The Fund for Global Human Rights UK is a registered charity dedicated to supporting frontline human rights defenders in places of great need, but with minimal access to funding. (Charity number 1151043). Your donation is a lifeline for these activists, who are building societies based on equality, justice and accountability.
Staff is shared with the Fund’s US office. We have five UK-based staff members:
Naima Allcock Development Officer
Naima joined the Fund in July 2015 and currently serves as Development Officer. She is a graduate of the University of Cambridge where she studied French and Spanish, with an emphasis on post-colonial Francophone African literature. Whilst a student at Cambridge, Naima spent a year in Côte d’Ivoire during which time she interned for an international NGO. Prior to joining the fund, Naima pursued graduate studies in Francophone literature and Anthropology at the University of California Berkeley. Naima speaks fluent French, advanced Spanish and is conversant in Swahili and Kinyarwanda.
John M. Kabia Program Officer for West Africa
John joined the Fund as its Program Officer for West Africa in June 2012. Most recently, he was with the Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace based in the UK, where he developed and facilitated peace and human rights training programs for victims and survivors of conflict and human rights abuses. He also has experience working with human rights organizations and networks in his native Sierra Leone and has authored a series of research publications on human rights, conflict and peacebuilding in West Africa. John holds a PhD in conflict, security and development from the University of Bradford. John is based in Warrington, UK.
Robin Pierro Development Manager
Robin joined the Fund’s London office as a Development Manager in February 2017, on a maternity cover contract. Robin is responsible for maintaining and growing the Fund’s UK and European donor base over the next nine months. Robin previously worked with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), where she designed and managed complex media development and human rights programs in a number of conflict and post-conflict countries across sub-Saharan Africa. Robin was also the creator and manager behind JHR’s award-winning Indigenous Reporters Program, that has supported and trained over 400 indigenous people across Canada in human rights reporting. Her work has developed the capacity of local reporters and civil society leaders globally, and has helped build an enabling environment for independent journalism in some of the world’s most challenging regions. Robin has also worked in nonprofit communications and fundraising, successfully securing over $7 million for rights-based development programs, and as a multi-media journalist and filmmaker, producing four documentary films to date and numerous news stories for media around the world. Robin has a BA in Journalism and MA in Human Rights Law and Democratization. Robin has a passion for investigative research and a deep interest in how technology is transforming traditional research methods, evidenced through her published thesis on the use of new ICT tools for human rights documentation. Although Robin hails from Toronto, Canada, she has lived in Africa, Latin America and Europe and has traveled to over 60 countries—she now calls London her home.
James Savage Program Officer for the Enabling Environment for Human Rights Defenders Program
James joined the Fund in February 2016 as Program Officer for the Enabling Environment for Human Rights Defenders Program. From 1999 to 2016, James worked for Amnesty International UK, where he led the organization’s work for and with individuals at risk, including human rights defenders and most recently, served as director of its Human Rights Defenders Programme. He has also worked in a variety of human rights campaigning and activism roles with AIUK including mobilising youth, student and trade union activists. In 1994, James became involved in human rights activism with Peace Brigades International (PBI), taking a variety of roles working in PBI’s UK national group and International Office, and from 2002 – 2003 as a field volunteer for PBI in Colombia, which involved accompanying and supporting human rights defenders at risk from intimidation, stigmatisation or attack. He holds a BA in History from University College London and a Master’s Degree in Latin American studies from the University of London. James works out of the Fund’s European office in London.
Frances Tennyson Manager of Development
Frances Tennyson joined the Fund in May 2014 as Manager of Development and is responsible for driving forward our fundraising, communications and outreach in the UK and Europe. She has over eight years’ experience working in the international development sector, rooted in fundraising from trusts and foundations and statutory donors, grant management and communications. Prior to joining Frances spent 5 years at the global humanitarian charity CARE International working across Programmes and Funding teams, was International Fundraising & Grants Manager at Sue Ryder, and had a short term at Latin American House Association where she co-organised the UK’s first ever film festival focused on the cultures and struggles of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Frances holds a BA in Spanish & Latin American Studies from the University of London and a Postgraduate Certificate in International Poverty Reduction from the School of Oriental & African Studies. She is fluent in Spanish and has a deep interest in Latin America, having spent 2 years living in Chile and 6 months in Cuba. Frances is based in our European office in the UK.
Click below to read about our leadership.
Thomas Hammarberg (Honorary Chair)
Former Council of Europe High Commissioner for Human Rights
Thomas Hammarberg is a Swedish diplomat and human rights defender. From 2006-2012, he served as the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights; prior, he was the Secretary General of the Olof Palme International Center in Stockholm, a Swedish NGO that works with international development, cooperation and the forming of public opinion surrounding international political and security issues. Thomas has enjoyed a long career in human rights, having served as Regional Advisor for Europe, Central Asia and the Caucuses for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as Kofi Annan’s appointed representative for human rights in Cambodia, as Ambassador from the Swedish government on Humanitarian Affairs, and as Secretary General for both Save the Children Sweden and Amnesty International, among others. In 1977, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of Amnesty International.
Hina Jilani (Honorary Chair)
Director, AGHS Legal Aid Clinic; Former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders
Hina Jilani has been at the forefront of the movement for peace, human rights and women’s rights in Pakistan for the last two decades. A founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Jilani currently serves as the Commission’s vice president. She is an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and has steadfastly represented those whose human rights have been violated, including victims of domestic violence, fundamentalist violence, and so-called “honor killings,” as well as bonded workers. In 2001, Ms. Jilani was appointed Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on the situation of human rights defenders. In that same year, she was also awarded the Millennium Peace Prize, the first award of its kind to recognize women who have made outstanding contributions to building peace.
Mary Robinson (Honorary Chair)
President, Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice; Former President of Ireland; Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Mary Robinson has served in numerous positions from which she has worked to protect human rights. As President of Ireland from 1990-1997, she emphasized the needs of developing countries by drawing connections between the needs of today and the needs of countries in the past, such as with the Great Irish Famine. After her presidency, Ms. Robinson took the position of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. During her term, she focused on implementing Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s reform proposal to integrate human rights concerns in all the activities of the United Nations. Ms. Robinson founded Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, an organization committed to multi-disciplinary thought and action aimed at integrating human rights standards into global governance and policy-making in order to serve as a bridge between the needs of the poorest communities and the global stage, in 2002 and served as president until 2010. Educated at Trinity College, Ms. Robinson also holds law degrees from the King’s Inns in Dublin and from Harvard University. In addition being the Fund for Global Human Rights’ honorary chair, Ms. Robinson serves as Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders, Vice President of the Club of Madrid, honorary President of Oxfam International, Member of the Vaccine Fund Board of Directors, and Member of the Leadership Council the UN Global Coalition on Women and AIDS. She is a Professor of Practice at Columbia University and member of the Advisory Board of the Earth Institute, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria.
Board of Trustees
Former Director, Ariadne
Jo is currently starting up a new foundation called Equileap—a social and business venture that enables investors to use gender lens investing as a tool to help transform the workplace for women and contribute to a more equitable world for all. Between 2009 and 2016, she was the Director of Ariadne, which she set up with the ultimate aim of increasing the effectiveness of social change and human rights funding in Europe. In 2002, Jo became the first Director of the Sigrid Rausing Trust, a role she held until 2006. She later worked at the Institute for Philanthropy in London. Jo is particularly interested in the rights of women and minorities. From 2013-2016 Jo served on the board of Mama Cash – the world’s oldest sub-granting fund for women – and was also a trustee of Coordinated Action Against Domestic Abuse (CAADA) between 2007 and 2012. In a previous life, Jo was a Senior Correspondent for Independent Television News and reported extensively from Northern Ireland, Kosovo, the US, China, Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and Brussels.
Tahir Basheer is a Partner in the Digital Media, Music, Fashion and Brands Groups at Sheridans. Tahir’s commercial legal practice replicates the ever-growing convergence of the media industry and includes areas such as music, computer games, e-commerce, sport, fashion, merchandising, trade marks and intellectual property. He advises a range of corporate and individual clients both within the UK and abroad. His clients range from corporate entities, entrepreneurs, high net worth individuals, up and coming artistes, musicians, designers and creative industry management teams. Tahir founded the firm’s Technology practice and has a particular specialism in digital media issues. He is a registered lawyer with the Football Association, a member of the International Association of Entertainment Lawyers and a guest lecturer at Kings College London University for Creative Business Entrepreneur students. He is also a pro bono adviser for various international charities and trusts and has spoken at a number of conferences and seminars both within the UK and overseas.
Co-Founder and Vice President, International, The Orchard
Scott Cohen began his music career in the late 1980s in independent and major label artist management. Over the years, Scott has earned a reputation as a well-recognized public speaker and lecturer, traveling the world sharing his experience and insight into the digital age and its new business models. In addition to building The Orchard’s distribution business, Scott oversees Orchard Management, which manages the careers of The Raveonettes, Dum Dum Girls, Deer Tracks, and Queen Kwong, and advises a host of other established and emerging artists. He is also a visiting professor at London Metropolitan University, and sits on the BPI Council. Scott is a minimalist and strict vegan. That means no meat, fish, cheese, milk, honey, leather, wool, or anything else derived from an animal.
Human Rights Lawyer
Emma Playfair is a British human rights lawyer by training. After practicing law in the City of London, she spent ten years working on human rights in the Middle East, initially as a researcher with the first Palestinian human rights organization, Al-Haq, in the West Bank, and then establishing the human rights program in the Ford Foundation’s Cairo Office. In 1993 she became Executive Director of INTERIGHTS, the International Centre for the Legal Protection of Human Rights, in London, UK, returning to Cairo nine years later to rejoin the Ford Foundation as Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa, a position she held until April 2008. She is currently Acting Chair of the Alexandria Trust, Board member of INTERIGHTS and Secretary of the UK branch of the Fund for Global Human Rights. She has written on human rights and humanitarian law, and on philanthropy. Among other publications, she edited International Law and the Administration of Occupied Territories (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992).
Regan E. Ralph
President and CEO, Fund for Global Human Rights
Regan E. Ralph is the president and CEO of the Fund for Global Human Rights and has directed the organization since its founding. Prior to launching the Fund, Regan was Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center in Washington D.C. where she led advocacy, policy and educational strategies to promote the quality and availability of health care for American women. From 1992-2001, Regan helped build and ultimately directed the Women’s Rights division of Human Rights Watch, where she developed campaigns to ensure the prosecution of sexual violence in conflict as a war crime, to secure recognition of gender-based persecution as grounds for asylum, and to promote women’s rights in countries including Russia, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa, Pakistan and Mexico. Regan is a graduate of Harvard University and Yale Law School, and studied international law at the London School of Economics and Arabic at the American University in Cairo. She serves on the boards of EG Justice and WITNESS, the advisory council of the Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program at Georgetown University Law Center, the advisory committee of The Council for Global Equality, and the global practitioner council at Stanford University’s Program on Social Entrepreneurship. Regan is also a member of the Steering Committee of the International Human Rights Funders Group.
Media Executive, Film Production, Publishing, and Game Development
Nicola is an award-winning media producer, working across film, gaming, educational technology and publishing. In her capacity as film producer, she has won a BAFTA (British Academy Award), a producing fellowship from Sundance, and has made feature films, distributed worldwide, with stars such as Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman and Pierce Brosnan. Nicola worked for many years at publisher Scholastic in New York, initially developing large scale technology products to help struggling readers, and then leading game-based research and development – in particular heading the team that conceived and developed the New York Times bestselling transmedia property “The 39 Clues”. She also runs an Early Literacy-focussed charity, which, amongst other projects, developed the BAFTA-nominated reading game “Teach Your Monster to Read”. Nicola has a BA in English Literature from Oxford University; an MA in Development Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London; has studied business at London Business School, and is currently completing an MBA.
Executive Chairman and co-founder, Big Yellow Group Plc
Nicholas Vetch is Executive Chairman and co-founder of Big Yellow Group Plc, a UK-based FT250 listed business. Prior to his work there, he was joint Chief Executive of Edge Properties Plc, which he co-founded in 1989 and which was subsequently listed on the Official List of the London Stock Exchange in 1996. He is also deputy Chair of Bedales school. Nicholas has a strong interest in human rights, and has supported several human rights and social justice groups. In 2003 he spent nearly a year sailing across the southern Pacific with his family and has travelled extensively through large parts of the world.
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