Joanne Bauer, a US national, is Adjunct Professor at School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, where she teaches business and human rights. She is also Senior Researcher at Columbia’s Institute for the Study of Human Rights, and co-founded the Teaching Business and Human Rights Forum, based at Columbia, which involves over 280 faculty from over 150 institutions in 40 countries. From 2006-2012 she was Senior Researcher with Business & Human Rights Resource Centre where she led the Asia program. Prior to that, from 1994 to 2005, Joanne was Director of Studies at the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (New York), where she founded the Carnegie Council’s research programs on human rights and environmental values. An Asia specialist for more than 25 years, she has traveled extensively in the region and has published books and articles on human rights in Asia. Bauer is a Senior Fellow, Melbourne University Law School, and a member of the International Advisory Board of Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.
Bobbie Sta. Maria
Bobbie Sta. Maria, a Filipino national, is the Asia Program Manager for the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, a non-profit that works to advance human rights in business through strengthening corporate accountability, building transparency, and helping empower advocates. Bobbie works closely with NGOs and community-based groups in Asia to seek heightened accountability and transparency from businesses, and encourage improved human rights policies and practices. She has worked alongside labour unions and organizations in Cambodia, Myanmar, and the Philippines to bring concerns around wages and freedom of association to international brands sourcing from these countries, and has seen direct positive impacts on workers’ rights as a result of these engagements. She has assisted in numerous efforts to document business-linked abuses, helped bring together human rights advocates in the region for increased collaboration, and raised local issues to international communities of decision- and opinion-makers via speaking opportunities, reports, and opinion pieces.
She previously served as Southeast Asia Legal Coordinator at EarthRights International, and prior to that, as Staff Lawyer at Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panligal (SALIGAN) or Alternative Legal Assistance Center in the Philippines. In both roles, she was involved in litigation, local and international legal and policy advocacy, research, and trainings. Bobbie obtained her law degree from the University of the Philippines, and her Master of Human Rights from the University of Sydney.
Rob Lake, a UK national, is an Independent Responsible Investment Advisor focusing in particular on the strategic implications of environmental and social issues for pension funds and other asset owners. Rob has worked with investors in Australia, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, the UK and the US. He was a contributor to the UN Environment Programme Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, and has been an advisor to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development on the implications for investors of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. He is a former member of the Strategy Council to the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global.
He was previously with the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, the Dutch pension manager APG and the London investment management firm Henderson Global Investors. Before entering the investment industry in 2001, he spent 13 years in policy and advocacy roles with environmental and international development NGOs.
Jean du Plessis
Jean du Plessis, a South African national, is based in the Secretariat of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) at UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya, where he is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the GLTN capacity development strategy and its work on the continuum of land rights. He is also the focal point for the GLTN research and training institutions cluster. Jean holds a Masters’ degree in Political Philosophy from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He has 25 years’ experience in the human rights, land, housing and development sectors. In the course of his career he has worked in and with communities, non-governmental organisations, universities, bilateral institutions, governments and UN agencies. This work included support to South African communities facing forced removal under apartheid; and, after 1994, communities pursuing land rights, reconstruction and development in the post-apartheid context. From 1996 to 2000 he was policy director and then chief director of the South African Government’s land restitution programme. From 2002 Jean served six years as the deputy director of the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), based in Geneva. This was followed by a period working as an international consultant, until he joined GLTN in 2011. Jean has research, facilitation, capacity development and implementation experience in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Timor-Leste, Nigeria, Thailand and Indonesia. He has published variously on land, housing, evictions, human rights and development.
Mark Gibney, a US national, is the Belk Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina-Asheville. From 2014-2016 he served as the inaugural Raoul Wallenberg Visiting Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at the Faculty of Law, Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute. Gibney is one of the founding members of the Extraterritorial Obligations (ETO) Consortium and he serves on the Board of Editors of Human Rights Quarterly, the Journal of Human Rights and the International Studies Journal (Iran). Since 1984, Gibney has directed the Political Terror Scale (PTS) (PoliticalTerrorScale.org), which measures levels of physical integrity violations in more than 190 states and this work has recently been expanded to include the Societal Violence Scale (SVS), which provides a comparative analysis of human rights violations by non-state actors. His recent book publications include: International Human Rights Law: Returning to Universal Principles (2015, 2d ed.); Litigating Transnational Human Rights Obligations: Alternative Judgments (2014), the Handbook of Human Rights (2014), and Watching Human Rights: The 101 Best Films (2013).
Kate Geary, a UK national, is Bank Information Center Europe’s Forest Campaign Manager, based in Oxford, UK. Previously, Kate led Oxfam’s advocacy on land rights, working in support of communities affected by land grabs and campaigning for policy change. Prior to that, she was a policy adviser for Oxfam on climate change and the private sector. Before joining Oxfam in 2004, Kate worked for a number of environmental and human rights organizations, including TERRA in Southeast Asia, and was Coordinator of the Ilisu Dam Campaign for a coalition including Friends of the Earth, the Kurdish Human Rights Project and The Corner House. She has published and co-authored a number of reports including The Suffering of Others: the human cost of the International Finance Corporation’s lending through financial intermediaries, Our Land, Our Lives, The New Forests Company and its Uganda Plantations, Now or Never. Climate Change: Time to get down to business; The Forecast for Tomorrow: The UK’s climate for change and Dams Inc: The record of twelve European dam-building companies; and for several years edited Watershed magazine in Thailand. She has a degree in Modern Languages from Oxford University.
Anna Demant, an Australian national, is the Foundation Manager at Planet Wheeler Foundation. Her focus areas are Myanmar; the Thai-Burma border; Cambodia and Laos. She also manages partnerships in Afghanistan, and Australia. Planet Wheeler was an early supporter of Inclusive Development International, and a long-term supporter of IDI’s sister organization Equitable Cambodia. Previously Anna managed the Lonely Planet Foundation, and worked as Fundraising Manager at International Women’s Development Agency.
Bruce Shoemaker, a US national, is an independent researcher based in far northern California who focuses on natural resource conflict issues in the Mekong Region. Among his current projects is the preparation of an edited volume on the World Bank’s involvement in the Nam Theun 2 hydropower project in Laos, to be published by University of Wisconsin Press. He has lived in Laos for eight years and Thailand for three while working for a number of NGOs and subsequently was employed, for more than ten years, as the program advisor for the Southeast Asia Grants Program of The McKnight Foundation, helping the foundation focus its grant making around natural resource rights issues as well as support for Indigenous Peoples organizations and other grassroots community organizing. He has a particular interest in the impacts of large hydropower projects on the lives and livelihoods of local communities in the Mekong Region and has authored or co-authored numerous articles and reports in this field.