Operation 1325’s board consists of individuals nominated by our member organizations. The board works with strategic issues that are executed by the secretariat.
President – Lena Sundh
Lena Sundh became the chairperson of Operation 1325 in 2021. She has extensive international experience in peace, security, and development. Lena has previously served as ambassador for Angola and has many years of experience as a diplomat. She also has experience working within the UN system. Among her roles, she served as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). She has also worked as a political advisor at the Swedish Mission to the United Nations in New York and represented Sweden in various UN conferences and meetings, including the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. Lena has also had assignments in Thailand, Namibia, Morocco, and Geneva.
In addition to Operation 1325, Lena Sundh is involved in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs/Swedish Agency for Peace, Security, and Development’s Women’s Mediation Network. This network works to strengthen women’s roles and active participation in peace processes.
Vice President – Aase Smedler
Aase is an economist and development specialist with many years of experience in the United Nations. Gender equality and women’s rights have been a professional thread throughout her work in development cooperation, conflict resolution, mediation, and within the internal operations of the UN. The work surrounding the international conferences in the 1990s was crucial, and Aase particularly highlights the inspiring Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. When the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1325 in 2000, it marked both the culmination of progressive and gender-focused development in the 1990s and a turning point in the previously male-dominated security policy. The Security Council’s continued work on the Women, Peace, and Security agenda has yielded tangible results for women’s active participation and responsibility in conflict and security efforts. Aase has been involved on the board since 2017.
Treasurer – Maria Loa Sandberg
Maria is a member of the organization Svenska Kvinnors Vänsterförbund (Swedish Women’s Left Association), which is one of the organizations that founded Operation 1325. Therefore, Maria’s interest in Operation 1325 naturally developed. Maria previously worked as a treatment assistant within the Stockholm municipality. She has been engaged on the board since 2017.
Anki has extensive experience in human rights, which she brings to her role on the board of Operation 1325 and its work. She has been professionally involved in human rights issues since 1985, including working at Amnesty, the Helsinki Federation in Vienna, the International Red Cross in Moscow, and the Human Rights Days.
Now retired, Anki continues to actively participate and serves as the secretary in the OSCE network (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe). She is also part of an international women’s group within the framework of the Civil Solidarity Platform (CSP). She is a member of Kvinnor Kan (Women Can). She has been involved on the board since 2022
Caroline works as a university lecturer and has been involved in issues of peace and security since her teenage years. She previously worked as a journalist and adult education teacher, and was a co-author of the report “EU – en säkerhetsrisk inför folkomröstningen om EU-medlemskap” (EU – a security risk ahead of the referendum on EU membership) in 1994. The focus areas of the report, regarding preparations for deepened security and military cooperation, have become increasingly relevant in recent years. Caroline has witnessed how more issues have become intertwined with peace and security over time, including climate and environment, equality, gender, and migration. These are issues that Caroline considers important to work on, which led to her engagement in Svenska Kvinnors Vänsterförbund (Swedish Women’s Left Association) and eventually Operation 1325. She has been involved on the board since 2021.
Cecilia Ralfe Stelander
Peace is central to ecumenism, and women are often the most vulnerable in times of war and other forms of violence. The interest in gender equality originated in sports, young adults, and peace. Cecilia was previously the chairperson of YWCA-YMCA IF, during which she was actively involved in democracy projects in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. She continues to support YMCA Ukraine and represents Sweden in the European Forum of Ecumenical Women (EFECW).
Today, Cecilia teaches at the Psychology Program at Uppsala University and runs a psychology clinic. She is a member of the Sveriges Ekumeniska Kvinnoråd (Swedish Ecumenical Women’s Council). She has been involved on the board since 2013.
Ebba has a strong interest in women’s rights and a gender perspective. She has engaged in both education and voluntary work, delving into subjects related to gender in conflicts, development, and gender-based violence. This interest has led her to become involved in Operation 1325 with the aim of learning more and contributing to the practical implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on Women, Peace, and Security.
In 2023, she graduated from two bachelor’s programs at Uppsala University – Development Studies and Latin American Studies, as well as Psychology and Gender Studies. She has previously studied a one-year adult education course on human rights issues, Latin America, and Spanish. During the course, she spent two months in Bolivia, where she interned and carried out a project on trafficking.
Previously, Ebba served as the chairperson of the Uppsala local group of the Association for Development Issues (FuF), where she and the group organized several events focusing on women’s rights. In summary, Ebba is highly passionate about promoting women’s rights and has worked hard to develop her knowledge and experience in this field. She has engaged in various ways, such as through FuF’s digital magazine, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) as a school educator for the Swedish Association for Sexual Education (RSFU), and advocating for gender equality in the workplace as a union employee. Ebba is a member of Kvinnor För Fred (Women for Peace). She has been involved on the board since 2023.
Inger has had a longstanding interest in international issues, particularly peace and equality. Her engagement began during her childhood in Denmark when she heard about the horrors of World War II and then while growing up in Sweden, she witnessed her mother’s deep involvement with Save the Children.
Inger is now retired but occasionally takes on interpreting assignments, based on her knowledge of Spanish, Danish and English. Her career has been marked by professional engagement in aid, education, and human rights. Additionally, she has worked as a journalist and editor for various publications such as “Halva Världens Litteratur” (now called Karavan) and the magazine “Kantt” which was published as part of a government-funded project for the rehabilitation of individuals in Sweden who have been subjected to torture, survived concentration camps, or experienced other forms of massive and extreme violence. She was editor of the swedish edition of the Unesco Courier the first years.
She has been employed by Biståndsinformation/BIFO as a campaign secretary for International Volunteer Day, served as a board member of the Future Earth Foundation, and at times held the roles of secretary and treasurer. Inger is a bord member of Kvinnor För Fred (Women for Peace). She has been involved on the board since 2014.
Lena has had a longstanding interest in women and peace issues, demonstrated through her involvement in Kvinnor För Fred (Women for Peace). This is the reason why she wanted to engage in Operation 1325’s board and contribute to the organization’s knowledge sharing. Lena is also a member of the local UN Association board, which also highlights Resolution 1325.
Lena is currently retired but occasionally substitutes at her former workplace, the municipal library. In addition to this, she is involved in local politics. She has been involved on the board since 2020.
The senior council
The senior council was founded in 2019 as an expert council to the organization’s board. By establishing a discussion forum for women with long experience of work and commitment in women, peace and security, Operation 1325 wants to develop the organization’s strategic future and external analysis. The senior council consists of Anita Klum, Ann Svensén, Birgitta Holst Alani, Eva Zetterberg, Gunnel Bemerfeldt, Ingela Mårtensson and Maria Luisa Bartolomei.