New board elected, statutes updated and looking back at five years of growth

HURIDOCS welcomes three new board members and announces an update to its statutes.


At a recent General Meeting, the HURIDOCS General Assembly has elected a new board, adopted considerably revised statutes and reflected on five years of growth.

As of 16 April, Alix Dunn, Douglas Arellanes and Gisella Reina have joined the HURIDOCS board and will contribute their experience in institutional development, digital security and software development. They will be joined by Eddie Halpin (Chair) Hannah Forster (Treasurer), Agnethe Olesen and Rosario Narvaez Vargas, who will all serve another term. Thus, HURIDOCS will remain true to its spirit to be governed by a truly diverse group of dedicated individuals, who hail from different cultures and backgrounds, but are united by their passion for the information and human rights world.

HURIDOCS is thankful to all of them, as well as to all previous board members for their service. Meet our new board members:

Gisella Reina (Italy, Netherlands) is an expert in institutional development. Currently, Gisella is Director Development and Donor Relations at the International Commission of Jurists. Before joining the ICJ in 2007, she was in charge of donor relations and development for ten years for NGOs specialized in emergency aid and food security. Prior to that, Gisella worked as an Economic advisor for various consulting and engineering firms, and as expert in evaluation of development programmes, and development of project planning capabilities. She holds a Master in Agricultural Economics and Planning from Reading University (UK), and has 25 years of work experience in project management and programming in various profit and non-profit organizations. She has lived in Italy, the Netherlands, UK, Pakistan and India and speaks Italian, Dutch, English and French.

Douglas Arellanes (United States of America) is a technology entrepreneur. One of the founders of Sourcefabric, Douglas is an American expatriate who has lived in the Czech Republic since 1992 (though he claims Dakar has the best music anywhere in the world and Cape Town the best scenery). Previous roles have included new media consultant for the Media Development Loan Fund, special projects director at Contactel, (a subsidiary of TeleDanmark) and co-founder of First Tuesday Praha, an organisation devoted to helping internet start-ups. When Doug is not translating some of the Czech Prime Minister’s speeches into English, he’s making households dance as a Saturday morning DJ on Prague’s Radio 1.

Alix Dunn (United States of America) is the co-founder and Creative Lead at The Engine Room where she designs programs and supports advocacy partners to integrate technology into their work. In the past she has acted as a program advisor and consultant for Tactical Technology Collective’s Evidence & Action and Privacy & Expression programs, the lead for trainings and partnerships at the SaferMobile program of MobileActive, and as a digital security trainer. Prior to this, she worked as program development officer at Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies working to incorporate technology strategies into advocacy programs, and as a media studies researcher. She has a master’s degree in media studies from the University of Oslo and a BA from Colorado College.

Statutes updated

At the same General Meeting, new statutes for HURIDOCS have been adopted. The rationale for this was to better comply with Swiss non-profit law and to formally clarify the membership of the association, as well as how turnover in the governing bodies will be regulated. As a result, HURIDOCS is now governed by a truly modern constitution. In the spirit of HURIDOCS as a network, it has furthermore been decided to launch a consultation process on how a stakeholder committee, consisting of human rights organisations, can provide guidance in the future.

Review of five years of growth

The General Meeting also reviewed HURIDOCS progress over the last five years, which has been remarkable in terms of engaging with the hard challenges relating to human rights and information, as well as growing with them.

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