Board Members

The Board of Directors is responsible for policy development and general management of IHRDA. Members of the Board are appointed based on their expertise and experience in international human rights law and their interest in human rights and development in Africa.

Naceesay Salla-Wadda (The Gambia) –Board Chair)

Mrs. Salla-Wadda is a Gambian legal expert elected in 2013 as Commissioner in the African Union Commission on International Law (AUCIL). She holds an LLM in Law obtained from London Metropolitan University in 2007. Between 2007 and August 2016, she served in the Gambian Judiciary, first as High Court Judge and later as Justice at the Court of Appeal. Prior to her appointments in the Judiciary, she served at the Gambian Ministry of Justice from 1992 to 2006, rising from Legal Clerk at the Attorney General’s Chambers, through the posts of Public Prosecutor in the Criminal Division at the Gambian Attorney General’s Chambers, State Counsel, Senior State Counsel, Principal State Counsel, and Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, to Acting Solicitor-General and Legal Secretary. She was called to the Gambian Bar in 1999.

Professor Rachel Murray (UK)

Rachel Murray is Professor of International Human Rights Law at the University of Bristol. Her specialist areas are human rights in Africa, particularly the African Charter and its Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the Organization of African Unity/African Union. She has written widely in this area, including books with Hart Publishing and Cambridge University Press (Human Rights in Africa, from Organization of African Unity to African Union, Cambridge, 2004; The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The System at Work, with Malcolm Evans, Cambridge, 2008; The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and International Law, Hart Publishing, 2000), and articles in leading legal human rights journals. She also advises organisations and individuals on how to use the African human rights system, including drafting cases and participating in its meetings. She is on the editorial board of a number of journals including the Journal of African Law and African Journal of International and Comparative Law. Her other area of interest is national human rights institutions (The Role of National Human Rights Institutions at the International and Regional Levels, Hart Publishing, 2007). She holds and directs two major grants with the AHRC. The first is to evaluate the role of national preventive mechanisms under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture. The second examines the implementation of human rights standards and the role of soft law.

She is a member of the Board of the human rights organisation, Interights, a Fellow of the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex and a member of the AHRC’s Peer Review College.

She studied law at the University of Leicester. She has worked at the Queen’s University, Belfast, where she was also Assistant Director of the Human Rights Centre, and at Birkbeck College at the University of London. She was appointed Lecturer at Bristol in 2003, Reader in 2004, and Professor in 2006.

Musa Secka (Gambia)

Mr. Secka is Chairperson of the Board Finance Committee. He had served as Director of Finance and Administration at IHRDA from August 2000 to December 2014. Mr. Secka is an ACCA graduate and a holder of a Diploma in Business Studies. Before joining IHRDA in the year 2000, he worked with National Audit Office in The Gambia as the Director of Audit. He had also worked with Frosch Touristic International (FTI) as Director of Finance and Administration.

Dr. Martin Semalulu Nsibirwa (South Africa)

Mr. Nsibirwa works with the South African Human Rights Commission. He was one-time Programme Manager of the LLM in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa at the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria. He also served as the member of the Editorial team for the African Human Rights Law Journal and the Faculty of Law LLM Committee.

Mr Nsibirwa is a human rights lawyer with particular expertise on the African human rights system. He occasionally lectures on human rights issues and has authored and published several articles on women’s rights and gender issues. He has also ample experience in management, programme planning and execution and cultivating partnerships with relevant institutions across Africa.

Mr. Hassan Shire (Somalia/Canada)

Mr. Hassan Shire Sheikh is a Somali-Canadian Pan-African human rights defender who was forced to flee his native Somalia. In 2005, Mr. Shire Sheikh founded the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. In 2005, he became the elected Chairperson of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRDN) and currently serves his second term (2011-2016). For a number of years, Hassan has served as the coordinator of the African Human Rights Defenders Project at Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Canada. He also engages actively with the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, UN Human Rights Council and Community of Democracies. In addition, he is an active member of the World Movement for Democracy, and is an Advisory Council member of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.

Dr. Oussedik Fawzi (Algeria)

Oussedik Fawzi holds a Ph.D. in Law from University of Ohran, Algiers (Algeria); a Diploma on Human Rights from the International Higher Institute for Criminal Studies in Saragossa (Italy); a Graduate Diploma in Public Law, in Criminology and in International Law from Ain-Shams University, Cairo (Egypt); and a Bachelor of Law from University of Algeria.

Dr Fawzi is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Qatar University, and Co-Coordinator of the Military Program Academy, Qatar University & Ahmad bin Muhammad Military Academy. He is equally the Director of International Relations & International Humanitarian Law for the Qatar Red Crescent.

Dr Fawzi was member of the Arab Advisory Committee for the Defense of Journalists, Doha (Qatar) from 2002 to 2005; during the same period he was Head of Orientalism & Strategic Studies Unit at the Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University. He was Associate Professor at the Military Academy of “Ahmad Bin Mohammad” from 2002 to 2003, and doubled as Expert and Adviser to the Qatar Constitution Drafting Committee. In 2001, he was member of the University System-Making Committee for Qatar University. Dr Fawzi served as visiting lecturer at Prince Nayef Academy for Security Sciences in 1997. Between 1996 and 2000, he was member of African Association for International Law & Comparative Law, London; likewise, from 1997 to 2002, he was member of the UNESCO Academic Council for Education & Research in Human Rights, Democracy and Peace; and Dean of the Faculty of Law, Blida (Algeria) from 2000-2002. Dr Fawzi occupied the post of Legal Expert for the Algerian Red Crescent from 1997 to 1999, and served as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Algiers (Algeria) from 1996-1999.

He has published books on law & other relevant fields, and has participated in numerous courses and field trainings on human rights in various countries.

Clara Sandoval (Colombia)

Clara Sandoval is Senior Lecturer at the School of Law, University of Essex, and the founding and current Director of the Essex Transitional Justice Network.

Her expertise is in transitional justice, the Inter-American System of Human Rights, legal theory, business and human rights, reparations, guarantees of non-repetition and implementation of human rights orders and recommendations.

Dr Sandoval qualified as a lawyer in Colombia, has an MA and PhD from the University of Essex and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is the former Director of the LLM in International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex, a member of the Essex Human Rights Centre and a founding and advisory board member of the Essex Human Rights Clinic, where she has led various projects. She is also a member of the Human Rights International Council of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), and the Law Society of England and Wales’ Human Rights Committee.

Dr Sandoval is currently part of the team working on the collaborative Human Rights Law Implementation Project. She leads the work on the Americas region, which focuses on Colombia, Guatemala and Canada as case studies.

Dr Sandoval has been a consultant on reparations, transitional justice and transformative justice for the International Criminal Court (ICC), UN Women, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).

She also advised the Colombian Ministry of Justice during the peace process in Colombia on diverse issues such as justice and reparations, including the role of third-party actors during the transition. She engages in human rights litigation with organizations such as REDRESS and has brought cases concerning impunity, reparations and transitional justice before the Inter-American System on their behalf.

Prof Olinga Didier Alain (Cameroon)

He is a Professor in public law and holder of a PhD in Public Law fom University of Montpellier I. Prof. Olinga is a permanent lecturer at the Cameroon Institute of International Relations where he is Head of Department for International Law. Prof. Olinga also has an Advanced Diploma in Political Science and Advanced Diploma in International and European Public Law, both from France. He has lectured at University of Montpellier I, University of Yaounde I, and II, University of Ngaoundere, University of Douala, University of Dschang and the Protestant University of Central Africa, as well as other professional institutions of higher learning in and out of Cameroon. He has also held a couple of administrative positions for Cameroon.

Cynthia Rollings (USA)

Cynthia Rollings is a civil rights lawyer with a JD from New York University School of Law, and a Master in Public Health from Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Cynthia was admitted to the New York Bar in 1974. She is a partner at Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP law firm, and had previously worked as Director of Law Reform and Community Development at Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corporation. She has successfully litigated a wide range of cases ranging from constitutional and employment actions for individuals and as class counsel to cases involving major New York cultural institutions and political figures. She has particular expertise representing physicians and university faculty members in professional disputes with academic and health care institutions. She practices in federal and state courts and before administrative tribunals and is experienced in alternative dispute resolution, both as party representative and neutral.