Who and where we are
Our website is in eight languages: English, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Our regional researchers are based in Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, Hong Kong, India, Kenya, Japan, Myanmar, Mexico, Senegal, South Africa, UK, Ukraine and 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 organisation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Our Board are the guardians of the Resource Centre’s identity, and play a full role in strategy and the accountability of the management team. The Board is diverse and composed of activists, academics, ex-business people, and specialists. For a full list of board members, see here.
Phil Bloomer, Executive Director (based in London)
bloomer [at] business-humanrights.org @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 organization, 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 (based in London)
lazala [at] business-humanrights.org
Mauricio, a Colombian & UK national, joined the Resource Centre in 2006. Until 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 & financial decisions at the organization. He oversees the Centre’s Latin America and Eastern Europe & Central Asia researchers, as well as the London researchers. He is involved in the production of briefings and research materials, and has undertaking numerous research missions to many countries. Mauricio also manages work streams such as the "Business, Conflict & Peace", "Human Rights Defenders" and "Major Sporting Events" projects. Mauricio co-ordinates joint initiatives with Resource Centre partners, and led the 2014 redevelopment of the Resource Centre's website.
Mauricio previously 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. In 2014 he was invited to join the board of director at EIRIS – Empowering Responsible Investment. Mauricio has a Law degree (honours) from University of Cambridge, and a BA in Political Sciences and History from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is fluent in Spanish, English & Hebrew.
Annabel Short, Deputy Director - US (based in New York)
short [at] business-humanrights.org @bellshort
Annabel, a UK national, joined the Resource Centre in 2003. She oversees the Centre’s programs and communications work, manages its Asia and its Middle East teams, represents the organization with US-based funders and co-ordinates joint initiatives with Resource Centre partners. She established the Centre’s New York City office in 2007. Among other events, she organizes the Centre’s annual Mary Robinson Speaker Series on Business and Human Rights. Annabel's work with the Resource Centre has taken her to Egypt, India, Jordan, Malaysia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates and other countries.
Annabel formerly worked in freelance journalism, and authored “Go Make a Difference!” a book of environmental tips, for the Ecologist. Her articles have appeared in Ethical Corporation, Geographical, the Guardian, Open Democracy, Resurgence and more.
From 2002-3 she was an environmental and social responsibility consultant with Context Group based in London where she specialized in corporate reporting and stakeholder engagement. She has lived in Lima, Peru where she was a campaigner with Amnesty International, and in Chile, where she taught English. Annabel has a Certificate in Intl. Human Rights Law & Practice from London School of Economics; MSc in Development Studies from London University (for which her dissertation examined the human rights dimensions of Occidental’s oil pipeline in Arauca, Colombia); Postgraduate Diploma in Periodical Journalism from City University; and an MA joint Honours in Spanish and French from Edinburgh University. Her mother tongue is English and she speaks fluent Spanish and strong French.
Gregory Tzeutschler Regaignon, Research Director (based in new York)
regaignon [at] business-humanrights.org @gregaignon
Gregory, a US and French national, joined the Resource Centre in 2003. He oversees the Centre’s research, its Corporate Legal Accountability Project and its work on the UN Guiding Principles and UN Working Group, and manages its Africa team. He helped establish the Centre’s presence in North America in 2003-04. His engagement with Tiffany & Co. about its sourcing of rubies from Burma was featured in a Financial Times article profiling the Centre’s work. He has participated in research missions for the Resource Centre to DRC, Guinea, South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, Uganda and the US Gulf Coast. Greg was previously an associate at the international law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where he focused on emerging market debt restructurings, and pro bono matters involving political asylum, domestic violence and other human rights issues. He also worked with Human Rights Watch in New York, National Endowment for Democracy in Washington, and Legal Aid Institute of Indonesia in Jakarta; and he conducted research on land rights & agricultural development in Senegal, the results of which he published in the Journal of African Law.
He obtained his JD (Stone Scholar) from Columbia Law School, where he also obtained his certificate from the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law; MA in African Studies & International Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); and BA in Political Science magna cum laude from Amherst College. Greg’s mother tongue is English, he is fluent in French, and has basic proficiency in German, Indonesian & Spanish.
Patricia Surak, Senior Development Director (based in New York)
surak [at] business-humanrights.org
Patty, a US national, joined the Resource Centre in 2009 as the organization’s first Development Director. She has helped to diversify the Centre’s funding sources, increase the number of donors worldwide, and build the US board. Patty works closely with the Development Director - UK/Europe 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.
From 2001-2005, Patty was the 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. Patty was previously the director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for Catholic Relief Services in their world headquarters in Baltimore, MD. While at CRS she traveled to projects in Guatemala, Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Croatia and Bosnia, in most locations providing 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.
Aliou Diouf, Francophone Africa Researcher & Representative (based in Dakar)
diouf [at] business-humanrights.org
Aliou Diouf, a Senegalese national, 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 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 PhD 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.
Joseph Kibugu, Eastern Africa Researcher & Representative (based in Nairobi)
kibugu [at] business-humanrights.org @joekibugu
Joseph Kibugu, a Kenyan national, 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.
Joy Mabenge, Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative (based in Johannesburg)
mabenge [at] business-humanrights.org @joymabenge
Joy, a Zimbabwean national, joined the Resource Centre in 2015 as Anglophone Southern & Western Africa Researcher & Representative. A longtime advocate for human rights and social and economic justice, Joy was previously Regional Information and Advocacy Coordinator at Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. Before that, he had been Programmes Director and Democracy & Governance Manager at Institute for a Democratic Alternative for Zimbabwe (IDAZIM), and Executive Director of Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt & Development (ZIMCODD). He has also led a project for International Council of Swedish Industry (NIR), in which he designed and delivered trainings on policy and political economy for Zimbabwean business member organizations. Joy holds an MA in Development Studies from University of Manchester’s Institute for Development Policy & Management, a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Planning and Management and a Bsc (Hon) in Politics & Administration, both from University of Zimbabwe. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Development Studies at University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN). Joy is fluent in English and Shona.
Lowell Chow, East Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Hong Kong)
chow [at] business-humanrights.org @lllchow
Lowell, a Hong Kong (Chinese) national, joined the Resource Centre in 2011. He is responsible for research and outreach in the Greater China region (including mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), and has led research missions to Beijing, Taiwan, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Lowell formerly worked for UL-STR Responsible Sourcing; interned at Médecins Sans Frontières, and was a student delegate for Oxfam Youth Campaign Partners. He was educated at University of Nottingham (MA Corporate Social Responsibility) and University of Hong Kong (BSc Honours). His mother tongue is Cantonese, and is fluent in English and Mandarin.
Harpreet Kaur, Senior South Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Delhi)
kaur [at] business-humanrights.org @hkaur0304
Harpreet, an Indian national, joined the Resource Centre in 2010. Based in Delhi, Harpreet is responsible for research and outreach highlighting corporates’ human rights impacts in South Asia. Harpreet has conducted research missions in the region (Bangladesh, Odisha) focusing on labour rights abuses by companies in the garment sector and has written extensively on the subject in both national and international media. She has also researched on supply chain issues in conflict zones. Harpreet has also been advocating for development of India’s National Action Plan on Business & Human Rights – both through her writing and implementing projects to deliver the same. She has represented Business & Human Rights Resource Centre at various national and international forums including UN Asia Forum on Business & Human Rights and at the Asia Living Wage Conference. Harpreet has previously held senior management positions at BBC Media Action and Panos South Asia, and worked with various organizations including Ford Foundation, GiZ, Social Accountability International & Partners in Change.
Harpreet has a PhD in Anthropology & Human Rights (University of Delhi) and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Law from National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Harpreet is also an SA 8000 certified auditor. Harpreet's mother tongue is Punjabi, and she can speak Hindi and English fluently.
Bobbie Sta. Maria, Southeast Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Yangon)
stamaria [at] business-humanrights.org @bobbiestamaria
Bobbie, a Filipino national, joined the Resouce Centre in 2013. She is responsible for the Resource Centre’s coverage of Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. In 2013 she conducted a research mission to Cambodia. Bobbie previously served as Southeast Asia Legal Coordinator of EarthRights International. In that role, she worked with advocates from the region to seek redress for corporate human rights and environmental abuses, and to engage regional mechanisms in an effort to promote the rule of law. Prior to working with EarthRights, Bobbie worked at Alternative Legal Assistance Center (SALIGAN) in the Philippines. Her work involved litigating land rights, environmental rights and domestic violence cases, advocating agrarian reform and gender policy laws, and training paralegals in rural areas in the Philippines. Bobbie has a degree in Business Administration & Accountancy and a Bachelor of Laws from University of the Philippines; and an MA in Human Rights and Democratisation from University of Sydney. She speaks Filipino and English, and is currently learning Myanmar.
Saul Takahashi, Japan Researcher & Representative (based in Tokyo) - Bio in Japanese
takahashi [at] business-humanrights.org
Saul Takahashi, Japanese national, joined the Resource Centre in June 2014 as the organisation’s first Regional Researcher and Representative for Japan, Korea, and the Pacific Islands. Saul is forging partnerships with local civil society organizations, companies, investors, journalists and government representatives, including those already active on business and human rights issues in the region, as well as other key drivers of change. He is highlighting under-reported cases and concerns, seeking company responses to alleged abuses, and conducting research missions.
Saul was most recently Deputy Head of Office at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in occupied Palestine, where he was responsible for directing the human rights monitoring operation in the West Bank and Gaza, and for capacity-building efforts for local civil society organizations and government agencies. Previously Saul has held positions with Amnesty International, in both Tokyo and the International Secretariat in London, with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, and the International Organisation for Migration. Saul holds an LLM in international human rights law from the University of Essex and has several academic and popular publications, in both English and Japanese.
Wai Wai Lwin, Myanmar Foreign Investment Tracking Project Manager (based in Yangon)
Wai Wai Lwin, a Myanmar national, joined the Resource Centre in February 2016. She manages the Myanmar Foreign Investment Tracking project, which seeks to encourage public accountability for the human rights impacts of foreign companies investing or operating in Myanmar. Prior to the Resource Centre, she served as Executive Director of local NGO BadeiDha Moe. In that position, she focused on land rights issues, working alongside farmers in eviction and land confiscation cases, especially in areas with heavy foreign direct investment. She has explored various remedies to assist communities facing land disputes, including mediation and other informal grievance processes. Recently, she has been leading the development of Open Data Myanmar, an effort to create an online database of land disputes in Myanmar with the goal of eventually helping communities solve them. She has also facilitated several stakeholder consultations, and has carried out a number of community-led social impact assessments. Prior to the Resource Centre and BadeiDha Moe, she worked with INGOs and the UN on development, relief and child rights programmes. She speaks English and Myanmar.
Europe & Central Asia
Eniko Horvath, Senior Researcher (based in London)
horvath [at] business-humanrights.org @enikohorvath
Eniko, a Hungarian national, joined the Resource Centre in 2011 as an intern and returned in 2012 as a Researcher. She is the Centre’s Western Europe Regional Researcher & Representative, and has carried out research missions to Switzerland, Bolivia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Chile, Florida, USA (Immokalee agricultural region) and Serbia. Eniko’s programmatic work focuses on climate justice, the UN Guiding Principles, and the UN Working Group She has experience working on human rights in Argentina (Asociación Civil por la Responsabilidad Social AMARTYA), Hungary (International Centre for Democratic Transition), Spain (Club De Madrid) and the UK (Cluster Munition Coalition and Consortium for Street Children). Eniko holds a BA from Harvard University and an MPhil from University of Cambridge. For her master’s dissertation, she undertook fieldwork in Argentina on exploitation of Bolivian migrant workers in the clothing industry. Eniko is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Hungarian, with some Italian and Russian.
Kasumi Maeda, Researcher (based in London)
maeda [at] business-humanrights.org
Kasumi, a Japanese national, joined the Resource Centre in November 2015 as an intern, and returned in September 2016 as a Researcher. Prior to joining the Resource Centre, she worked as a student researcher focusing on the universality of human rights and genocides. She also worked with regional human rights NGOs in El Salvador and India. Kasumi is a candidate for the MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She also holds a BA in International Studies and Asia Studies and a minor in Human Rights from the University of Washington. She is fluent in Japanese and English.
Samentha Goethals, Senior Researcher on labour rights (based in London)
goethals [at] business-humanrights.org @
Samentha, a French national, joined the Resource Centre in November 2016. In 2017 she will cover the role and responsibilities of Danielle McMullan, as the Centre’s lead researcher on Labour Rights.
Samentha is a trained and experienced social science and policy researcher, and has developed her expertise in business and human rights through both academic study and research in NGOs. Samentha successfully completed a PhD in Politics at Oxford Brookes University, in November 2016. Her doctoral research ‘From Business and Human Rights to Human Rights in Business’ shifts the focus of the debate on business and human rights in developing and emerging countries to explore what human rights and business responsibility mean in business organisations in the hospitality sector in the UK. Samentha holds an MA in International Law and International Relations, and a BA in International Relations with Religion, Culture and Ethics from Oxford Brookes University. During her PhD, Samentha was Associate Lecturer in International Relations at Brookes. Besides her studies, Samentha has worked as a researcher and policy adviser for Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) and Amnesty International. Samentha is fluent in French and English, has a good knowledge of Spanish and Italian, and some basics in Chinese Mandarin.
Danielle McMullan, Senior Researcher on labour rights (based in London - currently on maternity leave)
mcmullan [at] business-humanrights.org @
Danielle, a UK national, joined the Resource Centre in 2011 as a Researcher having previously been an intern. She is the main researcher for freedom of association and responsible for research and outreach in the UK & Ireland. She is also responsible for our work on business & conflict and labour rights. Danielle has also undertaken business and human rights missions to Israel and Palestine. Danielle is a human rights lawyer and her experience includes representing asylum seekers as a caseworker at Refugee & Migrant Justice. She has experience working with businesses on ethical and supply chain issues from her time at Business in the Community. She started her career at the law firm Mayer Brown where she was a solicitor in the litigation department. Danielle has an LLM (distinction) in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex. She also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (distinction) from the College of Law College of Law and a LLB (Hons) from the University of Reading.
Ella Skybenko, Eastern Europe/Central Asia Researcher & Representative (based in Kyiv)
skybenko [at] business-humanrights.org
Ella, a Ukrainian national, 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 and Serbia. Ella formerly worked as HIV/AIDS program manager at Holt International Children’s Services and program coordinator at American International Health Alliance. Ella has a Postgraduate Diploma in Global Health from University of Manchester; degree in International Relations with specialization in International Law from Ivan Franko National University of Lviv; and MA in International Human Rights from University of Denver. Her mother tongues are Ukrainian and Russian. She speaks fluent English.
Isabel Ebert, Consultant /Representative (based in London)
ebert [at] business-humanrights.org
Isabel, a German national, has been working for the Resource Centre as a Consultant (Research German & Western Europe/EU contents) since October 2014. Prior to this, Isabel worked at the German Mission in South Africa, the Governing Mayor of Berlin, the Goethe Institut New York, and at a consultancy in Development Cooperation and Health. She holds a MA in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies from Goethe-University Frankfurt and a BA in Politics and Management from University of Konstanz and Sciences Po Paris. Her academic research project focussed on the Kiobel and Apartheid litigation cases in the US under the Alien Torts Claim Act (MA thesis, Goethe-University of Frankfurt). Isabel speaks fluent German, English and French, with a good knowledge of Spanish and some basic Arabic.
Julia Mello Neiva, Senior Brazil, Portugal & Portuguese-speaking Africa Researcher & Representative (based in São Paulo)
neiva [at] business-humanrights.org
Julia is a Brazilian human rights laywer who has joined the Resource Centre in 2013. She is responsible for research and outreach in Brazil, Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa, and has conducted regional missions to Belém and Rio de Janeiro. Julia taught human rights course in Angola, as consultant for Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; assisted São Tomé & Principe Government with transparency laws, co-authored a research project coordinated by Intl. Commission of Jurists in partnership with Conectas Humans Rights: “Access to Justice: Human Rights Abuses Involving Corporations - Brazil”. She is one of the founding members of Conectas Human Rights, where she was Justice Program Coordinator. She has also worked with African American Policy Forum; Columbia Law School Human Rights Clinic; and Center for Reproductive Rights. She co-taught the first academic course in Brazil on business & human rights, at Law School of Fundação Getulio Vargas, and is a member of the Human Rights and Business Group of the school. She was educated at Columbia Univ. School of Law (LLM, human rights focus); Univ. of São Paulo Law School (graduate specialisation in human rights); Pontifical Catholic Univ. of São Paulo (Bachelor of Law). Julia’s mother tongue is Portuguese. She is also fluent in English and Spanish, and has a good understanding of French.
Amanda Romero Medina, Senior Researcher and Representative for South America (based in Bogotá)
romero [at] business-humanrights.org
Amanda Romero, a Colombian national, 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 PhD 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.
Karen Hudlet, Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean Researcher & Representative (based in Mexico City)
hudlet [at] business-humanrights.org
Karen, a national of Mexico, joined the Resource Centre in 2015 as the organisation’s first Regional Researcher & Representative for Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean. She has conducted regional missions to Puebla and Mexico City. Previously, Karen worked in human rights organisations in Mexico in the planning, management and evaluation of projects relating to ESCER (economic, social, cultural & environmental rights) and indigenous rights. She also worked with the grassroots movement of Mayan beekeepers who are resisting the planting of transgenic soybeans that affect their livelihoods. Karen has conducted research on human rights issues, rural development and gender issues. Karen received a BA in international relations and an MSc in international development studies from the University of Utrecht. She did her academic fieldwork in northern Tanzania on the impact of luxury residential complexes and floriculture companies on small peasants. Her mother tongue is Spanish, she is fluent in English, and has a good level of French.
Bahaa Ezzelarab, Middle East & North Africa Researcher & Representative
ezzelarab [at] business-humanrights.org
Bahaa, an Egyptian and Canadian national, joined the Resource Centre in 2016. Bahaa is responsible for identifying and communicating business and human rights issues in the MENA region, in addition to forging ties with local civil society actors, engaging with businesses and informing them about applicable international standards. Bahaa is also Legal Consultant at Thebes Consultancy, where he is involved in legal advisory and consultancy projects. Between 2012 and 2014, Bahaa was the Legal Adviser of the North African Litigation Initiative of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, involved in strategic human rights litigation before the human rights mechanisms of the African Union. He has also worked for Baker & McKenzie, focusing on antitrust cases, and as a legal assistant at the Cairo Office of the International Finance Corporation. Bahaa received his Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto in 2011, an LLM degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in 2008 and a BA in International Relations from the American University in Cairo in 2005. Bahaa received the Arthur C. Helton Fellowship from the American Society of International Law in 2009. Bahaa is fluent in English and Arabic, with a good level of German.
Mariam Bhacker, Project Manager – Migrant workers in the Gulf construction industry (based in London)
bhacker [at] business-humanrights.org @maz_rb
Mariam joined the Resource Centre in 2016. She is responsible for developing the Resource Centre’s Qatar and UAE programmes, with a specific focus on the treatment of migrant workers in the construction and hospitality industries. Mariam has previously researched access to healthcare among migrant workers in Qatar, UAE and Kuwait, and tracked Gulf health aid to Africa. She has extensive experience in digital communications and advocacy around health, policy and human rights through her work with Inis Communication, Global Health Middle East and Let Girls Lead. Mariam holds an MSc in Global Health from the University of California, San Francisco and a BSc in Natural Sciences from Durham University, UK. She speaks English and Arabic.
Malik Habayeb, Middle East Research and Outreach Assistant (based in London)
habayeb [at] business-humanrights.org @MalikHabayeb
Malik joined the Resource Centre in 2016. He supports the Centre’s work on business and human rights in the region, with a specific focus on migrant labor in the Gulf. He is responsible for producing Arabic language content for the Centre’s website and social media platforms and engaging with regional stakeholders and audiences. He holds a bachelor's degree in International Politics and a Certificate in Arab and Regional Studies from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Malik previously worked at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies as part of the core team that led the end-to-end establishment of the Institute and later managed the office of the School of Public Administration and Development Economics. Malik also supported the research efforts of Qatar Foundation’s Migrant Worker Welfare Initiative.
Felicitas Weber, KnowTheChain Project Lead (based in London)
weber [at] business-humanrights.org
Felicitas joined the Resource Centre in 2016. She is leading the development of the KnowTheChain project, working closely with the initiative's partners Humanity United, Sustainalytics, and Verite. KnowTheChain is ranking large global ICT, food & beverage, and apparel companies on their efforts to address forced labour in their supply chains.
From 2011-2016, Felicitas worked for the ESG Engagements team at the UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment. Initially in charge of managing the PRI's investor collaboration platform, she was subsequently responsible for managing the PRI's investor-company engagements on social issues, including on topics such as labour practices in agricultural supply chains, and for raising awareness and understanding of human rights issues and their impacts on investor portfolios through events, publications, webinars and podcasts.
Prior to joining the PRI, Felicitas worked in communication, events and development for the UK charities Teach First and Historic Royal Palaces. She holds a Master in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics from Universität Leipzig, a Certificate of Political Studies from Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Rennes as well as a qualification in European Quality and Project Management. Her thesis focused on migration and European border policies. She is fluent in English and German, and has a good understanding of French.
Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders
Ana Zbona, Civic Freedoms & Human Rights Defenders Project Manager (based in London)
zbona [at] business-humanrights.org
Ana, a Slovenian national, 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.
Iran Business and Rights Project
This is a joint initiative of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre and the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. Provisional details are available here. The project is directed jointly by Andrea Shemberg and Andrea Saldarriaga, and the Project Manager is Michael Eisner (bio forthcoming).
ashemberg [at] iranbrp.org
Andrea Shemberg is a common law and international human rights lawyer with nearly 15 years of experience in business and human rights. From 2007 to 2011, Andrea served as Legal Advisor to the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, John Ruggie (SRSG). In this role, Andrea was part of the team that developed the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. She also led the SRSG's work on investment, leading the SRSG’s process to realise the UN Principles for Responsible Contracts. Andrea began her legal career as a management-side employment and labour law lawyer before receiving her MSc in Human Rights at the London School of Economics. Andrea currently serves as Advisor to the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights.
asaldarriaga [at] iranbrp.org
Andrea is co-lead of the Investment & Human Rights Project at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She is a member of the roster of experts to the Project Complaint Mechanism at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, a fellow of the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and a member of the International Investment Agreements expert network of UNCTAD. Andrea also teaches business and human rights at ESSEC Business School in Paris and ESCP Business School Europe. She is trained as an international lawyer, and her practice has focused on international investment law and business and human rights. Since 2007, Andrea has worked as an independent consultant providing advice on investment cases and working on a range of projects with international organisations, not-for-profit and academic institutions in her areas of expertise.
meisner [at] iranbrp.org
Mike is Chief Operating Officer of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. He has previously worked at Human Rights Watch and the US State Department, where he was an Attorney-Adviser on Middle East issues. He clerked for a federal judge in the Southern District of New York, and he is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School, where he was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of International Law.
Corporate Accountability & Communications
Joe Bardwell, Corporate Accountability & Communications Officer (based in London)
bardwell [at] business-humanrights.org @JosephBardwell
Joe, a UK national, joined the Resource Centre in 2014. He collaborates with our researchers around the world to pursue adequate accountability and remedy for victims of human rights abuse, and works to increase media and social media coverage of the Resource Centre’s work. Joe previously worked at ESCR-Net’s Corporate Accountability Working Group, where he was involved in communications for the campaign for a binding treaty on business and human rights. Prior to this, Joe investigated human rights violations as a Legal Trainee and Legal Researcher at the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights; researched the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises for the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin; and worked as an adviser on disability and mental health issues, and the UK Equality Act. Joe holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law from the Irish Centre for Human Rights and a BA in Criminology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Corporate Legal Accountability
Elodie Aba, Interim Corporate Legal Accountability Project Manager (based in France)
aba [at] business-humanrights.org @cla_bhrrc
Elodie, a French national, 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 legal translator from Institut Supérieur d’Interprétation et de Traduction (ISIT). Her mother tongue is French and she speaks fluent English and some Spanish.
Ciara Dowd, Legal Researcher (based in Ireland)
dowd [at] business-humanrights.org
Ciara, a national of Ireland and the US, returned to the Resource Centre in 2016 as Legal Researcher for the Corporate Legal Accountability project after having previously been an intern. Ciara has completed an LL.M in International Law with the University of Edinburgh, focusing her research on international investment law and human rights. She also holds a BA in Economics, Politics and Law from Dublin City University, and spent her Erasmus year in Sciences Po, Paris. Ciara has previously been a researcher in the University of Edinburgh, and has interned with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. She has also volunteered with refugees in Ireland and Thailand.
Development, finance and programme support
Julie Berlin, Development Director – UK/Europe (based in London)
berlin [at] business-humanrights.org
Julie, a US and German national, joined the Resource Centre in January 2016. Based in London, she works closely with the Executive Director and Senior Development Director to manage and expand the Resource Centre’s relationships with UK and European based funders. Julie has spent the past four years in Afghanistan with Development Alternatives, Inc. leading the monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management efforts of three United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded programmes. Prior to that, she served as the Senior Manager of Development & Communications for an international human rights capacity building organization based in Washington, D.C. and as the Major Donor & Projects Executive at the Royal London Society for the Blind. She has extensive experience working with private foundations, bilateral funders and individual donors. Julie holds a BA in Political Science and a MA in International Relations. Her mother tongue is English with some German.
Lakshmi Samarakoon, Finance Officer (based in London)
samarakoon [at] business-humanrights.org
Lakshmi, a UK national, joined the Resource Centre in January 2011. She manages the day-to-day finances of the organization, centralises the finance function and provides input for funding reports, applications, budgets and audit. She previously worked as a financial accountant and finance systems implementation manager, where she worked mostly for private companies in a variety of industry sectors such as IT (Abraxus Computers), transport (TFL), engineering (High-Point Rendel), health (Harmoni Group Ltd). She was also a trustee of a small arts charity based in the UK: A.S.I.A. (Academy of South Indian Arts). Lakshmi was educated at Imperial College, London University (B(Eng) Hons Civil Engineering) and is an ACCA Affiliate (ACCA – Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
Alex Janczenia, Administration & Programme Support Officer (based in London)
janczenia [at] business-humanrights.org
Alex Janczenia, a UK national, was appointed in January 2015 as the Resource Centre’s Office Administrator and Programme Support. She manages the daily running of the London office, coordinates recruitments, supports dissemination & outreach efforts, maintains contact management systems, and assists with copy editing and regular updating of our website. Alex previously worked as the fundraising and communications coordinator for Street Kids International UK, before which she held an internship position with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) supporting their private sector fundraising service. Alex has a BA in Politics & Modern History, and an MA in Human Rights Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Her mother tongue is English, and she also has some French and German.
Founder & Former Director
Chris, a UK/US national, 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).
Oct 2016 – Mar 2017: Anastasiya Koroleva (based in London)
Anastasiya, a Russian national, joined the Resource Centre in October 2016 as a Legal Research Intern. Prior to joining the Resource Centre she worked as a legal counsel in Russia and, more recently, she interned for Child Rights International Network as a communication assistant and legal researcher. She is a candidate for the Doctoral degree in Advanced Studies in Human Rights at the University of Carlos III of Madrid. Her research is focused on human rights obligations of non-state actors in the context of armed conflict. She holds an undergraduate degree in International Law from the Perm State University and a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of Carlos III of Madrid. Her mother tongue is Russian, and she also speaks fluent English and Spanish.
Oct 2016 – Dec 2016: Carole Ménard (based in New York)
Carole, a French national, joined the Resource Centre in October 2016 as a Research Intern. She has just completed an LL.M in International Law and Justice at Fordham University School of Law in New York. During this programme, Carole participated in the Corporate Social Responsibility Clinic focusing on foreign investments in Africa and companies’ respect for human rights, especially in the oil & gas and agribusiness sectors. Carole passed the French Bar in 2010 and practiced in Cannes and Paris as a business lawyer for five years. While she was practicing in Paris, Carole worked as a volunteer for Amnesty International France where, for example, she worked on an awareness campaign for the Bhopal catastrophe in India and gave a lecture for other NGO members on corporate legal accountability in France. She also holds a Master’s degree in Public International Law from the University of Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas. Her native language is French, she is fluent in English and has good knowledge of Spanish.
Oct 2016 – Mar 2017: Cara Casey-Boyce (based in London)
Cara, a national of Ireland and the UK, joined the Resource Centre in October 2016 as Communications Intern. She completed her Masters of Law in Human Rights at the University of Edinburgh in 2015, and has a BA in Politics and Modern History from the University of Manchester. During her Masters Cara undertook legal research at DIGNITY – The Danish Institute Against Torture in Copenhagen, as part of her final dissertation project on South African Legislation and Policy on Policing and it’s Compatibility with International Human Rights Standards. Prior to her internship at the Resource Centre, Cara volunteered in Nepal with the Voluntary Service Overseas, managing their Media and Communications Committee. In the past she has volunteered with groups supporting refugees and the homeless in Glasgow. She has taught English as foreign language in the UK, Spain, and the UAE. Her mother tongue is English, and she also has some French and Spanish.
Oct 2016 – Feb 2017: Sonja Stara (based in London)
Sonja, an Austrian national, joined the Resource Centre in October 2016 as a Research Intern. She is currently doing a Master’s programme in Human Rights at the University of Vienna. Her main focus lies on women’s rights, education and the human rights obligations and compliance of corporations. Sonja holds a BA in Sociology and specialised in the fields of migration and integration. She conducted several research projects on ethnic communities living in Vienna. She recently worked as an assistant at the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s Fundamental Rights Forum. She is engaged in many voluntary activities and has been a tutor for children and adolescents with migratory background for 4 years (at Caritas Vienna and the Austrian Red Cross). She previously interned at the Vienna University’s Children’s Office. Her native language is German, she is fluent in English and has a good knowledge of French and Spanish as well as some Italian.
Sep - Dec 2016: Sherif Rizk (based in New York)
Sherif, an American & Egyptian national, joined the Resource Centre in September 2016 as a Research Intern. He has just completed his Masters in International Affairs and Social Justice at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. His Master’s Thesis focused on the importance of institutional legitimacy for effective long term political and socioeconomic stability; he focused on the cases of Egypt and Tunisia. He previously worked with Human Rights Watch as a MENA research intern, where he assisted with monitoring and publication of material related to the human rights situation in the region. Sherif also focused on minority rights issues in Iran as a research intern at The Human Rights in Iran Unit, working under the UN Special Representative on the situation of Human Rights in Iran. Sherif is fluent in both English and Arabic, with extensive experience doing research in both languages.
Click on the link above to see a list of our former team members & research Interns.