23 February 2015
Banjul–The Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa (the IHRDA) announces that Katherine Mulhern has been appointed as interim executive director by the Board of Directors of the Institute. Katherine has until recently served as Vice Chair of the Board of the IHRDA. Katherine, who has a wealth of experience in working with both non-governmental organizations and large international institutions both in the public and private sector, will build upon the IHRDA’s strong track record of promotion and defense of human rights in the African regional system and will work to increase its profile with donors and with other non-governmental organizations.
“I am delighted to be joining the management team and helping to continue its excellent work in pan-African human rights. I have long been a supporter of the IHRDA and very much look forward to my new role. Both I and the board view the new, dynamic team of the IHRDA as a continuation of its increasing importance in the African human rights system, both as defenders of rights and educators in the fast changing human rights field. I am very much looking forward to working with the funders, the board and other international and local NGOs to continue this excellent work.”
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.
The IHRDA is also delighted to announce a promotion and an addition to the IHRDA management team. Gaye Sowe, a Gambian lawyer with significant litigation experience at both the national and African regional level, has been promoted to Director of Programs for the Institute. Prior to becoming Director of Programs, Gaye was the legal officer of the IHRDA, and has been with the Institute for nine years. In his new role, Gaye will have responsibility for all program work. Prior to joining the IHRDA, Gaye worked with the Gambian Judiciary as a Principal Magistrate and Acting Judicial Secretary. Gaye studied in the University of Essex’s International Human Rights Law programme (LLM), and at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (LLB Honours), as well as at the Nigerian Law School (BL). Gaye was called to the Nigerian and Gambian Bars in October and November 2000 respectively.
In addition, Amie Njie has joined as Head of Finance and Administration for the IHRDA. Amie has a significant track record in the Accounting/Auditing profession. Prior to joining the IHRDA, she worked with the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority from 1996 and rose through the ranks to the position of Director of Internal Audit. Amie holds a Master of Science Degree (Msc) in International Accounting and Finance from Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom.
The IHRDA is a pan–African non-governmental organization working to promote awareness of human rights in Africa and improve the effectiveness of the African human rights system. The IHRDA’s key goal is an African continent where all have access to justice via national, African and international human rights mechanisms. The IHRDA’s work encompasses defending, through human rights litigation and implementation of decisions; educating, including capacity building for legal professionals and civil society actors; and informing, through publicizing and analyzing case law decisions at the national and regional level.