Meet the Team
Our website is in ten languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Our regional researchers are based in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, North America, Latin America and the Middle East (Team members in some regions may not be listed below). 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 2013. Phil leads strategy and outreach globally working with 80 global team members and allies. Programmes are focused on transformation of business and investment models especially in areas of the just transition to net zero carbon; labour rights in supply chains; rights in technology and civic freedoms.
Phil sits on several external groups including Civil Society Advisory Group for Principles for Responsible Banking, the Expert Review Committee of World Benchmarking Alliance; Climate Outreach’s Board, and the European Citizen’s Initiative for a Living Wage.
Prior to joining the Resource Centre Phil was Director of Campaigns and Policy at Oxfam GB, joining them after 11 years in Latin America working on human rights and indigenous rights.
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.
Betty Yolanda, Director of Regional Programmes
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.
Michael Clements, Director of International Programmes (based in Johannesburg)
Michael joined the Resource Centre in March 2022. She came directly from Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa, where she was Head of Programmes, but also acted for three years as executive director until March 2022, and as Programme Manager for three years before that. In these roles, Michael has led hard-hitting national advocacy and confrontational legal cases regarding abuse by companies regarding natural resources and extractives, as well as collaboration with unions on labour rights cases. Alongside this national focus, Michael has led the creation of an international programme of research and advocacy to transform international regulatory standards, including leadership on the future of the international binding Treaty. This has involved both pan-Africa and global advocacy strategies.
Previous to this Michael worked for the global law firm, Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton, including acting for governments against corporate interests. She gained an undergraduate degree as well as a JD from Columbia University, with a specialisation in business and human rights and worked directly with communities in the Congo. And Michael comes to us with the invaluable experience of six years working for the private sector with AngloGold Ashanti up to 2007.
Graham Mackay, Chief Operating Officer (based in London)
Graham joined the Resource Centre in August 2021 and is based in the London headquarters. He oversees the internal organisational & operational functions and his purpose is to ensure a well run, efficient, agile organisation that is enabled to be outward-facing and delivering its mission and the commitments made to its partners and stakeholders.
Graham’s background originally was in natural sciences where he gained a PhD in environmental science before moving into relief and development, where he has worked on programmes in more than 15 countries around the world. He was Oxfam’s deputy humanitarian director before moving into organisational management. Prior to joining the Resource Centre he was Chief Operating Officer at Bond, the UK’s membership organisation for International Relief and Development organisations for six years doing a similar role.
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.
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.
Mathilde Stephanie Ngo Pouhe, Africa Research Assistant (based in Scotland)
Stephanie Ngo Pouhe has been appointed as research assistant for Africa. She is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Energy and Mineral Resources Law and Policy at the Centre of Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Law and Policy (CEPMLP) in Dundee, Scotland. She holds an LLM in Oil and Gas Law and Policy, a Master 1 in Business Litigation and Arbitration and a Bachelor in Political and Juridical Sciences.
Stephanie has developed research skills working on projects like the Reflection on an Energy Transition in Africa funded by Ukaid and the creation of legal database for natural and mineral resources regulations, project funded by the International Bar Association. Moreover, she participated in Environmental and Social Impacts Assessment of different oil and gas projects in Cameroon, like the FLNG (Floating Liquefied Natural Gas) conducted by Golar LNG, SNH (Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures). Her focus is on the social and human-rights aspects of the energy in developing countries with a special attention to Africa.
Asia & Pacific
Amy Sinclair, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Senior Researcher & Representative & Interim Director of KnowTheChain (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.
Annie S. Khan, South Asia Researcher & Representative and Asia Regional Manager (based in India)
Annie joined the Resource Centre in 2019 as the regional researcher for South Asia. She now also supports the wider Asia team as regional manager, since 2021. She is a New York state licensed attorney 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 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Her work has mainly been research, policy, and advocacy-based, with a specific focus on the state of human rights in globalising economies in South Asia.
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 studied business and human rights in Asia at the Singapore Management University as part of her J.D programme and also previously studied under human rights 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.
Anithra Varia, South Asia Researcher and Representative
Anithra brings over a decade of experience in the not-for-profit sector, consisting of a diverse portfolio of roles across various organizations and thematic focuses. Beginning her career at the Sri Lanka Youth Climate Action Network, she transitioned to World Vision Sri Lanka after obtaining her Bachelor's Degree in Laws from the University of London. During her time in Melbourne, Anithra pursued a Master's Degree in International Development from RMIT University while actively engaging with Sisterworks, an organization dedicated to empowering refugee women. Upon returning to Sri Lanka, she integrated back into the landscape, collaborating with entities such as MSI, Pact International, and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. Anithra's expertise extends to thematic areas including enforced disappearances, torture, land rights, and labor issues, particularly within the apparel and plantation sectors of Sri Lanka.
Anju Kozono, Japan Researcher and Representative (based in Japan)
Anju joined the Resource Centre in July 2023. She assists in research and outreach in Japan. Previously, she was a project coordinator of Human Rights Now (HRN), an international human rights organisation based in Japan, implementing Business and Human Rights projects collaborating with NGOs, governments, and multinational corporations. Anju holds an LL.M in International Human Rights and Economic Law from the University of Essex (the United Kingdom). Anju is fluent in Japanese and English.
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.
Yoona Kim, Korea Research and Representative (based in Seoul, South Korea)
Yoona joined the Resource Centre in July 2022 and is responsible for research and outreach based in South Korea. Yoona’s work has been focused on the health of migrant workers in South Korea and China. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she obtained her doctoral degree in International Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her dissertation explored mental health and well-being of Korean Chinese migrant youth in South Korea. She is an academic who is actively engaged with civil society efforts to advance migrant workers’ health rights in South Korea.
She holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Hong Kong and a B.A. with a double major in International Studies and Psychological and Brain Sciences from Johns Hopkins University. Yoona is a national of South Korea and speaks Korean, English, and intermediate Mandarin Chinese.
Europe & Central Asia
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.
Vladyslava Kaplina, Eastern Europe/Central Asia Research Assistant (based in Lisbon)
Vladyslava joined the Resource Centre in 2021. She is responsible for research in Eastern Europe & Central Asia. Vladyslava was the administrative assistant of the course “Business, Corporations and Human Rights”, organized jointly by the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University (Kharkiv, Ukraine) and the Judge of the European Court of Human Rights on behalf of Portugal Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque (March-December 2020). She holds a degree in Law from the Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University. At the moment Vladyslava is pursuing her Master in Fundamental Rights at the University of Lisbon and is engaged in the project “Human Rights & Business: regulatory aspects and corporate duties emerging from human rights rules”, created by the Lisbon Centre for Research in Public Law.
Her mother tongues are Ukrainian and Russian. She speaks fluent English, French and Portuguese. Vladyslava is a national of Ukraine.
Johannes Blankenbach, Senior EU / Western Europe Researcher & Representative (based in Berlin) @JBlankenbach
Johannes Blankenbach is the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre’s Senior EU/Western Europe Researcher & Representative, based at its Berlin office. He has been with the organization since 2018, after more than five years as a Researcher at the (now) German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) in Bonn. Johannes leads the Resource Centre's EU research, which covers human rights impacts of EU businesses within and outside of the region, as well as policy and legislative trends. Human rights and environmental due diligence and the move towards binding corporate due diligence and accountability legislation is a particular focus of his work. Among other topics, Johannes’ writing and presentations have addressed the pitfalls of social audits and the need for genuine due diligence including responsible purchasing practices and business models, as well as effective and safe stakeholder engagement. He holds a BA in International Relations from Dresden University (TU Dresden) and an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Johannes speaks fluent German and English, with a good knowledge of French. He is a national of Germany.
Saskia Wilks, EU/Western Europe Researcher (based in Belfast)
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.
Amelie Freund, EU/Western Europe Research Assistant (based in Berlin)
Amelie joined the Resource Centre in May 2022 as an EU/ Western Europe Intern. She currently studies law at Freie Universität Berlin and holds a BA in International Relations from Technische Universität Dresden. During her studies, she focused on feminist and decolonial critiques of the (international) legal system and global capitalism. Her previous experience includes working for the Chair of International Law, European Law and Public Law at the Technische Universität Dresden and internships at Brot für die Welt, the International Association of Lawyers against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV). She is particularly interested in supply chain due diligence acts, labour rights and rethinking the existing economic system. Amelie is fluent in German and English and has a good knowledge of Spanish.
Jorge V. Cardenas, Americas Regional Manager (based in Mexico)
Jorge joins us while working for the oldest public health NGO, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, fighting tobacco industry interference in public policies. He has over ten years of experience advising governments, civil society organizations, and academia to implement the first and only public health and corporate accountability treaty, the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
During this time Jorge has worked for Dutch, French, and US civil society organizations to stop industry interference at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and the World Health Organization. Jorge was chief of staff on foreign policy at the Senate of Mexico, and holds an MSc from the University of Edinburgh.
Meagan Barrera, North America Researcher & Representative (based in New York)
Meagan joined the Resource Centre in September 2021 as the North America Researcher and Representative. She is a human rights and gender justice advocate and researcher who has collaborated extensively with grassroots communities to achieve systemic change and accountability for human rights abuses. Meagan served as the Human Rights Advocacy Coordinator with MADRE, where she partnered with grassroots gender justice organisations in Latin America, the Middle East and Africa to connect strategic advocacy to their movements. She has also consulted with Inclusive Development International, Human Rights Watch, and the Clinton Foundation on various business and human rights issues. Meagan was an organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice America in New York and helped to set up the NARAL New York City Volunteer Action Council, where she served as Volunteer Deputy Director until November 2020. Meagan holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. Her native language is English, she is fluent in Spanish, has a good working knowledge of Portuguese, and basic knowledge of Arabic. Meagan is a national of the United States.
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.
Mariana Franco, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Researcher and Representative (based in Mexico)
Mariana has worked as a human rights lawyer and in positions relating to international human rights law for more than 9 years. Recently, she was implementing a USAID project on Access to Justice for Victims. Also, she has worked on both national and subnational levels for Human Rights Commissions.
Additionally, she has considerable academic experience in the sector. In fact, she is a University Professor at one of the most prestigious Universities in the country. Mariana holds an LL.M. in Economic Social and Cultural Rights from the University of Essex, in addition to an M.A. in Human Rights and Democracy. She also holds diplomas in Human Trafficking and Labour Abuse, an International Human Rights Law Certificate from American University, and recently finished a diploma in Business Law.
Claudia Ignacio Alvarez, Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher (based in Mexico)
Claudia joined the Resource Center in 2021, she is an indigenous Purepecha woman, a national of Mexico. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Claudia was the General Coordinator at Red Solidaria de Derechos Humanos, a human rights organization that strengthens indigenous social participation and human rights. As part of her work, she closely accompanied indigenous migrant agricultural workers to seek better labour and living conditions. Claudia has a degree in History, a Master's Degree in Regional Rural Development and is a PhD intern in Social Anthropology at Universidad Iberoamericana CDMX. Her study field is indigenous territory and social organisation.
Helene Saadoun, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean Researcher (based in Mexico)
Helene joined the Resource Centre as Mexico, CA and the Caribbean Researcher in December 2023. She is a Uruguayan-French lawyer with over seven years of experience in gender, human rights, and access to justice for women, girls, and other vulnerable groups.
Previously, she worked at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in a gender and human rights project. She has worked with United Nations agencies, international organizations, government institutions, and civil society organizations on gender issues, gender-based violence, the protection of journalists and human rights defenders, and the criminal justice system in Mexico and the region. Helene holds an LL.M in International Criminal Law from the University of Sussex and studies in gender, human rights, and access to justice. Her native tongues are Spanish and French. She is also fluent in English, is currently studying Portuguese, and has basic abilities in Japanese.
Silvana Vanessa Mena Hernández, Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Research Assistant (based in Mexico City)
Silvana is a Mexican international relations student at Universidad de Monterrey (UDEM). She collaborates in national and international sustainable development projects focused on the reconstruction of the social fabric of communities and the implementation of an urban forest in her university. Her interest in environmental care has led her to gain experience in the organization of climate justice movements and participation in the first Green Parliament in the Congress of Nuevo Leon. Her volunteer work includes coordinating workshops and volunteers at the educational program of Equipando a México A.C, focused on the empowerment and development of children in marginalized elementary schools through a formative model. Silvana’s native language is Spanish, she is fluent in English and has basic knowledge of French.
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 holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of São Paulo (USP). Currently, she is pursuing a master's degree in International Law and Human Rights, with a minor in minority studies, at Åbo Akademi University, in Finland, to be completed in July 2024. Vitória is involved with migration issues, specially forced displacement and environmentally displaced persons. 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, Ministry of Justice) and taking part in the social assistance and protection programmes of the Refugee Reference Center of Caritas Arquidiocesana São Paulo, an UNHCR implementing partner. Vitória's mother tongue is Portuguese, and she is fluent in English and Spanish, has an advanced French and basic abilities in Arabic.
Miguel Ángel Barboza López, South America Researcher and Representative (based in Bogotá)
Miguel joined the Resource Centre as South America Researcher and Representative in 2023. He is a Peruvian lawyer with more than 10 years of experience in the Inter-American System of Human Rights, indigenous peoples and business and human rights. Miguel holds a Master's degree in International Human Rights Law (LL.M) from the University of Notre Dame in the United States of America (Magna Cum Laude).
Before joining the Centre, he was a visiting researcher at the Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia) in Colombia, a lawyer at the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and as a human rights lawyer at EarthRights International. Currently, he is also a project coordinator of the thematic lines of business and human rights and indigenous peoples in the Rule of Law Programme for Latin America of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
Fabián Andrés León Peñuela, Programme Manager, Researcher and Representative of the Colombia Programme (based in Bogotá)
Fabián Andrés León Peñuela has been with the BHRRC since 2019. He has a master’s degree in law with emphasis on constitutional law, 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 as well as Collective memories, human rights and resistances specialization at Consejo Latinoamericano de Ciencias Sociales (CLACSO). He studied law at the National University of Colombia and economics and political science at the University of Montreal (Canada). 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.
Juan Diego Espinosa, Researcher of the Colombia Programme (based in Bogotá)
Juan joined the Resource Centre in 2019. He is a political scientist, a specialist in justice, victims and peacebuilding and has a master's degree in environment and development. He has analysed different human rights legal-political arrangements and has worked in national and international human rights organizations in Colombia.
Valentina Muñoz Bernal, Researcher of the Colombia Programme (based in Bogotá)
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 for 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.
Andrea Betancourt, Administrative Coordinator for the Colombia Programme (based in Bogotá)
Andrea has a degree in Public Accounting and a postgraduate title in Tax Administration. Experience of 4 years as General Administrator in a private company. Independent accountant for 3 years and 2 years of experience in the area of Audit of last Control in the Internal Audit Unit of the Public Sector. In Bogota D.C. she has lived for the past 4 years working as an Accounting, Administrative and Audit Assistant at the level of non-profit organizations (NGOs), legal and natural persons. She has numerical and analytical skills, management of accounting programmes and cost centres, excellent management of the office package, good interpersonal relationships, and mastery of information technology and communication. Andrea is a Venezuelan citizen with a migrant permit in Colombia. Her native language is Spanish and has an average understanding of written English.
Natalie Swan, Labour Rights Programme Manager (based in London)
Natalie joined the Research Centre in March 2022 and is responsible for managing the organisation's projects on labour rights issues. Natalie has worked within the UK and international trade union movement for the past decade, organising and representing largely female, migrant and low-wage workers. As European Director for the Care, Cleaning & Security Services at UNI Global Union, Natalie was responsible for coordinating international policy and campaigns to call for decent work in these sectors, and most recently has developed the newly launched School of Organising at the UK-based IWGB union; training gig economy and outsourced workers to develop effective organising campaigns.
Natalie has also worked as an independent consultant at Partner Africa, working with brands and their supplier networks on the African continent to implement due diligence and worker representative mechanisms.
Natalie holds a BA in History from King’s College London and an MSc in Globalisation & Development from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS). Natalie has previously lived and worked in Brussels and Cape Town and is currently based in London. She is a British national.
Isobel Archer, Senior Researcher, Labour & Migrant Worker Rights (based in London) @isobellarcher
Isobel joined the Resource Centre in April 2019 to work on the Migrant Workers in the Gulf Project in the run-up to the Qatar 2022 World Cup. 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 a year studying at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Bhoomika Choudhury, Senior Labour Rights Researcher (based in India)
Bhoomika Choudhury holds a Master of Law in Human Rights Law from Georgetown University Law Center (GULC), Washington DC, and a Bachelor of Laws from Symbiosis Law School, India. Complementing her academic achievements, she also possesses a Master in Business and Human Rights from the Institute of Human Rights and Business, Bergen University, and the Rafto Foundation. Bhoomika passed the Indian Bar examination in 2013 and the New York Bar examination in 2019.
Her career is marked by strategic litigation and advocacy, particularly in labor rights, human trafficking, and business ethics. Bhoomika's role as a Consultant to ARAVALI, India involved investigating employer liability for compensating silicosis-affected workers in the sandstone industry, establishing legal aid clinics, and generating evidence for a strategic litigation. As an Independent Consultant for the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights, she conducted groundbreaking research on judicial harassment and police atrocities, notably addressing issues surrounding a contentious mining plant in Odisha, India. Notably, she contributed significantly to drafting a policy for the Ministry of Labor & Employment of the Government of India, focusing on child labor rehabilitation and the Child Labour Project's implementation. As the Legal Research and Advocacy Lead at Cividep India, Bhoomika played a pivotal role in shaping policies, conducting research and trainings, project planning and enhancing grievance mechanisms in the apparel industry.Bhoomika's impact extends internationally through her research on the violation of decent work conditions in the India-U.S. sandstone mining supply chain. Her influential report resulted in sandstone's inclusion in the List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor published by the U.S. Department of Labor, highlighting her commitment to eliminating exploitation. With an extensive background, Bhoomika has left an indelible mark on the legal landscape, championing human rights and ethical practices. Her affiliations with esteemed legal associations, including the Supreme Court Bar Association and Delhi High Court Bar Association, further affirm her professional standing.
Catriona Fraser, Migrant Workers Researcher (based in London)
Catriona joined the research centre in April 2023. She has a master's degree in Migration Studies from the University of Oxford, where her research focused on female migrant rights in Europe and the US in the context of globalisation and worker precarity. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Catriona worked as Research and Impact lead of an education consultancy, and she also ran the organisation’s charity, The Oppidan Foundation, working to reduce the risk of exclusion for vulnerable pupils in UK schools. Before moving into research, Catriona worked for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s Media and Advocacy department in Geneva, supporting the maintenance of the disaster risk reduction website PreventionWeb. She has also volunteered for the NGO Lifting Hands International, teaching children in refugee camps in Greece, and has interned as a journalist and photographer in Bolivia.
Kate Jelly, Labour Rights Researcher (based in Berlin)
Kate joined the Resource Centre in September 2022 to work primarily on research in the garment and tea sectors in South and Southeast Asia and East and Southern Africa. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Kate was a consultant at Ergon Associates where she undertook research and advisory work for a range of clients - focusing on human rights and labour risks in global agricultural and manufacturing supply chains, and gender-based violence and harassment in relation to development finance investments. Previously, Kate worked for the consultancy Context, and at the UK Department for International Development, where she supported the UK government’s response to humanitarian emergencies. She has also volunteered for human rights and environmental organisations. Kate holds a BA from the University of York and an MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is a UK national based in Berlin.
Áine Clarke, Head of KnowTheChain and Investor Strategy (based in London)
Áine leads the KnowTheChain benchmark - a resource for companies and investors to understand and address forced labour and labour rights risks and impact within their global supply chains. Prior to this she led investor engagement on the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) at the UK based responsible investment charity, ShareAction. While there, she was seconded to the Project Task Force on the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (EFRAG), developing the draft workforce standards for the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). She has an M.A in International Political Economy and has completed CFA level 1 and certificate in ESG investing.
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.
Weronika Betta, KnowTheChain Researcher (based in Brussel)
Weronika joined the Resource Centre in November 2022. As a Researcher for the KnowTheChain program, she supports the collection and analysis of data used to construct the benchmark. Prior to joining the Centre, Weronika worked on research and strategic litigation in several civil society organisations engaged on issues related to corporate conduct and human rights, incl. TRIAL International in Switzerland, Dejusticia in Colombia, and Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos in Peru. She has also worked as a Research Assistant at Yale Law School and Teaching Assistant at the Sciences Po School of Law. Weronika holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. Her working languages are English, Spanish, French, and Polish.
Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders
Christen Dobson, Senior Programme Manager & Researcher (based in Portugal)
Christen joined the Resource Centre in March 2017, where she now co-leads the Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders programme and formerly managed the technology and human rights programme. She also works part-time with the Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice as the Community Care and Learning Officer. 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 Global Greengrants Fund and Prospera - International Network of Women’s Funds 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. 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 and lives in Portugal.
Ana Zbona, Programme Manager - Business, Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders and Researcher – Natural Resources (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.
Hannah Matthews, Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) - Researcher and Database Coordinator (based in Mexico)
Hannah joined the Resource Centre initially in 2018 as Research Assistant and later became Latin America Researcher. She returned in 2023 as Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defender (HRD) Researcher and Database Coordinator. Previously she collaborated with Peace Brigades International (PBI) in different capacities, principally in Mexico and Colombia as well as coordinating the organisation's communication work on an international level. This and other consultancy work directly linked to the impact of business on human rights in the region has led her to gain expertise in the protection of HRDs and a deep understanding of the threats against them.
She holds master's degrees in Agroecology and Regenerative Food Systems from the Universidad del Medio Ambiente, Mexico, and another in Human Rights and International Law from the University of London, UK, and is keenly interested in the defense of indigenous rights and our shared natural resources.
Hannah's mother tongue is English and she speaks fluent Spanish, good French, basic German and Mixteco. Hannah is a British national based in Mexico.
Lady Nancy Zuluaga Jaramillo, Legal Researcher, Human Rights Defenders & Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (based in Panama)
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.
Dylan Lebecki, Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders Project Assistant (based in Portugal)
Dylan Lebecki joined the Resource Centre in August 2023 as a Project Assistant with the Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders program. Before joining the Resource Center Dylan worked with the protection and security of Human Rights Defenders in Colombia with the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation (SweFOR) and in Guatemala with PBI. Prior to that he also completed an internship in human rights with the EU Delegation to Lao PDR. He is mainly interested in the defense of indigenous rights, territory and land, and transitional justice processes.
He holds a master´s degree in Violence, Conflict, and Development from SOAS University of London and a Bachelor´s degree in Business Studies from the University of Edinburgh. Dylan speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently and is a national of both Ecuador and Portugal.
Corporate Legal Accountability
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.
Technology and Human Rights
Gayatri Khandhadai, Head of Technology and Human Rights (Based in India)
Gaya joined the Resource Centre in February 2022 as the Head of Technology and Human Rights. She is a lawyer with a background in international law and human rights, international and regional human rights mechanisms, research, and advocacy. She previously worked with national and regional human rights groups, focusing on freedom of expression.
More recently she worked as the Asia Policy Regional Coordinator at the Association for Progressive Communications where her focus was on digital rights and policy in Asia with specific emphasis on freedoms of expression, religion, assembly and association on the internet. Her areas of expertise include capacity building, network support, policy advocacy on regulations and adoption of human rights-based approach to internet governance.
She holds an M.A. in International Law and Human Rights from the University for Peace, Costa Rica and a B.A. BL (Hons) from the Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, India.
Danny Rayman, Technology and Human Rights Researcher (based in Santiago, Chile)
Danny joined the Resource Centre in December 2021 where he covers a range of technology and human rights issues. Danny is a lawyer and a human rights defender from Chile, where he is currently based. Prior to this position, he was Litigation Coordinator (2016-2017), Legal Consultant and Researcher (2017-2018), and then Director, Research and Projects Coordinator (2019-2021) at Fundación Datos Protegidos where he worked on cases, research projects and advocacy campaigns related to technology and human rights. Since 2017, Danny has also been part of consulting and research teams focused on privacy, data protection, digital security, and corruption prevention systems with Tactical Technology Collective, WZB Berlin Social Science Centre, Stream House, and others. In addition, since the 2019 social uprising in Chile he has led the Testigo en Línea project which documents human rights violations. He has also participated in litigation, research, and security capacity building related to human rights defenders as a board member of the NGO Acción Constitucional.
Danny holds a Bachelor's degree in Law and Social Sciences from Universidad Diego Portales, a Master's degree in Law and New Technologies from the Universidad de Chile, and an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law and Humanitarian Law from the European University Viadrina. Danny speaks Spanish and English, has a good command of German and a basic understanding of Portuguese.
Meredith Veit, Technology and Human Rights Researcher (based in the US)
Meredith joined the Resource Centre at the start of 2023. Her work sits at the intersection of business, human rights and technology, with a particular focus on at-risk groups. She is a journalist by vocation, and she has worked on various projects related to the protection of human rights defenders, journalists, migrants’ rights and children’s rights in the digital age. She specializes in fact-finding, trauma-informed and gender-sensitive interviewing, and project management.
Meredith holds a master's degree in Human Rights and Democratisation from the Global Campus of Human Rights and a bachelor's degree in Communication and Public Culture from The George Washington University.
Natural Resources & Renewable Energy
Caroline Avan, Natural Resources Researcher (based in Rennes)
Caroline joined the Resource Centre in May 2022 as Natural Resources Researcher. She conducts research and analysis on corporate abuses, policies and practices in the renewable energy sector, and raises awareness as well as engages with companies and their investors.
Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Caroline worked with Oxfam France for three years as Extractive Industries Advocacy & Research Officer. She led Oxfam global engagement with French extractive companies, and coordinated the development of several publications on the industry, with a focus on climate, human rights and tax justice issues. She also was in charge of coordinating the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition in France, as well as co-leading PWYP EU advocacy strategy for stronger European regulations on corporate transparency and accountability.
Before that, she was a humanitarian worker, holding various operation coordination positions in emergency & post-emergency settings. She lived and worked in different countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan and Iraq. She initially started her career as a financial auditor.
She holds a Master’s degree in Advanced Global Studies from Sciences Po Paris, and a MSc in engineering from the ISAE (France). She is a French national, her native language is French and she is fluent in English.
Natalia Daza Niño, Natural Resources Research Assistant (Based in Bogotá)
Natalia joined the Resource Centre in 2023. Over the past years, Natalia has worked as a human rights researcher and advocate, with a focus on the nexus between human rights, climate justice, and gender justice. Before joining the BHRRC team, Natalia worked for two years at the Colombian human rights NGO Dejusticia, where she served as a researcher in the environmental justice area. She also worked as a consultant for the environmental NGO Transforma conducting research on social and gender issues with regard to climate change. Currently, Natalia also serves as a Gender Monitor for the activities of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Latin America and the Caribbean at the Women´s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).
Natalia holds a Bachelor´s Degree in Political Science from Universidad de Los Andes, with minors in Gender Studies, and Philosophy. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Emil Rasu Sirén Gualinga, Natural Resources Researcher (Based in Ecuador)
Emil joined the Resource Centre in October 2023 as a Natural Resources Researcher. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Emil worked as a sustainability consultant at Ethos, in Stockholm, where he supported investors to strengthen their responsible investment approaches. Emil has also worked on multiple projects focused on advocacy for Indigenous rights.
Emil holds a master’s degree in business and development Studies from Copenhagen Business School. Emil is a Swedish-Ecuadorian based in Ecuador.
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.
Harriet Wood, Digital Communications Officer (based in London)
Harriet joined the communications team in October 2019. 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. 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. She speaks English and Spanish.
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).
Amanda Waite, Web Content and Digital Officer (based in Edinburgh)
Amanda joined the Resource Centre in 2023 with responsibility for managing the website and ensuring the Resource Centre's digital action platform maximises the impact and reach of our work and informs and empowers allies. She works with our global team and external digital partners to continuously improve the website content and user experience. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Amanda worked in digital communication, website development and translation projects at the University of Edinburgh - most recently, establishing the EuroGCT project's multilingual digital platform, which communicates reliable and accessible information to enable informed decision-making about gene and cell therapy. Amanda has a Master of Professional Studies in Translation and bachelor’s degrees (BA/BCom) in French and Operations Management from the University of Auckland. Her native language is English, she has good knowledge of French and Spanish and is learning Scottish Gaelic. She is a national of the UK and New Zealand.
Ayotunde Razaq, Communication Officer (based in Nigeria)
Ayotunde joined the Resource Centre in 2023, having previously worked in Communications and Public Relations roles with numerous NGOs and international development organizations, including the IOM, UNGC, CDD, and most recently, with GIZ. At GIZ, he managed the development of strategic communications for two programmes: strengthening resilience in northeast Nigeria and skills development for youth employment, spanning across ten states in Nigeria and Germany. He possesses a wide range of communication skills, including creative digital design, overseeing social platforms, and expertise in strategic communications.
Currently, Ayotunde serves as an ambassador for UNDP SocialProtection.org. He holds a BA from the prestigious University of Ibadan and an Executive MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology in Washington DC, USA. Ayotunde is of Nigerian nationality.
Development 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 has 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.
Émile Kinley-Gauthier, Development Officer
Émile joined the Resource Centre as a Development Officer in December 2021. Previously, from 2016 to 2021, he held multiple positions with the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), where he was a Resource Mobilisation Officer from 2019. In his role, he was leading and coordinating in all activities related to fundraising, including development of the organisational Fundraising Strategy & Plan and drafting proposals to institutional donors. Émile also spent one year at Manushya Foundation as a Human Right Researcher. There, he drafted multiple chapters of a CSO National Baseline Assessment (NBA) on the situation of business and human rights in Thailand, including a legal & policy analysis on the protection of human rights defenders.
Émile holds a Master’s Degree in Asian Studies from the Graduate Institute of Geneva, and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Montreal. He is a Canadian national and is fluent in both French and English.
Martin Lassalle, Development Officer (based in Argentina)
Martin joined the Resource Centre in April 2022 as a Development Officer for the LATAM region. Prior to working at the Centre, Martin developed his fundraising and international cooperation career in different countries in the region, having worked in regional and grassroots organizations in Argentina, Haiti, Guatemala, and Costa Rica, and has experience in different thematic areas such as education, civil rights movements, and nutrition. Martin is an Argentinian national and has Postgraduate studies in Administration for nonprofit organizations and an MA in International Law.
Brittany Bouchez, US Administrative and Development Assistant (based in New York)
Brittany joined the Resource Centre in October 2021 as a temporary US Administrative and Development Assistant. In January 2022, she became a permanent member. She assists on all administrative needs with the Development, Communication and Operations Team. She has a B.A in Psychology from SUNY Albany and over 8 years of customer service experience in a variety of industries. She is passionate about the Resource Centre’s mission and is excited to help continue their growth years to come. Outside of her career, she enjoys learning new ways to unlock her creativity from graphic designs to painting.
Human Resources, Finance and Operations
Giulia Vinzi, Human Resources Lead (based in London)
Giulia Vinzi joins us as the first Human Resources Lead based in our London office. She has over five years of HR experience in a fast paced, international healthcare media company, WebMD. She started her career in the NYC headquarters where she was hired while in her senior year of college, after a summer internship. After three years, her passion for international affairs was recognized by the head of HR who offered her a role in London as the first HR support for the growing global business. There, she supported over 150 employees across the UK and EU with all aspects of human resources.
Ezgi Crössmann, Finance Officer (based in Berlin)
Ezgi joined the Resource Centre as Finance Officer in November 2021. She is based in Berlin and supports the BHRRC team through financial and grants management.
She started her career at Deloitte, where she realized her interest in being part of the development work through audits she performed. In the following years, she supported country offices and projects teams of Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V. and GIZ GmbH in Turkey and Germany. She worked for various humanitarian aid, emergency response, and development projects as Finance and Administration Officer.
Prior to her career, Ezgi studied International Relations and got her master's degree in Business Administration. She is a Turkish citizen living in Germany since 2019.
Alice Penzo, PA & Operations Support (based in London)
Alice joined the BHRRC in December 2022. She has worked in different private-sector industries in the past, including retail, financial services and the renewable energy sector. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna, Alice spent several months in South America working on sustainable development projects with the indigenous communities of the Atacama Desert. Her interest in Human Rights led her to London, where she completed an MA in Human Rights and International Conflict at London Metropolitan University. She is interested in how inter-state and intra-state conflict impact individuals and their security.
Besides work, she likes playing tennis and hiking. She is an Italian citizen living in the UK.
Bea Ocampo, Human Resources Assistant (based in Manila)
Bea joined the Resource Centre in February 2024 as Human Resources Assistant. She has accumulated over 7 years of experience in areas of HR, operations, and program support in different international non-government organizations. Based in Manila, Philippines, she has previously taken on national and regional roles within the development and humanitarian sector. Becoming part of a global team, she is now given an opportunity to continue honing her skills and knowledge with a wider reach.
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.
January 2024-Present: Belle Benckendorff (she/her), Legal Research Intern (based in London)
Belle joined the Resource Centre in January 2024 as a Legal Research Intern with the Corporate Legal Accountability team. She is a German-trained lawyer pursuing an LL.M. in Law and Development at SOAS University of London. She obtained her first bar exam focusing on international and European law at Münster University, with an exchange semester and an internship at a global law firm in Beijing. She passed her second bar exam at the Higher Regional Court Frankfurt am Main. During her legal clerkship, she worked at the German Federal Foreign Office in Asylum law, the German Development Agency with the “Extractives and Development” team, and with the Legal Assistance Centre in Windhoek, Namibia, and its “Land, Environment, and Development” Project. Her work and research interests have focused on the intersection of human rights, responsible business conduct, due diligence supply chain laws, and the extractives industries.
As an advocate for free legal advice, she volunteered with an NGO on Lesvos, Greece in Asylum law and is currently a welfare benefits advice volunteer with Arachne Group in London.
Belle’s native language is German; she is fluent in English and has basic knowledge of French and Chinese.
January 2024-Present: Majda Lamkhioued (she/her), Legal Research Intern (based in Montreal)
Majda joined the Resource Centre in January 2024 as a Legal Research Intern with the Corporate Legal Accountability team. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Law at the University of Montreal. In her thesis, she examines the challenges to the effective implementation of international labour standards to protect workers in the West African fishing sector.
Majda holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from ESPOL, France and an LL.M in international law from the University of Montreal, Canada. She has several professional experiences in NGOs and international organizations, including Human Resources Without Borders (RHSF) in Toulouse, France and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also carried out mandates centred on corporate social responsibility as a research assistant for various actors involved in the defense and promotion of environmental and human rights in global supply chains. Her work and research interests focus on regulations and practices to prevent environmental and human rights abuses in global supply chains.
Majda is a national of France and Canada and she speaks fluent French and English.