The Executive Board guides the strategic development of the organisation. Board members serve as a fiduciary of the organisation’s assets. The Board is composed of experts in different fields of human rights.
Catherine Mbengue (Cameroon) – President
Catherine Mbengue is an accomplished human rights professional with over 35 years’ experience in international development cooperation. She has worked for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and ECPAT international (EI), and has occupied leadership positions in development, humanitarian, and transition contexts in Africa, America, Europe and South Asia.
In these positions, she oversaw evidence gathering and data generation initiatives including assessments, situations analysis and research at country, regional and global levels for evidence-based advocacy and development of policies, strategies and programmes grounded on a human rights- and gender-based approach .
She has also led diverse technical teams to provide assistance to host governments and organisations for the design and implementation of cooperation programmes, and to leverage resources to protect and fulfil children’s and women’s rights.
A passionate of social development, Ms. Mbengue offers advisory and technical assistance services to governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, private sector and non-profit organisations in strategic planning and programming for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Prof. Edward R. McMahon (United States) – Board Member
Edward McMahon currently holds a joint appointment as Adjunct 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 several presentations for a variety of audiences in Europe and the United States, and has a related article in the African Yearbook of International law.
McMahon was Dean’s Professor of Applied Politics and Director of the Center on Democratic Performance at Binghamton University from 1999 to 2003. He also held the position of Africa Regional Director for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs from 1989-1998 and 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 mechanisms, 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.
Gianni Magazzeni (Italy) – Board Member
Former UN Senior Official, Mr. Magazzeni was assistant to various Directors-General and Heads of the UN Human Rights Program in Geneva from 1987 to 1994, when he became Special Assistant to the First UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Mr. Magazzeni served as Chief of the UPR Branch in the Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division (1 May 2017 to 30 April 2023), in OHCHR, Geneva.
He was previously OiC of the Field Operation and Technical Cooperation Division (2016-2017), Chief of the Americas, Europe and Central Asia Branch (2010 to 30 April 2017), Chief of the National Institutions and Regional Mechanisms Section (2007-2010) and Chief of the Human Rights Component of the United Nations Assistant Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), based in Baghdad (2006-2007). Mr. Magazzeni joined the UN in NYHQ and was Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs as of 1985. Mr Magazzeni graduated from Yale University, USA, (MA in International Relations in 1983). He had a Fellowship at the University of Bern, Switzerland, after his BA with Honours in Political Science at the University of Pisa and at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (1980).
Patrick Wall (Australia) – Treasurer
Based in Geneva, Patrick is an independent consultant working at the intersection of international affairs and international law. His practice covers a wide range of issues, ranging from human rights and refugee protection to anticorruption and diplomatic strategy. Patrick holds master’s degrees in international law (from the Geneva Graduate Institute) and diplomacy (from the Australian National University).