The Staff of the Human Dignity Trust

Director: Téa Braun

Téa oversees the implementation of all of the Trust's core legal work and manages the overall operation of the Trust. She has global experience in strategic litigation, training and technical assistance on international human rights law and comparative constitutional law, with a particular focus on matters relating to women’s human rights and LGBT human rights. She previously held inter-governmental appointments as Gender Equality Advisor to the Secretariat of the Pacific Community and Human Rights Advisor to the Commonwealth Secretariat, and worked as an associate lawyer in the litigation department of a leading Western Canadian law firm. She has advised multiple governments, civil society organisations and litigants across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Caribbean, and has represented inter-governmental and non-governmental organisations at the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the UN Commission on the Status of Women, the UN Human Rights Council and through submissions to a range of UN human rights treaty bodies.

Téa is a member of the Law Society of British Columbia, Canada (non-practising) and holds an LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex (England) where she was named Alumna of the Year 2014 for services to human rights. She is a Strategic Advisor to the global Gqual Campaign which promotes gender parity in international tribunals, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association from 2015-2017 and a member of the Editorial Board of the Commonwealth Human Rights Law Digest from 2011-2012.

Head of Legal: Victoria Barnes

Victoria provides senior level assistance to the Director across all legal, operational and management functions of the organisation. She is a practicising solicitor advocate and a former associate at the international law firms of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she focused on international litigation and arbitration. During her time at both Debevoise and Gibson Dunn, Victoria was an integral part of the legal teams supporting HDT’s work.

In 2014, Victoria left practice to study for an LLM in international human rights law and following that undertook a period of consultancy work with the HDT focusing on the criminalisation of adult consensual same-sex sexual conduct in the Commonwealth.

Project Manager: Alistair Stewart 

Alistair is a human rights activist with over five years’ experience of advocating for the rights of LGBT people in the global arena. He has a background in community organising, strategic advocacy and digital communications, in roles at the Kaleidoscope Trust and as a consultant for British parliamentary bodies. At the Kaleidoscope Trust, Alistair was responsible for high level advocacy and network development, building the organisation’s ties with LGBT activists from around the world and working with them to lobby heads of government, ministers, politicians, diplomats and policy-makers in the UK, the Commonwealth and other international forums. Alistair has provided expert policy advice to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global LGBT Rights, civil society organisations and intergovernmental bodies.

Alistair helped to establish the Commonwealth Equality Network, a forum of LGBT and human rights organisations from over 30 countries working to challenge inequality in the Commonwealth, based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

He has a BA (Hons) in Economics, Politics and Public Policy and an MA in Postcolonial Cultures and Global Policy, both from Goldsmiths University.

Legal Intern: Lara Goodwin

Lara graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2016 with a degree in Law and has since been advocating for the rights of LGBTI people in Cambodia and globally. She joined the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and was part of the organisation's Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Project. Lara was involved in advocacy during Phnom Penh's Pride Week and data collection, analysis and drafting of the organisation's 'Rainbow Families' major thematic report. Lara also worked as UN Programme Intern (Treaty Bodies and Special Procedures) at ILGA World supporting and liaising with international activists in engaging with UN mechanisms as well as helping to draft various ILGA submissions to Treaty Bodies.

Finance Manager: Sarah Kilcoyne

Sarah joined the Human Dignity Trust having worked in financial management in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. Her professional experience includes eight years as a Finance Manager for a US corporate, seven years as the accountant for a small national charity, and her previous position as the Trust Manager for a charitable trust. She has been a Governor of an independent school in Hertfordshire since March 2013, and Vice Chair since November 2016. Sarah has a BA (Hons) in Accounting from the University of Kent, a MBA from Brunel University, and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Administrator: Chris Atkinson

Chris has been involved in business administration for most of his career. He worked for a major energy company for many years, based both in the UK and abroad; more recently, he was Administrator at a theatre company for the homeless and subsequently at Doughty Street Chambers for five years.  He currently works as part-time administrator for the Human Dignity Trust, as well as for a professional association seeking to promote better equality law.




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