ERRC Board of Directors
The ERRC Board of Directors includes the following members:
Robert A. Kushen (USA) has served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the ERRC since September 2011. Mr Kushen served as Executive Director of the ERRC from 2008 until September, 2011. He is engaged in many other initiatives related to Roma, including as Vice Chair of the Roma Education Fund Board and as Chair of the Board of the Roma Initiatives Office of the Open Society Institute. Mr Kushen has worked in the areas of international law, human rights and health and development for over 20 years, holding senior positions in government, foundations and NGOs.
Dr Jenő Kaltenbach (Hungary) served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the ERRC from March 2009 till September 2011, and continues to serve as a member of the Board. A renowned constitutional and minority rights expert, lawyer and professor of law, he received his degree in law from Szeged University in 1975. Presently, he is in charge of the special committee of the Hungarian Parliament which reviews public complaints against police. Dr Kaltenbach previously served as the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner (Ombudsman) for National and Ethnic Minority Rights. He developed this institution and managed this position most successfully for 12 years, setting both the precedent and the framework for future Ombudsmen. He also drafted several laws in Hungary, most importantly the Act on Minorities of Hungary. He was also the Hungarian Representative to the Council of Europe's Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), of which he was Vice-Chair between 1998 and 2003. Since February 2005, he has served as Vice-President of the European Ombudsman Institute. Additionally, he was a co-founder of the Minority Roundtable and won the Minority Award in 1995.
Dan Pavel Doghi (Romania) is currently Higher Education Program Manager at the Roma Education Fund, in Budapest. He worked for seven years as Officer on Roma and Sinti Issues at the OSCE ODIHR Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues. Dan Doghi helped, since 1996, the development of few Roma organizations. During 2000-2003 he was Programme Coordinator at the Open Society Foundation's spin-off Resource Center for Roma Communities, in Cluj. He also worked, in 2004, as an advocacy fellow on Roma educational matters at the Public Interest Law Initiative of the Columbia University, in Budapest. He studied social work at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca, Romania, and completed a postgraduate course in International Diplomacy at Malta University.
James A. Goldston (USA) is the Executive Director of the Open Society Justice Initiative. Previously, as Legal Director of the ERRC, he spearheaded the development of ground-breaking civil rights litigation before the European Court of Human Rights, United Nations treaty bodies, and domestic courts in 15 European countries. He has written widely on issues of human rights and racial discrimination. He has engaged in law reform fieldwork and investigated rights abuses in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. He is a Lecturer on Law at Columbia Law School.
Maria Virginia Bras Gomes (Portugal) is Senior Social Policy Advisor in the Ministry of Labour and Social Solidarity in Portugal. Her work includes coordination and preparation of reports on the implementation of international instruments (European Union, Council of Europe, United Nations) and participation in interdepartmental and multidisciplinary groups on social security, social protection, social development, social action and international relations policies and practices. She has been serving as a Member of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights since 2003, acting as Co-Rapporteur for General Comment 19 on the Right to Social Security and Rapporteur for the Revised Guidelines for national reports on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Additionally, she is a member of the International Board of the Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the High Level Advisory Group on De-institutionalisation of the European Social Network; the Scientific Committee for the World Forum on Human Rights; and the Board of the Portuguese UNICEF Committee.
Abigail Smith (USA) is Senior Director of Financial Planning at the Spencer Cox Center for Health in New York. She has extensive international experience primarily in public health. Prior to joining the Spencer Cox Center, she was the West Africa Regional Manager for pediatric HIV/AIDS programs at the Clinton Foundation Health Access Initiative. From 2002 to 2007 she served as Director of Finance and Administration at Doctors of the World USA (now HealthRight International). Ms Smith’s for-profit experience includes seven years as Vice President at Cendant, Inc. an international consumer services company, and she served as Senior Vice President of Structured Web, an online marketing company. Ms. Smith has an MA and an MBA from the University of Chicago.