Nawaz Mohammed is currently Search for Common Ground’s Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives. He has over fifteen years of direct work experience in Sri Lanka and abroad in the non profit sector. He also has more than fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in technical and management assistance in the development field, focusing on civil society capacity strengthening, gender, human rights, democracy and governance, and peace building and conflict transformation. He started his career with INGOs in northeastern Sri Lanka during 1999-2006.
During the period between 2007-2011 Nawaz has worked with Embassy of Sweden and Royal Netherlands Embassy based in Colombo as Senior Policy Officer covering portfolios of peace, democracy, gender, human rights. Nawaz has been an active member of various donor-working groups including Donor Peace Support Group, DDR working group, EU Human Rights defenders working group and humanitarian guiding principles working group during the period leading up to and during the height of the war in 2009 and the crucial post war period. He also has experience in managing large scale development and humanitarian funding for Sida and Royal Netherlands government that include multi-year framework funding for UNICEF, Access to Justice for UNDP, DDR funding for IoM, etc. In addition, he has also managed a civil society portfolio that covering range of national and local partners working in the fields of peace, democracy, governance, gender and human rights.
Since 2011 to date Nawaz is working as Country Director for Search for Common Ground (SFCG – see http://www.sfcg.org/) the largest and pioneer conflict transformation organization working in more than 38 countries. He has established the office and operation for SFCG in Sri Lanka during highly sensitive post-war context for INGO’s. He has successfully achieved the crucial NGO registration and starting work in the former war torn northern province. Further, Nawaz has faciliated a process among the various national and international NGO’s working on UNSCR 1325 women, peace and security to develop an alternative UNSCR 1325 road map for Sri Lanka in the absense of a National Action Plan. Nawaz has been working with the Women Parliamentarians’ Caucus of Sri Lanka over the last two years including advising on developing and implementing an action plan.
Nawaz has designed and conducted more than 200 national and international training programs focusing on conflict transformation, Women Peace and Security, private sector and peacebuilding, developemnt and peace building and youth and democracy. He has been part of capacity building, assessment and evaluation missions overseas that include Nepal, Pakistan, South Asia regional, Asia regional, east Africa regional, Northern Ireland and Kenya. In addition, he has managed a project and facilitated number of initiatives and visits with focused to Sri Lankan diaspora in Canada, UK and South Africa. Further, he was the lead program focal point in Sri Lanka for N-peace an Asia regional (six country) program focused on capacity building, networking, media and communication on UNSCR1325/WPS.
Nawaz has a master degree in Development and Policy studies, and has postgraduate diplomas in peace studies and international relations. He has been trained both in Sri Lanka and abroad that include University of Ulster (Northern Ireland), Uppsala University (Sweden) and The American University (Washington, D.C., USA). Nawaz is a Birtish Chevening scholar and has served as board member in number of Sri Lankan organisations and institutes.