Five Oaks Consulting

Benefit from a full range of professional expertise

About Us

Tosca Bruno-van Vijfeijken

Principal Consultant

An experienced INGO and philanthropic actor-focused consultant, leadership development trainer and coach, change management expert, author, evaluator and analyst with strong knowledge of international development, civil society organizations, leadership development, organizational development/organizational change, social development and gender and leadership. Excellent strategic, organizational, team management, communication and mentoring skills. Strong analytical, research and evaluation skills. Co-author of ‘Between Power and Irrelevance: the Future of Transnational NGOs’, with Hans Peter Schmitz and George Mitchell, and published by Oxford University Press (July 2020). Co-author of several academic articles in peer reviewed journals; author of many practitioner-oriented reports, blog posts and essays. Podcast host of ‘NGO Soul+Strategy’. Tosca is a Dutch national who has worked in multiple regions around the globe and who currently is living in the United States.

Experience

Tosca’s experience spans think tanks, NGOs, the World Bank, UN and academia. She has worked on civil society issues and social development since 1988. Prior to being the Principal Consultant at Five Oaks Consulting, Tosca worked in a European think tank focused on governance in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Caribbean; various UN agencies and an American NGO in Cambodia; as Social Development Specialist in the World Bank; and as ‘pracademic’ at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Management at Syracuse University, USA, where she directed the Transnational NGO (TNGO) Initiative. The TNGO Initiative focuses on the governance, leadership development and effectiveness of transnationally operating NGOs. 

Consulting philosophy

Tosca believes in accompaniment, not ‘sage on the stage’ or ‘fly in, fly out’ styles of consulting. She prefers to work with a defined set of organizations in which mutual trust, honesty and truly deep understanding of the organizational identity, mindset and DNA (culture) of client organizations is growing ever stronger. Tosca typically specializes in mid to large size, globally operating INGOs that have ambitious global agendas and frequently have complex organizational forms, although she also enjoys working with start-up, ‘rebel’ type of actors in civil society who challenge ways of working. And she enjoys exposing the two types to each other, to spur innovation.

For a more comprehensive bio click here. 

 

The Five Oaks Consulting support team​

It takes a village to raise a child. And in just the same manner, it takes the talent of multiple people to build a consulting practice. Without the support services of Ahmed, Pia, Kevin and Daniel,  we would have never gotten to where we are now!

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Ahmed Hachelaf

Generations for Peace Institute as Peace & Conflict Education Specialist
An Education & NGO ‘pracademic’ with over 13 years of experience in development, research, training, monitoring & evaluation. Ahmed managed projects and teams across borders and designed and implemented numerous capacity building programs in human rights education, leadership & course design, offering him experiences ranging from top-ranked international institutions to conflict affected locations. Ahmed recently worked as a research coordinator at the International Institute for Islamic Thought, and as a market research manager of a collaborative project on e-course design and delivery with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, USA, and Humentum. Ahmed was also the co-founder and co-director of the transnational Twiza and Mouakhat Projects. He obtained his master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School; Ahmed also has a Doctorate of Science from the University of Algiers II. He is a frequent presenter on civic and human rights education in the Middle East and North African region. Ahmed contributes both course content and facilitation support to the Virtual Team Leadership e-course. As of July 2021, Ahmed joined the Generations for Peace Institute as Peace & Conflict Education Specialist
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Piyali Ganguly Chatterjee

Providing virtual assistant services
Piyali is a highly motivated person with strong multi-tasking and organizational skills with almost 9 years of working experience as Administrative Assistant and Freelancer. She provides virtual services via the Fiverr platform as Personal assistant, Voiceover artist, Translator, Social media manager, Audio/Video editor, Content writer and proofreader. Piya provides much needed support to Five Oaks Consulting in the fields of post-podcast production, Youtube channel management and email marketing and does so with thorough professionalism. Fiverr Profile: https://www.fiverr.com/piyaligangulyc
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Kevin Mann

Providing creative ideas and design solutions
Kevin Mann has been heavily involved in advertising and design, as well as teaching it for almost 25 years. His career has taken him to a variety of creative agencies - large and small, regional and national. Kevin has worked in advertising and design for consumer-packaged goods, healthcare, travel, technology, telecommunications, and education. Kevin has experience leading teams from concept development to implementation of branding, print design, television and digital campaigns. For 15 years he served as an Adjunct Professor of Advertising at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. His Campdesign business focuses on design and advertising for small and medium businesses with a concentration on solving challenges for non-profit organizations. Kevin is responsible for Five Oaks Consulting’s beautiful website.
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Daniel McElrath

Providing business support services
Daniel is a student at Syracuse University researching Finance and Entrepreneurship with experience working for both for-profit and non-profit organizations. He has a background in marketing and operations and is responsible for researching and building business systems for Five Oaks Consulting that put it on a solid foundation. Daniel has been with Five Oaks Consulting since its very beginning. His goal is to help improve operational efficiency and efficacy. Daniel is passionate about “good” business and looks to continue integrating his values into his work.

Collaborators

Ramesh Singh
Consultant
Ramesh Singh is an INGO practitioner turned freelance consultant and advisor. Ramesh has depth of passion, experience, sense and curiosity about INGO architecture, governance, strategy and accountability systems and issues. He has worked in/from Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.
Barney Tallack​
Consultant
Barney is a strategy person who acutely understands INGOs’ organizational dynamics, including their politics and DNA. His collaborative skills make him a pleasure to work with. Barney focuses on INGO strategy development, horizon scanning, governance and organizational change processes.
Gabrielle Watson
Consultant
Gabrielle is a values-driven planner, facilitator and evaluator committed to strategic learning on the part of NGO “doers.” She brings her Quaker sensibilities to the task of helping organizations, coalitions and their funders reflect on what works, what doesn’t, and why in order to drive strategic choices.
Carlisle Levine
Carlisle Levine
Consultant
Carlisle Levine has key skills in the area of policy, advocacy and campaign evaluation. Carlisle has worked in international development and peacebuilding for 25 years and in evaluation for 18 years. She is a skilled facilitator and trainer with expertise in building staff evaluation capacity and developing M&E and knowledge sharing systems. Her website is www.blesolutions.com.
Pauline Alvarez-Martin​
Consultant
Pauline is an Associate Integral coach and organizational development and change “enabler”, who draws on 30 years of experience as senior leader in international development NGOs and women’s human rights organizations. Her approach is grounded in her program experience while living and working in Latin America and in her strong values on gender and human rights which shine throughout her work.
Minoli de Bresser
Consultant
Minoli is a poverty reduction and social inclusion specialist who has worked for some 30 years in the Asia Pacific and African regions, largely for the United Nations. She has a passion for designing and evaluating development programs through poverty reduction, social inclusion and gender equality lenses.
Bruce Dayton
Consultant
Bruce is dedicated to helping INGOs to better understand conflicts and crises, and to develop strategies to deal with them more constructively. He serves as Executive Director of the School for International Training’s CONTACT Peacebuilding Program in the US, and heads its Master’s degree program for mid-career NGO practitioners in Peace and Justice Leadership. ​
John Druke
John Druke
Consultant
John is a management consultant who was at KPMG, one of the largest global accounting and management consulting firms, for 20 years. He primarily served public sector clients. John also worked in international education NGOs for 9 years. He enjoys serving client organizations who take on large-scale operational transformation projects, and need help with project quality assurance, business and project risk management, and IT and digital enablement.
Ahmed Hachelaf
Consultant
Ahmed is a mid-career ‘pracademic’, consultant and practitioner in leadership development (including in the education sector), and in the conflict and peace sector. His specialization is in the application of these areas of work towards Islamic contexts. Ahmed is a contributor to Five Oaks Consulting’s online course ‘Post-Pandemic Virtual Team Leadership Essentials’