Our Board are the guardians of the Resource Centre’s identity, and play a full role in strategy and the accountability of the management team. The Board is diverse and composed of activists, academics, former business people, and specialists.
Board members (see below for bios):
Dr. Mila Rosenthal
Note: For legal purposes, some members of our international board serve on the board of our UK-registered charity, and others on the board of our US-registered non-profit. Further information available on request.
Board Member Bios:
Shawna Bader-Blau leads the Solidarity Center, the largest global worker rights organization based in the United States. Since October 2011, she has served as executive director of an organization of more than 220 staff in Washington, D.C., and 26 field offices, implementing programs in about 60 countries. She has been with the organization for 14 years.
Shawna is an advocate and activist for safe, dignified and family-supporting livelihoods—where workers can exercise their fundamental labor rights and have a voice in shaping work conditions and public policies that impact their lives. She is a leading advocate helping link the human rights community with the labor movement’s struggle to protect worker rights. She works to ensure that worker rights issues are part of policy discussions on international development and within the women’s movement and broader civil society.
Shawna regularly testifies as an expert on worker and human rights at U.S. congressional briefings and hearings. She organizes and co-convenes discussions on the protection of worker rights in times of closing space and increased impunity, bringing together rights defenders, workers, UN agencies, governments and labor unions to find common solutions. And she represents the Solidarity Center at conferences and policy discussions around the world, promoting social justice, gender equity, decent work and more inclusive economic development and democratic societies.
Shawna has worked in the field of international development and human rights for 17 years and has lived or worked in more than 25 countries. Prior to her appointment as executive director, Shawna served as the Solidarity Center’s regional program director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She is an Arabic speaker and a recognized expert on authoritarian regimes and civil society. She holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Shawna also currently serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors of InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).
Sumi Dhanarajan is an international development practitioner specialising in the impacts of the private sector on human rights and poverty reduction.
She is Associate Director for Asia-Pacific at Forum for the Future, an independent non-profit working globally with business, government and other organizations to solve complex sustainability challenges, with a focus on sustainable nutrition, sustainable value chains and livelihoods (including labour rights), climate change, and the circular economy. She is also currently pursuing a phD at the National University of Singapore’s law school where she is also a Research Associate to the Centre on Asian Legal Studies. From 2009 – 2011, Sumi led a research and educational programme on the 'Public Roles of the Private Sector' for the Centre on Asia and Globalisation at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Previous to that, she spent ten years at the international development agency, Oxfam GB as a policy adviser on the private sector, latterly as the head of the private sector advocacy team. A lawyer, Sumi spent the first part of her career as a senior legal adviser to the Hong Kong Democratic Party’s legislative councillors and as a human rights officer at the Malaysian Bar Council. Her current advisory roles include sitting on SustainAbility’s Council of Advisors, the Editorial Board of the Journal of Human Rights Practice and as a Research Associate at METEOS, a globally networked non-profit company that specialises in strategic dialogues and networks to explore new partnerships, business models and investment practices that create long-term economic and social value. She is also a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Human Rights. Sumi holds an LLB from the University of Durham, and MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights from the University of London and an LLM in Asian Legal Studies from the National University of Singapore. She was called to the Bar in 1998 and is a member of Gray's Inn.
Sumi’s publications include:
- Business and the Millenium Development Goals, co-author Penny Fowler, Briefings for Business Series (Oxfam GB, 2008)
- Investing for life: Meeting poor people’s needs for access to medicines through responsible business practices [PDF] by Helena Viñes Fiestas with Sumi Dhanarajan et al. (Oxfam International, 2007)
- “Faster, Longer, Cheaper: The nexus between poor labour standards and supply-chain management in the apparel industry” (European Retail Digest, Fall 2004)
- Play Fair at the Olympics [PDF] (Oxfam International, ICFTU, Clean Clothes Campaign, 2004)
- “Multinational companies and ethical issues” in Macdonald, Tuselmann & Wheeler, International Business Adjusting to New Challenges & Opportunities (Palgrave, 2002)
- Managing ethical standards: when rhetoric meets reality [PDF] (Development in Practice, 2005)
- The impact of patent rules on the treatment of HIV/AIDS in Thailand [PDF] (Oxfam GB, 2001)
She has previously served as a trustee for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, on the Board of Directors of the Ethical Trading Initiative, and as a research adviser for the Human Rights & Business Project (International Council for Human Rights Policy).
Heather Grady is Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. She leads the organization's strategy and program development in global philanthropy, including collaboratives, global programs, research, publications, presentations and other initiatives. Previously Heather was a Vice President for Foundation Initiatives at The Rockefeller Foundation where she oversaw an annual grantmaking budget averaging $65 million. There she was responsible for a portfolio including strategic initiatives in a range of areas including climate change, health systems, agriculture, impact investing, and philanthropic sector support. As a member of the Executive Team she participated in setting direction for the Foundation and ensuring the Program Team, a diverse group of professionals in New York, Nairobi, and Bangkok, was effective and highly engaged in achieving shared goals and objectives.
Previously Heather served as the Managing Director of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, founded by former Irish President Mary Robinson. She led the development and implementation of organizational strategy focused on catalyzing leaders to act in concert across government, UN, business and civil society sectors, and expanding public understanding of rights and development issues and solutions. She directed the programs on employment, climate change, and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and contributed substantially to programs on women’s leadership, corporate responsibility, and health. During this period she served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she co-created and taught a graduate course on climate change, as well as a graduate course at Trinity College Dublin.
Before returning to the US in 2004, and for almost two decades, Heather lived and worked in countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East in settings as diverse as Viet Nam, Sudan and Egypt. She managed a range of long-term development and humanitarian programs in these regions that focused on a range of themes including education, livelihoods, health, agriculture and microfinance. Her areas of expertise include economic development and the role of business in society, climate change, rights and social justice issues, and collaborative leadership.
Ms. Grady is a frequent speaker at conferences and has authored numerous publications. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School at Harvard, and a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College. She is conversant in Chinese and Vietnamese. She serves on a number of Boards and Advisory Groups including The B Team, the Business and Human Rights Resource Center, and SXSW Eco. She is based in San Francisco with frequent travel to New York and internationally.
Michael J. Hirschhorn
Michael is founder and CEO of a start-up dedicated to championing and expanding the global marketplace for the next generation of beautiful, high-quality furniture made from reclaimed wood and other sustainable materials. Prior, from 2008 - 14, Michael served as Executive Director of the International Human Rights Funders Group, a global peer-learning network comprised of several hundred grantmaking institutions committed to strengthening human rights philanthropy worldwide.
From 2003-08, Michael was Executive Director of the Coro New York Leadership Center, dedicated to fostering informed, engaged participation in public decision-making in New York City and beyond. During Michael's tenure, Coro launched new participatory civic engagement programs for immigrant leaders and NYC public high school students. From 1995-2001, Michael served as Executive Director of the Literacy Assistance Center, a comprehensive training and technical support center committed to advancing adult literacy education in New York City.
Prior, Michael was as an Assistant to the Chancellor of the NYC Public Schools, responsible -- as part of a public/non-profit partnership -- for implementation of the Chancellor's lead systemwide school reform initiative, the Corridor Program. In earlier years, Michael served as Deputy Executive Director of Educators for Social Responsibility in NYC, as well as Director of the Center for Educational Change at the School of Education at Brooklyn College.
Michael chairs the board of the Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Foundation, based in Baltimore, MD. In addition to the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, Michael serves on the boards of several other education and human rights organizations, including Witness, Breakthrough, Just Vision, EMPower/The Emerging Markets Fund, Immigrant Action and American Jewish World Service. Michael received his BA in American Studies from Yale University and his MBA & MSW from Columbia University. He lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Jimena -- who founded and directs Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance -- and their 13-year-old twins.
Kirsty is Managing Director & Sustainable Investment Strategist with Wespath Investment Management.
Until 2014, Kirsty was Director of the Markets and Enterprise Program at the World Resources Institute (WRI), based in Washington DC., which focuses on harnessing markets and enterprises to expand opportunity and protect the environment.
Prior to her work with WRI, Kirsty was a Director in the Governance & Sustainable Investment team with F&C Asset Management in London. Using the influence of F&C’s $200bn of investments, the team encouraged companies around the world to address a diverse range of environmental, social and governance issues; Kirsty led F&C’s human rights engagement Before F&C, Kirsty spent the first six years of her career at Goldman Sachs in London working in Fixed Income sales and research analysing corporate securities.
While in London, Kirsty was a member of the Amnesty International UK Business Group and was a member of the Human Rights Watch London Committee and Chair of the Human Rights Watch London Network.
She holds an MA in International History from the University of Edinburgh.
Chris is President and CEO of Landesa. For ten years prior to that, he led the private sector work of Oxfam America including corporate campaigns, business and human rights, value chain assessments and social enterprise. He initiated a number of innovative partnerships with Fortune 500 corporations and served as Oxfam’s representative to various multi-stakeholder initiatives, including the work with UNSR John Ruggie.
Chris has worked for over two decades on issues of business and human rights, including seven years in Latin America supporting grassroots campaigns around extractive industries, trade and human rights. He co-founded and directed two nonprofit organizations devoted to economic and social rights -- the Center for Social and Economic Rights in New York and El Centro de Derechos Economicos y Sociales, in Ecuador.
Prior to Oxfam, Chris worked as a corporate attorney with the Wall Street law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, where he advised companies on environmental and social responsibilities. He co-edited the book Sovereign Debt at the Crossroads (Oxford, 2007) and has published and lectured widely on issues of human rights, business and development. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and a former fellow of the Echoing Green Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation. He teaches a class on business and human rights at Harvard Law School.
Seema Joshi has worked globally and has 20 years of professional experience in law, corporate accountability, human rights and natural resources. Currently, she is Deputy Program Director for Global Issues/Head of Business and Human Rights at the Secretariat of Amnesty International. In this capacity, she provides strategic leadership to Amnesty’s body of work on corporates, seeking to improve accountability for human rights abuses in the areas of extractives, agribusiness, corporate crimes, and supply chains. Previously, Seema work as Legal Advisor/Interim Team Leader at the London based NGO, Global Witness.
While living in Asia, Seema managed and implemented a UN regional development programme to improve environmental access rights for local communities. She is a qualified Canadian lawyer and was called to the Alberta Bar in 1999, where she practiced commercial litigation. She holds an LL.M from the London School of Economics, as well as a JD and Bachelors of Arts from the University of Manitoba, in Canada.
Komala Ramachandra is a Senior Researcher in the Business and Human Rights Division of Human Rights Watch. Her current research focuses on inequality and predatory corporate practices that affect the poor. Before joining Human Rights Watch, Komala was a staff attorney and later the South Asia Director at Accountability Counsel, where she supported communities to defend their human rights and natural resources. She worked on cases in Peru, Mexico, India, and Nepal, holding international companies and banks accountable for harm they had caused. She has been engaged in policy advocacy around the world, seeking to ensure that national laws and institutional policies support transparency, accountability, and access to remedy. Prior to this, Komala lived and worked with mining affected communities in Oaxaca, Mexico, and with agricultural workers in Telangana, India. She has a BA in economics and political science from Northwestern University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Extortionate Phone Fees Cut Off US Prisoners, June 16, 2017, Dispatches
US Justice Department Review Threatens Local Justice Reforms, April 10, 2017, Dispatches
US Plan on Responsible Business Conduct is Too Little, Too Late, December 20, 2016, Dispatches
César is International Director and Founding Member of the Center for Law, Justice, and Society (Dejusticia), based in Bogota, Colombia. He is Associate Professor and Director of the Program on Global Justice and Human Rights at the University of the Andes. He has been visiting professor at various universities including Stanford (USA), Brown (USA), Pretoria (South Africa), Getulio Vargas (Brazil), and Central European (Budapest). He serves in the editorial boards of the Annual Review of Law and Social Science and OpenGlobalRights, as well as in the executive board of Fundar Mexico. He is also a regular columnist in the newspaper El Espectador.
He holds a PhD. and an MS (Sociology) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MA from NYU’s Institute for Law and Society, an MA (Philosophy) from the National University of Colombia, and a JD from the University of the Andes.
His recent publications include: Balancing Wealth and Health: the Battle over Intellectual Property and Access to Medicines in Latin America (Oxford Univ. Press, co-editor); Law and Society in Latin America: A New Map (Routledge, ed.); “Ethnicity.gov: Global Governance, Indigenous Peoples and the Right to Prior Consultation in Social Minefields” (Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies); “Beyond the Courtroom: The Impact of Judicial Activism on Socioeconomic Rights in Latin America” (Texas Law Review);“Global Governance and Labor Rights: Codes of Conduct and Anti-Sweatshop Struggles in Global Apparel Factories in Mexico and Guatemala” (Politics & Society).
Dr. Mila Rosenthal
Mila is Director, Office of Communications, UNDP.
From 2012 to 2014 she was Vice President, Social Innovation at Concern Worldwide. From 2009 to 2011 she was Executive Director of HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World-USA), a global health and human rights organization working to build lasting access to health for excluded communities. Prior to joining HealthRight Intl. she was Deputy Executive Director for Reseach and Policy, Amnesty International USA, and Director of Amnesty International USA’s Business and Human Rights Program.
Mila was previously the Director of the Workers Rights Program at the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First), and researched labour conditions in textile factories in Vietnam for her PhD in social anthropology from the London School of Economics. She was a consultant in Vietnam on rights-based issues to organisations including OXFAM and UNICEF; served as Director of the NGO Resource Project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; and worked to build Cambodian civil society for UNTAC, the United Nations peacekeeping operation in Cambodia.
Mila has written extensively about the social impact of globalisation.
Paul is currently the Finance and Operations Director at the Kings Fund. Paul’s responsibilities include managing the Fund's finances and investments; providing effective business systems and processes; and generating income from commercial events and facilities.
Paul has worked for 20 years in senior finance and broader leadership roles in the charity sector based in the UK, Malawi, Namibia and the Netherlands. He has worked in Director level roles for Oxfam GB, ActionAid International, the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Clinical Research Programme and the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Paul is a trained executive coach and has an active interest in leadership and organisational development.
Mutuso Dhliwayo is the Executive Director and a founder member of the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA). ZELA is a public interest environmental law organisation that works to promote democracy, good governance, sustainable development, transparency and accountability in the natural resources sector. This based on the understanding that depending on how natural resources are exploited and the rents generated therefrom managed, they can either result in the protection and promotion of human rights that are recognised under national, regional and international law. He has just completed a Leadership Transition Fellowship Programme at the University of Indiana’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the United States of America supported by the Ford Foundation.
He holds a dual masters in Constitutional and Human Rights Law (LLM) from Midlands State University, Zimbabwe and a Masters in Environment and Development from University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He also holds a Bachelor of Laws Honors degree (LLBS) Degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He is registered with the High Court of Zimbabwe as a legal practitioner, notary public and conveyancer.
He has research and advocacy interests in business and human rights, transboundary natural resources management, wildlife and the extractive sector. He spearheaded the establishment of ZELA’s business and human rights / responsible investments programme which was called Pillars in Practice based on the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in 2012.
He sits in boards that include the African Coalition on Corporate Accountability, Global Greegrants Fund for Southern Africa, the Publish What You Pay Africa Steering Committee and Women University in Africa.
He is a member of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, Association for Research on Civil Society in Africa (AROCSA) and the Association for Research on Non-Profit Organisations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).