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ESCR-Net Staff: Notes of Appreciation and Transition

Over the past decade, Suad Elías has demonstrated immense commitment to building “a global movement to make human rights and social justice a reality for all.”  She has been responsible for facilitating mutual solidarity, deepening relationships, and collective work among many Members and partners of ESCR-Net, while providing clear guidance to the Secretariat, most recently as the Acting Director.  The Board, Secretariat, and Members are very grateful for Suad’s many contributions, and we look forward to ongoing relationship with her, as she steps away from a formal role in the ESCR-Net Secretariat. 

In May 2012, Chris Grove was named the new Director of the Secretariat by the ESCR-Net Board after an extended search process.  Chris previously served as an ESCR-Net Program Officer from 2004-2007, focused on corporate accountability, economic policy, and women and ESCR. He has facilitated human rights education, research, and organizing in the US, Cambodia, India and Romania.  Chris holds a Master of International Affairs (Columbia University) and a Master of Philosophy in Anthropology (The Graduate Center, CUNY) and has taught courses in social theory, anthropology, and human rights.

The Secretariat also welcomed Ivahanna Larrosa in December 2011, as Campaign Coordinator to support the facilitation of the NGO Coalition for the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (OP-ICESCR) and the current ratification campaign.  Ivahanna is a human rights advocate with 20 years of experience working with local and international NGOs, as well as social movements, campaigning for the realization of human rights.

Finally, Dominic Renfrey joined the Secretariat in January 2012, as a Program Officer, bringing strong experience and deep commitment to the Corporate Accountability and Economic Policy and Human Rights Working Groups. He has previously assisted grassroots movements seeking corporate accountability in Cambodia and Indonesia, and co-founded the Australian Corporate Accountability Now! initiative. Dominic holds a Master of Public and International Law (University of Melbourne) and Graduate Diploma in International Development (Flinders University of South Australia).

Throughout these transitions, the collective work of ESCR-Net has continued to deepen and expand, thanks to strong Member coordination of Working Groups, excellent Secretariat staff, the solid base provided by Julieta Rossi and Suad, and the ongoing leadership of our Deputy Director Rebecca Brown.

ESCR-Net Board Elections

After consulting with ESCR-Net Members, Board elections have been postponed until the final quarter of 2012 (from December 2011), and the term of the current Board have been extended until the end of 2012, in order to facilitate a smooth transfer of leadership at the Secretariat.  Thank you to the dozens of Members who explicitly affirmed this proposal during the month of June.

As outlined in ESCR-Net’s Governance Document, Board Members are normally elected for a period of three years, with the possibility of extending their mandate for an additional three-year period.  The following Board Members have agreed to extend their terms through December 2012:

•     Hossam Bahgat (North Africa and the Middle East)
•     Julie Cavanaugh-Bill (United States and Canada)
•     Shanthi Dairiam (Asia, South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand; serving second term)
•     Legborsi Saro Pyagbara (Sub-Saharan Africa)
•     Wilder Sánchez Chávez (Latin America and the Caribbean)
•     Aye Aye Win (Europe)

In looking towards our next elections, we encourage you to begin considering potential nominations—including current Board Members who have not served two terms—in line with our shared commitment to geographic and gender balance and the inclusion of social movements.  For an explanation of the roles and responsibilities of Board Members, please see our Governance Document (


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