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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.

Cynthia Rollings

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.

Musa Secka

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.

Prof Olinga Didier Alain

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.

Orquídea Massarongo-Jona

Orquídea Massarongo-Jona is a full-time Lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) (Mozambique). She is also a Senior member of the Center for Human Rights (CDH) since 2005 at the same University as a Project Manager and Researcher, where she is responsible for the Implementation of the Local Human Rights Master’s Program, and was appointed as the Coordinator of the Human Rights Center in January 2018. She is also a Facilitator at Post Graduate Program on Human Rights at Human Rights Center (IGC) University of Coimbra, on African Human Rights System, since 2016.

She is doing a PhD in Ghent University (Belgium), in the field of human rights. She graduated from UEM (2002), obtained an LL.M at University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town (South Africa) where she was awarded a Master’s Degree in International Trade Law (2003). Her areas of research interest

are human rights, in particular the African System, health research ethics and trade law related to human rights (Business and Human rights), with particular interest in issues that affect or relate to women and vulnerable people. She has recently embarked on research in oil and gas law.

Massarongo-Jona is also a Lawyer and the Vice-President of Mozambican Bar Association with mandate running till 2023. She is a member of the Council of Directors of the Regional Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratization in Africa in partnership with other 10 African Universities Coordinated by University of Pretoria. She Coordinates the Publication of a Human Rights Journal and co-edited publications that resulted from inter-institutional cooperation with University of Macao. Orquídea Massarongo is a member of National Research Ethics Committee since 2005 as a human rights Lawyer and member of the Lusophone Association for the Right to Health (ALDIS) based in Coimbra, Portugal.

Dr. Donald Rukare

Donald Rukare is an access-to-justice and human rights specialist with decades of experience working in legal, justice, rule of law and human rights issues in Uganda and the region. Donald’s experience cuts across the public, private, international community and academia worlds. He has worked as a lawyer, a governance advisor with the Inspectorate of Government (IG), bilateral aid donors (Irish Aid), civil society and also managed large multilateral initiatives (European Union) focused on human rights and access to justice. He is currently the Chief of Party of the USAID Rights and Rule of Project managed by Freedom House Inc in Uganda. Donald was one of the co-founders of the Governance and Public Policy Research Centre in Kampala, and Country Director for Global Rights.

Donald is a part-time lecturer in sports law at the Christan University Mukono and is a regular faculty guest at the International Law Institute Kampala and the Center for Human Rights University of Pretoria South Africa. Dr. Rukare is a MEMOS Professor of Governance, teaching Sports

Governance and Management on the International Olympic Committee Executive Masters Program (MEMOS). Dr Rukare also teaches International Sports Law at ISDE Law and Business School Madrid Spain.

Donald who is an Advocate of the High Court of Uganda has a Doctor of Laws (LLD) University of Pretoria South Africa, a Masters of Law (LLM) from Lund University in Sweden, as well as post-graduate diplomas in international law, development from the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) The Hague, Netherlands and legal practice-Law Development Center Uganda, together with a Bachelor of Laws with honors (LLB) from Makerere University. Donald also holds an Executive Masters in Sports Management from the University of Louvain Belgium (with Distinction) and Executive Masters in International Sports Law from ISDE Law and Bussines School Madrid Spain. Donald has written several articles on human rights and governance.

Jacob Van Garderen
(South Africa)

He is a South African human rights lawyer with more than twenty years’ experience in social justice activism and strategic litigation, specializing mainly in refugee and migration law. He is the Director of Public Interest Practice, a firm focused on easing access to justice, human rights and the rule of law. Prior to this, he worked with Lawyers for Human Rights for about 20 years during which he occupied the post of National Director for about 10 years, and managed activities and projects focusing on strategic

litigation for the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in South Africa, farmworkers, gender equality and environmental rights. He has a huge wealth of experience in human rights, and sits on the boards of various South African and regional human rights organizations working in the fields of social justice, rule of law and migration.

Dr. Oussedik Fawzi