Meet the Team
Our website is in nine languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Our regional researchers are based in Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Kenya, Jordan, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, and the USA. They draw global attention to the human rights impacts (positive and negative) of companies in their region, seek responses from companies when civil society raises concerns, and establish close contacts with grassroots NGOs, local businesspeople, and others. We have offices in London and New York.
The Resource Centre is an independent non-profit: in the UK we are a registered Charity in England & Wales (no. 1096664). In the USA we are a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director (based in London) @pbloomer
Phil became Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in September 2013. Based at the Centre’s London headquarters, Phil is responsible for leading the global organisation, delivering the mission and strategic priorities, and ensuring effective management of programme, personnel, finance, and administration.
Prior to joining the Resource Centre Phil was Director of Campaigns and Policy at Oxfam GB, where he was responsible for a team of 170 staff working across policy, advocacy, programme and campaigns. His team’s priorities were food justice, humanitarian protection and assistance in conflict zones, and the provision of essential health and education for all. Previously he was head of Oxfam International’s Make Trade Fair, and Access to Medicines campaigns.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Phil spent 11 years in Latin America and worked on human rights dimensions of business, including in food security, resource extraction; mega-projects; and business relations with public and private security in repressive environments.
Mauricio Lazala, Deputy Director & Head of Europe Office (based in Frankfurt)
Mauricio joined the Resource Centre in 2006. Until his appointment as Deputy Director in Feb. 2011 he served as Senior Researcher and Head of Latin America & Middle East. As part of the senior management team, he is involved in strategic, operational and financial decisions at the organization. He oversees Latin America and Europe researchers, as well as the London office. Mauricio also manages one of the top three strategic work streams of the organization, the "Business, Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders" project. Mauricio led the 2014 redevelopment of the Resource Centre's website.
Since 2014, Mauricio is a member of the Board of the EIRIS Foundation – Empowering Responsible Investment. In 2018 he was invited to join the Advisory Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, and since 2017 he also sits on the Advisory Panel of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.
Previously, he served as law clerk at International Criminal Court, Programme Manager at Mexican Commission for the Protection & Defence of Human Rights, and Outreach Coordinator at B'Tselem (Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories). Mauricio has published various articles on business & human rights. Mauricio has a Law degree (honours) from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in Political Sciences and History from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is fluent in Spanish, English & Hebrew, and has basic German.
Patricia Surak, Deputy Director, Director for Development (based in New York)
Patty joined the Resource Centre in 2009 as the organisation’s first Development Director. She helped to expand and diversify the Centre’s funding sources, increase the number of donors worldwide, build the US board, and quadruple the organisation’s income. Patty works closely with the Development Team to manage current funding relationships and to seek financial support to enable the Resource Centre to expand its work. Prior to managing her own fundraising consulting business for several years, Patty was the Director of Development at a local senior care facility in New Rochelle, NY, where she oversaw a capital campaign which raised over $6 million to build a nursing and rehabilitation center.
Other posts included: Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), where she and her team managed relationships with over 600 foundation and corporate supporters and grew the revenue from this sector six-fold; Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Catholic Relief Services, which included travel to Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Bosnia, to provide technical assistance and fundraising training to CRS field staff to help with capacity building of local independent NGOs. Patty’s academic and research projects included work on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S., Canada, & Mexico and on the effects of welfare reform on poor and low-income Pennsylvania residents. Patty earned her Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the Ruth Smalley Award for Outstanding Achievements in International Social Welfare, and her B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Golda S. Benjamin, Programme Director (based in Dumaguete City, Philippines)
Golda joined the Resource Centre in March 2017 as Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative. In that position and alongside her core work for the Resource Centre, she managed a programme focusing on women’s rights and inclusive businesses and contributed to in-depth researches on topics including NAPs on business and human rights, strategic lawsuits against public participation, sugar contracts, and ASEAN-related policies. She also teaches law and runs a solo practice law firm focusing on development policy reform and commercial arbitration. Prior to her time at the Resource Centre, she served as one of the civil society representatives in the Philippine Multisectoral Group for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. She also served as chief for legislation of a senator of the Republic of the Philippines and supervised the development of various laws including amendments to the anti-money laundering law, the reparation for martial law victims act, and people participation in the budget process bill. Before her full-time engagement at the Senate, Golda worked as a consultant to Congress representatives working on budget reform and food security measures, and to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and the Secretary of the Department of Agrarian Reform. Her alternative law practice began at IDEALS, Inc.-Philippines where she focused on agrarian reform, tax justice, environment and trade issues- handling litigation, advocacy, and policy reform. Golda has a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of the Philippines. She also has a masters degree, with specialization in international commercial arbitration law from Stockholm University, Sweden. She speaks English and Filipino and is currently learning French.
Sanyu Awori, Project Lead for Workers’ Empowerment (based in Nairobi) @Sanyu_Awori
Sanyu Awori joined the Resource Centre in February 2019 as Project Lead on Workers’ Empowerment where she will manage efforts to transform the global apparel industry through amplifying workers voices and supporting the collective power of worker-led initiatives.
Prior to this, Sanyu worked for the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW) Asia Pacific an organisation rooted in the Global South that contributes to the progressive interpretation and implementation of women's human rights. Here she led their work on business and women’s human using an intersectional human rights lens to demonstrate the gender-specific impact of corporate abuses and worked to strengthen understanding on gender-sensitive approaches to business and human rights so women’s experiences are not rendered invisible.
Sanyu has worked for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative based in Delhi, where she specialized in human rights advocacy in Commonwealth countries. Sanyu has also researched for the Human Rights Law Centre in Nottingham and done community work with asylum seekers and refugees in the UK. She has a Master of Laws in Human Rights Law (LLM with Distinction) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB with Honours) from the University of Nottingham.
She is a feminist human rights advocate and regularly writes and speaks on the intersections of gender, business and human rights.
Aliou Diouf, Francophone Africa Researcher & Representative (based in Dakar) @aldioufy
Aliou Diouf joined the Resource Centre in 2009. He is responsible for research and outreach in Francophone Africa, including at meetings and conferences in the region. He has led research missions for the Resource Centre in Dem. Rep. of Congo, Guinea, Niger, and Senegal (Kédougou region). He is a lawyer and a human rights advocate. He previously worked as a legal advisor within Geneva for Human Rights; as a research project manager for the Domestic Violence Office in Geneva and as a social worker at a residential refugee centre in Geneva. Aliou also worked as a legal intern for the Intl. Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) and interned at the Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.
Aliou was educated at Graduate Institute of Intl. & Development Studies in Geneva where he obtained a Ph.D. in Intl. Criminal & Humanitarian Law, and at Gdansk University where he earned a Master's (LLM) in Intl. Law & Human Rights Law. He also earned degrees in International Law from the University of Helsinki, the Geneva International Peace Research Institute (GIPRI) and the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva. Aliou’s mother tongue is Serer, he is fluent in Wolof & French, and has strong Polish & English. Aliou is a national of Senegal.
Joseph Kibugu, Africa Regional Manager & Eastern Africa senior Researcher & Representative (based in Nairobi) @joekibugu
Joseph Kibugu joined the Resource Centre in January 2012. He has conducted research missions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi. Joe worked at International Justice Mission in Kenya for over nine years, leading the organization’s work in Kenya addressing issues including gender-based violence, illegal detention, unprosecuted rape and murder, land seizure, and police accountability. Joe worked in Freetown as an intern at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Joe obtained his law degree from Univ. of Nairobi and has a Masters in International Human Rights Law from Univ. of Notre Dame, USA. One of Joe’s courses at Notre Dame was “Transnational Corporations and Human Rights” under Prof. Douglass Cassel. As well as conducting regional research missions, Joe has also represented the Resource Centre at key international business and human rights events. Joe is fluent in English and Swahili and is proficient in French. Joseph is a national of Kenya.
Manson Gwanyanya, Southern & Anglophone West Africa Regional Researcher & Representative (based in Johannesburg)
Manson Gwanyanya completed his articles of clerkship at the Legal Resources Centre (‘LRC’) Johannesburg office in December 2018 after which he officially joined the Resource Centre. Prior to this position, he worked as a Legal Researcher at the same organization in the migration and refuges unit. His previous experience also includes Junior Researcher in the Socio and Economic Rights Programme (ESR) at the South African Human Rights Commission and Sessional Lecturer at the Wits Law School. Manson obtained his LLB (Bachelor of Laws) LLM (Masters) in Corporate Law as well as a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law from Wits University in 2011, 2012 and 2013 respectively. He also worked as a Research & Teaching Associate and Sessional Lecturer at Wits University between 2012 and 2014 where he taught a number of undergraduate courses such as Constitutional Law, Delict, Business Entities, and Insolvency Law. Manson has a strong passion for human rights law in general and access to justice for the poor and marginalised in particular.
Asia & Pacific
Betty Yolanda, Asia Regional Manager
Betty joined the Resource Centre in February 2019 as Asia Regional Manager following her tenure at the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a human rights and development organisation with 67 member organisations in 21 countries across Asia, where she worked since 2014 as Programme Manager then Co-Director. Betty led FORUM-ASIA’s work on freedoms of expression, assembly, and association as well as civil society engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms, ASEAN human rights commission, national human rights institutions including on the issue of business and human rights.
From 2011-2014, Betty led the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)’s work in Southeast Asia to strengthen the capacity of public interest lawyers in engaging with the ASEAN human rights mechanisms. Prior to ABA ROLI, Betty dedicated her time working as a human rights lawyer and researcher at the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) for more than seven years. A Chevening scholar, Betty holds an LL.M in international human rights law with Merit from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. She has a bachelor’s degree in international law from the Catholic University of Atma Jaya, Jakarta. Betty is a national of Indonesia.
Amy Sinclair, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Senior Researcher & Representative (based in Sydney) @AmyJSinclair
Amy joined the Resource Centre in January 2017 as its first regional representative and researcher for Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific region. She is an international lawyer, researcher and adviser working in the non-profit sector to advance respect for human rights in business.
Amy holds expert advisory appointments with the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, the Law Council of Australia and Law Society of New South Wales. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at Australian Human Rights Institute, UNSW, and recognised public commentator on business and human rights developments. Formerly a corporate lawyer, practising with leading international legal practices in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK, Amy is dual-qualified and admitted to practice law in both Australia and the UK.
Amy holds a Master of Arts from King's College London, a Postgraduate Diploma in International Human Rights Law (Distinction) from the University of New South Wales and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Warwick. She is a national of Australia and the UK.
Nicole Purves, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Project Researcher (based in Sydney)
Nicole joined the Resource Centre as a Project Researcher in 2021. She is currently engaging in research into modern slavery in Australia. Nicole is also a practising lawyer in Australia, specialising in planning and environment law. She has gained experience in human right law through her studies of Human Rights Law and Anti-Discrimination Law. She is passionate about social justice, human rights and the environment. Nicole is an advocate for access to justice having previously volunteered as a solicitor with a community legal centre further sparking her passion for social justice. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business/Commerce from the University of Western Sydney.
Lauren Satill, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Project Researcher (based in Sydney)
Lauren joined the Resource Centre as a Project Researcher in 2021. Lauren is working as a part of the Australian Modern Slavery Research Project. Lauren is also a practising lawyer in Australia engaged in predominantly commercial work.
Lauren has a variety of experience in international human rights law. She has completed an internships in the Hague, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and for Global Rights Compliance, an international firm focussed on a variety of rights issues including modern slavery issues and international humanitarian law. She also interned at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney, assisting on their Conflict Mapping and Archive Project – mapping various elements of the Sri Lankan civil war to assist in transitional justice efforts. Lauren has also competed on behalf of her university at the Jean Pictet International Humanitarian Law Moot. Lauren's experiences have further fostered her passion for human rights.
Lauren holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in International Relations) from the University of New South Wales. She hopes to continue her studies in this field in the future. Lauren is a national of Australia.
Annie S. Khan, South Asia Researcher & Representative (based in India)
Annie joined the Resource Centre in October 2019 and is responsible for research and outreach in the South Asia region. She is a licensed attorney whose work has been focused on international human rights, with previous experience at organizations like Amnesty International, American Bar Association Center for Human Rights, U.S. Institute of Peace and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Her work has mainly been research and advocacy-based, with a specific focus on the state of human rights in globalising economies in South Asia, which was the subject of her dissertation in law school. For the last three years, she has been engaged in anti-trafficking work, leading research projects at Polaris and the Human Trafficking Institute. Since moving back to India, she was a consultant with Liberty Shared wherein she introduced a case management system and the Freedom Collaborative global platform to Indian civil society while advocating for stronger labour rights and labour trafficking laws.
She holds a J.D from Columbus School of Law, Catholic University, Washington, D.C. and a B.A with a double major in Political Science, International Affairs from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She spent three months in Singapore studying business and human rights in Asia at the Singapore Management University as part of her J.D programme. She also studied human rights law under scholars at the London School of Economics and American University School of Law. Annie is a national of the U.S. who speaks English, Hindi/Urdu, and intermediate Spanish.
Akiko Sato, Japan Programme Coordinator (based in Tokyo)
Akiko is responsible for the strategy and initiatives in Japan including communication with Japanese business and investors. She is a practicing lawyer focusing on business and human rights as well as disability rights, particularly psychosocial disabilities. She has considerable experience of business and human rights field including involving in Business and Human Rights project in UNDP Asia-Pacific in 2017 and conducting field research on land grabbing and labour exploitation in Cambodia as a member of Human Rights Now, Japan-based human rights NGO. Her approach toward business and human rights is to combine multiple perspectives such as legal, sociological, development and international human rights viewpoints based on empirical analysis.
She also serves as a member of the Committee on International Human Rights and the Committee on the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and one of the founders as well as a member of the steering committee of Business and Human Rights Lawyers Network Japan.
Akiko gained a JD from Hitotsubashi University and an MA in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University. She speaks English and Japanese.
Pochoy P. Labog, Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Manila, Philippines)
Pochoy joined the Resource Centre in August 2020 and is responsible for research and outreach in the Southeast Asia region. He is a human rights lawyer and advocate. Prior to joining the Centre, he was the Legal Services Coordinator of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center or Friends of the Earth - Philippines where he led the litigation of cases aimed to advance the rights of indigenous peoples and upland, rural, poor communities. He was also a Program Officer of the Asia Foundation where he worked on judicial reform and human rights issues such as extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, and torture.
Pochoy is a musician-activist who utilizes the creative arts to promote human rights.
Pochoy holds a BA in Philosophy and a JD from the Ateneo De Manila University. He also has a LLM in International Legal Studies, with a Certificate on International Human Rights Law from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. He speaks English and Filipino and is currently learning Spanish.
Jose Jello Cubelo, Southeast Asia Research Assistant (based in Dumaguete City, Philippines)
Jose joined the Research Centre as Research Assistant for Southeast Asia in June 2017. He is in the final year of his law studies at Silliman University. Jose is currently the editor of the Silliman Law Journal and he is an active member of the school’s moot court team, participating in International Law moot court competitions. He was also a student volunteer at the Salonga Center for Law and Development – a university-based entity working on issues involving environmental law, social justice, and human rights, and labour. Prior to law school, he worked as a writer for a local newspaper in Cebu. He holds a Bachelor of Mass Communication degree from Silliman University. Jose is a national of Philippines.
Europe & Central Asia
Thulsi Narayanasamy, Head of Labour Rights (Based in London)
Thulsi joined the Resource Centre in August 2019 to deliver research and analysis on labour rights issues including freedom of association and collective bargaining, a living wage, and forced labour in supply chains. She has over a decade of experience working on human and labour rights issues with a strong grounding in community and worker-led struggles in the global South, particularly across Asia and the Pacific. She has worked on refugee and migrant worker rights, labour rights in agricultural and manufacturing supply chains, customary land rights in Melanesia, land grabs by the extractives industry and conducted considerable research into international corporate practices that generate systematic human rights violations that disproportionately affect women. She previously led the Asia programme at UK charity, War on Want, leading policy, advocacy and campaign work on labour and land rights. She is also the former Executive Director of Australian NGO, Aid/Watch, which advocates on international aid, trade agreements and foreign investment policy and practice. Thulsi has engaged as a media commentator on social and economic justice issues and written extensively on the same. Thulsi is a national of Australia with a BA in Gender Studies from the University of Melbourne and an MA in Political Economy and speaks English, Tamil, Spanish and Hindi.
Alysha Khambay, Labour Rights Researcher (based in London)
Alysha joined the Resource Centre in 2018. As Labour Researcher, she is responsible for carrying out research across all labour rights issues, with a particular focus on the apparel sector. Alysha has over seven years of experience working in human rights organisations in the UK and Southeast Asia. Prior to the Resource Centre, Alysha supported Stonewall's international campaigns, policy, and research work to advance LGBT rights internationally, coordinating with a global network of LGBT rights activists. Alysha has worked as a Human Rights Consultant at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, where she monitored and investigated rights abuses related to land grabbing, the exploitation of natural resources and Cambodia’s garment industry, and as a Researcher at the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma). Alysha holds an LLM in Human Rights from Birkbeck, University of London, an MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Kent. Alysha is a UK national.
Shikha Sethia, Labour Rights Researcher (based in Hague)
Shikha joined the Resource Centre in March 2021. They have over seven years of experience as a researcher and activist in the field of labour rights. In addition to their research on labour rights, they have worked on themes such as urbanisation, economic development, land alienation in protected areas and exclusion from public goods and services. In 2016, they conducted a study on transnational coalition-building and worker-centric approaches for corporate accountability in the garment sector, against the backdrop of the Ali Enterprises factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan. Previously, they have worked as an Economist in the private sector and, most recently, oversaw the Labour Rights programme at Mama Cash, an international women’s fund based in the Netherlands, where they were responsible for grantmaking and support for feminist, worker-led labour organisations globally. They have a Bachelor of Business Management degree from the Singapore Management University and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies in the Hague. They speak English and Hindi fluently and are conversant in Bengali, Dutch and French.
Tom Wills, Project Manager – Corporate Accountability and Trade (based in London)
Tom joined the Resource Centre in February 2021. He is responsible for work around how international trade agreements can support or undermine efforts to achieve corporate accountability, with a particular focus on the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit trade arrangements.
Tom has worked in business and human rights for more than five years. His previous role was with Traidcraft Exchange, where he carried out research and advocacy on issues including trade agreements, corporate land grabs and ethical business. This included working with civil society allies in the UK and the EU, as well as in Kenya, Senegal and Liberia. Tom has also served on the board of the Trade Justice Movement and has volunteered in Nepal with Transparency International.
Earlier in his career, Tom was a civil servant in three different UK government departments. Tom has a BA in History from the University of Cambridge and is a UK national.
Giulia Barbos, Research & Projects Trainee (based in Geneva)
Giulia joined the Resource Centre as a Research and Projects Trainee in September 2020. She mostly supports the team with the compiling of the Weekly Update e-newsletter, liaising with researchers around the world to collect top stories and breaking regional news concerning business and human rights. Giulia holds a BA (Hons) in International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and an MA in International Affairs, focusing on International Security, from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Prior to the Resource Centre, Giulia was working with the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association (ICoCA), supporting this multi-stakeholder initiative in its monitoring efforts of the private security industry and the compliance of member companies to human rights and international humanitarian law. Giulia is based in Geneva, Switzerland and is a national of Italy.
Ella Skybenko, Eastern Europe/Central Asia Senior Researcher & Representative (based in Kyiv)
Ella joined the Resource Centre in 2008. She is responsible for research and outreach in Eastern Europe & Central Asia and has conducted regional missions to the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia. Ella formerly worked as a regional manager at American Red Cross, HIV/AIDS program manager at Holt International Children’s Services and program coordinator at American International Health Alliance. Ella holds an MSc in Global Health from the University of Manchester; Master's degree in International Relations with a concentration in International Law from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv; and MA in International Human Rights from the University of Denver. Her mother tongues are Ukrainian and Russian. She speaks fluent English. Ella is a national of Ukraine.
Ashley Nancy Reynolds, Research Assistant, Eastern Europe & Central Asia (based in USA) @AshleyNancyR
Ashley supports the Resource Centre's work in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Her previous research focused on how business activities can both exacerbate conflict and contribute to peace processes. She holds a special interest in human rights impact assessment and human rights due diligence, particularly in conflict-affected societies. In her prior work with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, she helped update the HRIA toolbox and provided general support to the Human Rights and Business team. She has also contributed to publications by the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance and OHCHR. Ashley studied Business and Human Rights Law at Queen's University Belfast and holds a master's in Human Rights and Democratisation with a focus on Business and Human Rights from the Global Campus for Human Rights - Europe. Ashley is a national of the United States.
Johannes Blankenbach, EU / Western Europe Researcher & Representative (based in Berlin) @JBlankenbach
Johannes joined the Resource Centre in May 2018 as EU/Western Europe Regional Researcher & Representative. Prior to this, he worked at the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) as a researcher for more than five years, contributing to knowledge cooperation across the institute’s Managing Global Governance (MGG) network with partner institutions from emerging economies. He co-chaired a research project on private/voluntary sustainability standards and also helped to set up the German chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which focuses on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2011, Johannes was an intern and consultant with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Eschborn. Earlier internships included working at Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP) in New Delhi and at Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tunis. Johannes holds a BA in International Relations from Dresden University (TU Dresden) and an interdisciplinary MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His MSc thesis focused on the role of human rights in the peacebuilding process in Afghanistan. Johannes speaks fluent German and English, with a good knowledge of French and some basic Arabic. Johannes is a national of Germany.
Saskia Wilks, EU/Western Europe Researcher (based in Berlin)
Saskia joined the Resource Centre as a German language Research Intern in April 2017. She holds a BA in Sociology and Cultural Studies and a Masters in Human Rights from the University of Sussex. While studying for her Masters, Saskia also worked at the University of Sussex as a Research and Data Assistant, focusing on maternal health and human rights. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Saskia volunteered with Maternity Worldwide, a Brighton based NGO committed to saving lives in childbirth, where she provided support to their fundraising team. More recently, she spent time in Asia, volunteering as an English teacher in Sri Lanka. Her native languages are German and English, and she has basic knowledge of French and Italian. Saskia is a national of both Germany and the UK.
Christen Dobson, Senior Project Lead & Researcher (based in New York)
Christen joined the Resource Centre in March 2017 as Senior Project Lead & Researcher. She is currently the regional researcher for North America, a member of the civic freedoms & human rights defenders team, and covers technology & human rights. Prior to joining the Centre, Christen worked as a human rights research consultant and recently co-authored an analysis of the funding landscape in support of women and the environment with Global Greengrants Fund and Prospera-International Network of Women's Funds. From 2009 to 2016, Christen led the Human Rights Funders Network's Research and Policy program, where she managed a global research initiative to map and analyze the landscape of human rights funding and supported donor efforts to address closing space for civil society. Christen has also consulted with Energy Foundation and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and has worked and/or interned with Global Youth Connect, EarthRights International, Safe Horizon's Anti-Trafficking Program, and UN Women's East and Southeast Asia Regional Office. She is also on the International Council of Peace Brigades International. Christen holds a Master of International Affairs degree with a concentration in human rights from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Union College with a double major in International Studies and Japanese. Her mother tongue is English, she has a good knowledge of Spanish and speaks some Japanese. Christen is a national of the USA.
Maria Noel Leoni, Regional Manager for Latin America (Based in Uruguay)
Maria Noel joined the Resource Center in April 2021 as the Regional Manager for Latin America and is responsible for leading and expanding the Resource Centre’s Latin America work. Maria Noel is a lawyer and human rights defender from Uruguay, where she is currently based.
Previously Maria Noel worked for the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), first as a Senior Lawyer for the Andean Region and North America and, since 2017, as the Program Director for the Southern Cone and Bolivia, where she oversaw the organization’s work in the subregion, managed regional projects on diverse human rights issues, and lead the litigation of cases before the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights. Maria Noel currently supports CEJIL’s work as an Adviser on Innovation and Special Initiatives.
Before joining CEJIL, Maria Noel worked as a Legal Adviser for the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Between 2012 and 2014, she also started and coordinated the Anti-Torture Initiative (ATI) at the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University, a joint project with the (now former) UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Juan E. Méndez, focused on expanding the Rapporteurship’s outreach and impact, and advancing different strategies on torture prevention. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Academy for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University, Washington College of Law, and as a corporate lawyer in Argentina and Uruguay.
Currently, Maria Noel is also a member of the GQUAL Campaign’s Secretariat, a global campaign to achieve gender parity in international justice and representation that she helped launch in 2015. She holds a J.D. from Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay (2007) and a LL.M. on International Studies, with a specialization on Human Rights and Gender from American University, Washington College of Law (2012).
Marina Novaes, Brazil Researcher & Representative (based in São Paulo)
Marina is a lawyer and historian. Since 2003 she has worked in the areas of human rights, labour rights, social justice and migration, doing so at NGOs and public administration. She has trained public officials on child trafficking; led the Advanced Post for Humanized Services to Migrants (which later became a public policy); coordinated a project to prevent human trafficking in public schools; and coordinated the legal department of an NGO assisting South American immigrants and advocating for public policies on migration.
Marina also worked as special advisor for the promotion of decent work in the City of São Paulo, coordinating the municipal policy to fight and eradicate slave labour and human trafficking. Together with stakeholders, she wrote the first Municipal Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labour.
She also worked as a consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime related to the Observatory to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Her most recent job was Program Manager, Labour Rights at Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation). She is also a member of the editorial board of the Anti-Trafficking Review magazine, published by the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW). She has authored various articles and books on human trafficking and forced labour.
She was educated at University of São Paulo (master’s degree in social history) and Pontifical Catholic Univ. of São Paulo (Bachelor of Law). Marina's mother tongue is Portuguese; she is fluent in English and has a good understanding of Spanish. Marina is a national of Brazil.
Diana Figueroa Prado, Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative (based in Mexico City)
Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Diana was Advocacy Coordinator at Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre in the indigenous region of the mountain of Guerrero, Mexico. She worked alongside national and international organizations, as well as different UN mechanisms to demand justice for victims of serious human rights violations and gender violence; she also pushed for recognition and respect of indigenous normative systems and against criminalisation of human rights defenders. Diana was a Legal Researcher at the Human Rights Centre Clinic of the University of Essex, where she participated in the project “Business and Human Rights: Engendering Human Rights Due Diligence”. She was a Research Associate at the NGO Renace and supported the advocacy and campaigning work of Amnesty International Mexico. Diana has collaborated in different capacities at the Brazilian Embassy in Mexico City, UNDP Mexico and the state government of Nuevo León. She has taught courses and workshops to the general public, activists and judges on human rights, gender perspective and business and human rights. Diana has a degree in International Relations by Monterrey Institute of Technology and an LL.M in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by the University of Essex. Her mother tongue is Spanish, she is fluent in English, Portuguese and French, and has a good knowledge of German and Italian. Diana is a national of Mexico.
Vitória Dell'Aringa Rocha, Latin America Research Assistant (based in São Paulo)
Vitória joined the Resource Centre in 2018 as an intern and returned in 2021 as Latin America Research Assistant. She is a national of Brazil and a senior International Relations student at the University of São Paulo (USP). Vitória is involved with migration issues, specially the refugees cause. Her work experience includes being an interpreter of the eligibility interviews with asylum seekers in the General-Coordination of the Brazilian National Committee for the Refugees (CG-CONARE) and taking part in the social assistance program of the Refugee Reference Center of Caritas Arquidiocesana São Paulo, an UNHCR implementing partner. Vitória is fluent in English and Spanish, has a good understanding of French and basic abilities in Arabic.
Amanda Romero Medina, South America Senior Researcher and Representative (based in Bogotá)
Amanda Romero has been working as Latin America & Caribbean Researcher & Representative for Business & Human Rights Resource Centre since April 2011 (in January 2015 her title changed to South America Researcher & Representative when we hired our first Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative). In this role, she often meets with local NGOs and grassroots, and with companies. She has also undertaken business & human rights missions to Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and Argentina. She is based in Bogotá, Colombia, and has been a human rights researcher and educator since the late 1970s. She has worked with Latin American and international NGOs, and was the American Friends Service Committee’s Quaker International Affairs Representative for the Andean Region and Panama from 2000 to 2006; she also served for 6 years as a member of the civil society organizations’ committee that advised the United Nations Development Programme Administrator in New York. Amanda holds a Ph.D. degree in Education and a Masters’ Degree in Educational and Social Development from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Colombia; and has completed a number of specialised human rights courses, and on armed conflict and humanitarian law. Amanda’s mother tongue is Spanish and she is fluent in English. Amanda is a national of Colombia.
Juan Diego Espinosa, Researcher of the Colombia Program (Based in Bogota)
Juan, a Colombian, joined the Colombia office of the Resource Centre in 2019. He is a political scientist, specialized in justice, victims and peace building. He has analysed, from an academic perspective, different human rights legal-political arrangements and has worked in human rights organisations documenting past atrocities, preparing cases for the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition and monitoring human rights violations in Colombia.
Fabián Andrés León Peñuela, Researcher of the Colombia Program (Based in Bogota)
Fabián Andrés León Peñuela has been a researcher at the Colombia office of the Business and Human Rights Information Centre, an NGO with offices in London, New York, Bogotá and Berlin since December 2019. He lives in Bogotá, specialised in education and environmental management at the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas and in Justice, Victims and Peace Building at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He studied law at the National University of Colombia and economics and political science at the University of Montreal (Canada). He is a member of the "Real Justice" research group of the Faculty of Law, Political and Social Sciences of the National University of Colombia. He also has experience with migrant and refugee populations with whom he worked for more than 6 years in Canada. He has accompanied environmental and human rights training processes with indigenous and rural communities.
Valentina Muñoz Bernal, Researcher of the Colombia Program (Based in Bogota)
Valentina Muñoz Bernal joined the Business and Human Rights Information Centre in 2020. She is a political scientist and student of economics at the National University of Colombia, specializing in care policies from a gender perspective. She has worked as an information analyst on labour asymmetries, especially of migrant women in the agriculture industry. She is an ambassador in Colombia of the Women4Peace project and co-founder of the National University chapter of the UAEM (Universities Allied for Essential Medicines) student group.
Marcela Sánchez, Administrative Manager for the Colombia Program
Marcela Sánchez is a Business Administrator with experience since 2006 in administration, evaluation and accountability of funds and budgets of both national and international cooperation programmes in cooperation and private sector entities such as the United Nations Resident Coordinator's Office, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), Doctors without Borders and PCN (Processes of Black Communities of Colombia) Coordination, improvement and logistics of transport companies in Expreso Cafetero.
Tatian Sánchez, Administrative Assistant for Colombia Program
Tatian Sánchez is a technician in administrative assistance with the ability to manage personnel, follow up and control processes, fulfilment of goals and quality control of the service, advanced management of certified Excel, management of office tools, intermediate level of English, and work experience of more than 4 years in the Administrative and Financial sector, performing functions such as internal and external customer service, document management control, petty cash management, information analysis and preparation of reports.
Isobel Archer, Project Officer – Migrant Workers in Qatar & the UAE (based in London) @isobellarcher
Isobel joined the Resource Centre in 2019 as Project Assistant for the Migrant Workers in Qatar & the UAE project. Her knowledge of modern slavery, and business and human rights comes from her time working and interning for a number of organisations, including an internship at the Resource Centre. Isobel also gained experience at Shiva Foundation, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and Ardea International where she focused on corporate disclosure, improving access to labour rights, and tackling human trafficking in the hotel, construction, and professional service sectors. Isobel holds an MA (Dist.) Understanding & Securing Human Rights from the University of London; her thesis focused on the role of private sector collaboration in tackling modern slavery and implementing human rights norms. She also holds a BA (Hons) English Literature from the University of Exeter, UK including an additional year studying at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Dima Samaro, Middle East and North Africa Regional Researcher & Representative (Based in Tunisia)
Dima joined the Resource Centre in 2021 and is the regional researcher and representative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is a licensed attorney who has majored in women’s rights and international human rights. Before joining the Resource Centre, she worked for Access Now where she conducted policy analysis on ICT laws, and the intersection of technology and human rights such as privacy and data protection, censorship, state and non-state surveillance, freedom of expression, telecoms policies, and the promotion of human rights activism and digital safety on the internet in the MENA region. Prior to this, Dima served as a legal researcher at the International Commission of Jurists in Tunisia, assisting in organizing capacity building conferences targeting judges and lawyers from the MENA region as well as drafting legal reports on freedom of expression and human rights. She currently serves as co-chair of ICANN Middle East space, and was selected as a Digital Forensic Research Lab fellow (DFRLab), and a Middle East School & neighboring countries on Internet Governance fellow. She holds a B.A from An-Najah National University in Palestine, and recently completed a fellowship at King’s College London, where she researched the political participation of Palestinian women and the value of freedom of expression as a tool for empowering and strengthening their role in the political process. Dima is a feminist advocate and regularly writes and speaks on the implications of technology and business on human rights and vulnerable communities.
Mouhanad Sharabati, MENA Junior Researcher (based in London)
Mouhanad Sharabati holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Faculty of Law at Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Sweden. He also holds a Bachelor of Law from Damascus University, Syria. Mouhanad practiced law in both Syria and Lebanon between 2007 and 2013 and was a member of the Syrian Bar Association, Damascus branch. He worked with the Lebanese NGO Kayany Foundation between 2013 and 2014 as a project manager where he was advocating for children rights amid conflicts and working to ensure education to the Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.
In the past two years, Mouhanad has been working with the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP) in London as a Legal Researcher with a main focus on Business and Human Rights. Mouhanad was part of the SLDP’s Human Rights and Business Unit which aims to address business related human rights concerns that arise in Syria and to ensure that human rights remain at the forefront of Syria’s reconstruction.
He has also worked with several NGOs focusing on refugees’ rights issues in Sweden where he gained sufficient experience in international and European refugee law. In 2017, he participated in an advanced course on “European Union Law and Policy on Immigration and Asylum” organized by the Odysseus Network in cooperation with University Libre in Brussels.
Felicitas Weber, KnowTheChain Project Director (based in London)
Felicitas joined the Resource Centre in 2016. She is leading the development of the KnowTheChain project, working closely with the initiative's partners Humanity United, Sustainalytics, and Verité. KnowTheChain is ranking the largest global ICT, food & beverage, and apparel companies on their efforts to address forced labour in their supply chains, and engaging investors on the topic.
From 2011-2016, Felicitas worked for the ESG Engagements team at the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. Initially in charge of managing the PRI's investor collaboration platform, she was subsequently responsible for managing the PRI's investor-company engagements on social issues, including on topics such as labour practices in agricultural supply chains, and for raising awareness and understanding of human rights issues and their impacts on investor portfolios through events, publications, webinars and podcasts.
Prior to joining the PRI, Felicitas worked in communication, events and development for the UK charities Teach First and Historic Royal Palaces. She holds a Master in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics from Universität Leipzig, a Certificate of Political Studies from Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Rennes as well as a qualification in European Quality and Project Management. Her thesis focused on migration and European border policies. She is fluent in English and German and has a good understanding of French.
Rosie Monaghan, KnowTheChain Researcher & Representative (based in London)
Rosie joined the Research Centre as KnowTheChain Research Assistant in June 2017. She supports the research methodology for KnowTheChain and carries out research and analysis of Modern Slavery Statements, corporate disclosure, and allegations of forced labour. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights and a law degree from Oxford Brookes University. Her academic research has focused on legal protection for victims of human trafficking, and human rights due diligence as a tool for addressing slavery in supply chains. Rosie has previously undertaken internships at the Equal Rights Trust, supporting the Trust's litigation and advocacy programmes; the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; and volunteered as a researcher with the Sophie Hayes Foundation. Rosie is a national of UK.
Evie Clarke, KnowTheChain Researcher (based in London)
Evie joined the Research Centre as KnowTheChain Research Assistant in June 2019. She supports KnowTheChain’s goal to enable companies and investors to understand and address forced labour risks within their global supply chains by benchmarking corporate practices and providing practical resources.
Evie was previously volunteering as an advice and advocacy worker with Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers. She has gained experience as an intern at Sentinel Human Rights Defenders and as a Researcher for LSE ProBono Matters and for the European Law Students’ Association in a project in collaboration with the ILO.
She holds an LLM in Human Rights Law from the LSE and an LLB from Trinity College Dublin. Her academic research has focused on human rights, labour law and refugee law. Her thesis focused on the detention of asylum seekers in the UK.
Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders
Ana Zbona, Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders Project Manager (based in London) @A_Zbona
Ana joined the Resource Centre in 2016. She is Project Manager, Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders project. The project explores the role of business in these spheres. Before joining the Resource Centre, Ana worked as a manager of a fair trade/community development program with the NGO Mosqoy, working with indigenous communities in the Peruvian Andes. Prior to that, Ana was an advocacy assistant in the EU advocacy team of Human Rights Watch in Brussels, a research assistant for the Slovenian Human Rights Ombudswoman, and a fellow at the EU Delegation to the UN and at the Slovenian Mission to the UN.
Ana holds a Master's degree from the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC), Italy, and Lund University, Sweden. She has a BA in International Development and International Relations from Saint Mary's University, Canada. Her mother tongue is Slovenian; she also speaks fluent English and Spanish, intermediate French and Croatian, and a little bit of Italian and Quechua. Ana is a national of Slovenia.
Andrea Pelliconi, Research Assistant for the Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders Project
Andrea joined the Resource Centre in 2019 as an intern and she is now working as a research assistant for the Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders Project (part-time). She is also a PhD candidate in Law and graduate teaching assistant at City, University of London. Andrea holds a master in law and an advanced master in human rights. Before joining the Resource Centre, she held a 6-month research fellowship in human rights with the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute. Before, Andrea also worked in a law firm specialised in immigration, citizenship and asylum law and she trained in human rights and business with the Association for Fundamental Rights of the Rome Bar Council.
Lady Nancy Zuluaga Jaramillo, Legal Researcher, Human Rights Defenders & Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (Based in Luxembourg)
Lady Nancy joined the Resource Centre in December 2019 as a Legal Researcher with the Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders and Corporate Legal Accountability programs. Prior to joining the Centre, Lady Nancy was a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) where she was directly entrusted with cases pending before the Inter-American System of Human Rights in Central America. At CEJIL she worked on issues regarding gross human rights violations, economic social and cultural rights, migration and persons deprived of their liberty. Lady Nancy has also been a lecturer in Public International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Medellin where she was also the coordinator of a research seminar on the Inter-American System of Human Rights. She also has experience working in the Judicial Branch in Colombia. Lady Nancy holds a Law degree from the University of Medellin (Colombia), and an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame (USA). She is currently doing a PhD in Law at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and her thesis focuses on mechanisms to raise the visibility of victims of human rights violations related to transnational corporations, particularly toxic industries in Latin America. Lady Nancy has been visiting research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law in Luxembourg and she is a member of the Seminar on Transnational Enterprises and Gross Human Rights Violations at the University of Buenos Aires. Her mother tongue is Spanish, she is fluent in English and has a basic knowledge of French. Lady Nancy is a national of Colombia.
Corporate Legal Accountability
Maysa Zorob, Corporate Legal Accountability Program Manager (based in New York)
Maysa joined the Resource Centre in January 2018 as Corporate Legal Accountability Program Manager. Maysa has over 10 years of experience leading human rights and social justice initiatives and programmes across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the U.S.
Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Maysa led the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Fellowship Programs at PILnet, the Global Network for Public Interest Law, based in New York. In this role, Maysa developed and oversaw the program syllabus, provided guidance and supervision to human rights Fellows, and devised and implemented cross-sectorial learning opportunities and strategies. In addition, she was responsible for devising and implementing strategic litigation, legal education and pro bono initiatives across the MENA region.
Before joining PILnet, Maysa managed the Justice Program at Euro-Med Rights, where she led EU and UN advocacy campaigns, coordinated trial monitoring missions, and led initiatives on judicial independence, transitional justice and access to justice across the Mediterranean. Between 2008 and 2012, Maysa worked for Al-Haq, a prominent Palestinian human rights organisation, first in Ramallah, Palestine and later in Brussels, Belgium, where she established and managed the organisation’s first European Office with a focus on EU human rights policies.
Maysa holds an LL.M. in European and International Law and an LL.B. in German Law from the University of Hamburg, Germany. She is fluent in Arabic, French, German, and English and has basic proficiency in Spanish. Maysa is a national of Germany and Palestine.
Elodie Aba, Senior Legal Researcher (based in France) @cla_bhrrc
Elodie joined the Resource Centre in January 2013. She conducts research for the Corporate Legal Accountability project as well as on other business and human rights issues. Elodie is a human rights lawyer and legal translator. She was a research assistant at the One World Trust and previously worked at Handicap International UK. She also interned at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and International Service for Human Rights. Elodie has a Master of Laws (LL.M) from the University of Melbourne; a law degree in International and European Law from University of Paris XI; a degree of a legal translator from Institut Supérieur d’Interprétation et de Traduction (ISIT). Her mother tongue is French and she speaks fluent English and some Spanish. Elodie is a national of France.
Chara De Lacey, Project Manager for Social Audit Accountability (Based in London)
Chara joined the Resource Centre in July 2020 to lead the Social Audit Accountability project. Chara is a UK-qualified lawyer and holds a master's degree (LLM) in law, globalisation and development for which she focussed her thesis on corporate due diligence and accountability in global supply chains.
Before joining the Resource Centre, Chara was at ShareAction, where she led the research side of the organisation’s Workforce Disclosure Initiative. Previous to this role, she managed a number of international projects for Advocates for International Development, including a business and human rights programme delivered in partnership with the East Africa Law Society. Chara has also worked as a Programme Lawyer in the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute, where she led several justice sector reform projects in the Middle East and North Africa. Other projects included working with coalitions of lawyers and judges to run fact-finding missions, deliver training on human rights and international criminal law, and more generally to provide collective solidarity with lawyers at risk.
Technology and Human Rights
Henry Peck, Technology and Human Rights Researcher (based in London)
Henry joined the Resource Centre in August 2020. He covers technology and human rights, with a particular focus on the surveillance technology industry. He has previously worked as a researcher and journalist in the UK and Lebanon, and as senior coordinator for the office of the General Counsel at Human Rights Watch, where he worked on the right to privacy and internet freedom. He is a recipient of the GroundTruth Project’s Global Migration, Refugees and Resettlement Reporting Fellowship. Henry holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.
Natural Resources & Renewable Energy
Jessie Cato Programme Manager Natural Resources & Human Rights (based in Berlin)
Jessie joined the Resource Centre in August 2020. She is responsible for coordinating the work related to natural resources, including leading projects on renewable energy and transition minerals, while also supporting the Resource Centre’s broader work on human rights in extractive industries, and other natural resource-related sectors. Jessie has broad experience in natural resource governance, and prior to joining the Resource Centre worked at Oxfam America where she coordinated the Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub. She was the National Director for Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Australia from 2015-2019 and sat as a Civil Society representative on the Australian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Multi Stakeholder Group from 2016-2019. Jessie has also worked in Timor Leste as a Gender Officer for Seeds of Life, and as a Ministerial Advisor for the South Australian Government, with responsibility for the portfolios of Regional Development, State/Local Government Relations, and the Status of Women. Jessie holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Adelaide and has undertaken training on natural resource governance at the Central European University (CEU), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), and the University of Queensland. She is a dual national of Australia and the UK.
Chelsea Hodgkins, Natural Resources Research Assistant (Based in Boston)
Chelsea Hodgkins joined the Natural Resources team as a Research Assistant in December 2020. Chelsea previously interned with the Central America and Mexico team supporting regional initiatives on human rights abuses in renewable energy development. Chelsea is also a Renewable Energy Researcher focusing on sources of conflicts regarding renewable energy development on Tribal lands at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she is completing her Masters in City Planning (Environmental Policy and Planning). Previously, Chelsea was involved in climate change coalitions in the US and was the community organizer on the campaign that passed Washington D.C.'s 100% renewable energy bill. Chelsea has also lived and worked in Ghana as a Fulbright Scholar. She speaks English and Spanish and is based in Boston.
Pippa Woolnough, Head of Communications (based in Dublin) @pipwool
Pippa’s professional experience includes five years in journalism and more than 10 years in communications and advocacy roles in NGOs, including the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Amnesty International Ireland and Barnardos. Communicating with clarity, prioritising a human rights based approach and ensuring the organisation delivers a strategic impact is at the heart of her approach. Pippa joined the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in September 2020 as Head of Communications. She has a postgraduate degree in Journalism and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, where she specialised in the area of business and human rights. She was a member of the Board of Directors for Suicide or Survive between 2016 and 2020.
Alex Guy, Senior Digital Officer (based in London) @alexg05
Alex joined the Resource Centre in September 2017. Working with the Communications team he is responsible for the organization’s digital presence, empowering human rights advocates through our web and social media channels. With a passion for championing ethical business practices sparked whilst traveling in South East Asia, he previously worked for Microsoft in relationship marketing and social media, creating online content, running events and maintaining websites to help technology professionals get to grips with the latest advancements in the IT industry. Alex holds a BA in Business from the University of Portsmouth. Alex is a national of UK.
Harriet Wood, Digital Communications Officer (Based in London)
Harriet joined the Resource Centre in October 2019 and will be assisting the Communications team as Digital Communications Trainee. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she worked in communications and operations for Ninth Wave Global, and spent three years working on grassroots environmental projects in and around the city of Campeche in south-east Mexico. Alongside this, Harriet has worked as a freelance writer and as a research assistant for English-language Latin American news media with a focus on politics and sustainability. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from King’s College London.
Priyanka Mogul, Media Officer (based in London) @priyankamogul
Priyanka joined the Resource Centre in 2021 and is responsible for the organisation's press outreach. She works with our teams across the globe to amplify the voices of human rights advocates through the media. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she worked in the communications team at the think tank Asia House.
Priyanka has also worked as a journalist, reporting primarily on international development and human rights issues in Asia - with articles in Al Jazeera, the International Business Times, and The Diplomat, among others. In 2018, she produced a feature documentary on caste discrimination among the British-Indian population. She has a BA in Journalism with Human Rights (Kingston University) and a MSc in Emerging Economies and International Development (King's College London).
David Lyons, Weekly Update Editor (Based in Edinbourgh)
David joined the Resource Centre in June 2021 as Weekly Updates Editor. Previously he worked as Communications Manager at Tomorrow’s Cities, an international development programme researching how cities can reduce disaster risk for the most vulnerable communities. Over the course of his career as a communications professional, David has worked for international volunteering charity Project Trust, UK arts charity Create and Street Child United, a charity which campaigns for the rights and protection of street-connected young people across the world. He completed a Masters in Multimedia Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University and worked as a journalist in Scotland before moving into charity communications. David is a UK national.
Development, finance and programme support
Merav Bat-Gil, Development Manager, Europe (based in Frankfurt/Berlin)
Merav joined the Resource Centre in 2021 as the Development Manager for Europe. She manages relationships and grant management with the Centre’s Europe-based funding sources and is responsible for supporting Global Team members in the development of their programmes. She works closely alongside the US-based Development Director and the Development team.
Previous to working at the Centre, Merav worked for over 10 years in resource development for human rights organisations funded by the UN, EU, bilateral, and multilateral funders in a variety of organizational settings. She was responsible for fundraising and grants management, donor’s stewardship and advocacy for funding.
Merav have provided capacity building to organisations based in Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda.
Merav holds an MA in development and cooperation from the University of Florence. Merav speaks English, Hebrew, Italian and learning German. Grew up in Israel, Merav is a national of Germany.
Alex Janczenia, Senior Development Officer (based in Melbourne)
Alex Janczenia was appointed in January 2015 as the Resource Centre’s Administration and Programme Support Officer, and in December 2016 transitioned to Development Officer. Alex supports the Senior Development Director in expanding the Resource Centre's base of foundation and government donors and developing an individual giving programme, focused on major donors. Alex previously worked as the fundraising and communications coordinator for Street Kids International UK, before which she held an internship position with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) supporting their private sector fundraising service. Alex has a BA in Politics & Modern History, and an MA in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Her mother tongue is English, and she also has some French and German. Alex is a national of UK.
Charlie Crossley, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Officer (Based in London)
Charlie joined the Resource Centre in June 2020 as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Officer. Prior to working at the Centre, Charlie spent four and a half years at the responsible investment charity ShareAction. There he was Project Coordinator of the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) from its launch in late 2016. The WDI brings institutional investors together to encourage companies to be more transparent about how they manage and protect workers in their global operations and supply chains. Charlie has a BA in Politics and an MA in International Relations. He is fascinated by how the private sector impacts society and the environment. Away from his career, Charlie is passionate about sport and is a qualified football coach.
Hiran Weereratne, Head of Finance (based in London)
Hiran joined the Resource Centre in November 2019. He previously served as the Senior Finance Business Partner with Guide Dogs Association for the Blind. Prior to that, Hiran has held senior commercial finance roles with a range of multinational corporations. In addition to the UK, he has lived and worked in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Australia. Hiran is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. He is a national of Sri Lanka, United Kingdom and Australia
Maja Janjic, Office Coordinator & Assistant to Executive Director (based in London)
Maja Janjic joined the Resource Centre in April 2018 as an Office Coordinator and Assistant to Executive Director. She provides personal assistance to the Executive Director, supports with editing & dissemination of the Weekly Update, coordinates recruitments & inductions, supports dissemination & outreach efforts, maintains contact management systems, regularly updates our website and provides on-going support to our projects & programmes. Maja previously worked as a legal intern for Minority Rights Group International, a legal assistant for refugees and immigrants at Philanthropic Society, and as a legal assistant and PA to the Director at the University, among other roles. Maja has a Masters in Law from the University of Maribor. She is originally from Slovenia and speaks fluent English, Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and basic German. Maja is a national of Slovenia.
Founder & Former Director
Chris founded Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in 2002 and was Director until he retired in September 2013. He is a former Legal Adviser and Deputy Head of Research Department, Amnesty International - International Secretariat. He authored Business and Human Rights in a Time of Change, a 108-page report published by Amnesty International UK in 2000. Chris was educated at Columbia Univ. School of Law (LLM); Univ. of California, Davis, School of Law (JD Order of the Coif); Stanford Univ. (BA Honours). Chris is a national of both the U.S and UK.
July 2021-Present: Georgia Williams (based in London)
Georgia joined the Resource Centre in July 2021. Georgia previously practised as a solicitor in an international law firm for over three years, primarily acting in commercial litigation in Australian courts as well as acting in international arbitrations while in the Republic of Korea. Georgia was involved in community and pro bono work, including establishing a program to support asylum seekers applying for protection visas and taking an active role in initiatives regarding Indigenous affairs. She was also seconded to Binarri-binyja Yarrawoo Aboriginal Corporation in Western Australia, an organisation that uses a place-based collective impact model to change how government policy is delivered and empower Indigenous people in the region. Prior to working as a solicitor, Georgia served as Associate to a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland. Georgia also currently volunteers as a researcher for Oxford Pro Bono Publico.
Georgia holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (with Distinction) from the University of Oxford (2021), where her studies included environmental law and comparative human rights law. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) from the University of Queensland (2015), where she was awarded the University Medal in Law.
July 2021-Present: Alfie Eltis (Based in Oxford)
Alfie is entering his third year as an undergraduate, studying History and Politics at the University of Cambridge. He is interested in the effects of public policy and globalization on business and has studied the political economy of countries such as the UK, France, Germany and Rwanda. Outside of his degree, he has enjoyed working as Features Editor for Varsity newspaper. He has previous work experience at Oxfam. His first language is English and he has conversational ability in German.
July 2021 - Present: Dana Figel
Dana Figel joined the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in June 2021 as an intern for Latin America. She is currently earning her Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. She became interested in Latin America after studying in Argentina and Chile for a year. She is extremely passionate about the region, as well as defending human rights and the environment. During her last year in undergrad, she established an Amnesty International chapter at Miami University, from which she graduated in May 2020 with a double-major in International Studies and Latin American Studies. Currently, she lives in Washington, D.C., where she was born and raised.
July 2021 - Present: Mayo Suzuki (Based in Bogota)
Mayo joined the Colombia office since June 2021. She is an expert in the area of sustainability from the perspective of both civil society and private sector. Previously, she was a senior management consultant of a global consulting firm, implementing Business and Human Rights projects supporting multinational corporations on their Human Rights Policy, Human Rights Due Diligence and Stakeholder Engagement, collaborating with NGOs, governments and UN agencies. She also worked as an Energy and Environmental Policy Expert in the projects of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) while she belonged to an electric power company in Tokyo. She graduated from Tsuda University in 2008 with a degree in International Relations. Most recently, she is researching socio-environmental conflicts between multinational corporations and indigenous communities in Colombia for a master's thesis in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolutions in the Pontifical Xavierian University. Mayo is a national of Japan and her mother tongue is Japanese. She has a good knowledge of English and Spanish.
June 2021 - Present: Liam O'Donnell
Liam is a rising senior studying Political Science, Human Rights, and Global Studies at University of Connecticut. His most recent work experience includes internships at the CT House of Representatives and the Presidential Campaign for Joe Biden. At UConn, Liam is State Director at Every Voice Coalition, a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, and has presented research on the efficacy of civil action approaches to extrajudicial torture. Liam is most interested in studying the influence of the private sector on international development and states’ domestic policy decisions. Upon graduation, he plans to pursue a degree in law. Liam is a national of the U.S. and Argentina.
June 2021 - Present: Sehajleen Kaur (Based in Stanford, CA)
Sehajleen is a South Asia and tech rights focused intern joining the resource centre for the summer of 2021. She is a rising junior at Stanford University studying Science, Technology, and Society, and is hoping to go to law school. She has an interest in the intersection of innovation and law and the implications of technology on modern society. Previously, she has worked as a research assistant with the Stanford Graduate school of Business, the Stanford Screenomics Lab, and the American Voices Project. She is fluent in English and Punjabi, and has conversational ability in Hindi and Portuguese.
May 2021 - Present: Caroline Caldas (Based in Brazil)
Caroline Caldas is a political scientist with a particular interest in socio-legal research with a PhD (2021) and a master’s in Political Science from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil). Her work includes empirical research that explores questions about the political, legal, and economic dimensions of human rights culture, transitional justice, and the justice system (in Brazil and the IACHR). She is also a lawyer with corporate experience in the legal field
February 2020 - Present: Jesús Guarneros Díaz (Based in Mexico City)
Jesús has a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Rights and Peace Management from Claustro de Sor Juana University in Mexico City. He has interned and collaborated with organizations like: Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre in the indigenous region of the mountain of Guerrero (Mexico), the Center for Justice an International Law (CEJIL) in San José (Costa Rica) and in development projects with rural farmers in Mexico’s central plateau. He has also collaborated in the local ombudsman office in Tlaxcala (Mexico) and Education Foundations organizing and teaching human rights programs for public servants, activists and judges. Jesús is a national of Mexico. His mother tongue is Spanish. He is fluent in English, Portuguese and French, and has a good knowledge of Náhuatl.
February 2021 - Present: Milly Atkinson Handley (Based in Sydney)
Milly joined the Research Centre as an Australia Research Intern in February 2021. Milly has a bachelor’s degree in Geography (BA) from Durham University and is currently working towards a Master of Human Rights at the University of Sydney. Her academic research has focused on refugee rights, human rights campaigning and human rights accountability mechanism. She has interned for Amnesty International Australia as a Human Rights Caseworker and for the Sydney Policy Reform Project as a Research Assistant. She also has professional experience working on communications projects for various tech and cybersecurity companies, which provided exposure to, and an understanding of, the importance of human rights in a business context.