The Steering Committee (SC) is made up of 13 trans activists and donors from across the globe with diverse expertise who provide leadership and direction on ITF’s strategy and governance.
Ymania Brown (Co-Chair)
Ymania is Samoan by birth, Australian and New Zealander by citizenship, and classifies as Faa’fafine in the Pacific. She has been a human rights activist for 53 years as a transgender woman of colour, fighting oppression, violence, and discrimination in her life. Over the past 19 years’ she has worked in corporate Australia as Head of Legal/HR for an IT Group, The Gruden Group Limited. She also comes with over 10 years’ formal experience in NGO’s as the Technical Director on the Samoa Faafafine Association. On the international front, Ymania is the Alternate Co-Secretary General and Treasurer of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), and Co-Chair and Treasurer of the Global Interfaith Network (GIN-SSOGIE). She is also the adoptive mother of two boys.
Chaber is an LGBTI activist working in Poland. They have been engaged in the movement since 2008 and worked with many national and international organizations. Currently they are the Executive Director of Campaign Against Homophobia (KPH – a national LGBTI advocacy and awareness raising organization), the Chairperson of the Executive Board of Trans-Fuzja Foundation and a Board Member of ILGA-Europe. They are experienced in management and financial management, development of systemic internal solutions, facilitation of long-term processes, organizational change and development, and fundraising. Earlier in their career they worked in non-formal education with youth, especially empowerment and capacity building.
From 2015-2020, Zhan was the Coordinator of ILGA World’s Gender Identity and Expression Programme, supporting and strengthening trans movements through ILGA’s membership base, utilizing UN mechanisms, and strategic research which included the annual Trans Legal Mapping Report. He is on advisory committees for the Asia Pacific Transgender Network and Transgender Europe’s TvT project. Zhan grew up in Singapore and moved to Australia when he was 19. He has a background in queer grassroots activism and politics in both countries. Zhan has worked in legal and policy roles in NGOs, private practice, the UN and for government in Australia, Pakistan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, mainly in refugee and migration law. He is a lawyer by training and holds a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney.
Rebecca is the Senior Program Officer in the SOGI department at Wellspring Advisors. In this position, she coordinates grantmaking on a variety of issues related to increasing the rights of and improving the lived experiences of LGBTI people. She also serves as the board chair of Funders for LGBTQ Issues. She has also served on the boards of Choice USA, Generations Ahead, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She is based in New York City.
Chan is a human rights activist residing in Lusaka, Zambia. He is the Director of a CBO Transbantu Association Zambia where he works with trans* and intersex persons as well as their families on health, social and economic issues related to gender identity and expression. He is currently the Steering Committee Chair of the Southern Africa Trans Forum where he provides strategic oversight towards the formation of the forum which seeks to strengthen the trans movement in SADC. Chan sits on a global Advisory Group of Dignity Initiative Canada which is encouraging a stronger Canadian voice on human rights issues around the world. He also provides mentorship and personal growth strategies to young people facing marginalization due to their gender identity and expression.
Alex Rodrigo Castillo Hernández
Alex is a transsexual man born in Guatemala City. Alex founded Trans-Formation, the first collective of trans men in Central America and works to strengthen the trans leadership in the region. He is also president of REDCADHT+ Network, the American collectives of Trans Men and gender dissident individuals assigned female at birth, which created a movement throughout the Central American and Caribbean region and has recently expanded to Peru, Mexico and Uruguay. In addition to his human rights work, Alex is an administrator, husband, father and grandfather.
Natasha is a Costa Rican trans/intersex activist for more than 30 years. She began her work in the area of information and prevention of HIV / AIDS and other STIs, including care of terminally ill people in different State hospitals. She declares herself a feminist and has participated in different feminist and women’s movement initiatives. She has been involved in some publications, such as: “What is the meaning of the revolution if we can’t dance” by Jane Barry and Jelena Dordevic, “Interdictions” by Mauro Cabral, or “INTER / Human Intersex Experience in a world of two sexes” by Elisa Barth , Ben Bӧttger, Dan Chistian Ghattas and Ina Shneider. She has been engaged in different spaces of the OAS (Organization of American States), where she has a Consultative Status, as well as in the UN (Organization of the United Nations), doing political advocacy work and denouncing violations of rights against trans and intersex populations in Latin America and other regions. She is a Consultant in trans and intersex issues and General Coordinator at Mulabi / Latin American Sexualities and Rights Area, which is based in Costa Rica, but develops projects and initiatives in the region.
Alejandra Collette Spinetti Núñez
Collette started her struggle for the rights of trans people in Uruguay and founded the Trans Union of Uruguay (UTRU) in 2012 of which she was President. She has represented the country in several international conferences and in MERCOSUR. She has also collaborated with Women and Health in Uruguay (MYSU) in work with trans people and is a member of the group “Action for the depathologization of trans identities.” She organizes workshops on sexual diversity and gender and violence and organized the first National Congress of Trans Persons in Uruguay. She participated in the short film “dresses in the classroom” which was shown at LGTBQI film festival Call it H. She is a lecturer at the Center for Teacher Education (CERP) and a member of the Executive Branch of the National Council of Sexual Diversity. She is also a Professor of Literature and Professor of Folk Dances.
Jabu Pereira (Treasurer)
Jabu is the Executive Director of Iranti. Iranti is based in Johannesburg, South Africa and works in the region on trans, intersex and lesbian rights. Jabu has worked in the human rights sector for the past 27 years. He serves as the Trans Chairperson the ILGA Board. Jabu has a Masters degree in the Arts from New York University. He has pioneered work on approaches to documentation, storytelling and advocacy as a method to advancing social justice.
Sara R Phillips
Sara is a trans and intersex activist working in Ireland. Sara has been involved with trans activism for over 25 years. She is currently in her third 3 year term as Chair of the board of directors of Ireland‘s national trans organisation, Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI). As a founding member, she is currently Chair of Intersex Ireland. Sara has represented the trans community on governmental review bodies and at international conferences. She has been an activist across many intersectional campaigns over the past 40 years. Sara is a qualified Chartered Accountant and currently the National Manager in Ireland for multinational construction materials manufacturer RPM-CPG. Sara has extensive experience in international business and finance, in both the construction and entertainment industries.
Viviane Vergueiro Simakawa
Viviane is Project Coordinator with Akahatá, a working group on genders and sexualities, organizing and participating in workshops related with SOGIESC issues (trans depathologization and international LGBTI activism, for instance), especially within Latin American contexts since 2017. She is a researcher on gender identity and expression, pursuing a PhD degree in Women, Gender and Feminist Studies at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA), has a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the same university, and a BA in Economics from the Campinas State University (Unicamp). She is a white-Asian transfeminist activist who grew up in São Paulo State and is now based in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.
Barbra is a queer African feminist, social justice worker and activist from Kenya. She is the Executive Director of EATHAN – East Africa Trans Health & Advocacy Network; a network of intersex, trans* and gender non-conforming (ITGNC) individuals and organizations in East Africa. She has over 8 years of experience working on and with intersex, trans* and gender non-conforming individuals and organizations across the African continent and has been instrumental in the growth of the movement. She also does consultancy on gender, sex, sexuality, identity and expression as well as organization management and development and has helped several organizations in Africa improve their work as well as their knowledge on such issues. Her passion towards improving the livelihoods of all ITGNC persons in the region is what drives her.
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