Human Rights: Board & Advisors

The Governing Board and International Advisory Board help us plan and organise the Human Rights Forum

Human Rights: Board & Advisors

Copenhagen 2021 has formed both a Governing Board and International Advisory Board to assist us in overseeing the various events as part of the Human Rights Forum.

Governing Board

The Governing Board is the voluntary executive board and consists of members drawn from different parts of Danish and Swedish civil society. They meet around 12 times a year with the Director of Human Rights and are regularly asked to deliver input on different parts of the program in side meetings and consultations.

The board is tasked with:

  • Co-planning for Human Rights events
  • Laying out thematic topics for the Human Rights Conference
  • Appointing Advisory Board
  • Appointing the Ombudspersons
  • Identifying plenary speakers
  • Promoting the conference
  • Creating calls for content
  • Selecting speakers and interventions for the conference
  • Working with the conference booking agency

Members of the Governing Board

Amir Ashour (he/him/his) is a human rights defender with 10 years of experience working with Iraqi and international organisations. He is the founder and executive director of IraQueer, Iraq’s first and only LGBTI+ organisation which focuses on education and advocacy for LGBTI+ Iraqis. He has a Masters degree in Human Rights from Columbia University. He was an honouree at the QX Gay Gala in Sweden and has been nominated to other awards including the Raoul Wallenberg Academy Prize and The David Kato Voice and Vision Award.

Susanne Branner Jespersen (she/her/hers) holds an MA in Anthropology and a Masters degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation. Throughout her career, she has sought the realization of projects addressing social injustice. Since 2011, she has worked intensely within the global LGBTI+ movement by starting up the international work of LGBT+ Denmark, fundraising and implementing programs in North and East Africa and lobbying the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a more inclusive LGBTI+ policy and practice. She works at the Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution and is the Director of LGBT+ Denmark.

Ida Damgaard (they/them/theirs) is a queer activist whose main focus is on gender diversity and abolishing cis-normativity. They also have intersectionality and representation as focus points, particularly in their work with Copenhagen Pride’s Human Rights programme. Ida is a board member of Copenhagen Pride.

Jannick Friis Christensen (he/him/his) is a PhD Fellow at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) and Theme Lead for Gender and Sexuality in the CBS Diversity and Difference Business in Society Platform. His research focuses on norm-critical approaches to organising and researching diversity, and he has in recent years studied the Danish labour market from an LGBTI+ perspective in collaboration with labour unions. Among his case organisations is also Roskilde Festival where he explores transgressive behaviour and practices for creating inclusive communities for volunteers.

Martin Iversen Christensen (he/him/his) has been working with international LGBTI+ issues for almost 20 years. From 2006 – 2016 he was Co-chair of ILGA Europe, and from 2012 – 2018 Martin was the European Representative to the Board of ILGA World. Has also served on the Gay Lesbian International Sports Association (GLISA) Board and was involved in organising the international Human Rights Conferences of World OutGames in Copenhagen in 2009, and Antwerp in 2013. Martin is now an international Spokesperson for the Danish organisation LGBT Komiteen.

Helle Jacobsen (she/her/hers) is Program Manager for Gender at Amnesty International, Denmark. She has been working on international research about trans and intersex rights, as well as other gender related topics. Helle has also co-authored several international Amnesty reports. She has worked on LGBTI+ rights in the Baltic Countries, The Balkans, Denmark and East Africa.

Steffen Jensen (he/him/his) has been an LGBTI+ activist in Denmark since 1980, and internationally since 1986. Steffen mainly worked in ILGA’s European chapter until 1996 and then in ILGA Europe, where he served as a Board Member and Treasurer from 1996 – 2000. He was part of planning World Outgames in Copenhagen in 2009 and has taken part in all World Outgames Conferences, including Montreal, Copenhagen, Antwerp and Miami – and has attended 40+ ILGA conferences. Steffen has been working as Head of Division in the Danish Ministry of Education, and while he retired some years ago, he is now working as a private consultant.

Nico Miskow Friborg (they/them/theirs) has been involved in queer and trans activism and organizing for 10 years now and is the Co-founder of TransAktion – an organization by and for trans people providing counselling, support groups, community-building, activism and policy work, with an intersectional and depathologizing approach. Nico recently started as a PhD candidate at the University of Stavanger’s Centre for Gender Studies, where they will be conducting community-based research on trans and queer activism in Denmark from 1990 until present day.

Sara Louise Muhr (she/her/hers) is a Professor at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS). She is also Academic Director of the CBS Business in Society Platform ‘Diversity and Difference’. Her research focuses on critical perspectives on management and organisation, especially in relation to issues around diversity.

Fahad Saeed (he/him/his) is the co-founder of Sabaah, Denmark’s only organization for ethnic minority LGBT+ persons. For the last 14 years Fahad has been advocating intersectional perspectives, and bridged the gaps between mainstream society and marginalized communities addressing homophobia and racism. As a community leader, he has played a major role in changing attitudes and raising awareness about the conditions of ethnic minority LGBT+ persons in Denmark. He is a TEDX-speaker, and holds a master in Communications. Fahad has worked as a Communications Officer in The Danish Centre for Conflict Resolution, and as Chief of Projects in Mino Danmark, as well as a short experience with the European Parliament as assistant to MEP Karen Melchior.

International Advisory Board

The International Advisory Board has been appointed with the utmost care to represent not only the different regions in the world, but also the different parts of our diverse community and is tasked with the following responsibilities:

  • To oversee the contents of the conference and by lending their name and credentials, to ensure the professionalism, quality and impact of the conference;
  • To identify speakers and activists for the conference and activate their network to make the summit a success;
  • To help curate the selection of workshops;
  • To participate in and promote the conference.

Members of the International Advisory Board

  • Luz Elena Arroyo (Mexico), Co-Secretary General of ILGA World
  • Tuisina Ymania Brown (Samoa/Australia), Co-Secretary General of ILGA World
  • Hadi Damien (Lebanon), Organizer Beirut Pride
  • James Felton Keith (USA), Running for election to the U.S. House
  • Kristine Garina (Latvia), President of European Pride Organisers Association and Co-Chair Mozaika Latvia
  • Carlos Idibouo (Ivory Coast), Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Activist
  • Kevin Haunui (New Zealand), LGBTQ Community Leader
  • Miriam van der Have (Netherlands), Co-founder and Co-chair of OII Europe
  • Deepak Kashyap (India), LGBTQ Activist and Mental Health Expert
  • Doug Kerr (Canada), Executive Director, Dignity Network Canada
  • Ulrike Lunacek (Austria), Former Vicepresident and LGBTI-Intergroup-Co-Chair of the European Parliament
  • Chrissy Taylor (Canada), Trans/Non-Binary, healthcare worker
  • Welton Trindade (Brazil), Organizer Pride Brasília Orgulho
  • Ripley Wang (China), LGBTI+ Activist


If you have questions about the Human Rights Forum or any of our human rights programming, please email us.

Partners and Sponsors

See the full list of Partners and Sponsors