Secretary General Team
Elke originally comes from a Social Sciences background and holds an honours degree in B Social Sciences as well as a honours in Clinical Psychology and has worked as a social worker for organisations such as SOS Children’s Village and South African Blind Workers Organisation before moving into the Human Resources management field. She has extensive experience with international companies and most recently worked for Polysius, the SA division of ThyssenKrupp Engineering (Germany based) as well as Stewart Scott Engineers and Environmental Consultants (The Netherlands based) and we were lucky to steal her away from DORMA South Africa, part of the worldwide Dorma Group.
Prior to joining CIVICUS, Merle worked with Accountable Now in Berlin from 2013 to 2017 where she managed the accountability reporting and vetting process among other areas. CIVICUS is one of currently 27 Members of Accountable Now. Merle has moreover gained work and internship experience at Transparency International Germany, the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Berlin, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in New York, the Goethe Institute in Bangkok and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in London. She completed a B.A. in European Studies and a M.A. in Political Science, focusing on gender and development studies. When she's not working, Merle likes feminist literature, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, cycling and art house cinema.
Marion holds qualifications in HR, Labour Law, Generic Management and project management. Marion comes with over 12 years’ experience in HR and specialises in performance management, strategy implementation, training & development and Industrial Relations. She has been fortunate to gain experience over the years in different industries, and eagerly shares her experience and skills acquired.
Shanna holds an Honours degree in Industrial Psychology and has previously fulfilled the roles of HR Manager in the retail and wholesale Industry. She is extremely excited to have been given the opportunity to join the team at CIVICUS and hopes to add value to the HR chain in a manner that will be beneficial to all.
Networks Engagement Team
During her practicum for an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, Amy worked with Search for Common Ground Liberia and studied the relationship between community radio and post-conflict development.
Before joining CIVICUS, Amy consulted with Population Services International and the Centre for HIV/AIDS Prevention Studies on knowledge management and HIV/AIDS communications. She continues to support HIV/AIDS prevention in Africa through her work as Vice President of Humanitarian Notes, a nonprofit organisation she co-founded in 2007 that uses music to promote social change.
Prior to joining CIVICUS, Dorothée held various positions as a project manager and junior researcher in several research institutes in France and South Africa. Between others, she took part in research programmes on rights to housing and water in South Africa. She speaks French, English and Spanish, as well as some Portuguese. Her interests lie in climate change, environmental issues, political activism, education, and travels!
Mandeep has a keen interest in human rights and comparative law and has also worked with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an international NGO based in New Delhi, on campaigns related to criminal justice sector reform.
He has published a compilation of landmark Indian Supreme Court decisions and National Human Rights Commission guidelines on human rights and policing and has co-authored modules on human rights for the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and a citizen's handbook explaining the mandate and practical functioning of human rights commissions in India.
Mandeep has also drafted two annual reports for the Punjab State Human Rights Commission and has worked on projects related to good governance and women's empowerment in India. He holds an LL.M in Law in Development from Warwick University, U.K. and completed his LL.B and B.A degrees at Panjab University, India.
In her previous position she was President of the Conference of NGOs, CoNGO, 2000-2007, during which she led CoNGO delegations to the World Conference against Racism, to the World Summit on Sustainable Development and organized Civil Society Forums in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Together with her CONGO Team she has been at the forefront of guiding, supporting and coordinating Civil Society in the process of the World Summit on the Information Society (Geneva and Tunis).
Renate is a Swiss national born in Germany. She completed her studies in Medicine, Languages and Literature at the Universities of Bonn, Munich and New York and started her academic career by teaching at international schools and cultural institutions, before she engaged in NGO work.
He is a Senior Advisor of the UN DESA NGO Major Group Organizing Partners having served as a global Organizing Partner 2011-2016 responsible for guiding multi-stakeholder engagement of NGOs in sustainable development activities for Rio+20 and the SDGs/2030 Agenda. Mr. Huffines was also Chair of the 65th Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference on the theme “2015 and Beyond: Our Action Agenda”, that took place at UN HQ, 27-29 August 2014, and was elected Chair of the NGO/DPI Executive Committee from 2007-2011.
He had previously served as Main UN Representative for the U.S. Baha'i Community where he led a number of NGO initiatives as Co-Chair of the Faith and Ethics Network for the International Criminal Court (FENICC); Chair of the UN Association/USA’s New York Council of Organizations; President of the Committee of Religious NGOs; and co-founder of the Tripartite Forum on International Cooperation for Peace.
Tor is an American and British citizen. He holds degrees in human rights from American University, Washington DC, and University College London (UCL). Tor helps coordinate CIVICUS’ multilateral advocacy, including at the UN Human Rights Council, UN General Assembly and Universal Period Review. Tor also coordinates the Secretariat for the Vuka! Coalition for civic action, a global civil society coalition aimed at protecting and promoting civic space. In addition, he conducts strategic research on a range of issues, including freedom of assembly and the right to protest. Prior to joining CIVICUS, Tor worked as an advisor to a human rights monitoring group in the Horn of Africa. He has also worked for the Legal Resource Center, a Ghana-based human rights organization and as a research assistant to a U.K Parliamentarian.
Whilst previously working at the peacebuilding INGO International Alert, Dominic carried out extensive research into the political dynamics of transnational activism within and between diaspora communities. Dominic has a passion for coordinating citizen activism that transcends national boundaries to promote a peaceful and equitable global society.