Alumni Careers

We are proud that we have over 750 alumni around the world, who work for human rights NGOs, humanitarian organisations, charities, national governments, and UN agencies. Below, we showcase some of our graduates and what they have gone on to achieve.

MA 2013/2014

Catherine Baker, Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)

I am currently Human Rights and Refugees Programme Assistant at the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO), a year-long position based Geneva working with the UN human rights mechanisms. In this role, I have worked on a range of issues, including migrant rights, the rights of children of prisoners and the death penalty. In particular, I have engaged heavily with the process towards the development of a major new international agreement on migration, as well as more broadly with the Human Rights Council and Treaty Bodies, particularly the Committee on the Rights of the Child.

After completing the MA, I interned with the All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Group (PHRG), advertised through the MA course. Here, I assisted a group of Parliamentarians to raise international human rights issues through the UK Parliament. Based in Westminster, this role was very diverse, including managing communications and assisting with advocacy on a wide range of campaigns.

The background in international human rights law gained during the MA has given me a solid understanding of the UN structures as well as legal analysis skills which have been invaluable in my current role at QUNO. More broadly the Masters gave me the theoretical knowledge needed for work in this field, as well as an insight into a wide range of human rights topics and country-specific issues.

Both the PHRG and QUNO positions are fixed term opportunities and I would recommend both very highly as ways to learn about international human rights issues and about using political institutions to effect change.

Jess Elliot, British Red Cross

At the start of October, I began work as Refugee Project Assistant for Refugee Services of the British Red Cross in Liverpool. My role involves the organisation of emergency provision for refugees and people seeking asylum, including the delivery of maternity packs and the development of a clothing scheme. Having been involved with the British Red Cross as a volunteer for several years I feel extremely privileged to have become a full-time member of this particular humanitarian organisation. The MA at ICS provided valuable grounding in refugee law through internal and external events which are extremely useful in understanding the challenges which individuals face in the UK in my current role. The MA has also provided opportunities for academic work beyond the scope of the course. I have co-authored an article with Damien Short on the human rights implications of hydraulic fracturing in the UK for the International Journal of Human Rights, and have plans for future articles on similar topics.

MA 2012/13

Hannah Matthews, Peace Brigades International, Colombia

I have been in Colombia for three years, working for PBI for just over two.  I have spent most of this time in a city in the North East of the country called Barrancabermeja, petrol capital of Colombia and centre of the social, economic and armed conflicts still raging in the country.  Now I am in a more coordinating role in Bogotá, the capital city of the country where I am involved in national advocacy with various entities of the Colombian government and armed forces, and constant dialogue with the diplomatic corps.  PBI is an international NGO that protects human rights defenders through non-violent physical and political accompaniment.  We accompany a huge range of human rights defenders throughout the country; lawyers, grass root organisations, journalists and communities resisting the armed conflict.  Despite their differences they are all at high risk because of the work they do defending human rights in the country and speaking out against state corruption and human rights abuse.  The physical accompaniment involves literally going with human rights defenders to their various activities throughout the country to show the international support they have, and the political accompaniment involves meetings at a regional, national and international level with authorities to explain the  fundamental work human rights defenders are carrying out in the country and the importance of assuring their protection.  Colombia is experiencing an historic moment as the peace agreements between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and government have just recently been passed through the Congress and are beginning to be implemented, representing the end of a war which has lasted for over 50 years.  This transition from war to peace is hugely important but very fragile, meaning the presence of international organisations observing and commentating on the situation is of vital importance.

Throughout the Masters course I interned at the PBI London offices which was a great insight into the work in the field and provided me with the contacts I needed to be able to apply to the Colombia project.  I also wrote a paper on the interaction between human rights law and International Humanitarian Law in the Colombian context which was published by the International Journal on Human Rights during the program. The range of skills I acquired during the course have been hugely useful in my work here, especially the analytical and critical capacities strengthened in the law modules, the practical skills from the securing sections and the broader insights from the case studies we analysed in the understanding lectures and seminars. The Masters course was fundamental in developing my interest and skills and providing me with useful contacts to start my career in human rights.

Georgia Booth, Independent Consultant  

I am currently working as an Independent Consultant in advocacy, policy, campaigns, research and strategic partnerships, with a focus on girls’ and women’s empowerment, girls’ leadership and gender equality. Recent consultancy projects include youth advocacy work with Plan International, supporting the editing of Plan UK’s seminal State of Girls’ Rights in the UK report and project management for Mercy Corps Europe.

Tanja Venisnik, ClientEarth 

After completing the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights and finishing my internship with Minority Rights Group International in London, I relocated to SE Asia to gain more human rights experience in the field. I started by conducting human rights trainings for Burmese students in Mae Sot on the Thai-Burma border and later moved to the Philippines to work as a Human Rights and Accountability Advisor for a small NGO responding to the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan. Afterwards, I obtained a position with EarthRights International in Chiang Mai, Thailand, as a Mekong Legal Coordinator, supporting local lawyers and civil society organisations in the Mekong region to advocate against large-scale development projects having detrimental impacts to the environment and human rights of local communities.

I am currently based in London with an international NGO ClientEarth, working as a Law and Policy Advisor in the Climate & Forests team. In this role, I focus on the issues relating to forest governance and community rights, particularly in the Republic of Congo. I support local civil society organisations to advocate for better forest governance, effective participation in decision-making processes and respect for community rights.

Having a background in law, I had some grasp of human rights issues before joining the course, however, the programme armed me with substantial additional theoretical and practical understanding of international human rights law, human rights theory, advocacy and research. It enabled me to seize very interesting job opportunities and to engage with human rights issues with confidence. The course ultimately played an important role in enabling me to shift my career and become a practicing human rights professional.

Chyngyz Batyrbekov, OSCE ODIHR

After graduating I have returned to Kyrgyzstan and started working with the public foundation for development of education in rural areas of the country.  The goal of the foundation is to provide children living in remote areas of Kyrgyzstan with high quality education with easy access to IT and foreign languages.  I am responsible for international affairs and public information.  I search for possibilities of international cooperation and joint projects with foreign educational entities.

Having MA degree in Human Rights I also have started teaching International Human Rights Law course at American University of Central Asia, located in Kyrgyzstan, where I studies before MA in London.  I am also an assistant lecturer at International Humanitarian Law course required for senior Law students at the university.  The MA has helped me in deeper understanding of human rights and my role in this field.  I have chosen to continue my career in securing rights for education in my country and my studies at the School of Advanced Study have definitely inspired and prepared me for that.

 MA 2011/12

Vicky Brotherton, Coordinator, Anti-Trafficking Monitoring, Anti-Slavery International

I work as the Coordinator for the Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group, a coalition of ten leading UK anti-human trafficking organisations, which is hosted by Anti-Slavery International. I began the role in November 2013, around the time that the Home Secretary introduced a draft Modern Slavery Bill, so my work to date has focused on coordinating the lobbying activities of the coalition, drafting submissions for parliamentary committees and working with legal professionals to draft an ‘alternative’ Bill to assist MPs in the scrutiny process and provide a template for amendments. Prior to this role, immediately after I graduated from the MA, I worked for Anti-Slavery International on a European project which focused specifically on human trafficking for the purpose of criminal exploitation. I carried out desk-based research, wrote briefings and reports, and organised and facilitated training in the partner countries.

My interest in human trafficking started in my teenage years when I first read a harrowing report about how young girls were being trafficked across Europe for sexual exploitation. After my undergraduate degree, I went to work voluntarily for an anti-trafficking organisation in Northern Thailand for six months and whilst there applied to do the MA course. The course was undoubtedly the catalyst for getting my first job in the sector. The research for my dissertation included undertaking interviews with several anti-trafficking experts, some of whom are now my colleagues. For my placement, I volunteered for ECPAT UK, helping to run their youth group for girls who had been trafficked into the UK. My colleagues at ECPAT notified me of job opportunities and provided me with invaluable contacts.

I would highly recommend the MA course, both for professional and personal reasons. The teaching on the course is of the highest standards; the lecturers are all recognised experts in their fields, and a well-chosen placement can provide the stepping stone into the sector. The course attracts a wide-range of people, some of whom will no doubt become your life-long friends.

Laila Sumpton, Youth Engagement Coordinator, Plan UK and Poet, Keats House

After graduating from ICOM in 2012 I continued working part-time for youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, as their fundraising communications assistant. I had worked in this role whilst studying part-time, and had decided by the end of my masters that I really wanted to stay in the field of child rights. A few weeks after handing in my dissertation on the right to rehabilitation for child refugees, I was delighted to get the part-time role of Youth Engagement Assistant at international children's charity Plan UK.

I combined these two part-time charity jobs with working as a self employed poet, with a focus on human rights themes. I had worked with SAS on a series of human rights poetry events at the 2012 Bloomsbury Festival and I left my job at Depaul UK to work with the Human Rights Consortium and the Keats House Poets to co-edit and launch an anthology titled 'In Protest- 150 poems for human rights.' We had over 640 entries from all around the world, and I organised a series of performances and workshops to explore human rights poetry and promote the publication.

I currently work both as a poet and for Plan UK- where I support young advocates who campaign and advise the charity. My work with Plan has taken me to Malawi to support youth groups campaigning for girls rights, and to the UN in New York where I helped youth delegates advocate for disability rights. In both of my poetry and NGO I particularly enjoy engaging young people on human rights issues and helping them raise their voice.

Denis Flavius, Assistant Director - Foundation Relations, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York

During the MA and with support from the lecturers, I undertook an extremely fulfilling internship with Amnesty International where I provided research support to the America’s Program on counter-terrorism, juvenile justice, and police accountability issues. Since then, I have had experience working at Integrity House as the Development Specialist, securing significant funding to support programs that included supportive housing for women and juvenile justice-related substance abuse treatment. I also worked with The Trevor Project, the leader in the US for providing suicide prevention and crisis intervention support to LGBTQ youth, as their Foundation and Corporate Relations Manager. At The Trevor Project, I was instrumental in expanding its lifesaving programs, and as a member of the design team tasked with creating the organization’s new Southern Initiative to support LGBTQ youth in the U.S South. I have also been the Senior Associate for Foundation Relations at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) where I was responsible for advancing relationships with donors like the Ford Foundation and OSF and bringing new philanthropic support to ICTJ’s work on issues such as the crisis in Syria and the Colombia peace agreement. Currently, I work for a major hospital centre in the U.S. that provides a range of medical and community support services to New Yorkers. This includes creating and funding programs for those less fortunate, and providing medical, mental health, social, and legal services for refugees who are survivors of torture.

The multidisciplinary nature of the MA allowed me to gain insight into the various career paths I could follow while still having an impact on the human rights field. The Securing Human Rights module’s funding proposal project contributed significantly to my decision to focus on development and fundraising for important causes. I appreciated my work on the funding proposal/presentation and with my project having been focused on LGBT advocacy; it was rather gratifying that I have since been able to contribute to the advancement of LGBT rights.  In addition to enjoying my work on the funding proposal and the entire MA, I gained a newfound appreciation for grant writing to support human rights and humanitarian efforts and discovered talents that I otherwise wouldn’t have known existed. I am forever grateful to the MA for helping to inspire my career.

Simon Bennett, Assessment and Reconnection Worker at No Second Night Out

I was able to find work quickly after graduating, starting my previous role in October of the year that I finished the course. I had an impressive CV due to the emphasis on putting study in to practice through placements, as well as by taking up one of the internships offered within the institute, at the Human Rights Consortium.

For the last year I have been working at No Second Night Out (NSNO). NSNO provides a quick exit from the streets to new rough sleepers. My role consists of assessing the needs of an extremely wide range of people, from those who are fully capable of living independently, to those who require accommodation with 24/7 staff support due to drug, alcohol, mental health, or behavioural issues. The job is very satisfying as I have the privilege of getting to know a large number of fascinating and inspiring people, and of making highly meaningful interventions in to their lives.

 MA 2010/11

Tanha Habib, Project Manager for BRAC UK Vision Bangladesh

I work as the Project Manager for the BRAC UK Vision Bangladesh project. BRAC UK is a fundraising branch of BRAC, which is headquartered in Bangladesh and has a 9 country footprint and was established in 1972; today it is regarded as the world's largest development organisation. Vision Bangladesh is a joint collaboration between BRAC and Sightsavers International and aims to eradicate cataract blindness in Sylhet Division of Bangladesh by 2013 and the whole of Bangladesh by 2020. The project’s agenda by 2013 includes screening 1 million people, treating 800,000 people, conducting 100,000 cataract operations and training 10,000 community health volunteers and 100 ophthalmologists.

I lead on the overall planning and execution of the project starting from fieldwork to making several executive decisions with supervision from the Director of Communications and Development. An integral part of this project is building sustainable relationships with the Diaspora community and having a multi-faceted approach towards fundraising.

As of February 2012, the project is steaming ahead by successfully having completed more than 39,000 operations and is well ahead of target. The project aims to engage the 500,000 British Bangladeshi Diaspora in the UK to raise donations for the project to succeed. A recent success of Vision Bangladesh has been its “1 on the bill” campaign where 300 British Bangladeshi restaurants add a voluntary £1 donation to all bills encouraging restaurant customers to donate to the cause. Due to our campaigning from September 2011 onwards, we are now a household name and have recently been covered positively and extensively by The Guardian.

My course in human rights helped me to crystallise a role where I could blend my practical experience from the past with the theoretical knowledge I gained from the school. Every development activity is based on acquiring a tangible or intangible right of a human being. Restoring sight is a right that Vision Bangladesh ensures. 

MA 2009/10

Haifa Rashed, Assistant National Officer, Unison 

After graduating from the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights, I worked for Alternatives to Violence Project Britain, a volunteer-run conflict transformation programme. I then spent a year at the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva working on their Human Rights and Refugees programme. I also continued to work with the Human Rights Consortium as a Research Associate, and my work has been published in The International Journal of Human Rights, The Journal of Holy Land and Palestine Studies and Medicine, Conflict and Survival.

When I returned from Geneva, I was a Research Assistant at the London School of Economics (LSE) Gender Institute on the Politics section of the 2015 LSE Commission on Gender Inequality and Power. I am now working as an Assistant National Officer in the Equalities directorate of UNISON, the UK’s second largest trade union.

I am extremely grateful to this MA programme for giving such an interdisciplinary approach and for all the opportunities it has opened up to me since I graduated. Human rights intersects with so many different sectors, and my subsequent peace, academic and equalities work are all heavily grounded in my human rights training gained by completing this unique MA.

Jenny Rosenberg, Activism Impact Coordinator, Friends of the Earth

I first heard about the Masters course while working for the Human Rights programme at the Quaker UN Office in Geneva. I was attracted to this course because of its practical nature and the hands-on training that it provides. My Masters dissertation focused on access to healthcare for asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants in the UK, which I was able to continue working on with Doctors of the World UK once the Masters had finished. From there I went on to work with the Race Equality Foundation in their health team looking particularly at how changes to the NHS would impact BME communities and working with the Department of Health to try and promote greater equality in the healthcare system. When this role finished I went out to Brussels to work with Friends of the Earth on corporate justice issues. I am now working for the Friends of the Earth office in London as an Activism Impact Coordinator, focusing primarily on community renewable energy projects across the UK.

Lucy Gregg, Senior Policy Advisor, Freedom from Torture

"I lead Freedom from Torture’s advocacy to improve legal and policy protections for torture survivors in the UK as asylum applicants and refugees. I do this by drawing on evidence from Freedom from Torture’s clinical service provision, research and legal and welfare advice service. One of the main aspects of my role is managing important relationships with the Home Office and other government departments responsible for public policy affecting torture survivors. One particularly rewarding element of my role involves working with torture survivors through a survivor-led activist network which Freedom from Torture hosts called 'Survivors Speak Out'. By drawing on their lived experience of torture and seeking protection through asylum, survivors seek to influence decision-makers and raise public awareness of the challenges facing survivors trying to rebuild their lives in the UK. Its been exciting supporting this network to develop up their ideas and provide avenues in parliament and with politicians through which they can have a voice. Without the MA I wouldn’t have been able to demonstrate the social research skills and policy understanding required for the role."

Gabriella Wass, Ethical Trade Executive, Primark

"After graduating, I completed another qualification in International Conflict Resolution Skills which, like my MA, I linked to business practice and human rights. I am now in India and about to start a research job focusing on the best and worst practices of the largest infrastructure and real estate companies in India. This will lead to a report outlining the social issues (human rights, pollution etc) that they need to be cognisant of; this report would be for the international funds who enable these projects to take place."

Saiqa Ali, CEO and Founder of Linking Bridges and Project Officer, NDCS

Whilst studying at ICwS I worked on a project (Mum’s, Bumps and Babies) during an internship at the Refugee Council and identified the isolation and lack of support available to many women. Although there are many organisations that provide help and support to women; there are few that offer a space in which women can communicate and gain empowerment through effective communication, information and personal development. After completing the MA and building on what I had learnt on the course and at the Refugee Council I decided that I wanted to formalise the work I have been doing in my local community for the last five years. I have helped many marginalised women and families who are vulnerable and marginalised from a variety of different backgrounds. Therefore, in November 2010 I started my own women’s group: Linking Bridges, with a group of my fellow ICwS students and friends. Linking Bridges is committed to empowering women; encouraging diversity and envisaging integration. Thus far Linking Bridges has been funded by the NHS and successfully completed a project to raise awareness in the Urdu speaking community of the HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer.  Linking Bridges is now an established community group, working towards being a registered charity by the end of 2012. We are listed on Wandsworth’s Voluntary Organisation directory and are working on projects in the UK and abroad.  We are linked with a women’s group in London and are working with them on a project for a soup kitchen for homeless people in Victoria, London. We are working in conjunction with the Refugee Council on holding ‘Health and Wellbeing’ coffee mornings fortnightly for Refugee women in September 2011. We are also establishing links with a women’s group in Palestine and a women’s group and orphanage in Pakistan. In recognition of the work I have been doing on Linking Bridges and in my community I am in the process of being filmed for a television programme about inspirational Muslim women throughout history and today. 

I also work as a Project Officer for the National Deaf Children’s Society. NDCS is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for all deaf children and young people. In the last 15 years, NDCS has run a number of time-limited projects which have sought to address the information and support needs of families of deaf children from BME communities. Whilst these different projects have been successful and achieved their aims, they have also all identified that BME families continue to face barriers in accessing NDCS’s support services. I am working on a new project across London to overcome the barriers faced by BME families and improve access to the services that NDCS provides.

Angela Huddleston, Head of Programmes, World Vision International, Syria Response

Since I graduated from the MA programme in 2010, my work has taken me around the world, with a focus to humanitarian and development work. I am currently based in Turkey, where I am the Deputy Coordinator for the ‘NGO Forum for NGOs operating in northern Syria.’ My work with the NGO Forum involves developing and implementing a joint advocacy strategy, including coordinating the Advocacy Working Group, as well as engaging with Syrian diaspora and local NGOs to ensure their particular perspective is integrated into any decisions taken by the NGO Forum, UN, Donors, etc.

I moved to Turkey from Kenya, where my work focused on programme development, donor reporting and communications with GOAL, an Irish NGO. Prior to my 18 months in Kenya, I lived for about 2 years in post-earthquake Haiti, working mostly on NGO programme monitoring & evaluation and donor reporting with World Vision and Tearfund.

The MA in Human Rights was an immense benefit to all of the work that I have been doing since 2010, particularly due its inter-disciplinary focus. Theoretical and legal knowledge provided me with a solid foundation of concepts, principles, and laws that I have been able to apply in my work in Turkey, Kenya and Haiti. The practical module, which was what initially attracted me to the MA, was particularly useful in improving my skills and abilities in fundraising, project cycle management, advocacy and the rights-based approach to development. Practical understanding of all of these topics has been essential to any success I have had in my work with humanitarian and development agencies. 

Jacqui Stevenson, Advocacy and Programme Manager, ATHENA Network

I graduated from the MA in 2010, having focussed on HIV throughout the course and in my dissertation, which explored the role of human rights in the global HIV response. I am now the Lead for Research and Analysis at the ATHENA Network, an international organisation working to advance gender equity and human rights in the global response to HIV. I manage the LEARN project, a participatory research and advocacy project promoting effective HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women, funded under the DREAMS Initiative, as well as working on other research and advocacy projects on gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV. I am also a PhD candidate at the University of Greenwich. My thesis explores the health and social cares needs of older women living with HIV in London, using feminist and assets-based approaches and participatory methods. From 2010 to 2014, I worked for the African Health Policy Network, an organisation campaigning to improve the health of African people in the UK, with a focus on HIV, in roles covering community engagement, policy and research, eventually becoming Head of Policy and Acting CEO. I am a Trustee of the Sophia Forum, a UK organisation promoting the rights of women living with HIV, and for STOPAIDS, the network of UK agencies working since 1986 to secure an effective global response to HIV and AIDS.

 MA 2008/09

Karen Baker, Operational Director, JUCONI, Ecuador

"I graduated from the MA in 2009. I worked with the Consortium for Street Children as part of my internship and after I graduated they recommended I volunteer with one of their member organisations, JUCONI who work with street children in Ecuador. I did a 6 months volunteer placement last year and I am now working as their Operational Director based in Ecuador."

 MA 2002/2003

Neil Clarke, Managing Director/ Head of Europe and Central Asia Programmes, Minority Rights Group Europe

I graduated from the MA in 2003 and after applying for a number of positions with London based NGOs, joined Minority Rights Group International (MRG) in 2004. MRG was an organisation I had been familiar with during the MA, as it had provided speakers for course, internships for my classmates and had staff also undertaking the program. MRG’s focus is human rights advocacy on issues related to ethnic, linguistic, religious, national and indigenous minorities.  It has a partner led approach and works through locally based organisations across the world. During my time in London I worked across a range of regional and thematic programmes: Asia, Europe, Africa, Development, Conflict and International Advocacy as a programmes assistant and later Coordinator. In 2009, I moved to Budapest, Hungary and became Managing Director of Minority Rights Group Europe an organisation established by MRG to lead and implement MRG’s work in Europe and Central Asia. In that time I have been responsible for developing MRG’s programmes predominantly in the eastern regions, with programmes currently active in the South Caucuses, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus and Turkey.

The MA was the crucial factor in deciding to make human rights activism my career. It contributed to building my personal confidence, establishing my personality in a genuinely multi-cultural environment and a provided broad and practically focused learning on apporaching the means to realise human rights. All of these aspects have been important in an organisation like MRG, whose work addressess a full spectrum of rights issues.

I don’t have any professional photograph. But you can copy, save the image from this link from an interview.

MA 1998/99

Joanna Ewart-James, Advocacy Director, Freedom United 

I really enjoyed the MA in Human Rights and feel fortunate to have benefited from the grounding it gave me to pursue a fascinating career path. The knowledge I gained has helped me in many ways from working in central government incorporating the Human Rights Act 1998 into asylum policy, to running the Foreign Office's Human Rights Project Fund, to an innovative research project at Goldsmiths College on human rights impact assessments, and managing a multi-million pound international human rights grant portfolio. The breadth of my professional career and rights I've worked on has had me diving back into my books every now and then. Not least when I started focusing on modern slavery almost a decade ago. I hope that the human rights movement will continue to give more attention to tackling modern slavery and not just leave this enormous challenge to the labour rights movement. For me it is the human rights lens that I look through, established by completing this MA, that has me so committed to this cause!

MA 1996/1997 

Ingvill Konradsen Ceide, Co-Founder and General Manager, ProsjektHaiti 

I moved to Haiti immediately after I had finished my course at ICS in September 1997. 

I have for the last 20 years worked in different organizations in Haiti and my home country Norway. 

Some of the opportunities I had the pleasure of being part of was developing a Human Rights curriculum at the Police Academy in Port au Prince, Haiti. As a newly graduate from the MA program at ICS I was able to use my new knowledge towards supporting new police recruits to understand and appreciate Human Rights as part of their daily work. 

I since continued to work in Norway with refugees at the local government level in Tromso municipality and later as project leader at the Centre for International Health (University of Tromso/University Hospital North Norway. I have worked with the UN in Ecuador and Haiti and over the years I have attended additional courses at several universities, amongst others Harvard University, (Health and Human Rights) and Stanford University, (Social Entrepreneurship).

In the year 2000 I co-funded the organization Prosjekt Haiti (PH) with my Haitian husband Edwin Ceide. PH has grown from a small start-up with one primary school in Port au Prince, into a mid-sized development organization, focusing on education, youth leadership, adult literacy and vocational training as well as entrepreneurship and business development for women in Haiti.  I am the only Norwegian employed at PH working with more than 50 Haitian staff in the different programmes and social businesses.  We finance our activities with donations from public and private funds in Norway and the US. My job is to lead the organization and the staff, identify potential sources of financing, prepare project proposals, follow-up, evaluation and reporting, networking, promoting, co-create and coordinate new programmes. Prosjekt Haiti was founded in the millennium year of 2000 with the belief that individuals coming together can create positive, social development in a country overwhelmed by challenges.

Being a small, local organisation we strongly believe that social change must come from the ground up, with civil society taking the lead in defining their own needs, and not least, defining their own solutions to those needs. Prosjekt Haiti offer different activities for the local population that leads to empowerment and innovative job creation. Parallell with these activities we strive to identify individuals with leadership potential who are offered trainee positions within the organization. These leadership talents become agents of change in the local community with a strong feeling of ownership to the process of creating social change.

My husband, Edwin Ceide, was recently elected Mayor of the municipality in Saint Louis du Sud in Haiti, and I am working closely with him and his team on the development of the municipality.   Saint Luis du Sud is a population of approx. 80 000 habitants. It is a region with amazing opportunities for agriculture, fishing and tourism, but unfortunately it also suffers from decades of neglect by Haiti’s weak and corrupt political leaders. Saint Louis du Sud, like most of Haiti, suffer from lack of infrastructure, clean water, electricity, schools and jobs for the population. Edwin’s vision is to develop the region as an example of what is possible to do in Haiti with an effective and genuine political leadership in place and I am very exited to be part of this work. 

I have fond memories of my time in London as a student of Human Rights, now 20 years ago. The course was informative, practical and inspiring.  

MA 1995/96

Patrick Canagasingham, COO (Chief Operating Officer), Oxfam International

I consider myself very fortunate to have been selected to pursue the MA, Human Rights, when it was first introduced in 1995. Having immensely benefited from the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, upon graduation, I gained practical and leadership experience with humanitarian non-governmental organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America.

In my new role at Oxfam International, I manage a portfolio of significant breadth and influence and the MA equipped me to appreciate the strategic role of organizations such as Oxfam; in ensuring that the voices of the poor and most vulnerable are heard and that they have an opportunity to influence local and global decisions that impact them.