Board Members and Secretary General
The Board coordinates activities, working groups and projects which all EMAlumni are invited to take part. Board members, President and Treasurer are volunteer and unpaid positions. The EMAlumni Association elected its first Board in June 2010.
The current Board of the EMAlumni Association was elected in November 2019.
Véronique Lerch, EMAlumni President
Lives in Lisbon (Portugal)
EMA graduate 1998/1999 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Véronique currently works as an independent human rights consultant. She was previously the head of the advocacy department of a large child rights organisation, SOS Children’s Villages International. She also worked on governance and corruption issues in Africa and the Middle East for Transparency International, the coalition against corruption; on more general human rights issues with the Council of Europe and on election observation with the OSCE.
Lives in Copenhagen (Denmark)
EMA graduate 2006/2007 – email@example.com
Adam graduated in 2007 from the EMA. He has since worked for the UN Refugee Agency in Afghanistan, Sudan, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Switzerland, for the Danish Refugee Council in Denmark the EU in Georgia and currently for UNICEF in Denmark again. He roamed the globe as an independent traveler for a few years, where he worked with development journalism, in particular in writing, photography and documentary film. The two latter earned him awards.
Denise Venturi, Board Member
Lives in Europe (Denise is always on the move)
EMA graduate 2013/2014 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise is currently undertaking a PhD in International Law and Human Rights, focusing on refugees’ and asylum seekers’ rights. Prior to that, she has worked as a criminal defense and immigration lawyer in Italy. Denise feels that the best thing about the association is that it creates connections among passionate human rights professionals all over the world. She believes that our association has the potential to bring together our commitment and dedication to the cause of human rights and thus to bring the EMA spirit on.
Jean-Marie Rogue, Board Member
Lives in Brussels (Belgium)
EMA Graduate 2008/2009 – email@example.com
Jean-Marie graduated from the EMA in 2009 after having studied poltical sciences and European politics. He is particularly interested in the conjunction of human rights and the European project. After the EMA, Jean-Marie worked for eight years as Delegate to the European Union for the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH). His main role was to facilitate dialogue between human rights defenders from the 184 FIDH leagues in more than 110 countries and the EU institutions, in particular in the area of EU foreign politics. He was also part of the coordinating body of the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN), which gathers around 50 NGOs aiming to ensure that human rights and democracy are placed at the heart of the EU’s internal and external policy agendas. In 2019 Jean-Marie started working as policy officer on fundamental rights and the rule of law for the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
Jennifer Vallentine, Board Member
Lives in Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
EMA Graduate 2015/2016 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jen has worked for the past 10 years in a variety of social justice fields. She has particular interest in irregular migration and alternatives to detention having worked extensively with undocumented migrants and people seeking asylum in the Asia-Pacific region. Coming from Australia Jen is currently based in Phnom Penh where she is an organisational development advisor for a Cambodian development NGO.
Michele Romano, Board Member
Lives in Zürich (Switzerland)
EMA graduate 2013/2014 – email@example.com
Michele Romano is currently a researcher in a non-existent subject of law that he calls Entrepreneurial Human Rights Law, a fusion between international human rights and the role on the entrepreneur in the context of global poverty alleviation. He is finishing the doctoral studies at the University of Zürich in Switzerland, where he settled in 2014. In the last three years he worked at the University of Zürich as leader of the sub-project of law of an interdisciplinary project called “Entrepreneurial Rights, Human Rights, and Legal Empowerment of the Poor”; he became father of a currently 2 and half years old Gremlin, and in Summer 2014 he married another Masterona (to pursue further this feeling of European fraternity that we all should share). He was also part of an advocacy campaign called Migrants Matter, in which he worked mainly as a Blog’s author. He is specialised mainly in legal assistance, poverty alleviation, development, and international public law, but his preferred fields of expertise remain changing diapers, long night shifts, psychological support to any father’s struggle, and as any other respectable Italian he loves cooking.
Penny Papaspyropoulou, Board Member
Lives in Brussels (Belgium)
EMA Graduate 2006/2007 –firstname.lastname@example.org
Penny is an Athenian currently working as a foreign affairs policy officer at the European Parliament. She has a decade of experience in projects related to the education and training of vulnerable groups of people, with a focus on migrants/refugees, women and children. She insists that we as human rights professionals should provide our ongoing support to the grassroots movements as it is where demands are born and needs can be fully understood. Penny feels that the association cannot only help the graduates with their personal advancement, but it also bears the potential of bringing about actual change.
Charles Slidders, Board Member
Lives in Barcelona (Spain)
EMA Graduate 2018/2019 –email@example.com
Charles is the latest addition to the board and the most recent graduate of the EMA program, graduating in September of this year. He is also the oldest!!! He graduated from law from the University of Melbourne back in the 1990s. After first working with an indigenous land rights organization, he has practised as litigator for over 20 years, first in Melbourne and for the last 10 years (before the EMA program) in New York City. Along the way he realized that his real interest – indeed passion – is human rights. So about 15 years ago he obtained an LLM in international law and international human rights law from Monash University and after having enough of being employed as a lawyer decided to return to human rights. He loves the Global Campus and the EMA program and formed a close bond with and a deep respect for all the people he studied with. And that is why he joined the board: his aim is to help the alumni association do everything that it can to ensure the vast talent and experience of all the Global Campus graduates are utilized to their fullest extent. As a recent graduate, he recognizes that jobs in the human rights field are important for graduates to find and we should do everything we can to help. And thereby help the promotion of human rights all over the world! He is currently undertaking a PhD at the Universität Pompea Fabrau in Barcelona. He enjoys food (especially overeating). He also works out a lot doing weight training and boxing (to compensate for the overeating but only partly). He enjoys reading (literature and history) and travel. He plays the trumpet badly.
Theodora Ralli, Board Member
Lives in Como (Italy)
EMA Graduate 2013/2014 –firstname.lastname@example.org
Before EMA, Theodora obtained a bachelor degree in Psychology and was a volunteer with several festivals, events and organisations. She is a humanitarian aid worker with four years of experience in case management and protection and gender-based violence programming. She is also passionate about the rights of undocumented migrants (especially migrant workers), refugees and asylum seekers as well as gender equality and women’s empowerment. She joined the Board because she believes that the EMAlumni Association and the GCA have immense possibilities to create amazing things and drive real change and is looking forward to working towards our common goals.
Gabriel Alves de Faria, Secretary General
Lives in Brussels (Belgium)
EMA Graduate 2012/2013 –
Gabriel has been working with human rights for the past 8 years. He has a legal background, including an LLM from the Geneva Academy, and has worked with children’s rights in Brazil, homelessness in Ireland, at the UNICEF in Geneva, with sexual orientational law at Leiden University, at the LGBTI Rapporteurship of the IACHR in Washington DC, and most recently as a field coordinator and human rights officer at the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the DR Congo. He is the founder and director of Not Only Voices, an organization that connects LGBTI rights defenders. At the moment, Gabriel also works as a human rights consultant and does advocacy in Brussels. He loves music and cinema. Gabriel is very excited to be the new Secretary General of the EMAlumni Association!