Anil Pant

Anil is a freelance consultant based in Nepal. He has extensive experience in governance, organisational development, human rights campaigning, conflict management and human-rights based development programming.  From 2012 and 2018, he served as the Director of Amnesty International’s Movement Support Program and from 2009 to 2012 as the Director of Global Campaigns Program in London, United Kingdom. Prior to that, Anil served as the Head of Governance of ActionAid International in Johannesburg, South Africa. Anil was also a member of Amnesty’s Global Standing Committee on Organisation and Development in 1999-2003 that advised the International Board on organisational development matters. He worked in the field of human rights, development, governance and conflict management in Nepal before moving on to undertaking international positions.  

Astrid Vermeer

Ms. Vermeer brings over 20 years of global operational leadership experience in international development. From 2017 to 2020, Ms. Vermeer served as Chief Financial Officer for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). Ms. Vermeer has extensive experience overseeing multi-site financial operations, including ensuring the integrity of accounting processes, internal controls, financial planning, reporting and analysis, budgeting, treasury, payroll, contracts and grants, information technology, mergers & acquisitions, and program finance. As CFO, Ms. Vermeer was instrumental in transforming IFES’ day-to-day business operations ($70 million) from paper-heavy, labor-intensive, HQ-centric, and expensive to efficient and effective by introducing automated workflows (using amongst other, DocuSign), devolving decision making and introducing a risk-based approach to the management of ~30 local country offices. She also transformed IFES back-office (Finance, Procurement, IT, Accounting) into a dynamic, highly capable and client centric team with a can-do attitude resulting in enhanced service delivery, high quality outputs and access to reliable financial information for decision making. Ms. Vermeer served for ten years with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in numerous financial and operational roles in her native Suriname, Switzerland, USA and Belgium. In Belgium, Ms. Vermeer served as the Chief Operating Officer for WWF’s flagship program, the Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI).
Ms. Vermeer is currently serving on the Boards of Directors for Consumer Reports, Climate Advisers Trust, Muslim Advocates and Peace Brigades International.

Fathi Zabaar (President) 

Fathi Zabaar is a Tunisian jurist and human rights advocate. He is a Program Director with the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Fathi has been running programs at global and regional levels notably in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and West Africa in the fields of human rights and transitional justice. He works with community based organizations providing training and technical assistance on advocacy, strategy and conflict resolution. Fathi holds a law degree and a Master’s Degree in Conflict Transformation. Fathi currently lives and works in New York City.

Lien Pham 

Lien Pham is an Adjunct Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. Lien holds a PhD in Sociology from Macquarie University, Australia. Her research interests and publications are in international development, civil society, globalisation and social justice combining political sociology and critical theory. Her latest book “Political Participation and Democratic Capability in Authoritarian States” is published in the Routledge book series Explorations in Development Studies. Lien has consulted for various Australian government agencies in policy-focused research and social policy evaluations, and for multilateral organisations in Asia Pacific on educational policy reforms. She is currently serving as Director of Research and Evaluation at East Meets West Foundation, an international development NGO in South-East Asia.

Marc Bontemps (Treasurer)

Marc is a commercial engineer who worked as auditor for PwC Belgium and was lecturer of Cost Accounting at Brussels University. He fulfilled different management functions in development NGO’s such as Oxfam Belgium, Ecolife and Forum Ethibel/Vigeo. In 2010, he co-founded NewB, the new sustainable, ethical cooperative bank in Belgium. In addition to being on PBI’s International Council, Marc is also a member of the Finance and Audit Committee.

Oscar Gómez Córdoba

Oscar is a psychologist, social researcher and human rights activist with extensive experience in providing psychosocial accompaniment to victims of socio-political violence. He has carried out this work in Colombia and Latin America, leading community-based organisations to defend human rights and advocate for victims’ rights to truth, justice and reparation. Oscar is currently a consultant on human rights and lives in the United Kingdom.

Shane Guthrie (Secretary) 

Shane has worked and volunteered in peace and human rights for 35 years. He was a field volunteer in the Indonesia Project of Peace Brigades International (PBI) from 1999 to 2002. He has since supported PBI in logistics, training, and human resources management, in Kenya and in its international governance. He also worked with human rights organisations in Indonesia on capacity building and strategic communication. In Australia, he worked as a social justice researcher for several parliamentarians. He currently works in community development for people with disability. Shane has a Master of Development Studies, focused on human rights protection.

Sonia Di Mezza (Vice-President)

Sonia is a human rights lawyer, solicitor and the CEO of the Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services in Victoria, Australia, providing support to refugees and migrants. She holds a Master of International Law and Master of Commerce. Sonia has worked in Australia as a refugee lawyer; the Deputy CEO of a disability advocacy NGO; and the CEO of a domestic violence crisis organisation. She has set up human rights projects in Sudan and Pakistan; worked for the UNHCR in Lebanon; and worked for an Indian child rights labour NGO in India. Sonia speaks English, Spanish, Italian, French and Arabic.