Executive Committee

Chair: Alejandro BONILLA-GARCIA

Representative of Greycells- Association of Former International Civil Servants for Development

Dr. Alejandro Bonilla-Garcia, holding Mexican and Swiss nationalities, completed his actuarial studies at Anahuac University of Mexico, followed by a master’s in applied mathematics to economics and a Ph.D. in economic policy from the University of Toulouse, France. He joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, where he served as Senior Actuary, Senior Social Security Deputy Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Director of the Social Protection Department, Coordinator of Policies and Research and Interim Secretary-General of the International Social Security Association.

After retiring from the ILO, he served as a Senior Actuarial Consultant at the Permanent Mission of Mexico to the United Nations in Geneva. Dr. Bonilla García is affiliated with the College of Actuaries of Mexico, the Swiss Actuarial Association, the International Actuarial Association, the Gender Champions Network, the Diplomatic Club of Geneva, the Swiss Forum for International Policy, the Swiss Press Club, and more. He was the President of the Scientific Committee of the PBSS Colloquium of the International Actuarial Association in 2017 and is currently the President of Greycells, the Association of Former International Civil Servants for Development in Geneva. He was elected Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing (Geneva) on May 7, 2024.


Vice-Chair: Ann LINDSAY

Representative of World Federation for Mental Health

I became an accredited representative to the UN in Geneva in 1999, having worked previously in the UK as a counsellor, psychotherapist and organizational consultant in the UK National Health Service and Oxford University’s Counselling Service and Counselling Studies Programme. This prepared me for being, a representative to the UN Geneva for the International Association for Counselling (IAC).

In my  early years in Geneva ,on behalf of IAC ,I co-convened workshops for professionals with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Russia and the Caucasus. At the same time, at the UN in Geneva I convened, on behalf of IAC, the Health and Human Rights Working Group of the CoNGO Committee on the Status of Women(Geneva NGO  CSW) , participating in  what is now the Human Rights Council every year. The latter meant particularly being an advocate for the needs of those with HIV and AIDs  and their families in LMICs.

At present, as a World Federation for Mental Health( WFMH) Representative to the UN , I’m a member of the Geneva NGO Committee on the Status of Women. I co-chair its Taskforce on Climate and Health. It also means advocating annually at the UN CSW in New York for the inclusion of older women in its outcome document.

I represent NGOCOA on the GAROP ( Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People) Steering Group.


Past Chair: Kelly G. FITZGERALD

Representative of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA)

Kelly has been active in the field of gerontology since 2001. In 2004 and 2008 she received her Masters of Science and PhD, respectively, in Gerontology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. Professionally, she is a Faculty member of the Center for Gerontology at Western Kentucky University where she teaches online graduate and undergraduate gerontology courses and supports various research projects. She is also a Guest Scientist at the Center for Gerontology at the University of Zurich where she supports various projects. Recently she completed research contracts for the Public Health Agency of Canada and was the Network Coordinator for an ageing research network in Wales.

She has worked with the World Health Organization and provided support to help cities apply to join the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities, link cities with other cities, and identify ways in which cities can become more age-friendly. Currently she is the Co-Chair for the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education’s (AGHE) Global Aging Committee. She has held several other leadership positions in different ageing organizations including the Gerontological Society of America and the British Society of Gerontology. She has presented on ageing topics in several different countries. She has also conducted research and has published mainly on the topics of disasters and older adults and age-friendly cities.

Kelly has been involved in UN ageing activities since 2010. She began as an NGO representative for the Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas (FAWCO) (2010 – 2012) and currently (since 2012) represents the International Federation on Ageing. She served as Vice Chair of the NGO Committee on Ageing in Geneva prior to her current role as Chair.

Past Chair: Silvia PEREL-LEVIN

Representative of the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and The International Longevity Centre Global Alliance (ILC GA)

Silvia leads the subcommittee on the Human Rights of Older Persons. She chaired the NGO Committee on Ageing in Geneva for eight years until April 2022. Silvia has been working in the fields of human rights, ageing and health for over 20 years at international organisations such as WHO, UNFPA and UICC and as a private consultantAt WHO she managed the first multi-country study on elder abuse working with multiple partners and produced the report ‘Missing Voices, Views of Older Persons on Elder Abuse’ and “Discussing Screening for Elder Abuse at the Primary Health Care Level Before that she was a TV, film and theatre producer using the arts as tools for social change. She currently chairs the programme Committee of an International project and conference on Independent Ageing (INAGE)
Silvia represents in Geneva the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) and the International Longevity Centre Global Alliance (ILC GA) advocating for a UN Convention on the rights of older persons and for the meaningful inclusion of older persons across the UN. 

Treasurer: Donatella BENJAMIN

Representative of Soroptimist International Geneva


Treasurer: Valerie BICHELMEIER

Representative of Make Mothers Matter (MMM)

Holder of a Master’s Degree in IT and Telecommunications, Valerie Bichelmeier has worked for 20 years in different countries in Europe and Asia.

Since 2010, she has been MMM main representative at the UN Geneva, working on women’s rights and gender equality and focusing on mothers’ specific discriminations during the life-course. These include the inequitable distribution of unpaid care work as cause of economic injustice – especially in old age, and the need to support parents, especially for ECD including through parental education and implication in formal education.

Valerie is an MMM board member, and its Vice-President. She has held executive positions in the NGO CSW Geneva, and is treasurer of the NGO Committee on Ageing since 2018.

Co-Secretary: Kimberly STOECKEL

Kimberly Stoeckel, PhD, has expertise in gerontology that includes international academic research, international consultancy, and clinical social work. Her entry into the gerontology field was in social work at a continuing care retirement community in the USA. Her academic experience included a postdoctoral research position at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel, where she worked extensively with the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). She collaborated with SHARE colleagues throughout Europe in survey development and management. She has numerous publications based on her research about social networks and well-being in later life based on the SHARE data.

She has also done various projects as a gerontologist consultant. This work included developing and conducting trainings for humanitarian organizations working with Syrian refugees about the rights of older people and how to include older people in programming. She has also worked as a tutor for the WHO online course “Health Ageing for Impact in the 21st Century: Global Online Leaders Training” which was developed to support the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing initiative.

Co-Secretary: Liat AYALON


Liat Ayalon, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Social Work, at Bar Ilan University, Israel. Prof. Ayalon coordinated an international EU funded Ph.D. program on the topic of ageism (2017-2022; EuroAgeism.eu). She is also the Israeli Principal Investigator of the EU funded MascAge program to study ageing masculinities in literature and cinema. Between 2014and 2018, Prof. Ayalon has led an international research network on the topic of ageism, funded through COST (Cooperation in Science and Technology; COST IS1402, notoageism.com).  She is on the board of directors of the International Psychogeriatric Association where she also serves as an associate editor.  She consults both national and international organizations concerning the development and evaluation of programs and services for older adults.

She was a core group member of the WHO global campaign to combat ageism, member of the WHO Global Network on Long-Term Care, and member of the SAPEA group on Transforming the Future of Ageing report to the European Commission (not UN but global European). She also serves on the advisory council of the Ministry of Social Equality in Israel.

Member at Large: Ina VOELCKER

Representative of BAGSO – Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Seniorenorganistionen

Ina Voelcker is the Head of the Secretariat for International Policy on Ageing at BAGSO, the German National Association of Senior Citizens’ Organisations. She coordinates BAGSO’s international work which involves representing older persons’ interests in international policy debates and fostering the exchange of senior citizens’ organisations from various countries. Since November 2021, Ina is elected member of the Steering Group of GAROP, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older People.

Previously, Ina was technical director with the International Longevity Centre Brazil (ILC-BR) in Rio de Janeiro, where she coordinated among others the implementation of the age-friendly cities project. During this time, she was part of the international affairs committee of the Global Alliance of ILCs.

Before she worked with HelpAge International in London on the global review of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing (MIPAA) undertaken together with UNFPA. She holds academic degrees in Gerontology (BA) from the University of Vechta, Germany and Public Policy and Ageing (MA) from the University of London, UK.

Member at Large: Sophia CASALE


Sophia Casale is an early career professional in the field of ageing. Currently, she works as a
Memory Care Assistant Lifestylist within a United States-based long-term care facility. Within this role, Sophia supports the well-being, autonomy, and dignity of older persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia. She also serves as a volunteer Project Coordinator for Gray Panthers NYC; an advocacy organization dedicated to confronting ageism, advancing the human rights of older persons, and promoting intergenerational solidarity. As a member of Gray Panthers NYC, Sophia has collaborated with others to create Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing and High-Level Political Forum side events. She currently co-leads the organization’s internship program as well.

In November 2022, Sophia joined the NGO Committee on Ageing Geneva and has since supported the Committee in various ways. Most recently, she sat on the 2023 IDOP Planning Subcommittee and the Membership Survey Task Force. As a Member-at-Large, Sophia will continue to work closely with other members to meet the Committees needs and advance the Committee’s mission. A particular focal point of her work as Member-at-Large will be to expand upon the intergenerational aspects that the Committee on Ageing Geneva works to achieve.

Sophia holds academic degrees in Psychology (BA) from Stockton University, US and Gerontology, Management of Aging Services (MS) from the University of Massachusetts – Boston, US.

Webmaster: Kala MADHAV

Kala Madhav has a Masters in Computer Applications from India. She is a part of the communications team at GENDRO and works mainly with the website and related issues. In Geneva she has been working with NGOs involved in a variety of sectors. Some of the NGOs she has been working/worked with include World Federation for Mental Health, SAHFA – Smart Access to Health For All, Action for Development (previously Bhaktar Development Network – Suisse).