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Board of Trustees
Denis O'Brien is Chairman of the Digicel Group, one of the fastest growing cellular companies in the world. Mr. O’Brien is one of Ireland’s leading entrepreneurs with extensive investments across several sectors including international telecoms, radio, media, property, aircraft leasing, golf and other leisure interests. He founded the Communicorp Group which has a portfolio of media and broadcasting-related companies in Ireland and seven other European countries. Denis was Chairman of the 2003 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Ireland and is Chairman of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He is on the US Board of Concern Worldwide. In 2000 he established The O’Brien Foundation to assist disadvantaged communities in Ireland and internationally.
During more than 25 years working for Amnesty International's Irish Section as Chair and then Director, Mary Lawlor was constantly inspired by the work of human rights defenders - people who worked, non-violently, for the rights of others at great personal risk. In 2001 she set up Front Line, the International Foundation for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders - Front Line concentrates all its activities on the security and protection of Human Rights Defenders. This was made possible by a $ 3 million donation from Denis O'Brien. Since then Front Line has established itself as a respected and trusted organisation providing round the clock practical support and delivering fast, flexible and effective action on behalf of human rights defenders at risk.
Michel Forst is the Secretary General of the Commission Nationale Consultative des Droits de l'Homme de la République Française. He is a founding trustee of Front Line. He has previously worked in the human rights section of UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, is a former Director General of Amnesty International (France) and was Secretary General of the 1998 Paris Summit for Human Rights Defenders.
Kieran Mulvey is Chief Executive of the Irish Labour Relations Commission, Adjunct Professor of Industrial Relations at the National College of Ireland, and a Consultant with the International Labour Organisation and the European Union. He is a former general secretary of two teachers’ unions.
Noeline Blackwell is an Irish-based lawyer specialising in refugee law and is the Director General of FLAC (Free Legal Advice Centres), an NGO that provides free legal advice and services for those living in poverty. She is the former Chairperson of both the International Human Rights Trust and the Irish Section of Amnesty International.
David Sykes has worked for over 30 years in the financial services sector combining careers in banking and stock broking. He is a member of the Securities Institute.
Maria Mulcahy was involved with "People in Need" from 1988 – 2000. She was responsible for organising the RTE telethons, which raised €28 million. She was Director of Fundraising for the 2003 Special Olympics World Games and is a board member of Newstalk 106, the O’Brien Foundation and the Digicel Foundation.
Hina Jilani is an internationally known human rights lawyer and advocate for human rights defenders. Hina Jilani was Special Representative of the Secretary General on the situation of Human rights Defenders from 2000 to 2008. With her sister Asma Jahangir she co-founded Pakistan's first all female legal practice in 1980.. She is also one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She has received several awards for her human rights work from organizations such as the American Bar Association and Human Rights Watch.
Jim Conway is the founder of the Print and Display Group, one of Ireland's largest print companies, where he is now Chairman. Print and Display is one of Europe's market leaders in the screen, digital and litho production of outdoor poster, bus advertising and point-of-purchase materials. He also has a number of other media interests in Ireland and eastern Europe.