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Advisory Council

Global Witness has an Advisory Council made up of prominent individuals with experience in areas relevant to Global Witness’ activities. It provides advice and support to the staff and meets three times a year.

Mabel van Oranje, Chair of the Advisory Council

Mabel van Oranje is a serial entrepreneur for social change working globally to advance equality, freedom and justice. During the last decade, she played a catalytic role in the global movement to end child marriage, including the creation and growth of three entities central to efforts to support girls’ futures: Girls Not Brides, the Girls First Fund, and VOW for Girls. Mabel is currently a board member of Fondation Chanel, the Sigrid Rausing Trust, and VOW for Girls (Chair). She is also an advisor to Apolitical Academy Global, Co-Impact’s Gender Fund, Global Witness, and The Elders. Mabel is a global champion of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, and a co-founder and chair emeritus of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

You can follow her tweets @MabelvanOranje

Aryeh Neier, Honorary Chair of the Advisory Council

Aryeh Neier served as president of the Open Society Foundations from 1993 to 2012. Before that, he served for 12 years as executive director of Human Rights Watch, of which he was a founder in 1978. He worked 15 years at the American Civil Liberties Union, including eight years as national executive director. He served as an adjunct professor of law at New York University for more than a dozen years, and has also taught at Georgetown University Law School and the University of Siena (Italy). Since 2012, he has served as Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po.

Neier is a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, and has published in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, the New York Times Book Review, and Foreign Policy. He wrote a column on human rights for The Nation for a number of years, and has contributed more than 300 op-ed articles in newspapers. These include the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and the International Herald Tribune. Author of seven books, including his most recent, The International Human Rights Movement: A History (2012), Neier has also contributed chapters to more than 20 books.

He has lectured at many leading universities in the United States and worldwide. He is the recipient of seven honorary degrees and numerous awards from such organizations as the American Bar Association, the Swedish Bar Association, the International Bar Association and the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Anita Ramasastry

Anita Ramasastry is the Roland Hijorth Professor of Law and Director of the Sustainable International Development Graduate Program at the University of Washington School of Law.  She is an expert in the fields of business and human rights, anti-corruption and commercial law and development. 

She is a commissioner and chair of the Washington state delegation and the President Elect of the national Uniform Law Commission, where she oversaw the drafting of a new law focused on prevention of and remedies for human trafficking, for the 50 states.

Between 2009-2012, Ramasastry served as a senior adviser to the Assistant Secretary of Market Access and Compliance in the International Trade Administration (ITA) of the US Department of Commerce, working under the leadership of then Secretary Gary Locke. She directed the ITA anti-corruption and trade effort, and helped to launch new initiatives with the G20, APEC and the OSCE.  She also coordinated trade strategies with new emerging markets such as Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, South Africa and Saudi Arabia and developed a new business and human rights curriculum for US trade officers in their embassies worldwide.

Professor Ramastastry has served as a staff attorney at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, an associate attorney at the law firm White & Case in Budapest, and has been a visiting professor and Atlantic Fellow in Public Policy at the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary Westfield College in London.

Arlene McCarthy OBE

Arlene McCarthy served four terms as a Member of the European Parliament from 1994 -2014. She was the first UK woman President of the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs committee. In 2009 she was elected Vice-President of the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee and campaigned for greater transparency in financial markets working on the post financial crisis reform agenda. She led for the Parliament on the new market abuse rules introducing the first ever EU-wide criminal sanctions in the wake of the Libor interest rate manipulation scandal. she has been a champion for Global Witness's  work on transparency and was responsible for negotiating and securing the new EU wide law on Transparency for the extractive and logging industries. Working with a coalition of NGOs she led the campaign for and achieved new position limits in markets to tackle commodity speculation in the market structure reform law.

Arlene was named one of the 100 most influential women in European Finance in 2010, 2011 and 2012. She was awarded MEP of the year in 2014 for her outstanding contribution to reform in financial markets. In the 2015 New Years Honours list she was awarded an OBE. 

Arlene is director of AMC strategy and is a special advisor on financial issues to the chairman of Bloomberg.

Bandi Mbubi

Bandi Mbubi has worked for the past 20 years at the intersection of social justice and human rights, playing leading roles in organisations tackling poverty and inequality, gross human rights abuses and corruption in Europe and Africa. Through his advocacy work with Congo Calling, he has helped mobilise policy makers and public opinion to demand greater accountability to end corruption and improve human rights in the global economy.

Bandi is Director of the Manna Society, Trustee of Hilden Charitable Fund, and Member of Harvard Kennedy School’s Implementing Public Policy Community of Practice. In 2016, the BBC’s Outlook Programme named him as one of its Top 50 Inspirations.

Bennett Freeman

Over the last 15 years of a three decade-long career, Bennett Freeman has worked at the intersection of multinational companies, responsible investors, NGOs, governments and international institutions to promote corporate responsibility, sustainability and human rights around the world.  An innovative leader in the fields of business and human rights, natural resource governance and responsible investment, he has played key roles in developing and leading several now well-established multi-stakeholder initiatives and global standards. 

From 2006-15, he was Senior Vice President-Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments, the largest family of sustainable and responsible (SRI) mutual funds in the U.S.  He led the firm’s environmental, social and governance analysis and its shareholder advocacy and public policy initiatives on issues such as Sudan divestment and responsible investment in Burma; extractive revenue transparency and conflict minerals; Internet freedom of expression and privacy. He is Board Secretary of the Global Network Initiative, a member of the Governing Board of the Natural Resources Governance Institute, and Board Chair of EG Justice. He formerly served on the boards of the Institute for Human Rights and Business, Oxfam America and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

As U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor from 1999-2001, he led the State Department’s bilateral human rights diplomacy and the development of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the global human rights standard for the oil and mining industries.  Previously he served as Senior Advisor to Under Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Stuart Eizenstat from 1997-1999 and as Chief Speechwriter for Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs.  Before joining the State Department as a Clinton presidential appointee, he was Manager-Corporate Affairs for GE from 1985-1993 after beginning his career as a speechwriter and presidential campaign aide to former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale from 1982-1984.

Camille Massey

Camille Massey was appointed Founding Executive Director of the Sorensen Center for International Peace and Justice in January 2014. She previously served as Vice President for Global Strategy and Programs at the Council on Foreign Relations, overseeing international initiatives, strategic partnerships, and the corporate program. 

Prior to the Council, Camille was the Founder and CEO of Cue Global, a consulting business that designs and implements strategic policy, legal, and advocacy plans for global organizations. Other positions held include Senior Advisor at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, Director of Communications at Human Rights First, and Human Rights Fellow at The Carter Center. 

Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Massey earned her J.D. from City University School of Law with a clinic concentration in human rights and gender justice and a B.S from Syracuse University. She serves as board chair of Breakthrough, a global human rights organization working to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. She also serves on the advisory boards of Syracuse University's Newhouse School, New York University Stern School’s Center for Business and Human Rights, and House of SpeakEasy, a literary nonprofit organization. 

Camille is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Bar Association, and the New York City Bar Association.

Edward Zwick

Edward Zwick is an Academy and Emmy Award-winning Producer, Writer and Director. Along with his partner, Marshall Herskovitz, he created the critically acclaimed television series ThirtysomethingMy So-Called LifeRelativity and Once and Again, as well as the Academy-Award winning films, Shakespeare in Love and Traffic.  Zwick began his feature film career directing About Last Night.  He went on to direct the Academy Award winning films Glory and Legends of the Fall, as well as Courage Under FireThe SiegeThe Last SamuraiDefence and Love & Other Drugs. His most recent film is Pawn Sacrifice.  

He is currently serving his third term as a Governor of the Motion Picture Academy, as well as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Film Institute.  He is most proud of his film Blood Diamond - based on the work of Global Witness - which has helped bring worldwide attention to the resource curse and its cost in human suffering.

Misha Glenny

Misha Glenny is a British journalist who specializes in south-eastern Europe and global organized crime. He is the author of McMafia, an exhaustive look at global organized crime and a critique of globalization’s dark side. Glenny’s research on that unseen industry led him to believe that it may account for 15 percent of the world's GDP. His latest book is DarkMarket: How Hackers Became the New Mafia.  He studied at Bristol University and Prague's Charles University before joining The Guardian as its Central Europe correspondent and later the BBC. He specialised in reporting on the Balkans independence wars in the late 1980s and early 1990s that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia. While at the BBC, Glenny won 1993's Sony Gold Award for his 'outstanding contribution to broadcasting'.

He has also written three books about Central and Eastern Europe, has advised the US and some European governments on policy issues, and for three years ran an NGO helping with the reconstruction of Serbia, Macedonia and Kosovo. Misha has worked as a visiting professor at both the LSE and Columbia University. He speaks several languages and has now returned to his native London after over two decades living in Europe as well as North and South America.

Silas Siakor

Silas Siakor is the former Director of the Liberia-based Sustainable Development Institute. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2006 for his work gathering evidence that proved that Liberia's former president, Charles Taylor, was using profits from logging to fund the civil war. His work, carried out at great personal risk, led to UN sanctions on the export of Liberian timber. As Director of SDI from 2005 to 2009, Silas coordinated civil society’s input into Liberia’s forest reform, and he continues to work for social justice, human rights and the environment. He was chosen by TIME Magazine as one of the 2008 Heroes of the Environment and, in 2012 was awarded the Alexander Soros Foundation Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Environmental and Human Rights Activism. He is now working with communities across Liberia to secure legal recognition and protection for their customary lands.

Victor Lopez Illescas

Víctor López Illescas is a program officer on the Ford Foundation Natural Resources and Climate Change team, based in the foundation’s Mexico and Central America office. He has been working with Guatemalan and Central American indigenous farmers and fishing communities for more than 20 years in various capacities, including as a forester, a forest firefighter, and a cooperative manager.

Before joining Ford in 2019, Victor led the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB) School for Youth Training and Leadership Development, where his fluency in regional dynamics allowed him to foster agreements with indigenous and community-based grassroots groups to develop joint training and leadership-promotion programs. Prior to that, as executive director of the Community Forestry Association of Guatemala Utz Che’, he led staff and regional teams in their efforts to strengthen local governance of sustainable forest and natural resource management.

Víctor sits on the Global Witness advisory council as well as the Forests Dialogue steering committee, and he is an adviser and honorary member of the Utz Che’ general assembly.

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