Executive Director - Dezideriu Gergely
He is a human rights lawyer and a member of the Bucharest Bar. He joined the ERRC from the National Council for Combating Discrimination, the Romanian equality state body, where he served for six years as a Member of the Steering Board and Secretary of State. He began his career in private law practice, before joining Romani CRISS, the Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies. He was head of the Human Rights Department there for four years. He has lectured widely on anti-discrimination law in Romania, providing training sessions for judges, prosecutors, police officers, activists and students. He represented Romania at the Council of Europe Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers and was twice elected Chair of the Committee. He also represented Romania at the European Commission Governmental Experts Group on Non-Discrimination during 2008-2011. He holds a master degree on European and Romanian Constitutional law and a bachelor’s degree in science of law from Babes Bolyai University Law School. He was a human rights fellow at Columbia University School of Law in New York, and graduated from the George Marshall College of International and Security Studies in Germany and the Romanian Diplomatic Institute.
Darya Alekseeva, Lawyer. She holds a Master of Laws from the South Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation, a Master of Arts in Human Rights from Central European University (CEU), Budapest, Hungary, and a post-graduate certificate in Project Management from the CEU Business School. She joined the ERRC in December 2009.
Dzavit Berisha, Research and Publications Officer. He has a secondary school degree as a miner. Due to the war in Kosovo he didn't have the opportunity to further his education. Since 1999 he is a human rights activist, working to defend the rights of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian refugees in Macedonia. He joined the ERRC in June 2004.
Marcello Cassanelli, Legal Fellow. He holds a Masters Degree of Law from Universita’ degli Studi di Milano and a Masters in International Cooperation and Development from Aseri, Milano. During his studies he spent a year at Universite’ Paris V-Rene’ Descartes. He practised as a lawyer in Italy before joining Amnesty International Australia as a Refugee Caseworker in Sydney. He worked as a teacher in a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand and took part in a European Voluntary Service programme in Craiova, Romania, where he focused on the education and social inclusion of Roma communities. He joined the ERRC in September 2012.
Andrea Čolak, Legal Consultant. She graduated International Law at the Law School University of Belgrade. As an Open Society Institute fellow in 2004/05, she attended the undergraduate exchange programme at the Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, USA. She has been working on Roma rights issues since 2007 and from 2009-2012 was the Executive Director of the Minority Rights Center (MRC), a Belgrade-based human and minority rights NGO. During her work with MRC, she was involved in project management, and monitoring implementation of Roma related policies and anti-discrimination legislation, particularly in relation to hate crimes, discrimination in education, health care and housing. She completed a two-year legal training programme at a law office in Belgrade and has experience in representation before domestic courts and administrative bodies. She joined the ERRC in May 2012.
Dora Eke, Programmes Assistant. She has a degree in Computer Programming (Information Systems option) from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Canada. She managed the Freedom Forum Library at the Center for Independent Journalism for seven years. She joined the ERRC in January 2004.
Judit Geller, Lawyer. She holds a BA degree in Public Administration from the Corvinus University of Budapest and a Master of Law from the Eotvos Lorand University Budapest. She studied international law at the Law Faculty of University of Leuven, Belgium and completed a traineeship at the European Court of Human Rights. She joined the ERRC in November 2007.
Sinan Gokçen, Media and Communications Officer. He is a human rights activist and journalist with around 20 years of experience in Turkey, Europe, the Balkans and Central Asia. He is a founding member of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly, one of the pioneering human rights organisations of Turkey. He earned an MA degree in Human Rights Law from Central European University as an Open Society Justice Initiative Fellow. He joined the ERRC in October 2006.
Andrea Jamrik, Financial Officer. She holds a Master of Business Administration from Budapest's University of Economic Sciences (renamed Corvinus University), and a tax advisory degree from the University in Miskolc. She worked as a chief accountant until joining the ERRC in 2009. She joined the ERRC in January 2009.
Djordje Jovanovic, Research and Advocacy Coordinator. He holds a university degree in preschool education and completed Romology studies at the University of Novi Sad. He also studied psychotherapy at the school of Transactional Analysis (TA) and is a TA practitioner. Djordje has had a long relationship with the ERRC. He was an intern in 2001, in 2003 he joined the staff as a Research Assistant and after that he worked as a researcher in various ERRC projects. He joined the ERRC in November 2009.
Csilla Kacso, Administration Officer. She has a degree in Banking and stock exchange and a degree in Physics and Physics teacher, both from the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania. She mostly worked in the field of financial investment, as a software expert, and as an economics and physics teacher. She joined the ERRC in 2006.
Stefan Luca, Lawyer. He holds a BA in Law from the Faculty of Law at the University of Bucharest, and has studied international human rights law at Lund University, Sweden. He is a member of the Bucharest Bar and has worked at the European Court of Human Rights and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within the department of the Government’s Agent for the European Court of Human Rights. He joined the ERRC in August 2013.
Tefik Mahmut, Legal Trainee. He holds a BA in Law from the Faculty of Law at the European University of Macedonia, and is currently a second year MA candidate in Judiciary. He worked as a Debate and Street Law teacher and as a Legal Trainee in NGOs in Macedonia. He is a human right activist and has organised many initiatives, public debates and protests related to human/Roma right issues. He joined the ERRC in January 2013.
Crina Elena Morteanu, Legal Trainee. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from “Lucian Blaga” University in Sibiu, Romania and an LLM (Human Rights) from Central European University in Budapest. Since 2009, Crina has worked with international and national NGOs in the field of human rights, including Roma rights. In 2011, she was a fellow at the Open Society Institute in Washington D.C. where she worked on issues related to criminal justice across the United States with particular relevance to Roma in the United States. Before joining the ERRC, Crina worked with a Hungarian NGO on the right to education of Roma children, where she coordinated the implementation of a regional project on the desegregation of Romani children in Europe. She is co-author of a handbook on tackling the segregation of Romani children in nurseries and primary schools. Crina joined the ERRC in July 2013.
Hajnalka Nemeth, Office Coordinator. She started her career as the Secretary to the Executive Director for a Construction Company. She moved to Budapest in 1990 and worked at MTI (Hungarian News Agency) as an English Language Operator. She joined the ERRC in January 2005.
Kieran O’Reilly, Research Officer. He holds a BA in Russian from Trinity College, Dublin, and an MA in International Relations from Dublin City University. He is currently completing a PhD at Dublin City University on International Human Rights Law with a focus on post-Soviet states. Kieran has volunteered with Irish NGO Frontline Human Rights Defenders since 2007, and taught courses in International Human Rights Law and Public International Law at Dublin City University and for Boston University. He joined the ERRC in September 2012.
Julianna Oros, Financial Officer. She graduated from the in Budapest University of Technology and Economics and a post-graduate degree in statistics. She also completed a tax-advisory course. She joined the ERRC in June 2004.
Anna Orsos, Programmes Assistant. She studied Human Management in PTE-FEEK and completed an international program in NGO Management, Advocacy and Public Campaign Facilitation at the International Peoples' College in Helzingor, Denmark. She worked as a regional coordinator at the National Educational Integration Network and at the Amrita association for Integrated education of Roma youth. Her experience includes work with PHARE, HEFOP and many research projects. She joined the ERRC in January 2009.
Anca Sandescu, Human Rights Trainer. She holds an LLM in International and European Law from the University of Amsterdam and an MA in Human Rights from Central European University, Budapest. She previously worked with PATRIR, the Romanian Peace Institute, the Ethnocultural Diversity Resource Center (EDRC) in Romania and several other European NGOs such as UNOY Peacemakers in the Netherlands and the Human Rights Students Initiative in Hungary. She joined the ERRC in March 2010.
Ailsa Spindler, Director of Operational Development. She graduated with a BSc in Rural Environment Studies in 1977. Most of her career has been as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, including working as Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, Director (Scotland) of the Terrence Higgins Trust, and Chief Executive of Surrey Wildlife Trust. While working in Brussels she also chaired the Social Platform’s Discrimination Working Group. Ailsa’s experience includes significant fundraising to ensure the on-going viability of the organisations for which she has worked. She joined the ERRC in July 2012.
Stephan Müller, Programmes Director. He is a political scientist, who graduated from Freie Universität, Berlin. He has been working on Roma-related issues in a variety of settings and in several countries for more than 20 years. He joined the ERRC in March 2013.
Marek Szilvasi, Research and Advocacy Officer. He holds a BA and MA in Sociology and Philosophy from the Palacky University Olomouc, the Czech Republic, and a MA in European integration and identity-building processes (Euroculture, Europe in the Wider World) from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He is currently completeing a PhD in political sociology. Marek previously worked with the Secretariats of the Decade of Roma Inclusion and the European Sociological Association (ESA). He joined the ERRC in February 2012.
Hajnal Vernes, Finance Director. She holds a Masters degree from Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of Economics and a diploma in Finance and Banking from Budapest Business School, Faculty of Finance and Accountancy. She worked as a Financial Manager for Civic Education Project and as a Financial Coordinator at the Open Society Institute, in the Open Society Justice Initiative department. She joined the ERRC in May 2009.
Adam Weiss, Legal Director. Adam is a member of the New York State bar and holds an LLM from King’s College (University of London), a JD from Columbia Law School, a diplôme d’études approfondies from the Université de Paris-IV (La Sorbonne) and an AB from Harvard University. Adam joined the ERRC in August 2013. His areas of specialty are European Union migration law (particularly EU law on the free movement of persons) and litigation under the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as discrimination law. Before joining the ERRC, Adam was the Legal Director at the AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) in London, where he worked for six years. Adam has been involved in the litigation of a wide range of cases before the European Court of Human Rights, as well as cases before domestic courts and the Court of Justice of the European Union. He has lectured widely on European law to judges, lawyers and NGOs.
Michal Zalesak, Legal Fellow. He holds a Masters of Law (Mgr.) degree from the University of Matej Bel in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia and a Master of Law in Human Rights with a specialisation in EU Law (LL.M) degree from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. He was an intern at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Slovak Republic, in 2008 and at the ERRC in 2010. In 2010, he also attended a Summer University in Budapest with a special focus on EU law that was taught by the Total Law team, led by Professor Joseph Weiler. Later, he worked as a legal trainee in a law office and also for Ludia proti rasizmu (People Against Racism) as a project manager. He joined the ERRC in October 2012 as a legal fellow dealing with litigation and research in relation to the Czech Republic and Slovakia.