E.MAlumni Board Elections 2014

Forums EMAlumni Forums EMAlumni General Assemblies GA 2019 and prior E.MAlumni Board Elections 2014

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    Dear E.MAlumni, 

    Welcome to the forum dedicated to the upcoming elections for the new E.MAlumni Board !

    If you are a candidate —>  You are kindly invitd to use this forum to introduce yourself & explain the ideas, vision, suggestions or programme that you have in mind for the E.MAlumni Association.  To do that, you are free to choose the way you prefer: you can post a text, add a picture, make a short video, or use any other tool that you may like.

    Important: Please make sure you specify the one position or the different positions you are running for: 1) President; 2) Treasurer; or 3) Board member, or a combination of those. You have time until 15 June 00:00 (midnight) CET to put forward your name & ideas!

    To all voters —> Make sure you keep an eye on the forum during the whole campaign period, so you can form your own idea about who you want to vote for after the campaign period ends.  More information will be provided in due time regarding the voting procedure.

    Best of luck to all !




    Hi there – My name is Erin Koenig (E.MA 2004-05) and I would like to put my name forward for a board member position.

    A little bit about myself: I am a diplomat, currently working in the political section at the Canadian Embassy to Ethiopia in Addis Ababa. As a Canadian, I am one among the small group of non-European students that has benefitted from taking part in the E.MA programme. It was not only a great professional decision, but also the source of a wonderful and lasting group of friends and contacts that have become a great resource. 

    My professional background reflects ten years of experience working on human rights, democracy/governance, peace and security issues with Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, academia and international, regional and non-governmental organizations. A Foreign Service officer since 2009, I have covered South East Asian and African files both from headquarters and the field. Previously, I have also worked on human rights with UNESCO and as a researcher with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, based in Costa Rica. I currently lead strategic research, analysis and reporting on a wide range of trends and developments related to human rights and democratization in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, and have a breadth of knowledge in policy formulation, poltical reporting and program management. I am very comfortable with establishing and cultivating broad networks of contacts and have a demonstrated skill at working independently as well as on a team.

    Motivation: I would like to join the board for a few reasons: 1) I believe strongly in the E.MA programme and having myself benefitted so much from the experience, I would now like to give back; 2) I see the great potential and benefit of E.MAlumni as a mechanism for retaining and expanding our network; 3) As a non-European, I think that I would represent the perspective of an important cohort of the E.MA alumni.

    Areas of interest: I remain open-minded and flexible in terms of how I might contribute as a member, but some areas of interest would include:

    • Maintaining/expanding E.MAlumni social media presence with a view to increasing the effectiveness of E.MAlumni communications 
    • Working to link E.MA alumni to larger human rights and democratisation initiatives and events
    • Using my current presence in Africa to explore options for African alumni to meet/organize
    • Outreach, Global Campus network, Mentoring Program and E.MA Alumni in the Field

    Thanks for your consideration.



    Dear fellow E.MA Alumnae and Alumni,

    I am very pleased to introduce myself to you as a candidate to the Board. My name is Daniel Toda Castán and I graduated from the E.MA Programme in the academic year 2010-2011, during which my involvement included, among other things, the organisation of our Human Rights Film Festival “Building Bridges”. I come from Spain and I am currently based in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

    During the past two years, our outgoing Board has succeeded in setting up the fundamental structures of the Alumni Association and in making them operational and effective. The two GA’s and various initiatives such as the Mentoring Programme or the E.MA Hubs attest to this. In my view, their work deserves to be continued and built upon, for the benefit of all of us. I am running for a position of Board Member because I believe there is much value in strengthening our community. These two last years have shown how much potential there is in it, and now I would like to contribute to the effort of realising that potential.

    My view is that an association, of any kind, is not just the Board. The Board coordinates and leads efforts, but it is only a governing body of a vibrant community from which ideas and impulses must come. Therefore, the ideas I would bring to the Board, if elected, would go in the following sense:

    -Encouraging the participation of all Alumnae and Alumni in the development and activities of the Association, and promoting formal and effective active membership. In this sense, E.MA Hubs, Mentoring Programmes and participation at the GA are essential.

    -Opening up regular channels of immediate and direct communication between the Board and all Association members.

    -Consolidating our institutional structure and relations to strategic partners such as EIUC, the Global Campus and the Alumni Associations of the Regional Master’s Degrees.

    -Continuing to explore fundraising possibilities in international organisations and foundations keen to advance and promote the same values as us. Being able to offer concrete projects will be fundamental for this and in this sense, the participation of all of you will surely be the key of our success.

    -Making our community visible in the scientific field and the different fora where human rights, peace and development discussions take place. I am sure that many of us are involved in courses, trainings or conferences as speakers or audience, or participate in research projects or write articles and reports. Compiling these activities in, for example, a yearbook could be an excellent means to raise our scientific profile and make us appear as a community with a substantial contribution to make.

    As a Board Member, together with my colleagues, I will do my best to ensure that our work runs regularly and smoothly and that all views and opinions expressed by Board Members and by you can be accommodated within our general policies. We are a diverse community and this should be reflected on the Board composition and its debates, always in a spirit of mutual learning and respect.

    I would like to finish encouraging you to cast your vote. Democracy is at the basis of our commitment to human rights and our awareness of this needs to be shown in the practice of our Association.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Daniel Toda Castán



    Dear all,

    I would like to put forward my candidacy for the EMAlumni Board.

    About myself. I am original from Venice (yes: I’m part of the indigenous population of the Laguna!), and I’ve been an E.MA student in 2011/2012. After the graduation, I’ve spent six months in Geneva interning with the International Commission of Jurists. I’m currently a PhD at Aarhus University (Denmark) where I carry out research in the fields of human rights law, international humanitarian law, and international criminal law.

    My ideas for E.MAlumni. I am convinced of the importance of strengthening our alumni network and, through that, the E.MA. In general, I’m very open to all new proposals that the Board and Alumnae/i will propose, and I’m up for committing to new activities.

    In my opinion, it is crucial to increase the participation of the Alumnae/i in the Association, with a view to getting them actively involved in its initiatives and activities. I think the expansion of active participation within the Association is one of the focal issues the next Board should engage in.

    Moreover, I believe we do a very useful job in sharing advertisement of jobs, internships, conferences etc.. We should try to improve this aspect, which is undoubtedly crucial to all of us. This is partly linked to the previous issue: if our fellows Alumnae/i feel part of the Association, they will likely be more available to support each other.

    Of course, we shouldn’t just focus on the professional benefit of the Alumni network. Being all of us ‒ in many different ways ‒ engaged in fostering human rights, we must also understand how to make the most effective contribution in this field as an Association. Therefore, I think the next Board should also concentrate on how to involve in its human-rights project and events those Alumnae/i with specific expertise in the relating field. This is just another way to make our network more solid.

    All in all, I believe the uniqueness of the E.MA programme ‒ its multicultural environment, the originality of the structure, the diversity of background and origins of its participants ‒ is the asset we should build on.

    Thanks in advance if you decide to support me, and buona fortuna to all the candidates,

    Vito Todeschini

    Hello all of you!


    My name is Elizabeth Forasacco, I am from Caracas – Venezuela and I am a recent Masterona from the E.MA promotion 2012-2013. Currently I am working at UNHCR Venezuela as protection assistant in the field office Guasdualito, which is a little town in the border with Colombia. 


    While studying the first semester in Venice, there was a little situation regarding the funding of the programme as donors had to evaluate means to cut expenses. Hence and in order to keep the programme functioning also for non EU students, it was discussed the impact and relevance the E.MA programme had among Latin American students so we had to write a little document expressing why was the E.MA a good opportunity for us.


    In view of such a risk I would like to present my candidacy to be a member of the board because I think it is important to ensure that all regions get represented in the E.MAlumni association as a voice for current and future non EU students. I think it is important to maintain a diverse group aiming at offering a wide perspective for the proposal of new activities and ideas; to keep monitoring job opportunities in all regions; to find ways to promote the E.MA programme and keep it available for non EU students. 


    Also, one of my ideas is to discuss new ways to ease and enhance the arrival and permanence of non EU students in the programme and in Europe, since it was one of the hardest challenges that non EU students had to confront. Last but not least, I think as E.MAlumni association we should be able to analyse the criteria and the requirements for the selection process of scholarships. 


    At the moment the aforementioned themes are my areas of interest after participating in the E.MA experience. 


    So in order to maintain the diversity and the multicultural perspective, vote for me as the Latin American representative of the board!


    Cheers and success to everyone! 



    Elizabeth Forasacco




    Dear all,

    My name is Lenka Homolkova, I am from the Czech Republic and I am a graduate of the E.MA A.Y. 2010/2011. I would like to introduce my candidacy as a Board Member as I strongly believe I can contribute with my up to date experience to the great work of E.MA Alumni Association.

    About me: I have about 5 years of experience in the area of human rights and democratization. During past years I worked with different governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations on both, voluntary and paid basis. I have been extensively engaging in election observation activities in Africa and Europe (with EU and OSCE/ODIHR at short and long term positions), technical assistance in the area of democratization, governance and elections (e.g. at the EU Delegation to Sudan), awareness-raising and capacity building on human rights issues (e.g. training the Burmese pro-democracy activists at Thai-Burma border) as well as analysis, project management, communication and outreach. I currently work as a Consultant/Program Coordinator at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) Regional Europe Office providing the electoral assistance to the electoral stakeholders (electoral management bodies, governments, civil society, investigative journalists, educational institutions and media) with the objective to increasing the democratic governance in the world.

    Motivation to become a member of the Board: I have enjoyed studying the E.MA program to the fullest as well as I benefitted it a lot (paid internship at the EU Delegation to Sudan that resulted in a further consultancy opportunity, publication of the thesis that is extremely beneficial for my Ph.D. application and much more). And I have currently reached the moment I feel I have enough experience to give something back to the amazing community of E.MA graduates working to make the world better place to live for everyone. Furthermore, I like to keep the voluntary element in my professional activities and the Board elections provide me with a great option for my volunteer focus. Becoming a Board member would give me an opportunity to 1) share my experience; 2) employ my knowledge and enthusiasm to help further developing the organization and its activities, 3) use the networks I created to further increase the visibility of the organization and its cooperation with other like-minded human rights experts.

    If elected I would like to focus on two main areas: 1) Fundraising and project development; 2) Further promotion of the E.MA graduates to the human rights job market. I believe that the E.MA Alumni Association has a great potential to develop its own projects and seek the funds from various donors. I would like to build upon a great work the E.MAlumni has already done and contribute with my experience in the area of project management as well as project development at both sides – the side of the donor and the side of the beneficiary – to help the E.MAlumni firstly, to identify more possible donors and secondly, to develop the projects that would be able to win the funds.

    In line with the E.MAlumni objective to promote human rights and democratization in the world, the projects could focus on further education and capacity-building of the E.MA graduates and the peers (E.MAlumni could create its own training programs (online and in-person) to increase the capacities of human rights graduates and practitioners in very specific human rights topics). 

    Furthermore, I would like to work with the existing human rights experts database created under the E.MAlumni webpage. Creating a detailed outreach plan and disseminating the information about the database further to different stakeholders/employers could be benefited by both – E.MA graduates being potentially provided with more chances to receive a consultancy/job interview offers; and employers being provided with the ability to search high-quality human rights experts. Such plan, however, requires a thorough methodology also thinking about the security of personal data; therefore, if elected to the Board, I would like to work on a development of such a methodology.

    Thank you very much for considering my candidacy and I hope to be in touch with all of you soon through the E.MAlumni Board!

    You can find more information about me at E.MAlumni database or LinkedIn cz.linkedin.com/pub/lenka-homolkova/54/700/51a/. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at homolkova.lenka (at)gmail(dot)com .



    Dear Colleagues!


    My name is Kasia Stanisz and I am excited to introduce myself as a candidate for the E.MAlumni Board.


    I have been tracing the emergence and development stages of the E.MAlumni Association as a graduate (2005/2006), an active member of the organization and participant of the Mentoring Programme. A lot of work has been done in the last two years and I would like to contribute to this wonderful endavour taking it further with other Graduates, building on the valuable experience of the E.MAlumni 2.0 Board.


    About myself

    After graduation in 2006 I got back to Poland to stay active in places and fields of work which still deserve special attention in this country (access to quality education in rural areas, capacity building, strenghtening civil society and promoting democracy). I am a passionate translator, teacher and coordinator of training programmes, currently also working in publishing as head of the international rights department where I do my best to promote and protect intellectual property rights. I demonstrate solid business experience of running my own company, offering translation and training services (including human rights education) to various public institutions, universities, schools, NGOs and business partners.


    If elected

    I would immediately and enthusiastically get down to work, engaging other Members, in the following, stricly interconnected, areas:


    increasing participation


    Our Association should and could have more Members. I believe that participation is less related to technical or financial issues than it is to not being aware of the Association objectives. We should continue working on improving communication with effective use of social media as a tool, however, participation can be increased provided steps are taken to convince Graduates that being part of the Association is a valuable experience and is in line both with their own individual objectives and the most important common general objective the promotion and protection of Human Rights. We need to stay in touch with Graduates who have not yet joined the Association and take their opinion and reasons into consideration.


    strenghtening the Association and communicating its objectives


    It is obvious that our Association will grow stronger as a consequence of having more Members but we also need to ensure its greater self-sustainability and find ways to expand our activities seeking partnerships with other organizations, training institutions, especially including numerous organizations in which E.MA graduates have been employed. There is a need to work on further development of the E.MAlumni human rights experts database and I am glad to read that one of the Candidates, Lenka Homolkova, has also put this idea on her agenda.


    further development and improvement of the Mentoring Programme


    This programme is of great importance. I took part in the programme in its pilot phase and assisted in its development (Open Letter to the Forthcoming Board and the New President). The prospective opportunities resulting from participation in the Mentoring Programme cannot be underestimated, it is a unique chance to get connected to make informed life and career choices, to find out about locations where graduates are particularly needed, to learn how to get professionally prepared for jobs, and, last but not least, to get engaged in various human rights projects together. I would like to direct my energy into lobbying prospective institutional partners who could sponsor the programme and into establishing a mentoring scheme which will allow our Association to become a service-provider in this field in the future.


    Thank you in advance if you decide to support me. Good luck to all the Candidates!


    Dear fellows,

    I decided to get the challenge and assume "my turn" of direct responsibility, running for the new executive board. That will be an enjoyable, learning opportunity. I look forward to exchange with other fellows from our association and from the Global Campus Alumni, to hear from them, to teamwork, to push forward the many fruitful intuitions that usually come about when people actively and joyfully participate in the promotion of the common good.

    I am a seasoned development worker and trainer of trainers. Since 1983, I work, mostly in Africa, as policy and strategy adviser for sustainable, inclusive and equitable development and I have built relevant and multi-country experience in Human Rights' Based Development Approach / HRBDA and rights' based public service delivery. Since 2010, I focus on the Right to Food (including preparation of technical papers for the European Commission Policy on Food Security). I have solid background in PCM (Program Cycle Management), including training on PCM, project & program design, M&E, and I have carried on several evaluation missions, inter alia with the European Commission, FAO, World Bank. I am staring-up an equitable and eco-compatible entrepreneurship, largely relaying on small-farmers' associations' strengthening through value chains' promotion in Cape Verde islands (where my second home is).

    I finished my EIUC Master in 2001. So, I am from the older EMAlumni generation. I started participating in our association's life since the second GA, in 2011. The experience has been enriching, the human relations have been great, I learned a lot, I have been welcome and encouraged and I found some space to give my contribution and share my life and professional experience with others. I have been, since the beginning, active in the mentoring scheme (thanks Lydia for the fruitful intuition and hard work) and I have put forward some proposals on a couple of issues; e.g. "Fundraising beyond donations towards service provision", a paper for the II GA; for which a lot of work is still lying ahead.

    I will give my contribution according to the needs. We have to see where we will be the day after the elections (how many did participate, effective synthesis of the executive bodies and so on). Yet, I would also like to gradually promote a specific agenda for which I want to be accountable during and at the end of my mandate. This agenda addresses the following strictly interrelated (and mutually reinforced)  main points: 

    Participation – Inclusion – Hearing. I will do my best to further promote our membership’s participation as a building block of our association's sustainability. This is a  core issue on almost all candidatures for this board. So, I am confident that we will find and implement the appropriate arrangements needed for. I am ready to take the engagement to give non less than two-half days / month to "public hearing", to read your e-mails and messages, to Skype with you, to capitalize on your ideas on the executive board. It would be great to each executive board having a specific agenda on the "voices from the membership". We could try and be more effective through working groups / WG on the very subject. We could "nominate" a focal point for membership-hearing or even better, a rotation scheme could hopefully be implemented. The initiative may perfectly come from the membership.

    E.MAlumni institutional capacity development, aiming at providing an enhanced space of opportunities for the members of our community. As other candidates have put it, we need to move forward to service delivery that would enhance our sustainability in many ways and would provide many opportunities to the organization’s members. Learning opportunities but also job opportunities. We have to be more proactive in supporting job-hunting and carrier-building for our members. We are still very weak on that, to my opinion. Our organization has to play a catalytic role in transforming in effective assets what now are only potentially such; inter alia our graduates, our structure, our privileged relation with EIUC and the GCA, the local hubs. I am convinced that we have to develop anNGO (that could be a kind of branch of the E.MAlumni) for service delivery along the whole "Humanitarian – Recovery – Development Continuum". We can design ourprojects and we can offer consultancy services. The Erasmus+ (2014 – 2020) is a space on which we have to be affirmed. Another funding possibility may come from the Council of Europe. To do so. we need strong participation, active membership, hard-working board, able to take decisions and a Presidency with full skills to promote this agenda by our privileged partners. We need negotiation capacity and we need some funds to start with. Yes, because some lobby will be needed and so on.

    Mentoring scheme. I will continue working to push forward our ambition for a strong mentoring capacity in the field of HRs and governance, equipped for providing  mentoring services in the context of development or humanitarian programs / projects and to establish an outstanding mentoring scheme which will allow our association to become a service-provider in this field, giving opportunities to people willing to work on. The remarkable progress made in our mentoring scheme gives grounds for pushing forward the agenda that we exposed with Katarzyna in our Open Letter to the Forthcoming Board and the New President; which actually has been addressed in several issues as the mentoring certificates.

    I will consider your vote as your engagement to the effective promotion of the above agenda. Without your participation, there is not sustainability; and probably, there is not agenda at all.

    All the best to all candidates and members for this exercise of democracy








    Dear All,

    I would hereby like to throw my name in the ring for the role of president of the E.MAlumni Association. After four years, first as board member, then also as Vice President, I would very much like to work with the next board towards further growth while providing continuity as well as guarantee a full smooth hand-over to new leaders, thinkers, visionaries and doers in the second year of the term.


    What it's all about


    When the first board started we had to figure out how to coordinate a diverse group of people across continents, establish ways of working and kick-start projects such as the mentoring programme and find our place vis-a-vis EIUC. In the last two years we were able to build on this work and, with the help of the Executive Officer, increase the number of projects for the benefit of all alumni. We started a cooperation with the alumni associations of the five other Global Campus master programmes financed by the EU Commission, positioned ourselves as a reliable and indispensible partner for EIUC and fostered direct links with the EU. This cumulated in this year's GCA event at the EU Commission in May which I coordinated. 


    Where I'd like to take it

    I now want to see the E.MAlumni Association through to the next stage as part of a strong board and in a powerful team with Laura Pasquero, the Executive Officer. The E.MAlumni Board has been entrusted with the coordination of the Global Campus Alumni for the next year and I would see it as my role to make sure it fulfils this responsibility to the best of its abilities. This requires further formalising of structures, deepening cooperation with EIUC and the Global Campus, establishing a permanent presence in Brussels and completing the establishment of a fully fledged organisation. This unique global network of human rights professionals, experts and activists is to the benefit of all graduates and I would like to help ensure this organisation is best placed to provide E.MA graduates of all generations with valuable and bespoke services and support by further improving and expanding existing projects. Through strengthening and connecting its alumni and increasing visibility of the master programmes and making the vast expertise and network of its members known outside, I believe the association will best contribute to the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide.


    How I'd go about it

    I bring four years of insights and knowledge which I think is important to ensure continuity and to avoid pitfalls. I am looking forward to passing on that experience and integrate it with all the different ideas, perspectives and dynamics a new board will bring. Therefore I believe it is crucial each board member can develop a sense of responsibility and ownership over the projects and processes which will be fundamental to working well as a team. I would therefore encourage everyone to build on their strengths and also use the opportunity to expand their skill set. It will be important to further develop project management tools, prioritise strategically, with the whole board and Executive Officer, and distribute the workload in a way that is sustainable and makes it fun for all instead of a burden for some. I think this could furthermore be aided by providing opportunities to other alumni to get involved in activities and share expertise as advisors and volunteers.


    Who you would vote for

    I was student representative during the E.MA 2007/8 and stayed engaged ever since. During the last four years, I played a key role in shaping many initiatives and activities of the E.MAlumni and GCA, for example I initiated the mentoring programme, organised career days and was part of the recruitment processes for lecturers and staff positions. I also represented the organisation at several occasions vis-a-vis EIUC, the Global Campus and the EU Commission and successfully negotiated constructive and productive cooperations.

    I'm Berlin based at the moment and pursuing my PhD at the economics and social science faculty at the University of Potsdam. Previously I worked for a private fostering agency for a year and before that for a large campaigning NGO for lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in London. My role there included strategic lobbying, advocacy and project management – all skills that have already proven invaluable for my work on the E.MAlumni Board and that I have further built on over the years.

    If you have been hesitating to campaign for the E.MAlumni Board, just do it. I am looking forward to working with an inspiring team and a fantastic E.MAlumni Board.

    Lydia (E.MA 2007/8)


    Dear All,

    My name is Carlotta Giordani, I am from Italy, form Venice actually! I have been a E.Ma student in 2012/2013 and I would like to candidate myself both as Treasurer of the Board and as Board Member.

    I am currently working in Beijing for IOM (International Organization fro Migration) in the Project Management department. Fundraising and project management are key factors in the development of ideas and activities, creativity and enthusiasm necessarly need to be supported by the accurate use of funding.

    Even though my background is in Law, thanks to my experiences with NGOs in Kosovo and Palestine, I have started to develop a great interest toward project management and planning. I was also member of several italian associations dealing with migrants protection, always working with a serious engagment. In order to strenghten my competeces in this way, I also took part in a specif Master in Euro poject planning and managment, learning how to use fundings within the EU framework. This experience gave the opportuniy to enhance my knowledge of european cooperation and collaboration policies, a banchmark in human rights development and protection.

    I will assure to you all my committment, I really would like to be part of the Board and bring my creativity, my accurancy and professionalism to the E.Ma Board.

    I really believe that the E.Ma Board can be a great occasion to create ideas, opportunities, exchanges and to take part in the changement we want to see in the world as human rights lawyers, defenders, activists.

    Thanks for taking into consideration my candidacy, if you would like to have more information about me, please have a look to my linkedin page: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=262405253&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile.

    I wish the best of luck to all the candidates!







    Dear All

    Inspired after the last GA I am putting my name forward as a board member.  I am from the year 2004-5 and since then have worked on access to justice and human rights programmes for the Danish Institute for Human Rights and now for the Open Society Justice Initiative. I have had the chance over the last years to collaborate with many masteroni on different work projects and so have seen the huge potential of the network and am committed to contribute to its evolution.

    What I would bring to the board:

    Ten years' experience working for human rights NGOs in Europe and Africa and specific skills in advocacy, communications and network building;

    Based in Brussels I am very familiar with the EU and have good contacts within the institutions. Brussels is the largest destination for EMA graduates and a natural hub for the alumni association and I would be keen to help establish the planned permanent presence in Brussels.

    Experience working with the regional human rights systems and ideas on how we can link the network to regional events such as the EU Human Rights Forum, ACHPR and IACHR sessions.

    From a non-existent alumni network it’s really exciting to see the recent developments and that a solid base for the association has been put in place over the last few years. I have been in touch with alumni through events in Brussels and by contributing to the career development days and have seen first-hand the hard work over the last years. A lot of experience and knowledge has been built up which will be crucial to carry into the next board.

    Some of the ideas that I have, that I hope will build on the existing work include:

    1. To further grow and strengthen the membership through regional hubs and the ‘ema ambassadors’ building strong connections in cities with large numbers of alumni such as Brussels, Vienna, Geneva, NY, Berlin etc. and linking through the regional hubs to remote field locations.  

    2. To build strong connections with the regional human rights systems and organize network events alongside meetings such as the annual EU Human Rights Forum in Brussels. Fantastic opportunities also exist to connect with the new Global Campus – for example Pretoria graduates regularly meet at ACHPR sessions. There could also be possibilities to link with upcoming global or regional advocacy campaigns on particular human rights themes.

    3. To further develop communications and ensure that we use really simple ways to connect with each other and all alumni can easily get in contact for social or work related projects.

    4. To create more opportunities to link with the programmes in Venice, the masters, the summer school, human rights village etc. including teaching opportunities, collaboration with research projects etc.

    In summary I think there are fantastic opportunities ahead. The strength of the network comes from all members: the ability to ensure that initiatives engage everyone from recent graduates to those from the early years; and the chance to forge connections across all regions.

    Looking forward to the next steps and thanks for reading.



    Hello Everyone,

    My name is Steve Martin, E.MA. 2005/6, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to run as a board member.

    About me: I work in the field of democratic governance specializing in electoral affairs, both technical assistance and observation. I would bring to the E.MA Alumni Association more than 10 years of international experience from the OSCE/ODIHR and various United Nations programmes and agencies, and broad experience with INGOs across the Middle East/North Africa, Europe, and Central Asia. Currently, I work as an Election Adviser with the OSCE/ODIHR in Warsaw.

    In particular, I would bring to the Association broad expertise in training, communications, and programme management and my professional network of human rights professionals and organizations.

    I have already enjoyed serving as a mentor within the E.MAlumni Mentoring Programme and most recently facilitated one of the sessions at E.MA’s career day. I recognize the hard work that’s already been invested into the Association and see the potential of what else is possible.

    My thoughts for E.MAlumni: I’ve met and worked with E.MAlumni from around the globe and I would seek to further develop this network. It’s exciting to think of the different possibilities of connecting the many alumni and to take advantage of everyone’s experience and expertise. I often work remotely and use social media and know the possibilities of connecting people. From formal meetings to informal drinks, I see the opportunities that are there.

    I see the potential of the Mentoring Programme and I would seek to further expand it with more structure and support to recent graduates – we’ve all been in their shoes and the more that we can assist through our own experience, the better.

    The human rights world knows well the reputation of E.MA, and I would work to further develop professional links with institutions and organizations dealing with human rights. In this regard, I would consider developing a more comprehensive and long-term strategy of engagement.

    I believe that my varied and extensive professional and personal experience along with my enthusiasm and commitment to E.MA would serve the Association well and I kindly ask for your support.

    Many thanks,



    Dear E.MA fellows,

    Let me first tell you how much I believe in the potential of this network, for which the previous board has done so much. I also want to share with you that the E.MA year was one of the best of my life. That is why I have decided to put my name forward for board member.

    What could we do to make this network stronger?

    – regular exchanges between members, for example organizing programs on specific topics and backgrounds (see the example of Council of Europe's MEDIANE programm for media)

    – regular presence of E.MA fellows on the activities of the Master in Venice (optional classes, summer schools, research projects)

    – networking with similar groups, look for partnerships, organise meetings on human rights with academic institutions, media, civil society organisations, etc.

    So that you can better assess my application, let me briefly introduce myself (for a longer perspective you can take a look on the profile/cv published).

    Throughout my career as a professional journalist, I have committed to Human Rights, believing the media can play an important role on promoting fundamental principles and eliminating discrimination.

    My current job in Lusa, the Portuguese News Agency, has provided a better knowledge about news agency journalism, which is, most of the time, the primary source of information, playing a fundamental role on the way the messages are delivered in other media.

    I have been covering gender equality issues for twelve years, and my investigative reporting on the topic of female genital mutilation became a landmark and was several times awarded, both nationally and internationally (including the Natali Prize for Europe 2004, world award by the European Commission and the International Federation of Journalists that distinguishes journalists for protecting and promoting human rights).

    I have also been lecturing on Human/Women Rights to university students (including at E.MA), as well as participating in seminars aimed at public officials, civil society groups, activists or women rights associations, both at national and international levels. In 2011, I was invited to represent Portugal as a national expert for Media and Gender in the European Institute for Gender Equality.

    I hope we can work together in the future.

    All the best,

    Sofia Branco

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