The Children and War Foundation is a charity registered in Norway (Ref:882 577 252) and recognised by HMRC (Ref; NO2) to receive Gift Aid on donations from UK taxpayers

Board of Directors and Board of Research and Implementation

Board of directors

Harald S. Kobbe, chair

born June 28th 1949. JD University of Oslo 1975, LLM Harvard Law School 1982. Attorney at the office of the Solicitor General 1979-1987. Admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of Norway 1984. Senior partner Kluge Law firm from 1987. Former chairman of the Board of Directors from February 2003 – June 2005. He is a former board member of the Norwegian UNICEF and on the Board of Raftostiftelsen.

Unni Marie Heltne

is the director of Center for Crisis Psychology in Bergen, Norway. She is a licensed specialist in clinical psychology and works as a clinician, lecturer and supervisor in the field of trauma psychology, both in national and international settings, including Asia and the Middle East. She has also coordinated several governmental funded projects in Norway. One of those aimed at improving skills among child protection workers and health care personnel in preventing child abuse and domestic violence. Heltne is also on the Board of Research and Implementation.


Board of Research and Implementation

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smithis a lecturer in Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London, and Hon Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Child Traumatic Stress Clinic, Maudsley Hospital, London. On completing his clinical training, he led a UNICEF-funded psychosocial programme for war-affected children in Bosnia. His collaborative research since then has focused on understanding childrens’ psychological reactions to trauma, and evaluating individual and group interventions for children and young people. He has published widely, and regularly teaches and trains other professionals, both in the UK and internationally. He is a former chair of the Board of the Children and War Foundation


Atle Dyregrov

PhD is a Founder and director of the Centre for Crisis Psychology in Bergen, where he now is Head of professional issues. He is also a professor at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Bergen. He is author of numerous publications, journal articles and books. He has worked extensively for UNICEF and UNHCR concerning children and war and how to care for staff in emergency areas. He has twice been Chair of the Board of Directors in the Children and War Foundation.


William Yule

William YulePhD is Professor Emeritus of Applied Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, University of London. He is a qualified clinical psychologist. He was founding director of the Child Traumatic Stress Clinic in the Children’s Centre at the Maudsley Hospital in London. He has published extensively, most recently on traumatic stress in children.


Tori Snell 

is a former journalist. She trained in the UK as a clinical psychologist and works with children and adolescents while also providing teaching and supervision. She has lived in the Middle East for many years where she developed services for people exposed to war and community violence. Her work there continues with a traumatic stress centre in Baghdad.

Masa Al-kurdi

Masa Al-kurdi is a doctor in psychology specialized in mental health in the Middle-east, particularly Syrian mental health. She has worked extensively on programs for mental health response, youth development and civil society capacity building. Currently Partnerships Manager at CanDo, who is pioneering a game-changing humanitarian movement, by transforming the health response in war-devastated communities.  She is foundering member and general secretary to the Syrian Association for Mental Health, and a senior fellow at the University of St Andrew’s Syria crisis centre and has been on various steering committees to support development in the Middle-east.


Ragnhild Dybdahl

Ragnhild Dybdahl is a psychologist educated at the universities of Oslo and Tromsø in Norway, and currently associate professor of psychology at the Oslo and Akershus University College for Applied Sciences. She first worked for an NGO during the war in Bosnia, and has since done research on trauma and the effect of psychosocial intervention. She has also forked as a clinician, leader, bureaucrat, and diplomat.  Her work has focused on international development co-operation, including good practice for engagement in complex emergencies and vulnerable situation. Her international experience includes Somalia, Sudan, Guatemala; and most recently, four years at Deputy Head of the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam.


Richard Meiser-Stedman

Richard Meiser-Stedman is Reader in Clinical Psychology at the University of East Anglia. His primary research interest is PTSD in children and adolescents. Formerly he was an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. While there he led the ASPECTS study, looking at whether early treatment for PTSD in children and adolescents. He is currently an NIHR Career Development Fellow, and leading a clinical trial that evaluates cognitive therapy as a treatment for PTSD in NHS child and adolescent mental health services.