Turquoise Mountain is proud that over 95% of our team are members of the local communities in which we work. We strive for diversity in our leadership and across our team and are proud to have a female President who started working with Turquoise Mountain in Kabul, as well as strong representation of local leadership in each country.

Shoshana Stewart, President, 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.


Our team in Afghanistan includes 200 men and women. With strong local leadership, they continue to implement projects to preserve and promote cultural heritage across the country


We have 40 staff members in Myanmar, working on heritage-led urban regeneration in Yangon and supporting and reviving the traditional craft industry.

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, Regional 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.


Harry Wardill, CEO, first joined Turquoise Mountain in 2009, designing and project managing the delivery of a number of buildings for the Afghan Institute for Arts and Architecture in Kabul. After completing a scholarship with the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and working for the Prince's Regeneration Trust, he returned to the organisation in 2014 as Country Director for Myanmar to set up the project there. Harry studied engineering at Cambridge University and spent the early part of his career working as a structural engineer in London, where he became a Chartered Member of the Institute of Structural Engineers.

Nathalie Paarlberg, COO, first joined Turquoise Mountain in 2017 as Deputy Country Director in Afghanistan, and was Country Director in Myanmar between 2019 and 2022. 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 has degrees in Religion from Oriel College Oxford, Art History from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and South Asian Studies (summa cum laude)from Leiden University.

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 rejoined Turquoise Mountain in 2015 as Country Director for Saudi Arabia and became international Creative Director in 2017.

Toby Ash, Commercial Director, 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.