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 holds 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 and Deputy Executive Director
John holds a Master of Laws degree and has specialised in human rights. He has previously worked for various Swedish equality bodies: the Ombudsman Against Ethnic Discrimination and the Equality Ombudsman. He has also worked for 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.

Hampus Stenberg, Communications and Fundraising Director
Hampus holds a BA in Economics from Lund University and a diploma from IFL/Stockholm School of Economics’ program ”Communications Executive Program”. He has worked with communications, Public/Government Affairs and CSR in Sweden and internationally since 1998, primarily as a consultant and the Head of Communications Northern Europe at Citigroup. As of 2014 he is responsible for communications and fundraising at Civil Rights Defenders.

Marie Månson, Programme Director for Support to Human Rights Defenders at Risk
Marie holds 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 a 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.

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 (on parental leave)
Joanna has previously worked as a journalist amongst others, as the Moscow correspondent for Sweden’s main news agency TT (Tidningarnas Telegrambyrå) in 2003-2006. She holds 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.

Roemer Lemaître, Acting Programme Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Roemer has worked for 7 years as a human rights lawyer in Russia, most recently with the Committee Against Torture in Nizhniy Novgorod. He previously studied law and philosophy in Leuven, Belgium and holds an LL.M. degree from Columbia University in the USA.

Erik Jennische, Programme Director for Latin America
Erik holds a Master’s degree in Sociology specialising in democratisation processes. He has worked with democracy promotion in Latin America as well as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. From 2010-2013 he worked as a journalist in Brazil, and before joining Civil Rights Defenders in 2014 he was a researcher at Swedwatch.

Kim Matthis, Project Manager Defenders’ Days
Kim holds a degree in Political Science from the Swedish National Defense College. Previously she completed an internship at the Swedish Embassy in Georgia and has also worked with the Swedish Heart and Lung foundation. Kim’s is the the Project Manager for Civil Rights Defenders annual event Defenders’ Days – Empowering Human Rights Defenders at Risk. She started working at Civil Rights Defenders in 2012.

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

Jelena Djoric, Accounting Officer
Jelena is originally from Serbia and moved to Sweden 12 years ago where she worked as a Journalist, Accountant and Insurance Broker. Since moving Sweden she has worked as a Financial Administrator , Payroll Specialist and Finance Officer. She studied Economics at University in Belgrade where she focused on business, bookkeeping and payroll.

Johanna Westeson, Legal Adviser
Johanna holds a law degree from Uppsala University and a Master of Laws from Columbia University in New York with a focus on human rights. She most recently comes from the international human rights organisation Center for Reproductive Rights, where she directed the Europe program and among other tasks litigated cases before the European Court of Human Rights and the UN Human Rights Committee. Previously Johanna has been the Latin America and Human Rights Education Officer at the Swedish Foundation for Human Rights, has worked with Sida in Bolivia, and as a human rights consultant for the World Health Organisation. Johanna started as a human rights lawyer at Civil Rights Defenders in April 2014.

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 between 2001 and 2009.

Miro Durdevic, Programme Officer (on parental leave)
Miro holds 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 holds 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, Security Expert/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 on our new initiative to develop and provide targeted support to human rights defenders at risk.

Martin Löwdin, Security Expert/Programme Officer
Martin is an experienced Internet activist with a degree in Rhetoric from Södertörn University College. He worked with the Telecomix activist network during the Arab Spring to reinstate Internet connectivity in Egypt and reveal the surveillance equipment used in Tunisia and Syria. As a freelance trainer he has taught Digital Security to journalists and activists from many parts of the world. Until recently he coordinated an anti-censorship project for the Swedish NGO Juliagruppen. Martin joined Civil Rights Defenders in June 2014 to temporarily replace Peter Öholm while he is on parental leave.

Keith Begg, International Communications Officer
Keith has a BA in Risk Management and European Studies and holds an MA in International Relations from the University of Limerick in Ireland. He spent several years in Palestine working with communications and advocacy for the NGO sector after spending many years working with various international insurance companies in Risk Management.

Åsa Bergqvist, Financial Administrator
Åsa holds 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 Civil Rights Defenders head quarters in Stockholm.

Sophia Ponzio, Programme Administrator
Sophia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Cultural Sciences/Ethnology. Previously she worked for the Swedish branch of the Civil Service 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, Communications Assistant (on parental leave)
Anja holds a Master’s degree in Democratic Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science both 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.

Frida Nilson, Communications Assistant
Frida has a degree in Photojournalism from Mid Sweden University and has worked as a photographer and reporter for Swedish newspapers such as; Helsingborgs Dagblad and Hallandsposten. Between 2010 and13 she worked as an editor at Lokaltidningen in southern Sweden and in 2012 she started a Masters degree in Human Rights at the University of Uppsala. Frida came to Civil Rights Defenders 2013 and has worked ever since for the Communications Department.

Polina Krantz, Programme Management Assistant
Polina has a degree in Social Anthropology with a minor in Russian from Stockholm University. She has lived and worked in different parts of Europe for several years and has experience in working with civil society organisations in Eastern Europe. Polina came to Civil Rights Defenders in 2014 where she has worked for the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Department.

Hanna Sillen, Administrator
Hanna joined Civil Rights Defenders as an Administrator in mid June 2014. After studies in language, history and social science, at Södertörns Högskola and Lund University Hanna worked as administrative assistant at the Indonesian embassy in Stockholm. Following this position, she worked for the Swedish embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia as a coordinator and admin assistant for EU issues and also worked with the consular and culture department. Most recently she worked in administration for an Irish Clinical Research Organisation in Solna, Sweden. She has also extensive volunteer experience in both Sweden and Indonesia where she Co´founded a women rights group for Amnesty International in Lund and worked for Swedish Red Cross to help teach Swedish to immigrants.

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.

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 has been working as Outreach Assistant at Civil Rights Defenders.

Ivana Randjelovic, Programme Officer
Ivana holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Belgrade. She has had more than ten years of experience working with a number of international and local NGO’s. She is now Programme Officer for Serbia based at our Belgrade Office.

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 the 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.

Pavle Popov, Office Administrator
Pavle Popov is currently in his final year at the Faculty of Law at the University of Belgrade. He has several years experience working in the marketing and sales sector. In 2014 he joined Civil Rights Defenders’ Belgrade office as Office Administrator.

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. She has studied Law at Sarajevo and Pristina Universities.

Njomza Mala, Administrative and Project Assistant
Njomza holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics Management and Informatics is currently completing Master’s Degree in Banking, Finances and Accounting at University of Pristina. Prior to that she worked for the Kosovo Chamber of Commerce and HandiKOS – The Association of Paraplegics and Paralyzed Children of Kosovo. She joined Civil Rights Defenders as an Administrative and Project Assistant in June 2014.

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.

Ena Bavcic,Administrative Assistant
Ena holds a Masters in Human Rights and Democracy, and a Bachelor’s in Social Work. As a human rights defender she has worked and acted within numerous NGO’s both in Bosnia & Herzegovina and abroad. Ena is an author of several documentary films. She started working for Civil Rights Defenders in April 2014 as an Administrative Assistant.

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 Hommes International Federation in Albania for almost 5 years and for a woman’s rights organisation. In February 2012 Vasilika started at Civil Rights Defenders.

Deni.Sanxhaku, Administrative and Project Assistant
Deni holds a Masters in Finance and Accounting from the University of Tirana. Her previous experience involved an internship at Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) in Albania. She has been actively involved in the civil society movement, volunteering at human rights and youth organisations in Albania and abroad. One of the projects she took part in was the European Volunteering Service, during which she worked for six months with a youth organization in Sardinia, Italy.

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 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, Chair of the Board, Media Analyst
Benedicte teaches at Harvard University on Media and Democracy and is an 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 North 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 USA. 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 regarding labour and employment law, and 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 on a number ofboards, including as Chairman of Alba Langenskiöld Foundation, is a member of the Foundation for the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, H & M Conscious Foundation, Erling Persson Family Foundation, Bokförlaget Langenskiöld and others. She holds an LLB and an MBA from Uppsala University and also has a minor in Art History.


Election Committee

Kristna Scharp
Anders Mellbourn

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