Meet SOS Children's Villages Gulf Area Office Team

Jumana Abu-Hannoud
Managing Director

Jumana served as Chief of Staff for HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein where she was involved for five years in regional and international strategies in the fields of health, education, social development, peace and humanitarian aid. She was a board member of the International Humanitarian City and consulted for several international NGO’s. and UN agencies. Jumana is a Founding Partner of Reach, the first non-profit incorporated organization in DIFC, dedicated to female mentoring and professional development in the Middle East. She is also a co-founder and Steering Committee member of the 30% Club GCC chapter, a voluntary business collaboration platform for accelerating the representation of women on boards and in senior executive positions. Throughout her 18+ years of experience in executive management, entrepreneurship, corporate affairs, sustainability, external relations and fundraising she worked for government, United Nations, NGO’s, startups and the private sector. Jumana is a graduate of the University of Jordan, a certified sustainability practitioner and alumni of Wharton Executive Education. She currently heads the Gulf Area Office for SOS Children’s Villages International as Managing Director.
Caroline Thomas
Deputy Managing Director and Director of Philanthropy

Caroline began her career in Singapore as a credit analyst for a global banking institution. A re-location to London four years later, and further work in credit and business analysis, enabled her to build up an in-depth knowledge of the corporate world. However, a passion for opera inspired a change of career and, after several years working in senior management in the arts and higher education in the UK, she moved to Munich, Germany, and joined SOS Children’s Villages and then moved to UAE to join the newly established Gulf Area Office. Caroline holds a Master’s degree in Economic and Social History from the University of Glasgow and a Diploma in Opera Management from the University of London.

“With over ten years’ experience of building long-term relationships with a wide range of donors and partners, I have learnt that every individual has their own motivation for giving. In this way, I have always been keen to understand what a donor wants to achieve with their support and connect them with their goals. The difference a donor’s support can make to the lives of children and young people living in difficult, and often perilous, circumstances can be life-changing. I find my work for SOS Children’s Villages incredibly rewarding and am continually convinced that we are the right organisation, with the right approach, to improve the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. From talking to inspiring co-workers in the field to meeting SOS mothers and caregivers from around the world, I am proud to work alongside such dedicated and motivated colleagues who share our vision of giving every child a loving home.”

Nicole Nassar
Project Director Egypt & GCC  

Nicole has more than 18 years professional working experience in the non-profit sector, working with social nonprofit organizations, civil societies, governments, international development and humanitarian aid.
In the last eight years, Nicole has coordinated various child support and family strengthening programmes in Europe, Africa and the Middle East within SOS Children’s Villages. She has been a board and committee member of national OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) and Civil Society Groups in Austria.
In her new role as Director of the SOS Gulf Area Office that she assumed in 2014, Nicole is responsible for initiating new partnerships in the Gulf for the benefit of orphans and vulnerable children in particular in the in Middle East, but also worldwide. Nicole holds a Master’s degree in International Social Sciences from the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

Rula Karahamad
Community Engagement and Communications Manager

Rula Karahamad is the community Engagement and Communications Manager in the Gulf Area Office. Rula previously worked for SOS Children’s Villages Syria from 2007-2011. She gained experience in working with the community to support NGO activities. She also has experience with communication for non-governmental organization. 
Rula has a total of nine years’ work experience, the majority of which has been in the humanitarian sector. She holds two BAs; one in Communications from Chatham University and the other in English Literature from Damascus University.
“Working for an NGO gives me the personal drive and passion. It is such a pleasure to make a difference in the lives of children. Everyone needs to work, but when you work for a good cause this is the ultimate satisfaction.” 

Maria Ramsden 
Administration Manager

Maria Ramsden is the Administration Manager of the SOS Children’s Villages International Gulf Area Office. Maria holds a Master’s Degree in Language and Psychology from the University of Stockholm, Sweden, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Literature from the University of Lund, Sweden as well as a Teaching Degree. Maria has spent most of her career working with immigrants and refugees coming into Sweden, but she has also spent a number of years living in different countries such as Hong Kong, UK, Brazil, Cyprus and France where she has been doing various kinds of voluntary work.
“Education has always been my passion, and with SOS Children’s Villages I have the opportunity to work towards providing both Education and a Loving Home for Children in need. I cannot think of anything more important.”