Turquoise Mountain is proud that over 95% of our team are members of the local communities in which we work. International staff live permanently in each country programme, where they often spend years, and are generally conversant in local languages. We strive for diversity in our leadership and across our team and are proud to have a female CEO who started working with Turquoise Mountain in Kabul.

Shoshana Stewart, CEO, has worked at Turquoise Mountain since 2006. She has an MBA from the London Business School, a Master's Degree in Education, and a Bachelor's Degree in Astrophysics. Prior to Turquoise Mountain, Shoshana worked as a teacher and administrator in low-income urban communities with Teach For America and Uncommon Schools in New York City, Boston and Honduras.


Nathan Stroupe, Country Director, joined Turquoise Mountain in 2016 as the Director of Partnerships in Kabul and became Country Director for Afghanistan in 2017. Prior to that he worked as a construction project manager and ceramicist, later obtaining degrees in Near Eastern Studies and Middle Eastern History from U.C Berkeley and Columbia University, and pursuing language studies at the University of Tehran.


Nathalie Paarlberg, Country Director, joined the Myanmar team in 2019 after two years with Turquoise Mountain as Deputy Country Director in Afghanistan. Nathalie was a diplomat with the Dutch foreign service before joining Turquoise Mountain, and prior to that worked in heritage preservation in the Indian Himalaya and Bangladesh, and investment banking in London. She studied Theology at Oriel College Oxford, Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and South Asia Studies at Leiden University.

Saudi Arabia

John Oliver, Country Director, joined the Saudi team in 2017, after four years working with the Saudi Government on national efforts for employment with Saudi youth. Before Turquoise Mountain, John worked as a UK Government official in welfare and employment, served in senior roles in Policy, Operations and Programs, and worked as a Principal Private Secretary to four Secretaries of State. He has a long-standing passion for heritage development and owns a London-based boutique for crafts and souvenirs.


Richard Dwerryhouse, Country Director, joined Turquoise Mountain in 2007, where he worked on the regeneration of the old city and oversaw all things financial. Prior to this, he worked in international development, with projects in the jungles of Borneo and post-conflict Liberia, for Barnardo’s in the UK, and for the British Council. He then served as a Turquoise Mountain Trustee before becoming COO in 2016, and Country Director for Jordan in 2018.

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Dr. Thalia Kennedy, Creative Director, joined Turquoise Mountain in 2007, and was the founding director of the Turquoise Mountain Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture. She has a PhD in Islamic Art History and was a visiting scholar at the Getty Conservation Institute and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. In 2011 she was appointed Deputy Director at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. She then joined the Saudi team in 2015 and became international Creative Director in 2017.

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Toby Ash, Commercial Director (Artisan Products), joined Turquoise Mountain as Development Director in Kabul in 2018 and became Commercial Director in 2020. After completing a Master’s Degree in International Relations at Oxford University, he worked in media and retail before moving into the non-profit sector in 2014, managing the country operations of large humanitarian INGOs operating in the Middle East and Asia.