Staff

Phil Lynch – Executive Director

Phil joined ISHR as Director in January 2013. From 2006 to 2012, Phil was Executive Director of the Human Rights Law Centre in Australia. Before this he worked as Manager of the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic (2001-2005) and a lawyer with global law firm Allens Linklaters.

Phil was conferred with the Paul Baker Award for Administrative and Human Rights Law in 2010 and, under his leadership, both the HRLC and the HPLC were conferred with the Australian Human Rights Law Award. Phil holds a Master of Public Policy and Management and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Melbourne. Follow him on Twitter at @PhilALynch.

Sophie Charpié – Office Manager and Administrator

Sophie joined ISHR in July 2014. Prior to this, she worked as a project assistant at the cultural service of the French embassy of Bahrain, where she managed cultural and educational affairs. She has also managed the secretariat of Arigatou International, a Geneva-based organization focused on children’s rights.

Sophie holds a Master of Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Dr Heather Collister – Programme Manager (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity) and Treaty Body Advocacy Coordinator

Heather leads ISHR’s work in relation to LGBT rights and the protection of human rights defenders working on issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. She also coordinates much of ISHR’s work to reform and strengthen UN human rights treaty bodies and edits our monthly Human Rights Monitor.

Heather obtained her PhD at Princeton University and has worked with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (New Delhi), UNICEF India and the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Marina Dailly – Accountant and Finance Manager

Marina joined ISHR in 2013. She is responsible for ISHR’s finance and grant management. Previously, she has helped microfinance institutions in Africa and the Caribbean develop financial and operations strategies that enhanced their services.

Marina holds a Master in Economic and Commercial Law from the University of Lausanne, and a double Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy/Accounting from George Mason University.

Chris Duckett – Manager of Development and Fundraising

Chris joined ISHR in 2009 and coordinates our development, fundraising and donor relations efforts. Before joining ISHR, Chris oversaw a six-fold increase in fundraising growth at an international human rights NGO. Prior to that, he worked for Janus Capital (USA).

Chris holds Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles and Lund University, Sweden, respectively.

Michelle Evans – New York Manager and Advocacy Coordinator

Michelle manages ISHR’s New York office and coordinates our advocacy at UN headquarters. Prior to joining ISHR, Michelle worked as a journalist (reporter, editor and producer) in the US, Central America and Central Asia and with a number of leading human rights NGOs and coalitions, including the Coalition for an International Criminal Court, the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Earth Times Foundation.

Michelle holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University.

Michael Ineichen – Programme Manager (Corporate Accountability) and Human Rights Council Advocacy Director

Michael joined ISHR in 2006 and leads our advocacy at the UN Human Rights Council, the world’s peak multilateral human rights body, where he played a critical role in the 2013 passage of landmark resolution on the protection of human rights defenders. He is also responsible for our work to support defenders working on issues of corporate accountability and our work to strengthen the membership and effectiveness of human rights mechanisms.

Michael holds a Master of International Relations from the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva. Follow him on Twitter at @IneichenM.

Eleanor Openshaw – Programme Manager (Reprisals) and Regional Advocacy Coordinator

Eleanor leads ISHR’s work to combat intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders and coordinates much of our work at the regional level. Prior to joining ISHR, Eleanor was responsible for the human rights defenders program at Amnesty International's International Secretariat and worked for Peace Brigades International in a variety of capacities. Eleanor is on the management committee of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition.

Eleanor holds degrees from the University of Oxford and the London Metropolitan University.

Pooja Patel – Human Rights Programme and Advocacy Manager

Pooja joined ISHR in 2014 and leads much of our work on the situation and protection of women human rights defenders and LGBT defenders, and our engagement with Asia. Before joining ISHR, Pooja worked with the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) in both Bangkok and Geneva, and as an expert policy analyst with the Universal Rights Group in Geneva.

Pooja holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and International Development from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Madeleine Sinclair – Programme Manager (Reprisals) and Legal Counsel

Madeleine leads ISHR’s work to combat intimidation and reprisals against human rights defenders and is also responsible for ISHR’s legal work, including the coordination of pro bono work by our law firm partners. Prior to joining ISHR, Madeleine worked at UNICEF, focusing on children, migration and human rights, for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial executions, and as a lawyer, researcher and project manager.

Madeleine holds a Master of Laws from the New York University School of Law and a Juris Doctor degree from Dalhousie Law School.

Olivia Starrenburg – Communications Manager

Olivia leads and coordinates ISHR’s communications and media work. Before joining ISHR in 2010, Olivia worked as a communications adviser to government, a Brand Manager with World Vision and a public relations and media consultant with Pead PR, a leading New Zealand public relations agency.

Olivia holds a Bachelor of Communications and Public Relations from Auckland University of Technology and professional qualifications in e-marketing.

Clement Voulé – Programme Manager (States in Transition) and African Commission Advocacy Coordinator

Clement leads ISHR’s work to support human rights defenders in States in transition and to pursue advocacy objectives at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights. Prior to joining ISHR in 2006, Clement worked as Secretary-General of Amnesty International in Togo, Secretary-General of the Togolese Coalition of Human Rights Defenders and a campaigner for the Togo Coalition for the International Criminal Court.

Clement is Vice-Chair of the West African Human Rights Defenders Network and an Expert Member of the African Commission’s Working Group on Extractive Industries, Environment and Human Rights Violations in Africa. Follow him on Twitter at @cvoule.

Ben Leather - Advocacy and Communication Manager

Ben is an Advocacy and Communications Manager at ISHR, having joined the organisation in January 2014 after five years with Peace Brigades International (PBI) in Mexico.
As PBI Mexico’s Advocacy Coordinator he was involved in drafting the Law for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists, as well as designing PBI's first Advocacy Training Program for activists. He previously worked on the regeneration of deprived communities with Plas Madoc Communities First in the UK.

His academic foundation includes a degree in History from the University of Liverpool and courses in Human Rights at Abo Akademi and Peacebuilding at the European Security and Defence College.

Marta Kolasińska – Human Rights Advocate

Marta is supporting ISHR as a secondee from the global business law firm DLA Piper. She has experience in restructuring and corporate matters, as well as insurance, sport and environmental law. The opportunity to work for ISHR appeals to her passion for international and human rights law. This interest first developed during her studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Szczecin in Poland and University of Montpellier I in France, and while cooperating with non-profit organizations and academic institutions.

Marta is a Advocate Trainee at the Warsaw Bar of Advocates.