The faculty team for the Humanitarian Leadership Programme is a diverse mix of people who bring together expertise and experience from the humanitarian sector, academia and leadership development. It will also include representatives from different agencies and speakers and contributors from outside of the sector, ensuring that participants have access to a breadth of perspective that will challenge them and offer a rich learning environment.

Sophie Perreard – Course Director

Sophie Perreard is Senior Lecturer in Humanitarian Studies at Deakin University and one of the founding members of the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership. In her role, Sophie is Course Director of both the Anglophone and Francophone Graduate Certificates of Humanitarian Leadership courses.

Prior to joining Deakin University, Sophie combined humanitarian and academic experience. Sophie lectured in the Master of Humanitarian Action at the Faculty of Law – Aix-Marseille University in Humanitarian Protection and Displacement Camp Management. As a humanitarian practitioner Sophie operated as Team Leader mainly in medium to large scale emergencies in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Middle-East in both conflict and natural disaster contexts. Sophie worked for Save the Children US as Deputy Director Emergency Response and in various capacities with Doctors without Borders (MSF), the German Cooperation (GIZ) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).

Aside from a high interest in Protection of Civilians and Forced Migration, Sophie’s research focuses on Women and Leadership, and Humanitarian Leadership Education. In 2014, Sophie co-authored a research report on humanitarian leadership conducted in the Philippines following devastating Typhoon Haiyan. Sophie is also currently lead researcher on a longitudinal study exploring the impact of leadership education on the careers of graduates.

Sophie is a NOHA (Network On Humanitarian Action) and Bioforce Graduate. She holds Humanitarian Logistics and Administration degree, a European Master in Humanitarian Action with specialization in International Law and a Post Graduate Degree in Protection – Rule of Law – Human Security from Aix-Marseille University. Sophie is Hogan Certified.

Deborah Barry – HLP Intensive Learning Lead

Deborah Barry is the Senior Humanitarian and Leadership Advisor at the CHL, and works as part of the business development team, focused on the North America and Europe region. She is also an experienced trainer working with UN agencies, NGOs and social development partnerships. Deb’s key areas of expertise are child protection, development and youth empowerment practitioner, with a 25-year track record in the design, implementation and monitoring of programs in both development and emergency settings.

She has spent the 19 years based in the field, working directly with communities and a variety of governments and cultures. Deb blends a mixture of expertise in high-level strategic planning and direction, along with programmatic inputs including the development of curricular materials and staff training. She has directly managed multi-disciplinary teams, and been invited to serve as an external facilitator in the development of agency wide strategies and national legislation. Deb currently sits on the board of trustees of Care4humanity, a UK organization working with refugee-focused programs in the UK and Europe.

Deb is primarily focused on helping NGOs develop and implement youth leadership programs and youth led research. She studied child development and early years education in Wales, later going back to college to study interpersonal communication and family therapy. She has also studied international development at Guangzhou University, and participated in multiple trainings globally in leadership and youth participation skills.

Leonie Lonton – HLP Intensive Coaching Lead

Leonie is the Coaching Lead for the CHL Humanitarian Leadership Program (HLP), as well as Senior HR leader for Save the Children UK (SCUK).Leonie has been involved with the HLP since its inception and now works with the CHL team for 50% of her time. A seasoned HR professional, she has also had the privilege of working with SCUK for over 35 years, in a variety of operational, policy and Learning and Development orientated roles.

As part of the set-up of the Save the Children International, Leonie led the HR Workstream, and until recently, also led the People and Organisational Development team. Her work involved supporting learning and development initiatives, including Leadership Development and management development programmes across the Save the Children family.  She was instrumental in setting up the Save the Children pro bono coaching network, has been HR/Family Liaison lead on Save the Children UK’s Crisis Management team, and also supported the creation of the Humanitarian and Leadership Academy.

With a BSc in Psychology, Leonie is a qualified NLP (Neuro linguistic Programming) Practitioner, and Hogan and Belbin trained. She is passionate about the humanitarian cause as well as the development and support of people working in difficult contexts with highly vulnerable people. In 2016 Leonie was awarded an MBE for her contribution to Humanitarian Services.

Sonia Brockington – Unit Chair – AHL701 – The Humanitarian World

Sonia Brockington is a dietitian by background, starting her career in clinical settings in Australia and the UK. She was a lecturer in nutrition and dietetics at Deakin University for five years. Sonia has completed missions as a nutritionist to South Darfur and East Timor. She has also completed a Master Public Health and has a keen interest is in international health.

Sonia has been delighted to be involved in the Humanitarian Leadership Program as faculty staff since 2015, and recently joined the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership as Course Director for the upcoming Graduate Certificate for Humanitarian Health.


For each residential unit of the HLP the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership draws on longstanding partnerships with other international agencies and professionals to form a team of around 20 individuals who support the delivery of the unit.