Cornell University, she has worked at UN  Migration in East Africa and the United Nations in New York. She is a professor of Political Science and also serves as a consultant for international development consultancies, governments, academic institutions, and NGOs.

More recently, she has started working with the tech and startup industries in data governance and incorporating IDEA values in Artificial Intelligence frameworks, especially in Africa and Asia. Her passion is country development, economic empowerment, and peacebuilding. She is fluent in French, English, Ewe, Fon, and has a working knowledge of Spanish.

Noura Amkieh

Beirut, Lebanon

Noura Amkieh is a Clinical Psychologist from Beirut, Lebanon. In the past five years, she has completed her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A in Clinical Psychology from the Lebanese American University and Haigazian University, respectively.

She has trained as a clinical psychologist with a local NGO and has been participating in a project where she co-leads the research and content development of a mental health start-up APP based in Dubai. She currently fulfills the role of a program manager and researcher with Intisar foundation, focusing on Drama Therapy in Lebanon.

Noura has been involved in research since 2018 when she worked with a qualitative feminist researcher at AUB. She has been working on freelance research in mental health and social research for the past 3-4 years, with an emphasis on MHPSS, education, and trauma.

Valeria Campos

Junior Associate
Mexico, Mexico City

Valeria Campos is a human-rights advocate with experience in gender-based violence and migration. They hold a BA in International Relations from the ITESM, Mexico, and in early 2023, they will begin their MA studies in Media, Ethics and Social Change at the University of Sussex.

They have experience in grant writing and reporting, internationalization strategies for governments, data analysis with a focus on gender-based violence, and managing social media for INGOs.

They previously worked for the Jalisco’s State Human Rights Commission where they worked at the Gender-Based Violence and Women’s Human Rights Department. They then joined the International Rescue Committee in Mexico to support forcibly displaced communities. Later, they joined “Asylum Access” as a Development and Communications Assistant.

Valeria is passionate about dogs, arts, travel, and advocacy projects.