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Centre of Governance & Human Rights (CGHR)


2021 Practitioner Series 

The CGHR Practitioner series seeks to allow students to listen and speak to a selection of high-level experts working in these fields, and address key issues and questions. The seminars are designed to equip students with an in-depth and critical look at what each area involves; the type of work carried out, contingent challenges and essential competencies. The first part of the session will introduce the speaker, chaired by a discussant from CGHR, and will open up to the audience in the second portion of the evening to provide the opportunity for students to engage with the topics discussed.

For more info about these events and to register to attend please visit our Eventbrite page. 


28 January: Deborah Brown [Human Rights Watch]

Click here to read a write-up of this event.

Deborah Brown is a senior researcher and advocate on digital rights at Human Rights Watch. Her areas of focus include the role of digital technologies in electoral processes, content governance, cybersecurity, and digital exclusion. Before joining Human Rights Watch, she worked at the Association for Progressive Communications as the global policy advocacy lead, where she collaborated with a global network of civil society organizations on a range of human rights and internet governance issues. She also led the organization’s work in UN processes and engaged governments and companies. In the past, Deborah also worked at Access Now and the United Nations Foundation. She holds an M.A. in democracy and governance from Georgetown University and a B.A. in human rights and political science from Barnard College, Columbia University.

11 February: Lysa John [CIVICUS]

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Lysa John is the Secretary General of CIVICUS, a global alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. Prior to joining CIVICUS, Lysa worked with Save the Children International as their global Campaigns and Advocacy Strategy Director, and served as Head of Outreach for the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Agenda. Born in India, she spent the first part of her career working grassroots-led advocacy and campaigns linked to urban poverty, governance, and human rights. During this time, she served as the National Coordinator at "Wada Na Todo Abhiyan" (Don't Break the Promise Campaign). She holds a Master's Degree from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.

25 February: Aleksandra Dier [CTED]

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Over the past decade, Aleksandra has worked for the United Nations in the areas of conflict prevention and mediation, peacekeeping, sanctions, and counterterrorism. She served in UN field missions in Afghanistan and Burundi, and was involved in the planning of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali. She also served as the special assistant to the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Conflict Prevention. Prior to joining the UN, she worked in several think tanks on European security policy and crisis management in Africa. Aleksandra holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of Oxford.

11 March: Mária Patakyová [Public Defender of Rights]

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Due to technical difficulties video of this event is unavailable. 

Mária Patakyová was elected the Slovakian Public Defender of Rights on 8 February 2017. She has been working at the Faculty of Law of Comenius University in Bratislava since her graduation in 1985 honoured with the Rector’s Award. 

Currently she is a professor of commercial law in charge of the development of commercial law at the Department of Commercial and Economic Law. Between May 2013 and February 2016 she was responsible for the development of civil law at the third grade of study at the Department of Civil Law.