Our team

Stockholm (Head Office) | Belgrade | Pristina | Sarajevo | Tirana | Board

People from our team. Photo: Mikael GustavsenThe pen is mightier than the sword. Photo: Mikael Gustavsen People from our team. Photo: Mikael GustavsenWorking for peace. Photo: Mikael GustavsenPeople from our team. Photo: Mikael Gustavsen

Head Office, Stockholm (Sweden)

Press photo of Robert Hårdh, chef Civil Rights DefendersRobert Hårdh, Executive Director
Robert has a Master of Laws degree from Uppsala University, specialising in human rights. He started working for Civil Rights Defenders as a human rights lawyer in 1999. In 2000, he was appointed Executive Director of the organisation.

John Stauffer, Legal Director
John has a Master of Laws degree and has specialized in human rights. He has previously worked for Swedish equality bodies: the Ombudsman Against Ethnic Discrimination and the Equality Ombudsman. He has also worked for the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina as Director for the Human Rights Department. He joined Civil Rights Defenders as Legal Director in March 2013.

Natasha Jevtic Esbjörnson, Media Contact, Communications and Fundraising
Natasha has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political sciences and is a trained journalist. Formerly she worked as a freelance journalist in Belgrade, Serbia. Natasha started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2000. Between 2003 and 2006 she was stationed in Belgrade as Head of the Regional Office for the Western Balkans. Since 2006, she works with external communications and fundraising.

Anne Nyqvist, Financial Manager
Anne has a Bachelor’s degree in economics, specialising in business economics and management. Previously she worked for the Volunteer Organisations Fund for Human Rights. Since 2008, Anne is Financial Manager for Civil Rights Defenders.

Jörgen Persson, Controller
Jörgen has a Bachelor’s degree in economics, specialising in finance and accounting. He has worked as an auditor for several years and as controller for the county administrative board. Jorgen has  been Finance director for Amnesty International Sweden for five years. Since 2012, Jorgen work as Controller for Civil Rights Defenders.

Brittis Edman, Programme Director for Southeast Asia
Brittis has documented and analysed the human rights situation in Southeast Asia since the mid -90s, in particular Cambodia, where she has lived for seven years. Prior to joining Civil Rights Defenders in September 2010, Brittis worked for five years as a Southeast Asia researcher at Amnesty International. She has also worked for OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) and Save the Children, and holds university degrees in mass communications and political science.

Joanna Kurosz, Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Joanna has previously worked as a journalist, among other as the Moscow correspondent for Sweden’s main news agency TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå) in 2003-2006. She has a Master of Arts degree in history of economics from Uppsala University, and has studied journalism at Stockholm University. Joanna started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2007 as Programme Officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and became Programme Director for the region in 2010.

Marie Månson, Programme Director for Support to Human Rights Defenders at Risk
Marie has a Master’s Degree in international relations. Formerly she worked for the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. She started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 1997, first as Programme Officer for the Western Balkans and then as Office Manager. She was also Programme Director for the Western Balkans for a number of years. Currently she is heading a new department within the organisation that develops and provides targeted support to human rights defenders at risk.

Erik Jennische, Programme Director for Latin America
Erik has a master’s degree in sociology specializing in democratization processes. He has worked with democracy promotion in Latin America as well as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. 2010 thru 2013 he worked as a journalist in Brazil, and before joining Civil Rights Defenders in 2014 he was a researcher at Swedwatch.

Inna Bukshtynovich, Programme Officer
Inna joined Civil Rights Defenders in 2011 to work on the Stockholm Process – a long-term initiative to strengthen human rights defenders in the North Caucasus. Inna studied Economics and IT, and International Development. Inna has worked at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on projects to support and strengthen democratic institutions in Eastern Europe in 2001-2009.

Miro Durdevic, Programme Officer
Miro has a Master of Laws degree from Stockholm University, specialising in international criminal law and public international law. He started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2003 as a programme officer for the Western Balkans. Since 2004, Miro works as Programme Officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Mesfin Negash, Programme Officer
Mesfin is a journalist by profession and graduated in Political Science and International Relations. He was a co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of a popular newspaper in Ethiopia. Later the government accused and sentenced him in a politically motivated trial for “supporting terrorism.” Human Rights Watch and the Swedish organisation Reportrar utan gränser awarded him prizes for his contribution to freedom of speech. Mesfin has also worked as a Communication and Program Officer for local and international NGOs in Ethiopia. Continuing his journalism and human rights activism in exile, he joined Civil Rights Defenders first as a volunteer and then as a Programme Officer in May 2013.

Cecilia Rosing, Programme Officer
Cecilia has a Bachelor’s degree in political science, a Master of Arts degree in Russian as well as a Master’s degree in East European studies. She has also studied in Russia and France. Cecilia has in the past worked with asylum seekers from Eastern Europe and Central Asia as well as at the Consulate General of Sweden in St Petersburg. In the last couple of years she has worked in South Caucasus both for the EU-mission (EUMM) and the Swedish Foundation Kvinna till Kvinna. She started working for Civil Rights Defenders in April 2012 as Program Officer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Peter Öholm, Programme Officer
Peter has worked as a journalist during the War in Bosnia and Herzegovina and was stationed in Makarska and Tuzla. He has also worked as a reporter at Arbetaren, Aftonbladet, TV4, Ekot SR and Stockholm News. Peter started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2004, first as a programme officer for the Western Balkans and then for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Today he works together with Marie Månson with our new initiative to develop and provide targeted support to human rights defenders at risk.

Åsa Bergqvist, Financial Administrator
Åsa has a Bachelor of Arts degree in social sciences from Uppsala University. She started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 1997 as an information and administration officer. Åsa has worked as Programme Officer for different Western Balkan countries between 1999 and 2010. From 2005 to 2006 she was stationed at our field office in Skopje, Macedonia. From 2010 to 2013 she worked as Programme Officer for Moldova, withn our Eastern Europe and Central Asia department. Today, she works as Finance and Administration Officer at the head quarters in Stockholm.

Sophia Ponzio, Programme Administrator
Sophia has a Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural sciences/ethnology. Previously she worked for the Swedish branch of the Service Civil International as well as the SCI. Sophia started to work as an administrator for Civil Rights Defenders in 2000. Since 2009, she works as a Programme Administrator.

Anja Steiber, Public Relations Officer (on parental leave)
Anja has a Master’s degree in democratic development and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Uppsala University. She also studied journalism at Poppius School for Journalism. Anja started working as an assistant at the Civil Right Defenders’ Information Department in 2006.

Field Office, Belgrade (Serbia)

Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans
Goran has a Master of Laws degree from Belgrade University and a MA degree from the European Regional Master on Democracy and Human Rights in Sarajevo. He started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 2004 as Programme Officer for the Western Balkans. Today he is the Programme Director for the Western Balkans. Goran is stationed in Belgrade, Serbia.

Natalija Bratuljevic, Programme Officer
Natalija has worked as a journalist for the student radio in Kragujevac and as a journalist and editor at TV Kragujevac in Serbia. She started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 2000 as a programme officer for the Western Balkans. Between 2006 and 2010 she worked at our field office in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Sofija Bulajic, Office Manager
Sofija has a Bachelor of Arts degree in organisational sciences from Belgrade University. Formerly she worked for an IT company. Sofija started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 2004 as an Administration Officer. Today she is the Office Manager at the Committee’s office in Belgrade, Serbia.

Marjan.Maruna, Outreach Assistant
Marjan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Belgrade. He has several years of experience working in the private sector, parallel to his activities in human rights advocacy. Since 2013, he is working as Outreach Assistant at Civil Rights Defenders.

Srdjan.Miljevic, Project and Office Assistant
Srdjan holds a degree in General Literature and Theory of Literature from the Faculty of Philology, Belgrade University. He has previously worked at the financial department of Serbian Music Authors’ Society and as a freelance proofreader and journalist for several publishers. He started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 2012 as a Project and Office Assistant.

Filip Perunicic, Financial Assistant
Filip has a Masters degree in Business Administration and Finance from New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, USA where he also worked as a Graduate Assistant. He has previously worked as a Finance Intern for Pro Credit Bank in Belgrade, Serbia, and as marketing trainee for L’Oreal Balkans. In 2013 he joined Civil Rights Defenders’ Balkan team as Financial Assistant.

Field Office, Pristina (Kosovo)

Sarah Maliqi, Programme Officer
Sarah started working for Civil Rights Defenders in 2011. She is a Program Officer, covering Kosovo and Macedonia. Sarah has previously worked at Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Heartefact Fund and WUS Pristina. Her educational background comprises studies in Law at Sarajevo and Pristina Universities.

Field Office, Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Sumeja Tulic, Programme Officer
Sumeja has a BA in Law from the Law faculty in Sarajevo and a MA degree from the European Regional Master on Democracy and Human Rights in Sarajevo. She started to work for Civil Rights Defenders in 2011 as Programme Officer for the Western Balkans.

Field Office, Tirana (Albania)

Vasilika Laci, Programme Officer
Vasilika holds a degree in Philosophy and Sociology from the University of Tirana and has a MA degree from the European Regional Master on Democracy and Human Rights in Sarajevo. Vasilika has previously worked with childrens rights for Terre des homes International Federation in Albania for almost 5 years and for a women rights organisation. In February 2012 Vasilika started at Civil Rights Defenders.

Field Office, Chisinau (Moldova)

Bobbie Traut, Programme Manager
Bobbie holds a Master’s degree in Central and Eastern European Studies from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. She has been working on programmes to strengthen civil society and promote human rights since 2008. Before joining Civil Rights Defenders in October 2013, Bobbie worked for the Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy and Centre for International Private Enterprise on civil society programmes in Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Central Asia.

Rodica Cebotarenco, Programme Administrator
Rodica has a Bachelor’s degree in economics, specialising in finance and accounting. She has worked as an accountant in commercial and non-governmental organisations. Rodica has been the Programme Accountant at USAID Rule of Law Institutional Strengthening Programme. Since 2013, Rodica works as Programme Administrator at Civil Rights Defenders’ field office in Moldova.

Board


Gerald Nagler, Honorary Chair of the Board
Gerald is one of the founders of the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights. He was the Secretary General of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (IHF) in Vienna from 1984 to 1992, and Chairman of the Swedish Helsinki Committee between 1992 and 2004.


Benedicte Berner, Acting Chair of the Board, Media analyst
Benedicte teaches at Harvard University on Media and Democracy and is Associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard. She has previously taught on issues regarding freedom of expression at the Institut d’ Etudes Politiques de Paris. She also trains journalists in the Middle East and Northern Africa. She formerly worked for the IRC (international Red Cross) and IOM (International Organization for Migration) in Moscow, and was
Director of International Issues at the European Institute for the Media in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Anna Jonsson Cornell, Associate Professor
Anna is an Associate Professor in Constitutional Law at the Law Faculty at Uppsala University, holding a position as Senior Lecturer in Comparative Constitutional Law. She is also Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Security and Development Policy. Her main areas of expertise are constitutional law, state building processes, rule of law and human rights protection.

Arne Ruth, Publisher and writer
Arne is a journalist, an author and a lecturer. He was Editor-in-Chief at Dagens Nyheter between 1982 and 1998. Subsequently he worked as a guest professor in Sweden, Norway and the U.S.A. During the last few years he has given lectures and acted as a moderator of many debates about cultural conflicts and freedom of expression. Arne is member of the board of Article 19 in London.

Lars Viklund, Lawyer
Lars is a member of the Swedish Bar Association and a partner at Sju Advokater KB in Stockholm. He mainly focuses on labour and employment law, work environment offences and procedural law. Lars is the author of several books treating labour and employment law, and he has taken part in public legislation work.

Elisabeth Tamm, Bachelor of laws
Elisabeth is a foundation expert and director of the Bank of Åland’s trust department. She sits in a number ofboards, including as Chairman of Alba Langenskiöld Foundation, member of the Foundation for the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, H & M Conscious Foundation, Erling Persson Family Foundation, Bokförlaget Langenskiöld andothers. Elisabeth Tamm has an LLB. Laws. and an MBA from Uppsala University and a minor in Art History.