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.

Janet Sallah-Njie (The Gambia) –Board Chair

Ms Sallah-Njie is a leading Gambian legal practitioner and women’s rights advocate as Founding President of the legal aid organization Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG). She has invested over two decades in practice, and runs her law firm Torodo Chambers as well as various initiatives promoting human rights, including offering legal advice on a voluntary basis to West Africa Public Interest Litigation Centre (WAPILC), Girl Guides Association of The Gambia, FAWEGAM, The Francis Degaulle Njie Foundation in The Gambia. A former vice-Chair of the Gambia Bar Association, African Centre on Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS) among others. She also serves on the Boards of ActionAid International The Gambia (Board Chair), and was one-time Vice president for Gambia Bar Association. Ms Sallah-Njie has also worked as Solicitor-General of The Gambia (1998-2000). She is married with four children.

Katherine Mulhern (United Kingdom) – Vice Chair

Katherine has been in private practice for twenty years and was until recently a senior partner in a large international law firm.  Her practice includes representing large development and trade banks, governments, foundations and non-governmental organizations on a variety of matters, including corporate governance and corporate social responsibility. She has also represented individual clients seeking political asylum in both administrative and judicial venues in a variety of jurisdictions. Katherine, who has a J.D. and an M.A. in human rights and international law from Columbia University, currently serves on the boards of several non-governmental organizations, not-for-profits, and foundations.

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.

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.

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.

Naceesay Salla-Wadda (Gambia)

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.