Elizabeth O’Casey has been appointed Director of Advocacy at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU).
Chief Executive of the IHEU, Carl Blackburn, said, “International advocacy is a key area of work for IHEU. Elizabeth will be working to create a higher profile for humanists at international institutions and campaigning for progressive policy changes.”
Elizabeth had already been working as IHEU’s Head of Delegation to the Human Rights Council in Geneva over the past two years. Along with her IHEU role, she is currently an International Advisor to the Raif Badawi Foundation, a Vice Chair on the UN’s NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in Geneva, and International Patron of the Pink Triangle Trust. For a number of years, she was Vice President and board member at the National Secular Society and also represented the Center for Inquiry at the UN. Prior to her work in human rights advocacy, Elizabeth completed a PhD in Global Justice at the London School of Economics and was a fellow at Yale for a time.
As Director of Advocacy, Elizabeth will be leading our international representation at the United Nations and elsewhere, ensuring that all IHEU delegations are coordinated, consistent and effective in championing the policy issues central to the international humanist movement. The role is currently part-time and Elizabeth is based in Brussels at the offices of deMens.nu (an IHEU Member Organization).
On taking up the role, Elizabeth said, “It’s a great privilege to be representing the policy agenda of the IHEU internationally. Our work is and will continue to be firmly rooted in human rights, advocating equality, including secularism, and championing the values of open, democratic societies. At a time of huge social progress and social secularization, in tension with hardening sectarian conflict and fundamentalist violence in many parts of the world, it is plainly vital that a distinctively humanist position is heard at the highest levels of international discourse.”