Elvira Thissen

Representative Global Displacement

Elvira joined the Bernard van Leer Foundation in 2016. Based in London, she leads the Foundation’s work in support of displaced children and families. This includes building partnerships to scale up services for families affected by crises, and mobilizing more systematic support for young displaced children globally. She co-founded and chairs the Moving Minds Alliance, a network of 25+ organisations working to increase the financing, policies, and leadership needed to ensure millions of displaced children are able to rebuild their resilience and reach their potential.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Elvira worked in the private and public sectors. She spent six years at strategic consultancy SustainAbility, where she managed the firm’s work with the healthcare sector on business approaches that deliver positive societal impact. Previously, she worked at think tank Policy Network focused on the politics of climate change and international migration policy, and at the European Parliament in Brussels – after leading a very different life as a ballet dancer. She holds an MSc in Global Politics from the London School of Economics, a BA in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam, and a BA in dance from the National Ballet Academy in the Netherlands.