Karin Maasel to Lead Data Friendly Space (DFS)

Data Friendly Space
2 min readFeb 1, 2023


The Board of Directors of Data Friendly Space (DFS) has announced that Karin Maasel will lead the organization in its next phase of growth as Executive Director.

“When looking for our next Executive Director, the Board wanted a creative mix of technical understanding and field experience. Karin Maasel is a woman in tech who inherently understands the importance of data and analysis for response sectors. Her leadership and perspective are going to be transformative for DFS and the humanitarian community,” noted Valeria McFarren, DFS Board Chair.

Karin Maasel, the new Executive Director of Data Friendly Space. (Photo by Rachel Hein)

Until recently, Karin Maasel led the Africa and Emerging Markets Department at the Estonian Centre for International Development (ESTDEV). She previously spent 12 years in the humanitarian aid sector with organizations such as Save the Children Australia, Save the Children Denmark and Finn Church Aid. She has supported vital programs such as Education in Emergencies in Syria, coordinated major evacuations of populations affected by cyclones and volcanic eruptions in the South Pacific, and responded to other regional disasters as a field professional. Prior to this, she served as an advisor to the European Union Delegation to the United Nations.

Karin Maasel, in her new role as the Executive Director of DFS, says, “I am humbled and excited to join Data Friendly Space and its global team. Today, more than 330 million people worldwide need access to humanitarian assistance. Faced with a huge funding gap to cover these needs, the humanitarian community cannot afford to make decisions not backed up by data or clear evidence of need. I look forward to leading DFS through its new stage of growth and ambition to utilize key technologies to make data accessible for humanitarian and development communities. I am also excited to link up with the wider Humanitarian2Humanitarian community to together catalyze efficiency and transparency in the humanitarian sector as a whole.”

In October 2022, the DFS Board announced a global search for its next Executive Director after its founder, Ewan Oglethorpe, shared plans to resign. Karin Maasel will begin on March 01, 2023, from her offices in Tallinn, Estonia. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Development and International Relations from the University of Leeds (2010) as well as a Masters’s degree in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response from the University of Manchester (2012).

You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.