Sandrah Akello has worked for the International Refugee Rights Initiative for the last ten years and is currently our Finance and Administration Manager. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Management from Makerere University. She holds certificates in Grants Management (MANGO), Finance for Non-Finance Managers (ACLAIM), and Project Planning and Management (UTAMU). Sandrah is currently pursuing the Certified Public Accountant’s Certificate (Uganda).
Djibril Balde is International Refugee Rights Initiative‘s West Africa Focal Point. He focuses on raising public awareness about the refugees and asylum seekers issues and advocates for fair and effective legal processes for asylum seekers. He hosts a weekly French/English radio interview show called Le Banc des Réfugiés, where he interviews asylum seekers and refugees. In addition, he organizes public fora, issues press releases, holds press conferences, issues public statements, and writes articles for print media.
Olivia Bueno is the International Refugee Rights Initiative’s Associate Director. She was previously Program Associate at the International Refugee Program at Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights). She is responsible for managing IRRI's New York office, monitoring UN policies and diplomatic discussions relevant to IRRI's programmes and coordinating outreach to and collaboration with international NGOs. Olivia also contributes to the oversight and development of IRRI programmes and to institutional development. Olivia has also worked on issues of refugee rights and asylum in the United States, as a part time staff member of Human Rights First's Asylum Program and as Co-Producer of American Purgatory, a radio documentary on the asylum process in the United States. Olivia holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the School for International and Public Affairs and B.A. in Russian Language and Literature from Barnard College both at Columbia University.
Lucy Hovil is the Senior Researcher for a research and advocacy project initiated by the International Refugee Rights Initiative and the Social Science Research Council, Citizenship and Forced Migration in the Great Lakes Region. She is also the Managing Editor for the International Journal of Transitional Justice. She was formerly the Senior Research and Advocacy Officer at the Refugee Law Project, Faculty of Law, Makerere University, Uganda, where she founded the organisation's research department and oversaw their working paper series. She obtained her PhD (1999) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, in which she explored the relationship between violence and identity in South Africa during the period of conflict that preceded the country's first inclusive election in 1994.
David Kigozi is Programme Coordinator of the International Refugee Rights Initiative’s programme in the Great Lakes region. He previously worked in senior international positions with Tearfund’s Disaster Management Team in the region for 10 years, focusing on the needs of conflict-affected people including the displaced, refugees, returnees and vulnerable host communities in both emergency and post-conflict contexts. At various times, he served as Tearfund’s Programme Director for Programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Burundi and Programme Support Manager for Southern Sudan. Before joining Tearfund, David worked as Executive Director of Global Recordings International in East Africa. He was also Regional Coordinator of the African Development Initiatives Network responsible for the training, capacity building and advocacy programme of member NGOs in the East and Horn of Africa region. He also served as a publications and editorial consultant of the then African Association for Literacy and Adult Education in Nairobi; a teaching assistant at Makerere University, Uganda; and an educator in both Uganda and Kenya. He holds an MBA from Kampala International University, Uganda, a BA in French and Linguistics and a Diploma in Education both from Makerere University, as well as a certificate in French from Vichy, France. He has also done courses in Project Design and Planning and People and Leadership Management, among others.
Andie Lambe is IRRI’s new Executive Director. She was the founding director of Reprieve, a human rights charity which uses the rule of law to enforce the human rights from death row to Guantánamo Bay. She managed the Carlile Inquiry into the use of restraint, segregation and strip searching of children within the UK prison system and was Senior Campaigns and Policy Officer for the Howard League for Penal Reform. She headed up the International Justice team at Global Witness, an organization which monitors and exposes illicit or illegal practices and activities in the natural resources sector, for six years. Most recently, she has been working as a consultant providing expert advice and research on issues including legal policy providing expert advice and research on issues including legal policy, human rights, natural resources, corporate and state governance and corporate legal accountability with organizations such as the International Accountability Roundtable on their Access to Justice project, the World Wildlife Fund and the Institute for Human Rights and Business. She is also a trustee for two UK based charities - Just for Kids Law and Generation Rwanda UK.
Themba Lewis is Programme Manager for IRRI’s Rights in Exile Programme. Prior to joining IRRI, Themba was Co-Director at the Fahamu Refugee Programme. Prior to that, he was a Field Team Leader at the US Refugee Admissions Program Resettlement Support Center. Themba holds graduate degrees in refugee studies from the University of Oxford and the American University in Cairo, and Level 2 Senior Caseworker Accreditation with the UK Legal Services Commission. He has taught on refugee rights in Bulgaria and Egypt, provided legal representation for detained asylum seekers in the United Kingdom, and is a Registered Member of the Law Society of England and Wales.
Fauzia Nkunyingi Sewa is International Refugee Rights Initiative‘s Legal Associate. She previously worked with Refugee Law Project and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions in Uganda. She holds an LLB (Hons) from Makerere University and is currently pursuing a Masters in Diplomacy and International Relations with the University of Malta.