ERRC Board of Directors

The ERRC’s revised statute with the names and positions of the Board of Directors set out below is currently pending before the Hungarian authorities for approval, in line with Hungarian regulations.
 
Ethel Brooks (USA) is both the ERRC’s first Romani Board Chair and our first woman Chair. Brooks is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology at Rutgers University (USA) and a Tate-TRAiN Transnational Fellow at the University of the Arts-London, where she was 2011-2012 US-UK Fulbright Distinguished Chair. In 2016, President Obama appointed Brooks to the United States Memorial Council. She is a member of the U.S. Delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and on the boards of a number of journals and organisations, including the RomArchive and the USC Shoah Foundation. She holds a PhD from New York University and a BA from Williams College. Brooks is the author of Unraveling the Garment Industry: Transnational Organizing and Women’s Work (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) which received the award for Outstanding Book for 2010 from the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

William Bila (Slovakia, USA) comes from the private sector with over 20 years project management experience coordinating with stakeholders in large multinational corporations, consulting firms, non-governmental and governmental organizations. He has experience in capacity building, reporting and researching complex financial and operational information and transforming it into practical recommendations across a variety of functions in Europe and North America. He has served as the elected Vice President for the Roma Community Centre in Toronto, Canada, graduated with a BS in Finance and International Business from the Stern School of Business at New York University and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. He was born and raised in the United States in a Slovak-Roma family.  He speaks Slovak, French, Spanish, German, Czech and native English. 

Idaver Memedov (Macedonia) is a lawyer who presently serves as Officer on Roma and Sinti Issues at the OSCE ODIHR Contact point for Roma and Sinti Issues in Warsaw.  Previously he served as a staff attorney at the ERRC.

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.

Mirjam-Angela Karoly (Austria) is Chief of the Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues (CPRSI) and Senior Adviser on Roma and Sinti Issues at the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) since 5 December 2013. Karoly, political scientist by education, joined the OSCE/ODIHR in November 2009. In her professional career she focused on human and minority rights. From 2007-2009 she served as Senior Communities Adviser at the OSCE Field Mission in Kosovo, where she worked in particular on the rights of minority communities including the situation of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians and on refugees and displaced persons and their property rights, return and reintegration. Prior to this she was active member of Austrian Roma civil society with work experience in the civil society sector and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Karoly is member of the Austrian Ethnic Council for Roma and Sinti at the Federal Chancellery of Austria and board member of the non-governmental organisation Romano Centro, Vienna.

Call for Grant Proposals: Community Legal Work Projects

20 January 2017

The ERRC’s legal work – which the organisation describes as “strategic litigation” – has been called “elite” or “elitist”. Budapest-best legal staff members work with us, Roma, as well as with local lawyers and NGOs, to design cases to have a big impact at national or European levels, and ultimately to ensure greater respect for our rights. But is this really working for us? Are we yet convinced – as the ERRC is – that court cases, and relying on legal rights more generally, are going to make our situation any better?

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Call for Proposals: Website Design and Hosting

18 January 2017

The European Roma Rights Centre (“the ERRC”) needs a clear, bold website to get strong messages across to the allies and foes of Roma rights: We are equal. The rights violations we suffer are real and unacceptable. We are taking our cases to court and winning. And the ERRC’s activist lawyers, advocates, researchers, human rights monitors, and entire team are making it possible.

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Romani Woman Harassed by Racist Hospital Staff during Childbirth Wins Case

18 January 2017

Budapest, 18 January 2017: A Romani woman harassed by staff while giving birth at a Hungarian hospital has won a decision in her favour from the Hungarian Equality Body. The woman who gave birth to her baby daughter in February 2016 was alone in the hospital and intimidated by staff who subjected her to verbal harassment and racial slurs, with one doctor telling her “you Gypsies give birth only for the money!”

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