Meet the Team
Our website is in nine languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Our regional researchers are based in Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Japan, Kenya, Jordan, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, and the USA. They draw global attention to the human rights impacts (positive and negative) of companies in their region, seek responses from companies when civil society raises concerns, and establish close contacts with grassroots NGOs, local businesspeople, and others. We have offices in London and New York.
The Resource Centre is an independent non-profit: in the UK we are a registered Charity in England & Wales (no. 1096664). In the USA we are a tax-exempt non-profit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director (based in London) @pbloomer
Phil became Executive Director of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre in September 2013. Based at the Centre’s London headquarters, Phil is responsible for leading the global organisation, delivering the mission and strategic priorities, and ensuring effective management of programme, personnel, finance, and administration.
Prior to joining the Resource Centre Phil was Director of Campaigns and Policy at Oxfam GB, where he was responsible for a team of 170 staff working across policy, advocacy, programme and campaigns. His team’s priorities were food justice, humanitarian protection and assistance in conflict zones, and the provision of essential health and education for all. Previously he was head of Oxfam International’s Make Trade Fair, and Access to Medicines campaigns.
Prior to joining Oxfam, Phil spent 11 years in Latin America and worked on human rights dimensions of business, including in food security, resource extraction; mega-projects; and business relations with public and private security in repressive environments.
Mauricio Lazala, Deputy Director & Head of Europe Office (based in Frankfurt)
Mauricio joined the Resource Centre in 2006. Until his appointment as Deputy Director in Feb. 2011 he served as Senior Researcher and Head of Latin America & Middle East. As part of the senior management team, he is involved in strategic, operational and financial decisions at the organization. He oversees Latin America and Europe researchers, as well as the London office. Mauricio also manages one of the top three strategic work streams of the organization, the "Business, Civic Freedoms and Human Rights Defenders" project. Mauricio led the 2014 redevelopment of the Resource Centre's website.
Since 2014, Mauricio is a member of the Board of the EIRIS Foundation – Empowering Responsible Investment. In 2018 he was invited to join the Advisory Committee of the Investor Alliance for Human Rights, and since 2017 he also sits on the Advisory Panel of the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights.
Previously, he served as law clerk at International Criminal Court, Programme Manager at Mexican Commission for the Protection & Defence of Human Rights, and Outreach Coordinator at B'Tselem (Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories). Mauricio has published various articles on business & human rights. Mauricio has a Law degree (honours) from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in Political Sciences and History from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is fluent in Spanish, English & Hebrew, and has basic German.
Patricia Surak, Deputy Director, Director for Development (based in New York)
Patty joined the Resource Centre in 2009 as the organisation’s first Development Director. She helped to expand and diversify the Centre’s funding sources, increase the number of donors worldwide, build the US board, and quadruple the organisation’s income. Patty works closely with the Development Team to manage current funding relationships and to seek financial support to enable the Resource Centre to expand its work. Prior to managing her own fundraising consulting business for several years, Patty was the Director of Development at a local senior care facility in New Rochelle, NY, where she oversaw a capital campaign which raised over $6 million to build a nursing and rehabilitation center.
Other posts included: Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), where she and her team managed relationships with over 600 foundation and corporate supporters and grew the revenue from this sector six-fold; Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Catholic Relief Services, which included travel to Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Bosnia, to provide technical assistance and fundraising training to CRS field staff to help with capacity building of local independent NGOs. Patty’s academic and research projects included work on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S., Canada, & Mexico and on the effects of welfare reform on poor and low-income Pennsylvania residents. Patty earned her Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) at the University of Pennsylvania, where she was awarded the Ruth Smalley Award for Outstanding Achievements in International Social Welfare, and her B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
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.
Joseph Kibugu, Africa Regional Manager & Eastern Africa senior Researcher & Representative (based in Nairobi) @joekibugu
Joseph Kibugu joined the Resource Centre in January 2012. He has conducted research missions in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Malawi. Joe worked at International Justice Mission in Kenya for over nine years, leading the organization’s work in Kenya addressing issues including gender-based violence, illegal detention, unprosecuted rape and murder, land seizure, and police accountability. Joe worked in Freetown as an intern at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. Joe obtained his law degree from Univ. of Nairobi and has a Masters in International Human Rights Law from Univ. of Notre Dame, USA. One of Joe’s courses at Notre Dame was “Transnational Corporations and Human Rights” under Prof. Douglass Cassel. As well as conducting regional research missions, Joe has also represented the Resource Centre at key international business and human rights events. Joe is fluent in English and Swahili and is proficient in French. Joseph is a national of Kenya.
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.
Asia & Pacific
Betty Yolanda, Asia Regional Manager
Betty joined the Resource Centre in February 2019 as Asia Regional Manager following her tenure at the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), a human rights and development organisation with 67 member organisations in 21 countries across Asia, where she worked since 2014 as Programme Manager then Co-Director. Betty led FORUM-ASIA’s work on freedoms of expression, assembly, and association as well as civil society engagement with the UN human rights mechanisms, ASEAN human rights commission, national human rights institutions including on the issue of business and human rights.
From 2011-2014, Betty led the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI)’s work in Southeast Asia to strengthen the capacity of public interest lawyers in engaging with the ASEAN human rights mechanisms. Prior to ABA ROLI, Betty dedicated her time working as a human rights lawyer and researcher at the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM) for more than seven years. A Chevening scholar, Betty holds an LL.M in international human rights law with Merit from the University of Essex, United Kingdom. She has a bachelor’s degree in international law from the Catholic University of Atma Jaya, Jakarta. Betty is a national of Indonesia.
Amy Sinclair, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Senior Researcher & Representative & 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.
Nicole Purves, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Project Researcher (based in Sydney)
Nicole joined the Resource Centre as a Project Researcher in 2021. She is currently engaging in research into modern slavery in Australia. Nicole is also a practising lawyer in Australia, specialising in planning and environment law. She has gained experience in human right law through her studies of Human Rights Law and Anti-Discrimination Law. She is passionate about social justice, human rights and the environment. Nicole is an advocate for access to justice having previously volunteered as a solicitor with a community legal centre further sparking her passion for social justice. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business/Commerce from the University of Western Sydney.
Lauren Satill, Australia, New Zealand & Pacific Project Researcher (based in Sydney)
Lauren joined the Resource Centre as a Project Researcher in 2021. Lauren is working as a part of the Australian Modern Slavery Research Project. Lauren is also a practising lawyer in Australia engaged in predominantly commercial work.
Lauren has a variety of experience in international human rights law. She has completed an internships in the Hague, at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and for Global Rights Compliance, an international firm focussed on a variety of rights issues including modern slavery issues and international humanitarian law. She also interned at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney, assisting on their Conflict Mapping and Archive Project – mapping various elements of the Sri Lankan civil war to assist in transitional justice efforts. Lauren has also competed on behalf of her university at the Jean Pictet International Humanitarian Law Moot. Lauren's experiences have further fostered her passion for human rights.
Lauren holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in International Relations) from the University of New South Wales. She hopes to continue her studies in this field in the future. Lauren is a national of Australia.
Annie S. Khan, South Asia Researcher & Representative (based in India)
Annie joined the Resource Centre in October 2019 and is responsible for research and outreach in the South Asia region. She is a licensed attorney whose work has been focused on international human rights, with previous experience at organizations like Amnesty International, American Bar Association Center for Human Rights, U.S. Institute of Peace and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. Her work has mainly been research and advocacy-based, with a specific focus on the state of human rights in globalising economies in South Asia, which was the subject of her dissertation in law school. For the last three years, she has been engaged in anti-trafficking work, leading research projects at Polaris and the Human Trafficking Institute. Since moving back to India, she was a consultant with Liberty Shared wherein she introduced a case management system and the Freedom Collaborative global platform to Indian civil society while advocating for stronger labour rights and labour trafficking laws.
She holds a J.D from Columbus School of Law, Catholic University, Washington, D.C. and a B.A with a double major in Political Science, International Affairs from the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She spent three months in Singapore studying business and human rights in Asia at the Singapore Management University as part of her J.D programme. She also studied human rights law under scholars at the London School of Economics and American University School of Law. Annie is a national of the U.S. who speaks English, Hindi/Urdu, and intermediate Spanish.
Akiko Sato, Japan Programme Coordinator (based in Tokyo)
Akiko is responsible for the strategy and initiatives in Japan including communication with Japanese business and investors. She is a practicing lawyer focusing on business and human rights as well as disability rights, particularly psychosocial disabilities. She has considerable experience of business and human rights field including involving in Business and Human Rights project in UNDP Asia-Pacific in 2017 and conducting field research on land grabbing and labour exploitation in Cambodia as a member of Human Rights Now, Japan-based human rights NGO. Her approach toward business and human rights is to combine multiple perspectives such as legal, sociological, development and international human rights viewpoints based on empirical analysis.
She also serves as a member of the Committee on International Human Rights and the Committee on the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, and one of the founders as well as a member of the steering committee of Business and Human Rights Lawyers Network Japan.
Akiko gained a JD from Hitotsubashi University and an MA in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University. She speaks English and Japanese.
Pochoy P. Labog, Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Manila, Philippines)
Pochoy joined the Resource Centre in August 2020 and is responsible for research and outreach in the Southeast Asia region. He is a human rights lawyer and advocate. Prior to joining the Centre, he was the Legal Services Coordinator of the Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center or Friends of the Earth - Philippines where he led the litigation of cases aimed to advance the rights of indigenous peoples and upland, rural, poor communities. He was also a Program Officer of the Asia Foundation where he worked on judicial reform and human rights issues such as extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, and torture.
Pochoy is a musician-activist who utilizes the creative arts to promote human rights.
Pochoy holds a BA in Philosophy and a JD from the Ateneo De Manila University. He also has a LLM in International Legal Studies, with a Certificate on International Human Rights Law from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C. He speaks English and Filipino and is currently learning Spanish.
Jose Jello Cubelo, Southeast Asia Research Assistant (based in Dumaguete City, Philippines)
Jose joined the Research Centre as Research Assistant for Southeast Asia in June 2017. He is in the final year of his law studies at Silliman University. Jose is currently the editor of the Silliman Law Journal and he is an active member of the school’s moot court team, participating in International Law moot court competitions. He was also a student volunteer at the Salonga Center for Law and Development – a university-based entity working on issues involving environmental law, social justice, and human rights, and labour. Prior to law school, he worked as a writer for a local newspaper in Cebu. He holds a Bachelor of Mass Communication degree from Silliman University. Jose is a national of Philippines.
Europe & Central Asia
Thulsi Narayanasamy, Head of Labour Rights (based in London)
Thulsi joined the Resource Centre in August 2019 to deliver research and analysis on labour rights issues including freedom of association and collective bargaining, a living wage, and forced labour in supply chains. She has over a decade of experience working on human and labour rights issues with a strong grounding in community and worker-led struggles in the global South, particularly across Asia and the Pacific. She has worked on refugee and migrant worker rights, labour rights in agricultural and manufacturing supply chains, customary land rights in Melanesia, land grabs by the extractives industry and conducted considerable research into international corporate practices that generate systematic human rights violations that disproportionately affect women. She previously led the Asia programme at UK charity, War on Want, leading policy, advocacy and campaign work on labour and land rights. She is also the former Executive Director of Australian NGO, Aid/Watch, which advocates on international aid, trade agreements and foreign investment policy and practice. Thulsi has engaged as a media commentator on social and economic justice issues and written extensively on the same. Thulsi is a national of Australia with a BA in Gender Studies from the University of Melbourne and an MA in Political Economy and speaks English, Tamil, Spanish and Hindi.
Alysha Khambay, Labour Rights Researcher (based in Thailand)
Alysha joined the Resource Centre in 2018. As Labour Researcher, she is responsible for carrying out research across all labour rights issues, with a particular focus on the apparel sector. Alysha has over seven years of experience working in human rights organisations in the UK and Southeast Asia. Prior to the Resource Centre, Alysha supported Stonewall's international campaigns, policy, and research work to advance LGBT rights internationally, coordinating with a global network of LGBT rights activists. Alysha has worked as a Human Rights Consultant at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, where she monitored and investigated rights abuses related to land grabbing, the exploitation of natural resources and Cambodia’s garment industry, and as a Researcher at the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma). Alysha holds an LLM in Human Rights from Birkbeck, University of London, an MSc in Violence, Conflict, and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Kent. Alysha is a UK national.
Shikha Sethia, Labour Rights Researcher (based in Hague)
Shikha joined the Resource Centre in March 2021. They have over seven years of experience as a researcher and activist in the field of labour rights. In addition to their research on labour rights, they have worked on themes such as urbanisation, economic development, land alienation in protected areas and exclusion from public goods and services. In 2016, they conducted a study on transnational coalition-building and worker-centric approaches for corporate accountability in the garment sector, against the backdrop of the Ali Enterprises factory fire in Karachi, Pakistan. Previously, they have worked as an Economist in the private sector and, most recently, oversaw the Labour Rights programme at Mama Cash, an international women’s fund based in the Netherlands, where they were responsible for grantmaking and support for feminist, worker-led labour organisations globally. They have a Bachelor of Business Management degree from the Singapore Management University and a Master of Arts in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies in the Hague. They speak English and Hindi fluently and are conversant in Bengali, Dutch and French.
Tom Wills, Project Manager – Corporate Accountability and Trade (based in London)
Tom joined the Resource Centre in February 2021. He is responsible for work around how international trade agreements can support or undermine efforts to achieve corporate accountability, with a particular focus on the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit trade arrangements.
Tom has worked in business and human rights for more than five years. His previous role was with Traidcraft Exchange, where he carried out research and advocacy on issues including trade agreements, corporate land grabs and ethical business. This included working with civil society allies in the UK and the EU, as well as in Kenya, Senegal and Liberia. Tom has also served on the board of the Trade Justice Movement and has volunteered in Nepal with Transparency International.
Earlier in his career, Tom was a civil servant in three different UK government departments. Tom has a BA in History from the University of Cambridge and is a UK national.
Giulia Barbos, EU/Western Europe Research Assistant (based in Geneva)
Giulia joined the Resource Centre as a Research and Projects Trainee in September 2020. She mostly supports the team with the compiling of the Weekly Update e-newsletter, liaising with researchers around the world to collect top stories and breaking regional news concerning business and human rights. Giulia holds a BA (Hons) in International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London and an MA in International Affairs, focusing on International Security, from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. Prior to the Resource Centre, Giulia was working with the International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers’ Association (ICoCA), supporting this multi-stakeholder initiative in its monitoring efforts of the private security industry and the compliance of member companies to human rights and international humanitarian law. Giulia is based in Geneva, Switzerland and is a national of Italy.
Ella Skybenko, Eastern Europe/Central Asia Senior Researcher & Representative (based in Kyiv)
Ella joined the Resource Centre in 2008. She is responsible for research and outreach in Eastern Europe & Central Asia and has conducted regional missions to the Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia. Ella formerly worked as a regional manager at American Red Cross, HIV/AIDS program manager at Holt International Children’s Services and program coordinator at American International Health Alliance. Ella holds an MSc in Global Health from the University of Manchester; Master's degree in International Relations with a concentration in International Law from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv; and MA in International Human Rights from the University of Denver. Her mother tongues are Ukrainian and Russian. She speaks fluent English. Ella is a national of Ukraine.
Ashley Nancy Reynolds, Research Assistant, Eastern Europe & Central Asia (based in USA) @AshleyNancyR
Ashley supports the Resource Centre's work in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Her previous research focused on how business activities can both exacerbate conflict and contribute to peace processes. She holds a special interest in human rights impact assessment and human rights due diligence, particularly in conflict-affected societies. In her prior work with the Danish Institute for Human Rights, she helped update the HRIA toolbox and provided general support to the Human Rights and Business team. She has also contributed to publications by the Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance and OHCHR. Ashley studied Business and Human Rights Law at Queen's University Belfast and holds a master's in Human Rights and Democratisation with a focus on Business and Human Rights from the Global Campus for Human Rights - Europe. Ashley is a national of the United States.
Johannes Blankenbach, EU / Western Europe Researcher & Representative (based in Berlin) @JBlankenbach
Johannes joined the Resource Centre in May 2018 as EU/Western Europe Regional Researcher & Representative. Prior to this, he worked at the German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) as a researcher for more than five years, contributing to knowledge cooperation across the institute’s Managing Global Governance (MGG) network with partner institutions from emerging economies. He co-chaired a research project on private/voluntary sustainability standards and also helped to set up the German chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), which focuses on the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In 2011, Johannes was an intern and consultant with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Eschborn. Earlier internships included working at Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace (WISCOMP) in New Delhi and at Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tunis. Johannes holds a BA in International Relations from Dresden University (TU Dresden) and an interdisciplinary MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His MSc thesis focused on the role of human rights in the peacebuilding process in Afghanistan. Johannes speaks fluent German and English, with a good knowledge of French and some basic Arabic. Johannes is a national of Germany.
Saskia Wilks, EU/Western Europe Researcher (based in Berlin)
Saskia joined the Resource Centre as a German language Research Intern in April 2017. She holds a BA in Sociology and Cultural Studies and a Masters in Human Rights from the University of Sussex. While studying for her Masters, Saskia also worked at the University of Sussex as a Research and Data Assistant, focusing on maternal health and human rights. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Saskia volunteered with Maternity Worldwide, a Brighton based NGO committed to saving lives in childbirth, where she provided support to their fundraising team. More recently, she spent time in Asia, volunteering as an English teacher in Sri Lanka. Her native languages are German and English, and she has basic knowledge of French and Italian. Saskia is a national of both Germany and the UK.
Christen Dobson, Senior Programme Manager & Researcher (based in New York)
Christen joined the Resource Centre in March 2017 as Senior Project Lead & Researcher. She is currently the regional researcher for North America, a member of the civic freedoms & human rights defenders team, and covers technology & human rights. Prior to joining the Centre, Christen worked as a human rights research consultant and recently co-authored an analysis of the funding landscape in support of women and the environment with Global Greengrants Fund and Prospera-International Network of Women's Funds. From 2009 to 2016, Christen led the Human Rights Funders Network's Research and Policy program, where she managed a global research initiative to map and analyze the landscape of human rights funding and supported donor efforts to address closing space for civil society. Christen has also consulted with Energy Foundation and Wellspring Philanthropic Fund and has worked and/or interned with Global Youth Connect, EarthRights International, Safe Horizon's Anti-Trafficking Program, and UN Women's East and Southeast Asia Regional Office. She is also on the International Council of Peace Brigades International. Christen holds a Master of International Affairs degree with a concentration in human rights from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Union College with a double major in International Studies and Japanese. Her mother tongue is English, she has a good knowledge of Spanish and speaks some Japanese. Christen is a national of the USA.
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 organizations 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.
Maria Noel Leoni, Regional Manager for Latin America (based in Uruguay)
Maria Noel joined the Resource Center in April 2021 as the Regional Manager for Latin America and is responsible for leading and expanding the Resource Centre’s Latin America work. Maria Noel is a lawyer and human rights defender from Uruguay, where she is currently based.
Previously Maria Noel worked for the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), first as a Senior Lawyer for the Andean Region and North America and, since 2017, as the Program Director for the Southern Cone and Bolivia, where she oversaw the organization’s work in the subregion, managed regional projects on diverse human rights issues, and lead the litigation of cases before the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights. Maria Noel currently supports CEJIL’s work as an Adviser on Innovation and Special Initiatives.
Before joining CEJIL, Maria Noel worked as a Legal Adviser for the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Between 2012 and 2014, she also started and coordinated the Anti-Torture Initiative (ATI) at the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University, a joint project with the (now former) UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Professor Juan E. Méndez, focused on expanding the Rapporteurship’s outreach and impact, and advancing different strategies on torture prevention. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Assistant at the Academy for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University, Washington College of Law, and as a corporate lawyer in Argentina and Uruguay.
Currently, Maria Noel is also a member of the GQUAL Campaign’s Secretariat, a global campaign to achieve gender parity in international justice and representation that she helped launch in 2015. She holds a J.D. from Universidad de Montevideo, Uruguay (2007) and a LL.M. on International Studies, with a specialization on Human Rights and Gender from American University, Washington College of Law (2012).
Marina Novaes, Brazil Researcher & Representative (based in São Paulo)
Marina is a lawyer and historian. Since 2003 she has worked in the areas of human rights, labour rights, social justice and migration, doing so at NGOs and public administration. She has trained public officials on child trafficking; led the Advanced Post for Humanized Services to Migrants (which later became a public policy); coordinated a project to prevent human trafficking in public schools; and coordinated the legal department of an NGO assisting South American immigrants and advocating for public policies on migration.
Marina also worked as special advisor for the promotion of decent work in the City of São Paulo, coordinating the municipal policy to fight and eradicate slave labour and human trafficking. Together with stakeholders, she wrote the first Municipal Plan for the Eradication of Slave Labour.
She also worked as a consultant to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime related to the Observatory to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Her most recent job was Program Manager, Labour Rights at Laudes Foundation (formerly C&A Foundation). She is also a member of the editorial board of the Anti-Trafficking Review magazine, published by the Global Alliance Against Trafficking in Women (GAATW). She has authored various articles and books on human trafficking and forced labour.
She was educated at University of São Paulo (master’s degree in social history) and Pontifical Catholic Univ. of São Paulo (Bachelor of Law). Marina's mother tongue is Portuguese; she is fluent in English and has a good understanding of Spanish. Marina is a national of Brazil.
Diana Figueroa Prado, Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative (based in Mexico City)
Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Diana was Advocacy Coordinator at Tlachinollan Human Rights Centre in the indigenous region of the mountain of Guerrero, Mexico. She worked alongside national and international organizations, as well as different UN mechanisms to demand justice for victims of serious human rights violations and gender violence; she also pushed for recognition and respect of indigenous normative systems and against criminalisation of human rights defenders. Diana was a Legal Researcher at the Human Rights Centre Clinic of the University of Essex, where she participated in the project “Business and Human Rights: Engendering Human Rights Due Diligence”. She was a Research Associate at the NGO Renace and supported the advocacy and campaigning work of Amnesty International Mexico. Diana has collaborated in different capacities at the Brazilian Embassy in Mexico City, UNDP Mexico and the state government of Nuevo León. She has taught courses and workshops to the general public, activists and judges on human rights, gender perspective and business and human rights. Diana has a degree in International Relations by Monterrey Institute of Technology and an LL.M in Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by the University of Essex. Her mother tongue is Spanish, she is fluent in English, Portuguese and French, and has a good knowledge of German and Italian. Diana is a national of Mexico.
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, national of Mexico. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Claudia was 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 labor and living conditions. Claudia has a degree in History, a Master Degree in Regional Rural Development and is a PhD intern in Social Anthropology by Universidad Iberoamericana CDMX. Her study field is indigenous territory and social organization.
Vitória Dell'Aringa Rocha, Latin America Research Assistant (based in São Paulo)
Vitória joined the Resource Centre in 2018 as an intern and returned in 2021 as Latin America Research Assistant. She is a national of Brazil and a senior International Relations student at the University of São Paulo (USP). Vitória is involved with migration issues, specially the refugees cause. Her work experience includes being an interpreter of the eligibility interviews with asylum seekers in the General-Coordination of the Brazilian National Committee for the Refugees (CG-CONARE) and taking part in the social assistance program of the Refugee Reference Center of Caritas Arquidiocesana São Paulo, an UNHCR implementing partner. Vitória is fluent in English and Spanish, has a good understanding of French and basic abilities in Arabic.
Amanda Romero Medina, South America Senior Researcher and Representative (based in Bogotá)
Amanda Romero has been working as Latin America & Caribbean Researcher & Representative for Business & Human Rights Resource Centre since April 2011 (in January 2015 her title changed to South America Researcher & Representative when we hired our first Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative). In this role, she often meets with local NGOs and grassroots, and with companies. She has also undertaken business & human rights missions to Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Peru, Mexico, and Argentina. She is based in Bogotá, Colombia, and has been a human rights researcher and educator since the late 1970s. She has worked with Latin American and international NGOs, and was the American Friends Service Committee’s Quaker International Affairs Representative for the Andean Region and Panama from 2000 to 2006; she also served for 6 years as a member of the civil society organizations’ committee that advised the United Nations Development Programme Administrator in New York. Amanda holds a Ph.D. degree in Education and a Masters’ Degree in Educational and Social Development from Universidad Pedagógica Nacional, Colombia; and has completed a number of specialised human rights courses, and on armed conflict and humanitarian law. Amanda’s mother tongue is Spanish and she is fluent in English. Amanda is a national of Colombia.
Juan Diego Espinosa, Researcher of the Colombia Program (based in Bogota)
Juan, a Colombian, joined the Colombia office of the Resource Centre in 2019. He is a political scientist, specialized in justice, victims and peace building. He has analysed, from an academic perspective, different human rights legal-political arrangements and has worked in human rights organisations documenting past atrocities, preparing cases for the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition and monitoring human rights violations in Colombia.
Fabián Andrés León Peñuela, Researcher of the Colombia Program (based in Bogota)
Fabián Andrés León Peñuela has been a researcher at the Colombia office of the Business and Human Rights Information Centre, an NGO with offices in London, New York, Bogotá and Berlin since December 2019. He lives in Bogotá, specialised in education and environmental management at the Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas and in Justice, Victims and Peace Building at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. He studied law at the National University of Colombia and economics and political science at the University of Montreal (Canada). He is a member of the "Real Justice" research group of the Faculty of Law, Political and Social Sciences of the National University of Colombia. He also has experience with migrant and refugee populations with whom he worked for more than 6 years in Canada. He has accompanied environmental and human rights training processes with indigenous and rural communities.
Valentina Muñoz Bernal, Researcher of the Colombia Program (based in Bogota)
Valentina Muñoz Bernal joined the Business and Human Rights Information Centre in 2020. She is a political scientist and student of economics at the National University of Colombia, specializing in care policies from a gender perspective. She has worked as an information analyst on labour asymmetries, especially of migrant women in the agriculture industry. She is an ambassador in Colombia of the Women4Peace project and co-founder of the National University chapter of the UAEM (Universities Allied for Essential Medicines) student group.
Andrea Betancourt, Administrative Coordinator for the Colombia Programme (based in Bogota)
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 in the past 4 years working as 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 the accounting programmes and cost centres, excellent management of the office package, good interpersonal relationships, mastery of information technology and communication. Andrea is a Venezuelan citizen with migrant permit in Colombia. Her native language is Spanish and has average understanding of written English.
Isobel Archer, Gulf Programme Manager (based in London) @isobellarcher
Isobel joined the Resource Centre in 2019 as Project Assistant for the Migrant Workers in Qatar & the UAE project. Her knowledge of modern slavery, and business and human rights comes from her time working and interning for a number of organisations, including an internship at the Resource Centre. Isobel also gained experience at Shiva Foundation, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) and Ardea International where she focused on corporate disclosure, improving access to labour rights, and tackling human trafficking in the hotel, construction, and professional service sectors. Isobel holds an MA (Dist.) Understanding & Securing Human Rights from the University of London; her thesis focused on the role of private sector collaboration in tackling modern slavery and implementing human rights norms. She also holds a BA (Hons) English Literature from the University of Exeter, UK including an additional year studying at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Mallak Ali, Gulf Research Assistant (based in Palestine)
Mallak joined the resource center in January 2022 as a Gulf Research Assistant. Her work experience spans across both governmental and non-governmental organisations. As between 2017-2018 she worked for the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government monitoring the work of municipalities and village councils to ensure compliance with the governing frameworks and regulations, and she oversaw the implementation of a nationwide sustainable development scheme. She has also worked for the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute where she worked on various research projects on startup business and public revenue, food security analysis in the Palestinian Territories among others.
She was educated across 5 different countries - During her undergraduate studies in Accounting and Economics she studied at Birzeit University in Palestine and spent some time abroad taking courses in Political Science at New York University in the USA. Afterwards, she completed an MSc in International Development which was jointly delivered by three universities in Italy, France and the Czech Republic and which included components in Development Economics, Sustainable Development, and Anthropology and Politics of Development with a strong grounding in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, and where she researched the mainstream media’s involvement in the disempowerment of refugees. She is a national of Palestine but was born and raised in the United Arab Emirates. She is fluent in Arabic and English with an upper intermediate level of Italian.
Dima Samaro, Middle East and North Africa Regional Researcher & Representative (based in Tunisia)
Dima joined the Resource Centre in 2021 and is the regional researcher and representative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is a licensed attorney who has majored in women’s rights and international human rights. Before joining the Resource Centre, she worked for Access Now where she conducted policy analysis on ICT laws, and the intersection of technology and human rights such as privacy and data protection, censorship, state and non-state surveillance, freedom of expression, telecoms policies, and the promotion of human rights activism and digital safety on the internet in the MENA region. Prior to this, Dima served as a legal researcher at the International Commission of Jurists in Tunisia, assisting in organizing capacity building conferences targeting judges and lawyers from the MENA region as well as drafting legal reports on freedom of expression and human rights. She currently serves as co-chair of ICANN Middle East space, and was selected as a Digital Forensic Research Lab fellow (DFRLab), and a Middle East School & neighboring countries on Internet Governance fellow. She holds a B.A from An-Najah National University in Palestine, and recently completed a fellowship at King’s College London, where she researched the political participation of Palestinian women and the value of freedom of expression as a tool for empowering and strengthening their role in the political process. Dima is a feminist advocate and regularly writes and speaks on the implications of technology and business on human rights and vulnerable communities.
Zeyneb Gultekin, Turkey Programme Manager (based in Istanbul)
Zeyneb joined the Resource Centre as Programme Manager – Turkey as of January 2022.
Prior to becoming part of BHRRC, she has worked with national and international human rights and humanitarian aid organizations since 2010 including Human Rights Joint Platform (İHOP), Support to Life (STL) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) where she focused on project management, protection programmes for refugees, communications, liaison, networking and advocacy.
Zeyneb studied Political Science and International Relations and received her master’s degree in Human Rights. She is based in Istanbul. Her mother tongue is Turkish, she is fluent in English and has a good understanding of Spanish.
Osman Isci, Turkey Researcher (based in Ankara)
Osman joined the Resource Centre as the Turkey Researcher in 2021. He is responsible for research in Turkey. He is a human rights activist and has been part of the Human Rights Association (IHD) since 2005. Currently, he is in the executive committee of the IHD. Osman also has been in the trade union movement for more than a decade. He has been working as the international affairs officer of KESK since 2017.
In addition to his activities at the national level, Osman has close ties with the international human rights organizations. He has been part of the EuroMed Rights since 2007 and served in the executive committee from 2012 to 2018. In April 2021, he was elected a general assembly of the OMCT.
He is specialized in the right to defend and economic, social and cultural rights.
Osman studied English language and literature at Atilim University. Currently, he is a phd candidate in the British Cultural Studies programme at Hacettepe University.
Rosie Monaghan, KnowTheChain Researcher & Representative (based in London)
Rosie joined the Research Centre as KnowTheChain Research Assistant in June 2017. She supports the research methodology for KnowTheChain and carries out research and analysis of Modern Slavery Statements, corporate disclosure, and allegations of forced labour. She holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights and a law degree from Oxford Brookes University. Her academic research has focused on legal protection for victims of human trafficking, and human rights due diligence as a tool for addressing slavery in supply chains. Rosie has previously undertaken internships at the Equal Rights Trust, supporting the Trust's litigation and advocacy programmes; the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants; and volunteered as a researcher with the Sophie Hayes Foundation. Rosie is a national of UK.
Evie Clarke, KnowTheChain Researcher (based in London)
Evie joined the Research Centre as KnowTheChain Research Assistant in June 2019. She supports KnowTheChain’s goal to enable companies and investors to understand and address forced labour risks within their global supply chains by benchmarking corporate practices and providing practical resources.
Evie was previously volunteering as an advice and advocacy worker with Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers. She has gained experience as an intern at Sentinel Human Rights Defenders and as a Researcher for LSE ProBono Matters and for the European Law Students’ Association in a project in collaboration with the ILO.
She holds an LLM in Human Rights Law from the LSE and an LLB from Trinity College Dublin. Her academic research has focused on human rights, labour law and refugee law. Her thesis focused on the detention of asylum seekers in the UK.
Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders
Ana Zbona, 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.
Andrea Pelliconi, Research Assistant - Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders Programme
Andrea joined the Resource Centre in 2019 as an intern and she is now working as a research assistant for the Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders Project (part-time). She is also a PhD candidate in Law and graduate teaching assistant at City, University of London. Andrea holds a master in law and an advanced master in human rights. Before joining the Resource Centre, she held a 6-month research fellowship in human rights with the International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute. Before, Andrea also worked in a law firm specialised in immigration, citizenship and asylum law and she trained in human rights and business with the Association for Fundamental Rights of the Rome Bar Council.
Lady Nancy Zuluaga Jaramillo, Legal Researcher, Human Rights Defenders & Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (based in Luxembourg)
Lady Nancy joined the Resource Centre in December 2019 as a Legal Researcher with the Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders and Corporate Legal Accountability programs. Prior to joining the Centre, Lady Nancy was a staff attorney at the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) where she was directly entrusted with cases pending before the Inter-American System of Human Rights in Central America. At CEJIL she worked on issues regarding gross human rights violations, economic social and cultural rights, migration and persons deprived of their liberty. Lady Nancy has also been a lecturer in Public International Law, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the University of Medellin where she was also the coordinator of a research seminar on the Inter-American System of Human Rights. She also has experience working in the Judicial Branch in Colombia. Lady Nancy holds a Law degree from the University of Medellin (Colombia), and an LL.M in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame (USA). She is currently doing a PhD in Law at the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and her thesis focuses on mechanisms to raise the visibility of victims of human rights violations related to transnational corporations, particularly toxic industries in Latin America. Lady Nancy has been visiting research scholar at the Max Planck Institute for Procedural Law in Luxembourg and she is a member of the Seminar on Transnational Enterprises and Gross Human Rights Violations at the University of Buenos Aires. Her mother tongue is Spanish, she is fluent in English and has a basic knowledge of French. Lady Nancy is a national of Colombia.
Corporate Legal Accountability
Maysa Zorob, Corporate Legal Accountability Program Manager (based in New York)
Maysa joined the Resource Centre in January 2018 as Corporate Legal Accountability Program Manager. Maysa has over 10 years of experience leading human rights and social justice initiatives and programmes across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the U.S.
Prior to joining the Resource Centre, Maysa led the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Fellowship Programs at PILnet, the Global Network for Public Interest Law, based in New York. In this role, Maysa developed and oversaw the program syllabus, provided guidance and supervision to human rights Fellows, and devised and implemented cross-sectorial learning opportunities and strategies. In addition, she was responsible for devising and implementing strategic litigation, legal education and pro bono initiatives across the MENA region.
Before joining PILnet, Maysa managed the Justice Program at Euro-Med Rights, where she led EU and UN advocacy campaigns, coordinated trial monitoring missions, and led initiatives on judicial independence, transitional justice and access to justice across the Mediterranean. Between 2008 and 2012, Maysa worked for Al-Haq, a prominent Palestinian human rights organisation, first in Ramallah, Palestine and later in Brussels, Belgium, where she established and managed the organisation’s first European Office with a focus on EU human rights policies.
Maysa holds an LL.M. in European and International Law and an LL.B. in German Law from the University of Hamburg, Germany. She is fluent in Arabic, French, German, and English and has basic proficiency in Spanish. Maysa is a national of Germany and Palestine.
Elodie Aba, Senior Legal Researcher (based in France) @cla_bhrrc
Elodie joined the Resource Centre in January 2013. She conducts research for the Corporate Legal Accountability project as well as on other business and human rights issues. Elodie is a human rights lawyer and legal translator. She was a research assistant at the One World Trust and previously worked at Handicap International UK. She also interned at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia; the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and International Service for Human Rights. Elodie has a Master of Laws (LL.M) from the University of Melbourne; a law degree in International and European Law from University of Paris XI; a degree of a legal translator from Institut Supérieur d’Interprétation et de Traduction (ISIT). Her mother tongue is French and she speaks fluent English and some Spanish. Elodie is a national of France.
Technology and Human Rights
Henry Peck, Technology and Human Rights Researcher (based in London)
Henry joined the Resource Centre in August 2020. He covers technology and human rights, with a particular focus on the surveillance technology industry. He has previously worked as a researcher and journalist in the UK and Lebanon, and as senior coordinator for the office of the General Counsel at Human Rights Watch, where he worked on the right to privacy and internet freedom. He is a recipient of the GroundTruth Project’s Global Migration, Refugees and Resettlement Reporting Fellowship. Henry holds an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Oxford and a BA in International Relations from Brown University.
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 Center, 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.
Natural Resources & Renewable Energy
Jessie Cato, Programme Manager Natural Resources & Human Rights (based in Berlin)
Jessie joined the Resource Centre in August 2020. She is responsible for coordinating the work related to natural resources, including leading projects on renewable energy and transition minerals, while also supporting the Resource Centre’s broader work on human rights in extractive industries, and other natural resource-related sectors. Jessie has broad experience in natural resource governance, and prior to joining the Resource Centre worked at Oxfam America where she coordinated the Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub. She was the National Director for Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Australia from 2015-2019 and sat as a Civil Society representative on the Australian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Multi Stakeholder Group from 2016-2019. Jessie has also worked in Timor Leste as a Gender Officer for Seeds of Life, and as a Ministerial Advisor for the South Australian Government, with responsibility for the portfolios of Regional Development, State/Local Government Relations, and the Status of Women. Jessie holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Adelaide and has undertaken training on natural resource governance at the Central European University (CEU), Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), and the University of Queensland. She is a dual national of Australia and the UK.
Mercy Tochukwu Christopher, Natural Resources Research Assistant (based in Edinburgh)
Mercy is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh with an LLM in Human Rights, and also has a LL.B in Law from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Most recently she has been working for Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), and previously she was a Legal Researcher at the University of Edinburgh, Department of Social Responsibility and Sustainability, where she led on research between the nexus of climate change and modern slavery and examined the impact of the transition to clean energy on the human rights of frontline communities.
Prior to these, she worked for two years as a project officer with Social Development Integrated Centre, an NGO in Nigeria advocating for social justice in support of indigenous communities whose livelihoods and human rights are adversely impacted by oil exploration in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Mercy worked with members of different communities, investigating human rights violations, advocating for social and environmental justice and training volunteers on human rights advocacy. She has always been keen about working with and understanding the lived experiences of marginalised groups, and is excited about the prospects of gaining deeper insights into the human rights implication of the transition to renewable energy.
Pippa Woolnough, Head of Communications (based in Dublin) @pipwool
Pippa’s professional experience includes five years in journalism and more than 10 years in communications and advocacy roles in NGOs, including the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Amnesty International Ireland and Barnardos. Communicating with clarity, prioritising a human rights based approach and ensuring the organisation delivers a strategic impact is at the heart of her approach. Pippa joined the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre in September 2020 as Head of Communications. She has a postgraduate degree in Journalism and an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights, NUI Galway, where she specialised in the area of business and human rights. She was a member of the Board of Directors for Suicide or Survive between 2016 and 2020.
Alex Guy, Senior Digital Officer (based in London) @alexg05
Alex joined the Resource Centre in September 2017. Working with the Communications team he is responsible for the organization’s digital presence, empowering human rights advocates through our web and social media channels. With a passion for championing ethical business practices sparked whilst traveling in South East Asia, he previously worked for Microsoft in relationship marketing and social media, creating online content, running events and maintaining websites to help technology professionals get to grips with the latest advancements in the IT industry. Alex holds a BA in Business from the University of Portsmouth. Alex is a national of UK.
Harriet Wood, Digital Communications Officer (based in London)
Harriet joined the Resource Centre in October 2019 and will be assisting the Communications team as Digital Communications Trainee. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she worked in communications and operations for Ninth Wave Global, and spent three years working on grassroots environmental projects in and around the city of Campeche in south-east Mexico. Alongside this, Harriet has worked as a freelance writer and as a research assistant for English-language Latin American news media with a focus on politics and sustainability. She has a BA in English Language and Literature from King’s College London.
Priyanka Mogul, Media Officer (based in London) @priyankamogul
Priyanka joined the Resource Centre in 2021 and is responsible for the organisation's press outreach. She works with our teams across the globe to amplify the voices of human rights advocates through the media. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she worked in the communications team at the think tank Asia House.
Priyanka has also worked as a journalist, reporting primarily on international development and human rights issues in Asia - with articles in Al Jazeera, the International Business Times, and The Diplomat, among others. In 2018, she produced a feature documentary on caste discrimination among the British-Indian population. She has a BA in Journalism with Human Rights (Kingston University) and a MSc in Emerging Economies and International Development (King's College London).
David Lyons, Weekly Update Editor (based in Edinbourgh)
David joined the Resource Centre in June 2021 as Weekly Updates Editor. Previously he worked as Communications Manager at Tomorrow’s Cities, an international development programme researching how cities can reduce disaster risk for the most vulnerable communities. Over the course of his career as a communications professional, David has worked for international volunteering charity Project Trust, UK arts charity Create and Street Child United, a charity which campaigns for the rights and protection of street-connected young people across the world. He completed a Masters in Multimedia Journalism at Glasgow Caledonian University and worked as a journalist in Scotland before moving into charity communications. David is a UK national.
Development and programme support
Merav Bat-Gil, Development Manager, Europe (based in Frankfurt/Berlin)
Merav joined the Resource Centre in 2021 as the Development Manager for Europe. She manages relationships and grant management with the Centre’s Europe-based funding sources and is responsible for supporting Global Team members in the development of their programmes. She works closely alongside the US-based Development Director and the Development team.
Previous to working at the Centre, Merav worked for over 10 years in resource development for human rights organisations funded by the UN, EU, bilateral, and multilateral funders in a variety of organizational settings. She was responsible for fundraising and grants management, donor’s stewardship and advocacy for funding.
Merav have provided capacity building to organisations based in Denmark, Georgia, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda.
Merav holds an MA in development and cooperation from the University of Florence. Merav speaks English, Hebrew, Italian and learning German. Grew up in Israel, Merav is a national of Germany.
Émile Kinley-Gauthier, Development Officer (based in Bangkok)
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.
Charlie Crossley, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Officer (based in London)
Charlie joined the Resource Centre in June 2020 as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Officer. Prior to working at the Centre, Charlie spent four and a half years at the responsible investment charity ShareAction. There he was Project Coordinator of the Workforce Disclosure Initiative (WDI) from its launch in late 2016. The WDI brings institutional investors together to encourage companies to be more transparent about how they manage and protect workers in their global operations and supply chains. Charlie has a BA in Politics and an MA in International Relations. He is fascinated by how the private sector impacts society and the environment. Away from his career, Charlie is passionate about sport and is a qualified football coach.
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 and Finance
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.
Giulia graduated with a BS in Business, concentration in Marketing from William Paterson University (NJ, USA). She is both an Italian and US citizen.
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.
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 2022-Present: Amina Hadj Ameur (based in Ireland)
Amina joined the resource center as a MENA trainee in January 2022. She is also working with Concordis International as a Program intern in the peacebuilding and conflict analysis team. She is also part of the NOHA+ Erasmus mundus master program in International Humanitarian Action in University College Dublin and Uppsala University, doing her final thesis semester.
Amina acquired a BA in Political Science and International Relations from Izmir University of Economics in Turkey. She is fluent in three languages: Arabic, French and English and can speak a bit Turkish and Japanese. She also did several multi disciplinary internships including one as a research and languages intern at UNRWA executive office humanitarian principles team and volunteer work in Brazil with AIESEC .
January-February 2022: Hector Candray (based in Vienna)
Hector joined the Corporate Legal Accountability programme as Legal Research Intern in January. He is a Salvadorian lawyer and researcher based in Vienna, Austria. His areas of interest and work are Business and Human Rights, Investment law and policy, Human rights and Public International Law. He recently finished an internship with UNODC in Vienna, were he worked with the Global Programme to End Violence Against Children. Hector has experience as paralegal in law firms and a pro-bono litigation center in El Salvador. He was an assistant professor in the Central American University of El Salvador, were he taught Public International Law, among other courses, and coached moot court teams. As researcher and consultant, he has worked on projects with the Due Process of Law Foundation, the ICRC Mission to El Salvador and the Human Rights Center of the Central American University.
Hector obtained his law degree from the Central American University of El Salvador, and holds an LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from the George Washington University Law School. Hector is a Fulbright Alumnus. A national from El Salvador, he speaks Spanish and fluent English, and has basic understanding of German and French.
January 2022-Present: Ricardo Mota (based in the United States)
Ricardo joined the Resource Center in 2022 as an intern. Originally from Brazil, Ricardo came to the US in 2014 to pursue an Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Dayton. During his undergrad studies, he interned for a year at Go Sustainable Energy, a sustainable energy consulting firm based in Ohio. He is currently working towards a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Dayton.
January 2022-Present: Valerie Vaello Ramos (based in the United States)
Valerie is from Puerto Rico, fluent in English and Spanish.
She lived in Puerto Rico, and recently moved to Ohio to continue her studies. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law and Society from the University of Puerto Rico. She has researched how society behaves in different situations during her bachelor's degree. She is currently a law student at the University of Dayton in Ohio.
Her main interest is in the area of Business Law. She has experience working on websites thanks to her first job where she was in charge of social media and webpage. She has additional knowledge on Human Rights in the Caribbean thanks to previous work experience.
November 2021-Present: Vladyslava Kaplina (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.
October 2021-Present: Joyce Mbaluto (based in Pretoria)
Joyce joined the Resource Centre as an Africa research intern on 12 October 2021. She is currently a post graduate student at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, pursuing a master’s degree in international trade and investment law in Africa (LL..M). Her academic research is focused on advancing human rights in international investment law, specifically in the natural resources and infrastructure development sectors in Kenya. She has a keen interest in the promotion of the sustainable development goals, and the implementation of the UNGPs in the international investment law regime in developing countries.
Joyce has previous human rights work experience having interned with Human Rights Watch, Equality Now and National Gender and Equality Commission in Kenya. She is also an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and hold a bachelor’s degree in law from Kenyatta University in Kenya. She in a national of Kenya and is currently based in Pretoria, South Africa. She is fluent in English and Swahili.
October 2021-Present: Maria Mercedes Román (based in London)
Mercedes joined the Resource Centre in October 2021 to collaborate with the Technology and Human Rights programme. Prior to joining the Centre, Mercedes worked with the UN agency for migration (IOM) in Costa Rica, where she assisted in the implementation of the project on Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Trafficking and Modem Slavery. Back in Venezuela, Mercedes worked as a legal advisor in the local parliament, where she drafted law projects regarding citizenship participation, public services assistance, and corporate social responsibility. In London, she collaborated with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to create the due diligence policy to partner with external entities. Mercedes has also experience in the diplomatic field after being selected by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affair to participate in the internship programme with the Diplomatic Mission of Spain in London, both in the Consulate and Embassy.
Mercedes is a Venezuelan qualified lawyer (with honours), with a Master Degree in Diplomacy and International Relations from the Diplomatic School of Spain and a Master Degree in Public International Law from Queen Mary, University of London.
October 2021-Present: Silvana Vanessa Mena Hernández (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 the 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.
September 2021-Present: Laura Fernández Álvarez (based in Barcelona)
Laura Fernández Álvarez got her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law (2005) and worked for 8 years in public international law with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) both in Austria and Croatia. While at the OSCE she dealt with rule of law and transitional justice issues, EU legal reform, human rights, reintegration of refugees and returnees, and capacity-building of NGOs. During law school she did internships for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and Human Rights Watch in Washington, D.C.
From 2013 to August 2021, she was the Assistant Dean for International and Graduate Affairs at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, responsible for all aspects of the graduate and international programs (project management, business development, strategic planning, assessment, and reporting).
She is a native of Venezuela, but holds U.S. and Spanish citizenship, and is currently residing in Barcelona, Spain. She is also a member of the New York Bar.
September 2021-Present: Puneet Muthreja
Puneet pursued his Undergrad in Bachelors in commerce (Honours) degree from University of Delhi, in India. After completing his degree, he worked for 6 years in Corporate set-ups, majorly in HR Consulting, and with giant-start-ups organisations and engaging with the CSR's domain as well. Puneet is a sportsperson who played cricket for his state back in India and pursued his sport in one of the prestigious clubs in the UK as well. He is currently pursuing a masters in International Development from University of East Anglia. He is also an animal lover and would love to work to protect the wildlife.
July 2021 - Present: Mayo Suzuki (Based in Bogota)
Mayo joined the Colombia office since June 2021. She is an expert in the area of sustainability from the perspective of both civil society and private sector. Previously, she was a senior management consultant of a global consulting firm, implementing Business and Human Rights projects supporting multinational corporations on their Human Rights Policy, Human Rights Due Diligence and Stakeholder Engagement, collaborating with NGOs, governments and UN agencies. She also worked as an Energy and Environmental Policy Expert in the projects of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) while she belonged to an electric power company in Tokyo. She graduated from Tsuda University in 2008 with a degree in International Relations. Most recently, she is researching socio-environmental conflicts between multinational corporations and indigenous communities in Colombia for a master's thesis in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolutions in the Pontifical Xavierian University. Mayo is a national of Japan and her mother tongue is Japanese. She has a good knowledge of English and Spanish.
May 2021 - Present: Caroline Caldas (Based in Brazil)
Caroline Caldas is a political scientist with a particular interest in socio-legal research with a PhD (2021) and a master’s in Political Science from the Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil). Her work includes empirical research that explores questions about the political, legal, and economic dimensions of human rights culture, transitional justice, and the justice system (in Brazil and the IACHR). She is also a lawyer with corporate experience in the legal field
February 2021 - Present: Milly Atkinson Handley (Based in Sydney)
Milly joined the Research Centre as an Australia Research Intern in February 2021. Milly has a bachelor’s degree in Geography (BA) from Durham University and is currently working towards a Master of Human Rights at the University of Sydney. Her academic research has focused on refugee rights, human rights campaigning and human rights accountability mechanism. She has interned for Amnesty International Australia as a Human Rights Caseworker and for the Sydney Policy Reform Project as a Research Assistant. She also has professional experience working on communications projects for various tech and cybersecurity companies, which provided exposure to, and an understanding of, the importance of human rights in a business context.