HLA is a membership association for humanitarian logistics professionals who respond to take relief to and create infrastructure for those affected by global emergencies.

It has been established as a neutral interface between aid organisations, the private, public and academic sectors, and other interested parties and aims to manage a wide spectrum of issues.

The association is at the forefront of thought leadership and development of initiatives to increase the skills and capabilities of its members in order to advance the future the of the humanitarian logistics sector.

HLA is active in five areas

Its mission is to build a community of practice for advancing the humanitarian logistics profession through the promotion of cross organisational learning and collaboration by:

  • Training and education – the certificate in Humanitarian Logistics, which is administered by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-UK).
  • Professionalism – it aims to develop a recognised career pathway for humanitarian logisticians.
  • Global network – it fosters community and knowledge-sharing.
  • Research and knowledge – it is creating a knowledge bank of internationally recognised best practice.
  • Events – to provide training and networking opportunities.

Who’s involved?

The vision for an Humanitarian Logistics Association was first articulated in 2005 by a senior group of humanitarian logisticians.  HLA was founded on 21 January 2008, and registered as a charity and formally recognised as an NGO with a global remit in 2009.  Today a board of trustees governs the HLA. Each trustee has extensive experience in the sector or has skills that promote its development.

How is it funded?

Apart from modest grants it manages to obtain from the likes of Skylife Foundation and the EU-Aid Volunteer Programme (ECHO), the HLA relies on individual donations, and primarily on the extensive volunteering of a few key people.

In a ground-breaking moment at the Fritz Institute Humanitarian Logistics Conference in 2005, participants created and signed the Marco Polo Declaration – forming a professional humanitarian logistics association. Declaration signatories committed to establish an association that would serve as a catalyst to enhance the professionalisation of humanitarian logistics and the recognition of its strategic role in the effective delivery of relief during humanitarian crises.

In January 2009, the HLA was formally registered in the UK as a Non-Governmental Organisation (with a global remit). The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT-UK) hosts its secretariat.

HLA conferences and seminars serve to strengthen the humanitarian logistics network as a global community of practice. The community discusses emerging trends and collaborative approaches to address the difficulties experienced in the delivery of humanitarian aid.

The association is a charitable company registered in England and Wales. Charity Number 1127723 and Company Limited by Guarantee Number 6477969.

The original steering group that supported the creation and evolution of HLA was composed of:

Martijn Blansjaar, Oxfam-GB
Jean-Christophe Crespel, La Guilde
Erland Egiziano, Action Contre La Faim (ACF)
George Fenton, World Vision International
Mike Goodhand, British Red Cross
Paul Molinaro, UNICEF
Martin Ohlsen, World Food Programme
Marin Tomas, International Medical Corps
Carsten Voelz, CARE International
Mitsuko Mizushima, Fritz Institute
Edita Nichols, Fritz Institute

The Steering Group was subsequently replaced by the Advisory Group. HLA’s day-to-day affairs are overseen by the HLA Board of Trustees, which is also responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organisation.

Following initial support from Fritz Institute, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport UK (CILT) kindly offered to host the HLA office.

Since inception, the HLA has relied on the services of a range of dedicated volunteers, without whom the Association would not be where it is today.

The association is a charitable company registered in England and Wales. Charity Number 1127723 and Company Limited by Guarantee Number 6477969.

George Fenton, Chief Executive

George was one of the original co-founders of the HLA in 2005 and has acted as a Trustee and volunteer CEO ever since. Outside this role, he is an independent consultant, providing services to support local and international aid organisations, United Nations, private sector and national Governments to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance.  Formerly he led the global humanitarian innovations and partnering group for World Vision International, which includes the Last Mile Mobile Solutions (LMMS) platform and iCash (innovations for cash programming) programme.
He is an ardent collaborator and connector and, during more than 30 years working within the humanitarian and development sectors, has founded several inter-agency groups and forums that have been aimed at improving operational collaboration and capacity building. For example, he founded the Inter-Agency Working Group on disaster preparedness for East Africa, which promotes knowledge and information sharing on humanitarian issues.

Mike Goodhand, OBE

A former policeman and commercial logistician, Mike joined the British Red Cross as a delegate in 1989, gaining significant experience in managing relief operations. He later established the international division’s logistics department and supported development of the Red Cross Movement’s Logistics Emergency Response Unit. As Head of Logistics, he is routinely called upon to deploy logistics resources immediately post disaster.

Maggie Heraty, OBE

Maggie Heraty OBE MSc FCILT is a senior humanitarian logistician, and former transport consultant, with significant experience of working with the UN and NGOs in ‘hazardous and hardship locations’ around the world. She is a hands-on transport and logistics specialist with experience at senior / project management levels and has been responsible for the policy, planning and implementation of numerous transport and supply chain operations.  She is a regular lecturer and trainer, including working with different military corps to improve civil-military cooperation in shared humanitarian space.

Mitsuko “Mich” Mizushima

Mich has led global teams and a multitude of projects in logistics and supply chain management for over 20 years. As Chief Logistics Officer at the Fritz Institute, this expertise expands its capability to provide best practices from private sector logistics to support the operations of its partners in the humanitarian relief community. She has led the creation of both traditional and online supply chain organisations, processes and services.

Nicola Webb, Commercial Director

In her 30 plus years in sales and marketing, Nicola has gained in-depth experience of the full range of marketing techniques, from devising strategy and planning, through online marketing, advertising and media relations, to key account management, business development and tenders. Her experience lies principally in acting for professional services organisations and latterly, NGOs.

Her role at HLA encompasses strategic development, key account and membership management, commercial partnering, and marketing and communications.

Sujit Jadhav, Treasurer

Sujit is an experienced financial manager, adept at creating and managing the implementation of business plans, budgets, management reporting systems, and financial models. He has 7 years of global experience across financial planning and analysis, management accounting, fundraising and credit risk management. Before joining HLA in 2018, he worked for Bank of America, ICICI Bank, and a number of non-profit educational establishments.


Dr. Thomas E Fernandez, Regional Coordinator – South East Asia

Thomas comes from the commercial logistics sector, and has also provided logistics services to humanitarian organisations. After working for multinational logistics companies for two decades, he opened his own logistics company in Thailand in 2008, specialising in aid and relief goods. Finding humanitarian logistics very interesting, he completed the Certification in Humanitarian Logistics (CHL) at the Fritz Institute and later completed his PhD in Logistics in 2016 on humanitarian logistics.

He has much practical experience. He has provided logistics services in the aid and relief market directly and indirectly, as a sub-contractor to multinationals. He also lectures in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Thomas has lived and worked in South East Asia since 1990. He became the HLA’s RedDot for South East Asia in 2017, where his role is to improve the community and best practice locally, and to network with practitioners, partners and suppliers to the sector.

Farshid Raminfar, Social Media Manager

Farshid is an experienced social media marketer, with extensive experience of the humanitarian sector, having previously worked for the Norwegian Refugee Council, World Food Programme and Medicine Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). He has been a member of and worked with the HLA in a volunteer capacity since 2010.

Farshid handles all social media marketing to keep communications between members active, including planning and implementing campaigns across the website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram. He has his own digital agency, Angelino Digital and works for corporate and non-profit clients on digital strategy, planning and implementation; web design and development; digital communications; email marketing; and creating short videos. Also, as volunteer in American Red Cross Los Angeles Region he is Regional Connection Lead of Volunteer Advisory Council, and PIO in Communications Department.

Adrian Nance, OBE

Adrian served for 33 years in the UK’s Royal Navy. His roles included directing or employing aircraft in various operations and commanding the aircraft carrier HMS ARK ROYAL. Adrian also commanded a training establishment of 1,500 staff and a budget of £110 million per year. Since 2006, as Chief Executive of Wings Like Eagles, a non profit organisation seeking to take helicopters faster to disasters in Africa, he has been working to provide early entry logistics to humanitarian disasters.


Susana Cunha, Communications Executive

Susana is an International Relations graduate from Oxford Brookes University. She has a strong interest in marketing and works for humanitarian supply consultancy, Pamela Steele Associates, as Communications Support Officer, supporting online content.

Prior to that, she worked part-time as the Communications Executive for the Humanitarian Logistics Association (HLA) from early 2016 to mid 2017. She continues to support HLA’s communications efforts as a volunteer.

Laura Nicole Brown, Copywriter and Content Strategist

Laura Nicole Brown is a professional Copywriter and Content Strategist, specialising in persuasive online copy that drives conversions. She was previously Marketing Manager at SAGE Publications, where she developed global marketing strategies and targeted copy for audiences around the world. She has a Masters in International Marketing, supported by on the ground marketing experience in London, Singapore and Slovakia. Visit her website at www.inspiratti.com