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Spanda Foundation Board of Trustees

Sahlan L. Momo    Founder, Chair

The son of an Italian diplomat, Sahlan L. Momo was born in Villareggia (Turin), Italy, on 31 December 1944 and spent his formative years in several European countries getting acquainted with different cultures and beliefs.
During and after earning his doctorate degree in Political Science and Governance (University «La Sapienza», Rome), he carried out cross culture fieldwork in North Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South-East Asia deepening his knowledge of the anthropological, spiritual and aesthetic aspects of these cultures.
Mr Momo began his professional career as an artist in 1966, investigating the non-mimetic representation of symbols developed further into reflections on art and the creative process. He was Associate Professor of Painting and Professor of Photography at the Fine Art Academy in Rome (1976-1980).
In 1980 he took an interest in issues relating to sustainability, the conservation of cultural heritage and the ‘book’ as an artistic expression, synthesizing his findings by reformulating the concepts of editio in relation to the visual, the plastic and the written text. He conceived and devised an innovative method of producing durable and sustainable books and, in 1986, founded the Semar publishing house which adhered to this new method. Aiming to actively support the conservation of cultural heritage, he founded the international journal Conservazione. Cultura e Ambiente [Conservation. Cultural Heritage and Environment] in 1989 and remained Editor-in-Chief until 1999, fostering several meetings and conferences on related topics.
Mr Momo was Professor of History of Contemporary Art at the University «La Sapienza» and Professor of History of Theatre at the European Institute of Design (Rome, 1989-1993), and lectured at several conferences and congresses during this period. Distancing himself somewhat from the academic world, his interest was increasingly drawn to issues of sustainability, the Third sector, cross-culture, interfaith dialogue, development and ethic business. He became more actively engaged in managing the publishing house and fulfilling her cross-cultural editorial line, releasing over a hundred titles (1994-2002) in the field of human and social sciences and hundreds of musical scores of contemporary learned composers, disseminating them in live concerts and broadcastings. In 2003 he established the Semar international unit in The Hague, Netherlands.
He is founder and Chair of the Spanda Foundation (2005), and founder and Editor-in-Chief of Musiké. International Journal of Ethnomusicological studies (2005 – ) and of Spanda Journal (2007 – ).
His artistic works are both in private and institutional collections (Museum of Contemporary Art, Frankfurt A/M; Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York; National Gallery of Modern Art, Rome; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, etc. | Artistic bio-note).
Mr Momo has served as Chair and Member of a number of advisory committees for academic, research and scientific institutions and has been the recipient of several national and international awards and honours. He has published books and papers on a variety of topics including art theory, conservation of cultural heritage, consciousness, development, spirituality, and is author and presenter of radio broadcastings on cultural anthropology and comparative religion.
Father of three children, he currently lives between Rome and The Hague.

H. Johannes Witteveen    Treasurer

Dr Hendrikus Johannes Witteveen was born on June 12, 1921, in Zeist, the Netherlands. He was educated at the Netherlands School of Economics in Rotterdam and received his doctoral degree in 1947.
From 1948 to 1963 Mr Witteveen was professor of Business Cycles and Economics at the Netherlands School of Economics in Rotterdam, and from 1951 Rector Magnificus of the same institution. From 1963 to 1965 he served as Minister of Finance to the Dutch Government, a function he returned to again from 1967 to 1971 after spending two years as Member of the Dutch Parliament.
Mr Witteveen has been Managing Director (1973-1979) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC, USA, and Chairman (1978-1983) of the Group of Thirty (Consultative Group of International Economic and Monetary Affairs - G30), Washington, DC, USA.
He has served as director or advisor on international economic and monetary affairs to various international and Dutch companies. He was Advisor to the Managing Board of ABN-AMRO Bank, Member of the European Advisory Council of General Motors, Member of the International Council of Morgan Guaranty, Director of the Royal Dutch Petroleum Company, Chairman of the Robeco Group and Chairman of ING Group, among others.
He is a life-long member of the International Sufi Movement and is now its Vice-President.
Among his publications: Developing a new monetary system: a long term view, (Washington DC: The 1983 Per Jacobsson Lecture); Economic Globalisation from a broader, long-term perspective: some questions and concerns, The Economist, 146, 4 (1998); The determination and consequences of International Liquidity, The Economist, 143, 4 (1995); Universal Sufism, (Longmead: Element Books, 1997); The heart of Sufism, (Boston: Shambhala, 1999); Soefisme en economie, (Deventer: Ankh Hermes, 2001); Sufism in action, Achievement, inspiration and integrity in a tough world, (London: Vega, 2003).

Jan Pronk     Advisor

Professor Pronk was born on March 16, 1940, in Scheveningen, The Netherlands. He has garnered repute as one of the most influential persons in Development Cooperation in The Netherlands, both through his distinguished career as a politician and a prominent United Nations Official.
Mr Pronk studied Economics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam where he worked in research, and made extensive scholarly contributions to the field of development.
In 1971, he took up politics and has since served as the Minister of Development Cooperation (1973-1977, 1989-1994, 1994-1998) and as Minister of Housing and Environment (1998-2002). In the meantime, he was Professor of Theory and Practice of Policy Making at University of Amsterdam (1988-1989).
Among other positions, Mr Pronk served as Deputy Governor of the World Bank (1973-1977, 1989-1998), as Member of the Development Committee of the same institution (1974-1977, 1989-1998), as Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) (1980-1986), as Co-Chairman of the Global Coalition for Africa (1991-1998) and as Chairman of the 6th Conference of Parties of the UN Convention on Climate Change (2000-2001).
He w
as Special Envoy of the Secretary General of UN for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2001-2003), Chairman of the Board of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) (2002-2004), Chairman of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) (2003-2004), Chairman of the Federation of Refugee Organisations in the Netherlands (VON), (2003-2004) and Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Sudan, Khartoum, were he led the UN peace keeping operation (UNMIS) (2004-2006).
He is currently a Professor in Theory and Practice of International Development at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS
) in The Hague, President of the Society for International Development (SID), and Chairman of the Interchurch Peace Council in the Netherlands (Interkerkelijk Vredesberaad, IKV).
Among his publications: De Kritische Grens. Beschouwingen over Tweespalt en Orde [The Critical Frontier. Essays on Conflict and Order],(Amsterdam, Prometheus, 2004); Catalysing Development? A Debate on Aid (Malden/Oxford, Blackwell, 2004); Willens en Wetens. Gedachten over Globalisering en Politiek [Calculated Default. Essays on Globalisation and Politics], (Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2005); Het pantser afleggen. Ideeën voor een open politiek [Laying Down the Armour. Towards an Open Policy], (Amsterdam, Bert Bakker, 2008).
Mr Pronk has been the recipient of several national and international awards and honours.


Last updated: January 2016

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