Message from the Board of Directors


As the GI-ESCR begins to transition to the next phase of its organisational development, we’d like to first take this opportunity to thank Mayra and Bret for all their dedication and work that helped create the foundation for what is now a well respected human rights organisation that continues innovative, impressive, and impactful work.   Founding and starting an organisation takes commitment, vision and drive, and  Mayra and Bret have each brought to the organisaton their deep personal experience in ESC rights, as well as their own unique substantive areas of expertise.  Together, they have shaped the direction and content of the work, but also the work culture of the organisation.  The ways in which GI-ESCR seeks to play a dynamic role which embodies simultaneously an attitude of humility and openness to  genuine partnership, along with strong strategic and substantive competence, reflects their leadership and approach.  GI-ESCR will surely miss them, but  we are certain that their vision will live on and grow in the years to come. 

As GI-ESCR steps into the future, we know that our mission is more important than ever.  We live in a world of increasing inequality, climate crisis and widespread and systemic violations of ESC rights.   While no one organisation can address the entirety of humanity’s  current crisis, what organisations can do – and what GI-ESCR does – is to hold fast to a vision, to make visible the injustices in our world by holding powerful actors accountable for their abuses and failures, and to articulate in urgent ways a compelling global paradigm based on human rights.  We believe in the power of the human rights framework to effect positive change and we are pleased that GI-ESCR has grown steadily since its inception and today is an active and important organisation working to advance ESC rights globally.  From climate change to privatisation of social services, from strategic litigation and legal advocacy to women’s equality, we hope that the success stories and achievements shared in this Annual Report help to contribute to a world where ESC rights, and indeed all human rights, are realised for all people.

 As 2018 drew to a close, and with the transition to a new Executive Director to happen in 2019, the Board  continues to lead the transition process and looks forward to working with new leadership in order to ensure solid organisational health.  The Board is committed to retaining the dynamic, respectful, and independent culture of the organisation, and looks forward to guiding our team into this next exciting chapter. 

Board of Directors, 
Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Ellen Dorsey (Chair of the Board)

Washington, DC (USA)

Meg Satterthwaite

New York City, NY (USA)

David Stamps (Treasurer)


Paul J. Nelson (Secretary)

Pittsburgh, PA (USA)

Lilian Chenwi

Johannesburg (South Africa)

Malavika Vartak

London (United Kingdom)