ERRC Welcomes New Executive Director and Board Chair

19 September 2011

Budapest, 19 September 2011: Today, the ERRC Board and staff proudly welcome Dezideriu Gergely as the new Executive Director of the European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC).

Mr Gergely, a former ERRC intern, is returning to the organisation having dedicated his career to human rights legal advocacy. A committed and experienced human rights lawyer, he most recently worked at the Romanian National Council for Combating Discrimination, serving as a Member of the Steering Board and Secretary of State. Prior to that, he led the Human Rights Department at Romani CRISS. Mr Gergely is also an expert on Romanian anti-discrimination law and a member of the Bucharest Bar, with experience in private practice. He has represented Romania on the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers, serving as Chair of the Committee twice. Mr Gergely holds a bachelor’s degree in science of law from Babes Bolyai University Law School and studied at Columbia University School of Law as a human rights fellow.

At this time of transition, the ERRC recognises Robert Kushen for his devoted service to the organisation over the last three years, first as Managing Director, then as Executive Director. Mr Kushen remains committed to and involved in the work of the ERRC. He has accepted the position of Chair of the Board of the ERRC, which he assumes in September 2011: “It has been a great honour to serve the ERRC these past few years, and I want to thank the outgoing Board Chair Jeno Kaltenbach for his calm and assured leadership during that time. I am very excited to be handing over the position to Dezideriu Gergely, who in addition to his legal skills, brings to the job his extensive knowledge and experience of the region and of Romani communities.”

Jeno Kaltenbach is stepping down as Board Chair at this time, and will remain an active Board Member. A committed and involved Board Chair for two years, Mr Kaltenbach, reflected: “It was a great pleasure to serve the ERRC as the Chair of the Board. I would like to thank all of the members of the Board and all staff members. I think all of you have done a great job. I would like to thank especially Rob for leading the organisation in critical times. I wish him and Dezideriu, and all of my colleagues, the very best for the future.”


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