Staff and Board

International Advisors

Dr. Celiany Rivera-Veláquez | Caribbean | bio

Bertha Sánchez | Central America | bio

Tatiana Cordero Velásquez | South America | bio

Mauro Cabral | South America | bio

Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani | South America | bio

Maria Mercedes Gómez | Latin America | bio

Svati P. Shah | India | bio

Aninuddhan Vasuderan | India | bio

Pramada Menon | India | bio

Sumit Baudh | India | bio

Shambhavi Madhan | India/South Asia | bio

Anisha Chugh | South Asia | bio

Jean Chong | Asia | bio

Joe Wong | Asia | bio

Bin Xu | China | bio

He Xiaopei | China | bio

Shen Tingting | China | bio

Jack Byrne | Pacific | bio

Noelene Nabulivou | Pacific | bio

Ymania Brown | Pacific | bio

Kim Mukasa | East Africa | bio

Cleo Kambugu | East Africa | bio

Tshegofatso Joshua Sehoole | Southern Africa | bio

Fadzai Muparutsa | Southern Africa | bio

Mariam Armisen | West Africa | bio

Ghadir Shafee | Middle East, North Africa | bio

Nevin Öztop | Middle East, Europe, Caucasus | bio

Zeina Zaatari | Middle East | bio

Yahia Zaidi | Middle East | bio

Chantal Partamian | Middle East | bio

Kristian Ranđelović | Europe | bio

Lepa Mladjenovic | Europe | bio

Kemal Ördek | Europe, Middle East | bio

Dani Prisacariu | Europe | bio

Nela Pamuković | Europe | bio

Anna Kirey | Europe, Central Asia | bio

Ekaterine Gejadze | South Caucasus | bio

Syinat Sultanalieva | Central Asia | bio

Cynthia Rothschild | Global | bio

Dr. Celiany Rivera-Veláquez | Caribbean

Dr. Celiany Rivera-Veláquez

Originally from Puerto Rico, Dr. Rivera­ Velázquez has explored a broad range of LGBT/queer movements across the Spanish­-speaking Caribbean and the United States. She obtained her doctorate on Communications & Media at the University of Illinois in Urbana­-Champaign in 2011, while simultaneously working at New York University’s LGBTQ Student Center in between 2009 and 2015. She served as the Director of NYU LGBTQ for the last three years and as an Adjunct Faculty for the Silver School of Social Work for the last four. Dr. Rivera­ Velázquez is an alumna of the 21st Century Fellows Program of the Pipeline Project, which focuses on the advancement and strategic development of people of color working in LGBTQ and social justice non-­for-­profit organizations. She also completed a two-year term as part of the Executive Board of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. Throughout her career, she has combined written and visual knowledge production to train and consult, as well as screen and present, her work in national and international settings.

Bertha Sánchez | Central America

Bertha Sánchez

I am a Nicaraguan feminist activist with a degree in Social Work. I have a Master in Gender and Development, I culminated my studies with research on "The political stakes of Nicaraguan organized sex workers and their connection with feminisms". During my adolescence, I did volunteer work in social associations such as the Twinning Leon-Zaragoza, supporting adult education program in rural communities of Leon. At age 19, I joined the Feminist Collective Group of Leon (GFL) where I was the coordinator for three years. I was part of the coordinating team of Catholics for the Right to Decide in Nicaragua and coordinated the youth group CDD for four years. I worked in IPASs-Centroaméricain building alliances to demand the decriminalization of abortion in Nicaragua. Since 2013 I have been working at the Central American Women's Fund in charge of different programs, including those focused on strengthening LBT collectives in the Central American region.

Tatiana Cordero Velásquez | South America

Tatiana Cordero Velásquez

Tatiana Cordero Velásquez is an Ecuadorian scholar of gender studies and activist who was part of the feminist collectives that worked to ensure the inclusion of women’s and LGBTQ rights in the two latest constitutional reforms in Ecuador (1998; 2008). She has presented expert testimony on the issues of discrimination and violence to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and has published widely on human rights issues. She has been a national and international consultant and counselor of women’s funds for more than a decade (Mama Cash, GFW, Astraea, UAF-LA) and of Human Rights Watch for the LGBTI initiative. Previously, she served as Executive Director of Corporation Promotion de la Mujer/Taller de Comunicacion de la Mujer and as a coordinator of the Women, Health and Development Program, and the Pan-American Health Organization in Ecuador. At present she is the Executive Director of UAF-LA where she brings her expertise on women’s rights and LGBTQ rights in Latin America.

Mauro Cabral | South America

Mauro Cabral

Mauro Cabral is an intersex and trans activist from Argentina. At this moment he serves as the Co-Director of GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality). Previously, he coordinated the project “Intersex and Human Rights” at Mulabi – Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos (2007-2009) and, before that, the Latin America and Caribbean Trans and Intersex Area at IGHLRC (2005-2007). In 2006 he participated in the production of the Yogyakarta Principles and in 2009 he edited the book Interdicciones. Escrituras de la Intersexualidad en castellano. He lives in Buenos Aires.

Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani | South America

Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani

Alejandra Sardá-Chandiramani is a sexual rights activist. Because the full realization of sexual rights for all is inseparable from a fair economic and social order, Alejandra is also an activist against Neoliberalism, even when it disguises itself as progressive. Alejandra has a long trajectory of activism in different spaces, from the streets to the UN and feminist funders and continues to visit all of them. Alejandra is part of Akahatá – Equipo de Sexualidades y Genero and currently pursuing post-graduate studies on Human Rights (UNLP, Argentina). Alejandra is also a translator, writes novels and sings Uruguayan murga. Alejandra is married to Radhika Chandiramani, lives in Buenos Aires and has two feline life companions.

Maria Mercedes Gómez | Latin America

Maria Mercedes Gómez

María Mercedes Gómez is a Colombian academic and human rights activist whose work has focused on exploring the challenges of understanding, preventing, and reducing violence based on sexual prejudices in the US and Latin America. María holds a Ph.D. in Political Science, as well as a M.A. in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory from the New School for Social Research. She taught for many years at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia as well as in universities in Canada. María has also served on the legal team and the Board of Directors of Proyecto Colombia Diversa, an NGO dedicated to promoting human rights of LGBTI communities in Colombia. Gómez was co-editor (2005-2011) of the online journal Sexualidades in America Latina as part of the International Resource Network (IRN) hosted by CLAGS-CUNY. From April 2013 to May 2016 she was the Regional Program Coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean at OutRight Action International (formerly known as IGLHRC). In July 2016 she joins as full time faculty the department of sociology and criminology at Saint Mary's University in Canada.

Svati P. Shah | India

Svati P. Shah

Svati P. Shah is an associate professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Previously, she was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship in sexuality studies at Duke University, and had served as visiting assistant professor at Wellesley College and New York University. She has spoken about her work extensively in the U.S., India, Europe, and South Africa. Dr. Shah earned a PhD in 2006 from Columbia University’s joint doctoral program in anthropology and public health; she also holds an MPH from Emory University. Dr. Shah has taught sexuality studies and feminist studies in her courses, and in workshops and short-term courses taught internationally. Dr. Shah’s has published work on a range of topics that explore the intersections of urbanization, sexuality, migration and political economy. Her research has examined these intersections ethnographically, through studies of sexual commerce and LGBTQ politics in India. Dr. Shah also works with a number of charitable foundations and community based organizations, both in the U.S. and in India. Her ethnographic monograph entitled Street Corner Secrets: Sex, Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai was published by Duke University Press in 2014. Her new three new projects examine the relationship between climate justice movements and trade unions, the intersections of sexuality politics and land rights movements in India, and pedagogical questions that derive from theorizing sexuality in the non-Western world.

Aninuddhan Vasuderan | India

Aninuddhan Vasuderan

Aniruddhan Vasudevan is from Chennai, India, where has worked with different LGBTQ groups and activists for a decade or so now. He writes on gender and sexuality and other things in Tamil and English, and is an award-winning translator of Tamil fiction to English. Ani works closely with Nirangal, a collective of activists working towards LGBTQ and sex worker rights. He is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

Pramada Menon | India

Pramada Menon

Pramada Menon is a queer feminist activist who has been actively involved in the social justice and women’s human rights sector in India and internationally for more than two decades. She is the Co-founder of CREA and worked there as Director Programs from 2000 till 2008. Prior to that she was with the Dastkar, an organization working for the promotion of crafts and crafts people, as Executive Director. Since 2008, she has been working as an independent consultant with a variety of organizations on issues of women’s human rights, gender and sexuality, organizational change management and professional coaching. Pramada is also a stand up performance artist. She has traveled with her show Fat, Feminist and Free to various cities. In 2013, she directed her first documentary film: ‘And you thought you knew me,’ a film that explores the lives of five people, who were assigned female gender at birth and their interactions with sexuality, queer activism, gender and Delhi.

Sumit Baudh | India

Sumit Baudh

Sumit Baudh is a candidate in the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) program at the UCLA School of Law. He is also a fellow of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies, Columbia Law School, and University of California Human Rights Fellow. Sumit earned his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from the London School of Economics, and graduated with honors as Bachelor of Laws and Arts from the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. He is a former British Chevening scholar and qualified to practice law in India and the United Kingdom. Sumit served as assistant professor and assistant director of the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy, NLSIU, Bangalore. He has also served as legal advisor, researcher and consultant to various national and international organizations including the Arcus Foundation, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Norwegian LGBT association: LLH, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and Unilever. In addition to his legal work, Sumit has published several academic articles and given scholarly presentations at conferences internationally. His areas of interest include caste, gender, sexuality and human rights. Sumit has volunteered his time and expertise to advocate for social justice causes and he has worked extensively with the Voices Against 377 to fight against structural inequalities in the Criminal Justice system in India.

Shambhavi Madhan | India/South Asia

Shambhavi Madhan

Shambhavi is a queer feminist activist from India. In her current role at CREA, she manages some LGBTQ+ and Sex Workers Rights related programmes. She is the CREA coordinator for Dignity for All, a global consortium that provides emergency funds, advocacy support and security assistance to human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat or attack due to their work for LGBTI human rights. A part of this work is providing short-term grants to grassroots LGBTQ+ organizations in South and Central Asia. Outside of CREA, she has been involved in queer feminist activism by co-organizing cultural events, plays, panel discussions and pride parades.

Anisha Chugh | South Asia

Anisha Chugh

Anisha is a young feminist activist from Delhi (India). After obtaining a Bachelor’s and Master’s in History from Delhi University (St. Stephen’s College), Anisha pursued a Master’s in Governance in Development from Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex. Anisha first worked with Dalit Foundation for two and half years in Delhi as the Communications and fundraising officer. She currently works with South Asia Women’s Fund as the Director of Programmes where she leads the implementation of the organisation’s programme strategy. She also works closely on the capacity building and accompaniment processes of the partners, especially on understanding and programmatic implementation of the Rights based Approach. Anisha also serves on the board of FRIDA - The Young Feminist Fund as its Treasurer. A proud Delhiite - she loves her city, its (amazing) food, its old monuments and above all its multiculturalism.

Jean Chong | Asia

Jean Chong

Jean Chong has been an LGBTQ activist for 17 years. She first started in her activism by volunteering with a gay christian support network, Safehaven, and became their first female vice chairperson. Subsequently, she co-founded an inclusive church, Free (First Realize Everyone is Equal) Community Church and served as their chairperson. Looking to expand her horizons in helping others, she went on to be a part of the core team of a LGBT federation, People Like Us in Singapore. She is also currently a part of the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, a regional network of South East Asia LGBTIQ groups lobbying for the inclusion of LGBTIQ rights in the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism. Finally, Jean co-founded a feminist rights-based advocacy and research organisation, Sayoni, consisting of a community of queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women who organize and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. A critical mandate of Sayoni is to investigate and conduct human rights documentation on the violence and discrimination LBTIQ individuals faced and the intersectionality of oppression. She holds a Master's degree in Human Rights and Democratisation (EU scholarship).

Joe Wong | Asia

Joe Wong

Joe Wong is a Singaporean living in Bangkok. He oversees the institution and programme development of the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) and manages partnerships with stakeholders. Joe's work includes supporting and strengthening trans-led movement through a community-led funding project to support grassroots, national trans groups run by and for trans people and regional programmes by coordinating trans advocacy efforts with its national partners and other international trans bodies. His expertise is in community mobilisation, advocacy, programming and organisation development. In his free time, he enjoys using photography to broaden traditional understanding of what it means to be trans and explore trans people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Bin Xu | China

Bin Xu

Bin Xu has been a dedicated LGBTI rights activist in China since 1990s. She is currently the director of Common Language, board member of Beijing LGBT Center and advisor for Chinese Lala Alliance. She also served as technical advisor for UNDP, UNESCO as well as some other international organizations. Bin Xu’s work focuses on grassroot community organizing, cross region networking, legal and policy advocacy for gender and sexuality equality in China.

He Xiaopei | China

He Xiaopei

Hills trained me to be a shepherd and the Himalayas turned me into a mountaineer. A government job made me an economist while the women's movement converted me into a feminist. Participating in lesbian organising in China helped me realise that people with disabilities, HIV positive women, sex workers and lesbians married to gay men are even more oppressed and that their voices are mostly silenced. I set up ‘Pink Space’, an NGO working with people who are marginalised due to their gender and sexuality and we use photos and films to enable people to tell their life stories, to gain power and to represent their desires and experiences.

Shen Tingting | China

Shen Tingting

Shen Tingting is a prominent HIV/AIDS and human rights advocate based in Beijing, China. Since 2012, Tingting has been the Director of Advocacy, Research and Policy at Asia Catalyst, in which she leads Asia Catalyst’s advocacy work on the right to health for marginalized communities through research, policy analysis, strategic lobbying and representation. Previously, Tingting was the Deputy Director of Dongjen Center for Human Rights Education and Action, in which she managed the organization’s HIV/AIDS progrommes. In 2007, She co-founded the Korekata AIDS Law Center, the first legal aid project to provide legal support for people living with HIV/AIDS and marginalized groups in China. In 2009, she established the Sex Worker Outreach Project in Beijing, which provides health services as well as rights and legal training for sex workers, and published China’s first health and rights magazine for sex workers, the Flower Magazine. Currently Tingting serves as a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights. She holds master’s degree in social security from Renmin University of China.

Jack Byrne | Pacific

Jack Byrne

Jack Byrne is a trans man from Aotearoa / New Zealand and has been a community activist since 1981, initially within lesbian and then queer communities, before transitioning in 2002. His passion is intersectional coalition politics and he has been active on projects to reduce violence, poverty and homelessness and that promote the rights of workers, people with disabilities, and indigenous people. Jack co-founded an online support network for trans men in New Zealand, works closely with the Asia Pacific Transgender Network and has been a part of GATE’s international campaigns on depathologisation and funding for trans movements. He worked as a Senior Human Rights Specialist at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission and project managed their Transgender Inquiry. He is now a self-employed human rights researcher and has created trans resources for activists, human rights institutions, health professionals, and United Nations agencies. For example, he co-wrote the 2015 Asia Pacific Trans Health Blueprint and is currently working on a legal gender recognition project being undertaken in eight countries in Asia.

Noelene Nabulivou | Pacific

Noelene Nabulivou

Noelene Nabulivou works with Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality in Fiji as Political Adviser and Management Collective member. Noelene is also an associate of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and a co-convenor of Pacific Feminist SRHR Coalition, and Pacific Partnerships on Gender, Climate Change and Sustainable Development. Noelene is a feminist lesbian activist, frontline community organiser, praxis based researcher and analyst, teacher, facilitator, and advocate in local, regional and more lately, also global spaces. She was part of the team of organising partners of the Women’s Major Group on Sustainable Development, and works across the Rio+20, SIDS, SDGs and Agenda 2030 processes, and into CSW, Beijing+20 and ICPD Beyond 2014, and other multilateral tracks, around her core local, national and sub-regional work. Over the past 30 years, Noelene has used south feminist political economy and interlinkage approaches to work with others on sexual rights, gender justice, human rights, and social, economic, and ecological/climate justice. She has a double degree in international relations, and peace studies, and diploma in community arts. She lives in Suva, Fiji.

Ymania Brown | Pacific

Ymania Brown

Samoan by birth, Australian and New Zealander by citizenship, I classify as faa’fafine in the Pacific and I have been a human rights activist for 48 years as a transgender woman of colour. In the last 15 years’ I have worked in corporate Australia (my daytime work is Head of HR/Legal for an IT Group - client disputes, finances, human resources, contracts and intellectual property), and 8 years’ formal experience in NGO’s as the Senior Technical Advisor on the Samoa Faafafine Association and member of its Executive Council. Forever the student, I just started a double Masters in Law (In-House Practice) and an LLM (Migration Law) this year but by most important role is the legal adoptive mother of 2 kids (17yo and 10yo boys who own my heart). I am an Attorney (Trade Marks) and my special practice area is intellectual property.

Kim Mukasa | East Africa

Kim Mukasa

Kim Mukasa, a human rights and refugee lawyer is a female to male transgender activist from Uganda, East Africa. Born and raised in Africa, he has spent his professional years devoting his energy/time to activism advocating for the rights and freedoms of marginalized communities, minority groups and vulnerable individuals in his region and the rest of the world. Mukasa represents forced migrants from different regions in Africa including East and Horn. For five years, he has fast tracked the protection of gender minorities including Trans*, Intersex children, women, girls, sexual minorities, male survivors of sexual violence, Persons With Disabilities, elderly, survivors of Female Genital Mutilation, forced marriage, and domestic violence. He has experience in training law enforcement agencies like police and prison authorities on gender identities and Sexual Gender Based Violence. He has also engaged in dialogues with health care providers, social workers and ministries. He continues to contribute to strategic litigation preparations and the challenging of discriminatory legislations in Uganda. Kim is on the Steering Committee of The first International Trans* Fund. He is on the Advisory Board of the Trans respect v Transphobia worldwide Project of Transgender Europe. He is also a rising researcher/consultant on identity and sexuality issues in the region with experience working with UHAI an activist region Fund. Kim Mukasa loves spending free time outdoor adventure, nature walks, sight-seeing, movies, music and making new friends.

Cleo Kambugu | East Africa

Cleo Kambugu

Cleo Kambugu is a Ugandan Transgender woman and an ardent advocate for social justice and equality for marginalise populaces with a bias to sex workers, sexual and gender minorities including intersex and gender non conforming communities. Her previous work revolved around advocating for the recognition of transgender peoples and their health care needs, and this saw her among other doing a documentary "The Pearl of Africa" a story about love and acceptance, and a chronicle of her navigation of access to health care and questioning of gender as a social construct and about identities in general. This and several others of her engagement with media and otherwise saw her exodus from Uganda for her security. She is currently working with UHAI EASHRI, an Eastern African based activist fund. She initially joined as Programmes Assistant: Grant Making and Capacity Support and is currently the Grant Administrator tasked with back door grants management. For her this is an opportunity for her amplify her voice and effort as to have her activism impact wider communities.

Tshegofatso Joshua Sehoole | Southern Africa

Tshegofatso Joshua Sehoole

Joshua Sehoole serves as the Regional Manager of Iranti-Org, a Johannesburg-based media advocacy organisation focused on the human rights of sexual, gender and bodily diverse communities. He has volunteered at Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) – an organisation which focuses on transgender and intersex issues in previously disadvantaged communities in South Africa, as well as on the board of Gender Dynamix – the first trans-specific organisation in Africa, as the Deputy Chairperson. He holds an Honours degree in International Politics from the University of South Africa. Joshua identifies as a Pan-Africanist and trans feminist, and is passionate about crafting African solutions to African problems.

Fadzai Muparutsa | Southern Africa

Fadzai Muparutsa

Fadzai Muparutsa is a Zimbabwean queer feminist activist active in multiple movements for social justice. Fadzai has worked tirelessly with a number of other African activists for the recognition of rights of persons discriminated against based on their real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, and compounding oppressions. Passionate about food and social justice.

Mariam Armisen | West Africa

Mariam Armisen

Mariam Armisen is a queer feminist activist whose work involves facilitating the leadership development of young women activists through grassroots organizing, building knowledge from practice, and advising the philanthropic sector. As the founder and network coordinator of the Queer African Youth Network (QAYN), Mariam has contributed to the emergence of young queer women-led organizing in Francophone West Africa and in Cameroon, as well as the creation of the first pan-African, bilingual, arts and culture LGBTQI digital magazine in Africa. Her professional work in the women-led funding field and civil society sector focuses on social and human rights issues. Mariam is currently the Fund Development Coordinator for the West Africa LGBTQ activist-led fund, a researcher and fund development consultant for The Baring Foundation, and a Strategic Advisor with AmplifyChange. Prior to that, she was the Program Manager at the Women’s Funding Network. Mariam has documented and published widely on the situation of LGBTQ individuals in Sub-Saharan Africa. She currently serves on the advisory board of the SOGI Campaigns.

Ghadir Shafee | Middle East, North Africa

Ghadir Shafee

Ghadir H. Shafie is a Palestinian activist who dedicates her work and activism to promoting a greater involvement and commitment to the issue of Palestine. Serving as co-director at Aswat- Palestinian Queer Women, Ghadir believes that the struggle of queer women is at the heart of the feminist, queer and anti-colonial struggle for justice, freedom and equality. Ghadir was born and raised in Akka, a beautiful beach city, where she lives with her son Jude.

Nevin Öztop | Middle East, Europe, Caucasus

Nevin Öztop

Nevin is a feminist from Ankara, Turkey. She identifies herself as a feminist since a meeting she attended at “In Other Words” feminist community center in Portland, Oregon in 2003. This is also why she considers “14 NE Killingsworth St, Portland” as the birthplace of her feminism. In Portland, she met a group of awesome queer activists who helped her combine feminism with queer perspectives. Later on, she came out twice but says coming out to her mother as a vegetarian was way more difficult. During her 8 years at Kaos GL, a former Astraea grantee, she worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Kaos GL Magazine. There she also established and coordinated the “Regional Network Against Homophobia and Transphobia”, an anti-militarist and anti-nationalist LGBTI network in the Middle East, North Africa, South Caucasus and the Balkans. Before joining FRIDA - The Young Feminist Fund as its Resource Mobilization Officer, she served as the UN Programe Associate at ILGA World and as the Outreach, Mobilization & Communications Officer at the International IDAHOT Committee. She currently lives in Switzerland and continues to serve as an advisor for a number of women’s funders to help them allocate their funds to grassroots organizations effectively. As a socialist feminist, Nevin believes the world revolves around gender, class and race, and that these factors lead to an unjust redistribution of resources, primarily money and knowledge, and adds, “This is why, I believe, those of us who are involved in philanthropy should be well aware of power dynamics at the tables we sit and the philanthropic culture of the countries we enter.”

Zeina Zaatari | Middle East

Zeina Zaatari

Zeina Zaatari is an Arab queer feminist from South Lebanon, who is part exiled, part migrant in California. She is currently an independent consultant and university lecturer focusing on gender and sexuality in the MENA. Zeina is also the Associate Editor for Europe and the Middle East and North Africa for the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures. She is a trainer with two different programs focusing on research design, implementation, and analysis targeting junior faculty, graduate students, and professional researchers at national universities in Arab countries. Zeina is the Secretary of the board of the Association for Women’s Rights in Development. Previously, she worked as the Regional Director for the MENA Program at Global Fund for Women (2004-2012) where she managed a diverse grantmaking program to support women’s and trans peoples’ rights. She earned her PhD in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis in Feminist Theory from the University of California at Davis. Zeina’s current research project focuses on Interrogating Heteronormativity in Lebanon: Family, Citizenship, and Access to Adulthood. Her publications have focused on gender, sexuality (including queer sexuality), feminism, and movements.

Yahia Zaidi | Middle East

Yahia Zaidi

An Algerian LGBT Activist, Yahia Zaidi has revived Abu-Nawas, an Algerian group for LGBT Rights. In 2005, together with others fellows, Yahia established an HIV/AIDS prevention project for Men Having Sex with Men in Algeria. In 2007 he became UNAIDS and NAC (National AIDS Committee) Focal Point for MSM. Yahia is a social worker in the asylum field. In Belgium where he now lives, he co-founded OMNIA, Association of migrants from Middle East and North Africa living in Belgium that campaigned for the right to sexual diversity and the fight against homophobia among migrants from the MENA region. He served on the position of co-chair on the board of Pan Africa ILGA, the African chapter of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association. He also represented Africa as board member on ILGA’s world executive board. Yahia co-founded MantiQitna Network and is part of its Board.

Chantal Partamian | Middle East

Chantal Partamian

Chantal Partamian was born in 1984 in Beirut, Lebanon. She currently works in film production and has directed a few short films and documentaries, which have been shown at different projections and events in France. Most of her work is done with digital video, super 8 mm and 16mm. Chantal is also a founding member of two amazing organisations Meem and Nasawiya both in Lebanon. In her own words: “I consider myself a feminist because I believe in equal opportunities and rights. Gender equality is essential for me and I believe in autonomy and body integrity.”

Kristian Ranđelović | Europe

Kristian Ranđelović

Kristian Ranđelović, born in 1973 and based in Belgrade, Serbia. He is MA Editor for TV and film and psychodrama trainee. As an activist, he served as a board member of ILGA Europe board from 2010-2012. He is also board member of ERA - LGBTI Equal Rights Association for Western Balkans and Turkey, TGEU-Transgender Europe, OII Europe-Organisation Intersex International Europe and TransMentors International. In 2006 he started working with Gayten-LGBT, Center for LGBT Human Rights, where he has been systematically developing programs for trans individuals, including the first trans support group in the Balkans. Throughout the years he appeared in various media sharing his experiences and issues faced by trans persons. He has also contributed to creation of trans programs in ex Yu region and he participated in the creation of the first trans site in ex Yugoslavia region ( Main areas of work: Capacity building for trans individuals/organizations and psychological counseling for LGBT individuals.

Lepa Mladjenovic | Europe

Lepa Mladjenovic

Lepa Mladjenovic - feminist counselor & trainer for themes sexual violence, violence against and among lesbians, discrimination of lesbians, Roma women, emotional literacy, feminist approach to counseling women with trauma of male violence. Anti-war and anti-fascist activist Women in Black Against War in Belgrade, Serbia. Feminist lesbian activist, co-founder of few lesbian groups, Arkadia, Labris, Counseling for Lesbians, as well as of feminist and anti-violence groups, SOS Hotline, Autonomous Women's Center, WAVE Women Against Violence Europe Network, as well as a local networks against male violence and rape in war. Author of essays on the noted issues. Lecturer in alternative Women's Studies centers. Passionate in believing in solidarity of feminists who are the ones making good news inspiring the social changes needed for the power of hope of women, and particularly lesbians of all diversities.

Kemal Ördek | Europe, Middle East

Kemal Ördek

Kemal Ördek is a long-term LGBTI and sex workers' rights defender from Turkey. They have managed projects on sexual and reproductive health and rights of LGBTI people and sex workers, monitoring and documenting violence against trans sex workers, advocacy campaigns for the adoption of hate crimes and anti-discrimination laws in Turkey as well as a law and policy reform around sex work in Turkey. Kemal has served on the Steering Commitee of Transgender Europe and the SWAN Foundation for the Human Rights of Sex Workers in CEECA and worked for the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) as a consultant. Kemal is currently the director of the sex workers' rights NGO - Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association - in Turkey and manages projects in collaboration with the UNFPA Turkey as well as other donors/institutions on sex workers and trans people's issues.

Dani Prisacariu | Europe

Dani Prisacariu

Dani is an activist, advocate and human rights trainer with a focus on LGBTQI issues at national and international level. Their experience in LGBTQI activism began with their involvement in ACCEPT Association in Romania. There, Dani has coordinated projects related to culture, auto-representation, community organizing, capacity building and education- including 4 years of coordinating Bucharest PRIDE and LGBT History Month. Dani is currently a co-chair of IGLYO (International LGBTQI Youth and Student Organisation) where they work to advance queer youth rights at European level and to build the capacity of activists through an intersectional framework in order to achieve positive change at local level.

Nela Pamuković | Europe

Nela Pamuković

Nela Pamuković, feminist, lesbian and peace activist. Since 1987 active in feminist movement, and member of lesbian group Lila Initiative founded in 1989 in Zagreb. Co-founder and co-coordinator of Lesbian Group Kontra since 1997. Work at the Centre for Women War Victims-ROSA, activist in Women’s Network of Croatia, Centre for Women’s Studies, Coalition of Women’s Groups SEKA, Women’s Court-Feminist Approach to Justice, European Observatory on Violence against Women, etc. One of the founders of LGBT Pride in Zagreb, first one organized in 2002 by Kontra and Iskorak, member of the organizational committee 2002-2006. Teaching on history of lesbian and feminist movement at Centre for Women’s Studies, Zagreb.

Anna Kirey | Europe, Central Asia

Anna Kirey

Anna Kirey has just joined Amnesty International’s Europe and Central Asia Program as a Deputy Director for Campaigns. Before that, she worked as asenior program officer focusing on trans and intersex health and rights at Open Society Foundations. Anna has been a researcher at Human Rights Watch focusing on LGBT issues in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She is also a founding member of Labrys, one of Central Asia’s largest LGBT organizations founded in 2004 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Kirey, who was born in Russia and grew up in Ukraine, attended Bishkek’s American University and has since attended a graduate program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and another at the University for Peace in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica.

Ekaterine Gejadze | South Caucasus

Ekaterine Gejadze

Ekaterine Gejadze works as a Program Coordinator for Women’s Fund in Georgia since 2013. It is the first and only local fund in Georgia openly supporting LGBT rights. Ekaterine is responsible for WFG’s overall program coordination, proposal development and donor relationship building. Ekaterine supervises the Fund’s programs that focus on protection of women human rights defenders, violence against LBT women, protection of women’s reproductive/sexual health and rights, and other programs. Ekaterine is a feminist/queer activist, member of local and international women’s groups, and active supporter of women’s rights. Ekaterine has an MA degree in Gender Studies from the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary), where her research concentrated on women’s political participation in Georgia in the period following the ‘Rose Revolution’. Her thesis was published as a book in 2010.

Syinat Sultanalieva | Central Asia

Syinat Sultanalieva

Syinat Sultanalieva is a queer-feminist activist from Kyrgyzstan, who has been working towards equality and dignity for all since 2007 at LGBT organisation "Labrys". Since then she has been engaged in a variety of projects and positions, ranging from lecturing at the American University of Central Asia (2011-2014) to working as a Communications Manager at the British Embassy in Bishkek (2013-2014). In 2015 she joined the team of COC-Netherlands to work on grant management and capacity building of LGBT organisations and activists in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. She has an MA degree in Political Science from the OSCE Academy in Bishkek (2006-2007), an MA degree in Political Philosophy from the University of York (2010-2011), and is currently preparing to start her PhD studies at the University of Tsukuba, Japan.

Cynthia Rothschild | Global

Cynthia Rothschild

Cynthia Rothschild is an independent activist and consultant with a focus on United Nations advocacy and policy, sexual rights, LGBT issues, HIV & AIDS, and women human rights defenders. A human rights, sexual rights and feminist activist for over 20 years, she has worked with global networks and NGOs within and outside the US, including the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (where she was the Senior Policy Advisor from 2005-2009), and a number of women’s and reproductive rights groups and AIDS service organizations. Cynthia is a trainer and facilitator, and also has supported NGOs in organizational development projects, including in work related to UN advocacy at the Human Rights Council and the Commission on the Status of Women. In 2011 and in 2015, Cynthia consulted with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), where she made significant contributions to the UN’s two groundbreaking reports on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. She is the author of Written Out: How Sexuality is Used to Attack Women's Organizing; the co-author of Strengthening Resistance: Confronting Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS, and Amnesty International’s Crimes of Hate, Conspiracy of Silence: Torture and Ill-Treatment Based on Sexual Identity. Most recently, she edited “Gendering Documentation: A Manual For and About Women Human Rights Defenders.” She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice from 2010-2015 and of Amnesty International USA in the early 2000s.