Humanity & Inclusion appoints a new Federal Chairperson
On Saturday 16 June, HI's Federal Board of Trustees elected Jean-Noël Dargnies as its new Chairperson. After a career in industry and higher education, he is taking over from Jacques Tassi, whose third term as Chairperson ended on Saturday.
Jean-Noël Dargnies as new HI chairperson | © Philippa Poussereau / HI
Jean-Noël Dargnies takes over from Jacques Tassi
After training as an engineer, Jean-Noël Dargnies worked in industry for many years, but this father of five spent most of his career in the world of education. In 2010, he took over as head of Sainte Geneviève, a higher education establishment known for the quality of its preparation of students for France’s top-tier universities or “grandes écoles”. Motivated by the values of this institution – mutual assistance, solidarity and service – which he opened up to more underprivileged students, it was a natural next step for him to engage in humanitarian work with HI.
“There were two things in particular about this great organisation that touched and attracted me. First, its unique social mission alongside vulnerable people, through which it seeks to make them actors in their own destiny and help them regain their rightful dignity. Second, its ability to call itself into question and modernise its organisation and working methods.”
“My visits to the teams in Kenya, Mali and DRC confirmed my belief that HI’s actions in the field are remarkable. I am very happy to be joining this big team. It does fantastic work and its does it well.”
Jean-Noël Dargnies is taking over from Jacques Tassi who is retiring as Chairperson after devoting almost 18 years to HI.
Jacques Tassi: 18 years of service to HI
During his 18 years with HI, Jacques Tassi played a key role in all of the organisation’s major developments. Elected Treasurer in 2000 and then Chairperson in 2006, he helped create HI’s Federation, the supranational organisation that today federates 8 national associations and runs projects in around 60 countries. He also supported the professionalization of its teams and helped develop the organisational culture of HI. Today, HI is globally recognised as a leading NGO. Strongly attached to the organisation’s social mission, Jacques Tassi worked to develop its expertise and its missions for and with people with disabilities and vulnerable people.
Supporting HI’s 10-year strategy
HI’s newly elected Chairperson, Jean-Noël Dargnies, intends to pursue work in progress on the organisation’s 2016-2025 strategy alongside the Global Managing Director, Manuel Patrouillard.
“At a time when crises are creating a vertiginous increase in the needs of the most vulnerable, we must be capable of scaling up our action and becoming even more efficient. The role of the Board of Trustees is to support HI’s executive management and teams to achieve these goals".
“I consider it my duty to be reachable. I have set myself the objective of being a Chairperson who is close to everybody, attentive to everybody, who brings everybody together."
And there will certainly be many challenges to meet. Today, HI works in 63 countries, runs 386 projects, employs almost 3,300 staff and has an annual budget of over 178 million euros.