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Board & staff

ALEF's Board

Hélène Boëthius

ALEF's founder and creator of the method has worked with literacy and development for over 30 years, first in Togo with SIL Inernational and then with several agencies like The Swedish Medical Mission and PMU InterLife and as an independent consultant. She has visited literacy project throughout the world. Hélène is responsible for operations and works full time for ALEF.

Nikolas Jerkedal
Board member

Nikolas studied political science at Uppsala University and the Swedish Defence University, specialising in African security policy. He is also a qualified teacher. For the past twenty-five years, he has worked with international development cooperation for a number of international organisations, such as Sida, the European Commission, Save the Children, the Folke Bernadotte Academy and the Swedish UN Association. Nikolas also has many years of experience as an expatriate in several African countries, including as head of Diakonia in Zimbabwe.

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Board member

Elisabeth is a journalist, author and lecturer. Since 2007 she has worked as chief editor, publisher, editorial and opinion editor of the Christian newspaper Dagen. She has previously been a financial journalist at Svenska Dagbladet  and editor- in- chief of Kyrkans Tidning. She is the author of the book Affected by the Unexpected.


Karin is the founder of the company Tuff Leadership Training, which operates in Sweden and abroad and whose overall goal is social development. She has developed the company's dialogue and leadership methods. Karin has also started fifteen small companies in various industries, been CEO of several of them and has two external board assignments.

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Annette is a trained social worker. She has many years of experience in social work, both practical and strategic. For more than 20 years she has run her own company specialising in adult learning, mainly in the field of management and leadership. She is a certified coach and has worked with both groups and individuals. Annette has worked as a consultant for people with development needs for return to work. Annette is now retired but works one day a week at ALEF's office as an administrative assistant.

Vice Chair

Lena is an engineer and teacher with a background in business. She has worked internationally within the Ericsson Group. For two years she lived and worked in Iraq for an Iraqi company. Lena is also active in the Swedish-Kurdish Friendship Association.

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Board member

Bertil has experience from work in the Riksdag, interest organizations and companies where he, among other things, worked as an investigator, information manager, HR manager and executive coach.

He lives with his wife Anna in Bromma. Bertil has followed ALEF since its inception in 2010 and gave us the idea for our successful greeting cards.

Isa Lei
Board member

Isa-Lei is a passionate and driven expert with many years of experience in international aid and humanitarian work. She has worked for a number of aid actors, such as international Caritas, Sida, the Swedish Mission Council, Novamedia Sverige AB and others. Currently, Isa-Lei works as a consultant, providing services to organisations working with social sustainability, humanitarian and long-term development aid.

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Johanna has worked with development cooperation in a number of African countries for over 20 years, often with a focus on education issues. She has spent a lot of time in East Africa and has lived in Tanzania for more than three years. After studying political science and human rights, she has worked at Sida, PMU and with a large project for the right to education for children and young people with disabilities. For the past two years, she has worked as a business developer at an adult education association. 
Johanna lives in Arboga. She enjoys being in the forest, growing flowers and riding Icelandic horses.

Our staff

Hélène Boëthius, Operations Manager, Ebba Mörk, Project Manager and Adam Bott, Education Coordinator, work at our office in Stockholm. Our Informant Emelie Efraimsson and our Accountant Annica Levenrot both work remotely from Västergötland.

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Operations Manager
Hélène Boethius
Ebba Mörk
Project Manager
Ebba Mörk
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Education Coordinator
Adam Bott
Annica Levenrot

Advisory Board

The ALEF Advisory Board is a group of expert advisors on adult learning in development co-operation. The role of this group is to provide advice and network contacts to ensure that ALEF's approach is documented, researched, recognised and used by a wider range of stakeholders. They will assist in updating ALEF on global trends in mother tongue-based adult learning in development, and identify key actors, trends and networks that ALEF needs to be aware of. 

The Board is composed of:


Katy Newell-Jones, Consultant in Global Education and Development Co-operation. PhD Ecology and Development, University of East Anglia. National Teaching Fellowship, UK Higher Education Academy. Past President of the British Association for Literacy in Development, BALID.

Carol Benson, Education Specialist specialising in multilingualism and minority languages. PhD in Social Work and Comparative Education, University of California, Los Angeles.

Barbara Trudell, Director SIL Africa Learning & Development. PhD international education, University of Edinburgh.

Would you like to contact the board or staff?

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