Juana Kweitel, Chair of the Global Witness Board

Juana Kweitel

Juana Kweitel is the Executive Director of Conectas Human Rights whose mission is to promote the realisation of human rights and consolidation of the Rule of Law in the Global South -Africa, Asia and Latin America. Juana previously worked in Argentina as institutional coordinator of (Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) and as coordinator of their Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Program. 

Juana serves on the Board of Trustees of the Brazil Human Rights Fund (2014), the Advisory Board of Open Global Rights (2013) and is a member of the Assembly of Partners of the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS, Argentina) and of the Developments in the Field Panel of the Business and Human Rights Journal, published by the Cambridge University Press.

She has a Masters in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex, United Kingdom, and in Political Science from the University of Sao Paulo where her thesis topic was “Accountability of Latin American Human Rights Organizations”.  She also holds a postgraduate degree in Human Rights and Democratic Transition from the University of Chile, and she graduated as a lawyer with honours, from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA).

Charmian Gooch, Director and Co-founder of Global Witness

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Charmian Gooch jointly led Global Witness's first campaign, exposing the trade in timber between the Khmer Rouge and Thai logging companies and their political and military backers. Subsequently, Charmian developed and launched Global Witness’s ground-breaking campaign to combat ‘blood diamonds’; Global Witness was nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize as a result of this work.

In 2014 Charmian was awarded the TED Prize, given to an ‘extraordinary individual with a creative and bold vision to spark global change’. In the same year, Charmian along with Global Witness co-founders Patrick Alley and Simon Taylor, received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, awarded to ‘transformative leaders who are disrupting the status quo’. She was also named one of Fast Company’s 100 most creative people in business and is a Young Global Leader Alumni.

Christine Kanu

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Christine is a finance professional who has been involved in the not-for-profit sector for many years.  She is interested in modern, dynamic forward thinking organisations that are active on physical and mental health, the environment and climate issues, human rights and social justice.  She currently serves as Finance Director at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families. Christine also holds governance roles with Sue Ryder and The REC.

Fatima Hassan

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Fatima Hassan is a South African human rights lawyer and social justice activist. She is the founder and director of the Health Justice Initiative (HJI), based in Cape Town. 

Fatima previously served on the Boards of the Raith Foundation, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF-SA), the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), Ndifuna Ukwazi, and the SA Council for Medical Schemes. She led the Open Society Foundation for South Africa for 6 years.

She was at the AIDS Law Project for over 10 years, where she also worked on many of the legal cases for the Treatment Action Campaign. 

She clerked at the Constitutional Court of South Africa for Justice Kate O’Regan and has served as a Ministerial Special Adviser (Health; Public Enterprises).

Fatima has a BA and LL.B from the University of the Witwatersrand and an LL.M from Duke University.

Fatima is the recipient of several fellowships and awards, including the recent 2022 Calgary Peace Prize. 

Gaby Darbyshire

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Gaby Darbyshire is an entrepreneur and media executive whose work and passions have taken her around the world and across industries.

Born in Beirut and raised in London, Gaby began her career as a barrister at Middle Temple, doing environmental and criminal law. While at law school, she founded a charity for the support of Death Row inmates in the Caribbean, and through her time as a barrister worked pro bono on death row appeals to the Privy Council as well as on massive multi-year environmental cases.

After leaving the Bar, she served as a consultant working on strategy projects in the high tech, financial services, pharma and utilities industries. In 1999, that work led her to Silicon Valley, where she was a co-founder and C-suite executive at several startups.

In 2002, she moved to New York, where she co-founded one of the most pioneering journalism companies of the digital age, Gawker Media. As Chief Operating Officer, she helped build Gawker Media into the largest independent online publisher of its era, with beloved media properties including Jezebel, Gizmodo, io9, and Lifehacker. She currently works as a Partner at Dangerous Ventures and as a consultant.

Gaby holds a MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a law degree from City University, and is a member of the Bar of England and Wales. She also serves as a Board Member at GOOD/Upworthy and The Daily Dot, as an advisory board member for several startups, a mentor to young entrepreneurs, and an angel investor in a range of mission-driven companies.

Kirsty Lang

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Kirsty Lang is a British journalist and broadcaster with a career spanning 30 years in print, audio and TV. She is a former TV anchor on Channel 4 News and BBC World and now hosts Front Row, BBC Radio 4’s flagship arts and culture show. Kirsty has a wide and diverse range of interests having begun her career as a reporter and foreign correspondent. She spent 6 years as a Trustee of the British Council and continues to sit on their advisory board. She is also Chair of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and a visiting professor at the University College London.

Marina Melanidis

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Marina (she/her) is a Greek-Canadian settler on the unceded, unsurrendered territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (currently known as Vancouver, BC). As the Founder and Development Director of Youth4Nature, Marina is fiercely passionate about bridging false silos across nature and climate, while supporting young people to access meaningful, paid opportunities to create nature-climate solutions grounded in community and justice.

Marina holds an M.Sc. (honours) in Forestry and a B.Sc. (honours) in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of British Columbia, and has the pleasure of serving on the Board of Global Witness. She is a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholar, a 2022 YWCA Women of Distinction Nominee, and has been named as one of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders and Top 25 under 25 Environmentalists. She loves 70’s rock, good vegan food, and the BC coast, and is (attempting) to learn modern Greek.

Olanrewaju Suraju

Olanrewaju Suraju was a Students Union President at Yaba College of Technology as an under-graduate. In his 23 years of work experience, he has pioneered, serves on the Board of and supported the creation of several Civil Society Organisations, Networks and Coalitions in Nigeria and across Africa. He has worked as consultant and board member to several development agencies, international NGOs, law enforcement agencies and inter-governmental agencies.

He has studied at post graduate level in Development, Law and Social Justice from the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands; NGO Management at the University of Manchester; and Public Administration from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State.

He is a public commentator, campaigner and analyst at National and International levels. He was an active participant in Nigeria’s fight against military regimes in the 90s and was detained by the military regime of late General Sani Abacha. He has been resource person on topics of human rights, good governance, accountability, networking and citizen mobilization at local and international levels. 

As a renowned human rights and social activist, with interest in accountability, food security, leadership, human development, anti-corruption and good governance, Mr. Suraju has worked and collaborated with many progressive fronts and has held many positions of responsibility.

Mr. Suraju is currently the Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, a Nigeria based NGO and Civil Society Network Against Corruption.

Patrick Alley, Director and Co-founder of Global Witness

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Patrick co-founded Global Witness in 1995. Since then Global Witness has become a global leader in its field, described by Aryeh Neier, former President of the Open Society Foundations, thus: “Global Witness brings together the issues of human rights, corruption, the trade in natural resources, the role of banks, the arms trade, conflict. It is the only organisation that does this. Period.”

Patrick has taken part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe and in subsequent advocacy activities. Patrick conceived several of Global Witness’ campaigns and focuses on corruption, conflict resources, forests and land, and environmental defenders. He is a board director of Global Witness and is involved in the organisation’s strategic leadership.

Alongside his two co-founders, Patrick received the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship.

Simon Taylor, Director and Co-founder of Global Witness

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Simon Taylor is co-founder of Global Witness. Simon launched Global Witness’ oil and corruption campaign in 1999. This work began the global call for transparency of payments made by extractive industry companies to governments for the oil, gas and minerals that they extract– revenue streams that for many countries almost make up all government income. Exposing corruption in these sectors led to Global Witness’ conception of the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Campaign, which Simon co-launched in 2002 with George Soros and other NGOs including Transparency International (UK) and Save The Children Fund UK. The launch of PWYP, which now consists of over 840 civil society organisations in more than 64 countries worldwide, led directly to the 2002 creation of the extractives industries transparency Initiative (EITI) by the UK Government. EITI is now an independent global multi-stakeholder initiative that places civil society in the central role of holding governments and companies to account for the revenue streams developed from extraction.

Simon is increasingly focusing on climate change, with a particular interest in the way in which the fossil fuel industry has corrupted and co-opted global politics to such an extent that it has been able to prevent appropriate action to address the climate crisis.