Executive Board

The Executive Board is in charge of setting the organisation’s goals. It is composed as follows:

  • Miloon Kothari (India) - President

Miloon Kothari is an Independent Expert on Human Rights and Social Policy based in New Delhi, India. He was (from 2000-2008) the First Special Rapporteur on adequate housing with the United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the Human Rights Council. During his tenure as Special Rapporteur he led the process that resulted in the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development based Evictions and Displacement – the current global operational human rights standard on the practice of forced evictions. An architect by training, Mr. Kothari is the founder and former coordinator of Habitat International’s Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN) and founder and former executive-director (1999-2013) of the Housing and Land Rights Network in India. Since 2009, Mr. Kothari has contributed significantly, as founding member and convener (2009-2013) to the Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR), a national alliance that is particularly active on the UPR. Mr. Kothari has published widely and has lectured and taught at leading academic institutions around the world. In 2013, he was appointed Dr. Martin Luther King Visiting Scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and continued as Distinguished Visiting Scholar with (MIT) Program on Human Rights and Justice (2014-15). In 2017, Mr. Kothari was bestowed with the degree Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), honoris causa, by the Simon Fraser University, Canada.

  • Chris Duckett (United States) - Treasurer

Chris Duckett is a Bern, Switzerland-based donor development and fundraising professional with 20 years of successive experience driving NGO growth and sustainability in the field of human rights. For seven years, Chris worked to expand Franciscans International's income by five-fold during a period in which it played a key role in the development of the contemporary forms of slavery mandate, still ongoing, of the Human Rights Council. For seven years, he led the donor development and fundraising at the International Service for Human Rights (Geneva) during a period that saw, e.g., the development of a Model Law for the Recognition and Protection of Human Rights Defenders which would be used by multiple countries to develop their own national laws to expand protections accorded to defenders. Chris has consulted independently for over 16 international, regional and national-level human rights and rule of law human rights NGOs and funders based across four continents. Chris holds a BA cum laude in Geography from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Masters in Politics from Lund University, Sweden. He has also studied at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Amsterdam and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

  • Saida Manieva (Kyrgyzstan) - Board Member 

Ms. Manieva is a former consultant at UPR Info. Her work with us focused on the strengthening of the UPR: together with the Executive Director Roland Chauville, she researched and wrote an Analytical Assessment of the UPR which covered the first seven sessions of the mechanism. Ms. Manieva has been active in the human rights field for over eight years. Recently, she worked for the OSCE Office for Democratic Instititutions and Human Rights as an officer responsible for the organisation of high-level events dedicated to reviewing the status of the OSCE human rights and democracy commitments and their implementation by participating States. She also acted as a temporary adviser to the OSCE/ODIHR's Director. Prior to that, from 2006 to 2009, she worked with the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan where she coordinated projects on human rights and legal reforms in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Ms. Manieva holds an MA in International Law and Human Rights from the U.N. mandated University for Peace.

  • Professor Edward R. McMahon (United States) - Board Member

Edward McMahon currently holds a joint appointment as Research Associate Professor in the Departments of Community Development and Applied Economics, and Political Science, at the University of Vermont. He has collaborated with UPR Info since 2009, and has taken the lead in developing the action category component of UPR Info’s innovative database. He has made a number of presentations in the regard to a variety of audiences in Europe and the United States, and has a related article in the forthcoming edition of the African Yearbook of International law.
McMahon previously was Dean’s Professor of Applied Politics and Director of the Center on Democratic Performance at Binghamton University. He also held the position of Africa Regional Director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs from 1989-1998 and previously served for 10 years as a U.S. diplomat.

  • Hoa NGHIEM (Vietnam) - Board Member

Ms. Hoa NGHIEM is a researcher and educator on human rights-based development. She works as an independent consultant and contributor with development agencies and Vietnamese civil society groups. Her area of work includes human rights advocacy, engaging with UN human rights mechanism, community building, research and human rights education. She is particularly interested in the pedagogy of human rights education and building a culture of human rights.


  • Catherine Mbengue (Cameroon) - Board Member

Ms. Catherine Mbengue is currently ECPAT International Senior Advisor, Advocacy. She was ECPAT International Coordinator for Africa from 2014 -2016. Prior to joining ECPAT she held several leadership positions in UNICEF between 1981-2011, including Senior Advisor, Office of Emergency Programmes; UNICEF Representative in Afghanistan, Burundi, Cote D’Ivoire, Malawi and Mauritania, among others. Her experience encompasses leading operations and leverage resources for the Rights of Children and Women. Ms. Mbengue holds Master degrees in Economics, and in Political Sciences from the University of Panthéon Sorbonne, Paris.