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5 April 2024

Front Line Defenders welcomes renewal of its international Board of Directors

Front Line Defenders is pleased to welcome Eamon Gilmore and Dermot Hayes as the newest members of its international Board of Directors, and expresses its gratitude to outgoing chairman Denis O’Brien and treasurer David Sykes for their longstanding contributions.

Eamon Gilmore has extensive experience in international diplomacy and human rights, including in his most recent role as European Union Special Representative for Human Rights. Dermot Hayes is a chartered accountant and Investment Director at Island Capital. (View full bios here).

The reshuffle will also see the appointment of current Board members Kieran Mulvey and Dr. Roja Fazaeli as chairperson and deputy chairperson, respectively, for two-year terms.

“We welcome this renewal to our governance structure, which will ensure new approaches and fresh thinking to bolster our core mandate – the protection of human rights defenders at risk,” said Olive Moore, Interim Director of Front Line Defenders.

“Front Line Defenders expresses its gratitude to the departing Board members for their dedication and important contributions over the years.”

In addition to the changes to the current Board, the outgoing chairman Denis O’Brien has been appointed as Front Line Defenders’ first patron. The honorary role recognises his longstanding support to the organisation, including as its co-founder along with Mary Lawlor, currently the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

Front Line Defenders is an international human rights organisation founded in Dublin in 2001, with the specific aim of protecting human rights defenders at risk (HRDs). Over the last two decades, the organisation has expanded significantly in size and scope and was the proud recipient of the 2018 UN Prize for Human Rights. It currently supports and protects hundreds of at-risk human rights defenders around the globe.

The organisation’s Board is comprised of members from all regions of the world, with diverse backgrounds in fields including human rights, government, diplomacy, business, academia and finance. Current members include: Eamon Gilmore (Ireland); Dermot Hayes (Ireland); Kieran Mulvey (Ireland); Arnold Tsunga (Zimbabwe); Mary Jane N. Real (Philippines); Verónica Vidal (Uruguay); Jim Conway (Ireland); Maria Mulcahy (Ireland); and Dr. Roja Fazaeli (Iran). Board members serve five-year terms.