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Meet Our New Regional Coordinator for North of Iraq, Magdalena Penninger

We are very pleased to introduce our new Regional Coordinator for North of Iraq, Magdalena Penninger (Magda).

Mercy Hands' Regional Coordinator for North of Iraq, Magdalena Penninger

Magda has three years of demonstrable practical experience in NGOs in both humanitarian and development contexts (Austria: NGO working with unaccompanied minor refugees; Benin: child rights organization working with children and youth in difficult situations – focus on SGBV and protection; Brazil: NGO working with children in street situations; Jordan: NGO in Jordan in the field of peace building – including grants management with donors like EU).

She has a Bachelor and a Master degree in social sciences, with a focus on Middle Eastern studies. She speaks German (mother tongue), English, and French. She studied Arabic language at inalco (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales) in Paris for six months and she has been practicing her Arabic in Jordan since April 2019.

Magda describes herself as ambitious, diligent, flexible, solution-oriented working and having strong communication and networking skills. Being able to work in a team, in an unconventional environment and under pressure are among her skills. She has both academic and practical project management experience, in 2015 she received an award from Project Management Austria for best project management. Magda has been very interested in the subjects of refugees, IDPs, protection and resilience in (post) conflict areas and her experiences in Lebanon and Jordan has made her decide to continue working in the Middle East. A recent trip to Kurdistan Region of Iraq has affirmed this decision.

Magda’s first day of work will be the 25th of this month, August. Her email address is

We are confident that Magda, with her high motivation and experience, will do a great job leading our mission in Erbil.


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