Commissioners

The Commission comprises eminent persons from public life who provide global leadership on HIV-related legal and human rights issues by: (1) analysing what is known about the interaction between the legal environment, human rights and HIV; (2) fostering evidence-informed public dialogue on the need for rights-based law and policy in the context of HIV; and (3) identifying clear and actionable recommendations with a concrete plan for follow-up.

 

Fernando Henrique Cardoso was President of Brazil from 1995 to 2002 and is currently president of the Instituto Fernando HenriqueCardoso (São Paulo, Brazil). He is a former president of the Club of Madrid (Madrid), a founding member of the Elders, convener and co-chair of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy as well as member of Board of the Inter-American Dialogue, the World Resources Institute and the Thomas J. Watson Jr. Institute for International Studies of the Brown University (Providence, RI). A sociologisttrained at the University of São Paulo, he emerged since the late 1960s as one of the most inuential gures in the analysis of large-scale social change, international development, dependency and democracy. Cardoso was deeply involved in Brazil’s struggle to restoredemocracy (1964-1985). Elected Senator in 1982, he was a founding member of the Party of the Social Democracy (PSDB). He served asMinister of Foreign Relations in 1992-1993 and Minister of Finance in 1993-1994. Former Full Professor of Political Science, today ProfessorEmeritus, at the University of São Paulo, he was Professor at the Universities of Santiago de Chile, California American (at Stanford andat Berkeley), of Cambridge (United Kingdom), of Paris-Nanterre, of the École de Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and at the Collègede France. He was also President of the International Sociological Association (ISA) (1982-1986). His main works in English include The Accidental President of Brazil (2006, with B. Winter), Charting a New Course: The Politics of Globalisation and Social Tansformation (2001, M.Font editor) and Dependency and Development in Latin America (with Enzo Faletto, 1979).

His Excellency Mr. Festus Gontebanye Mogae is the former President of the Republic of Botswana and Chairman of the Champions foran HIV-Free Generation. He first became president in April 1998 as the leader of the Botswana Democratic Party and won a second term in2004. Under his stewardship of the economy and careful management of the country’s mineral resources, Botswana experienced steadyeconomic growth that has characterised its post-independence history. Mr. Mogae has also won international praise for his eorts to combatthe HIV epidemic in Botswana, one of the countries hit hardest by the disease. He is credited as one of the rst heads of state in the worldto publically test for HIV. He was one of the first African leaders to chair his country’s National AIDS Council, and he continues to chair thecouncil today. Under Mogae’s administration, Botswana became the rst country in Africa to provide free anti-retroviral therapy to citizensmost in need. In 2004, he introduced routine “opt-out” HIV testing, which has since dramatically increased the number of people whoknow their HIV status. In August 2008, during the 17th International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, Mr. Mogae launched the Champions for an HIV-Free Generation, a group of former African presidents and other inuential personalities with an aim to mobilise high-level leadership in renewed and revitalised responses to HIV and AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa. So far, the Champions have completed missions tofour African nations, including Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland, where they advocated for stepped-up HIV preventioneorts from those countries’ top leaders. Mogae has received a number of awards, including the 2008 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement inAfrican Leadership and the Grand Cross of the Legion d’Honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. In September 2008, he was appointed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as one of his four Special Envoys on Climate Change. He also serves as chairman of theAdvisory Board of Coalition of Dialogue on Africa (CoDA).

Ms. Ana Helena Chacón-Echeverría was born in Costa Rica, in 1961. Presently she is member of the Costa Rican Demographic Association,and Director Manager Consulting in Deloitte of Costa Rica. In Costa Rica, she has been a Congresswoman, Member of the Executive Committee of the Cooperation Committee of UNESCO, Vice-president of the Inter-American Parliamentary Group and Coordinator of theCosta Rican Parliamentarian Group, both of which oversee the attainment of objectives for the Millennium Development Goals, Deputy Minister of Public Security, Director General of the Triangle of Solidarity Program (against poverty and for decentralisation and citizen’sparticipation), Member and President of the National Counsel for Rehabilitation and Special Education, Executive Director of the Campaignfor the Improvement of the Image of the Physically Challenged Person, and Director for Central America and the Caribbean of the World Organisation for Physically Challenged Persons. Her lecturing circuit includes Central America, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay, Ethiopia, Thailand, Tunisia, Spain, and Switzerland, in matters regarding population and development,gender equality, violence against women, physical disabilities, tourism, national and public security, and sexual and reproductive health.She has published more than 45 documents on law, social and economic development. She has a university degree in InternationalRelations, as well as diplomas in Administration and Negotiation Techniques, Social Development Management, Local Government, PublicDecentralisation, and both formal and informal studies on gender equality, citizen’s participation, national and public security, sexual and reproductive health, national and international politics, poverty, social exclusion and sexual exploitation. These studies were done inEurope, Asia, Africa and North and South America.

Mr. Charles Chauvel was elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives in August 2006, representing the opposition Labour Party. He is a member of the shadow cabinet, with responsibility for Justice and Environment Issues. He chairs the parliamentary privileges andregulations review committees, and was formerly parliamentary private secretary to the NZ Attorney-General. Prior to his election to Parliament he was a partner in the Minter Ellison legal group in Wellington, New Zealand, and Sydney, Australia. He was a member of theboard of the NZ Public Health Commission in 1994 and Chair of the NZ AIDS Foundation Trust in 1995. Mr Chauvel is also a board memberof the Pacic Friends of the Global Fund Against AIDS, TB and Malaria.

Dr. Shereen El Feki is an academic, writer and broadcaster, whose current research focuses on sexual and reproductive life in the Arabregion. Shereen is a former Fellow of the American University in Cairo; before joining AUC, Shereen was a presenter/reporter for Al Jazeera (English). From 1998 to 2005, Shereen was Healthcare Correspondent at The Economist, writing on biomedical research, the pharmaceuticaland biotechnology industries, international public health, biomedical ethics, intellectual property rights and development. Dr. El Fekiholds a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto, as well as an M.Phil in biochemistry and a Ph.D in molecular immunology from the Universityof Cambridge.

Ms. Bience Gawanas was born and grew up in Namibia. After Namibia’s independence, she worked as a lawyer at a human rights NGO,the Legal Assistance Centre and became a full-time member of the Public Service Commission from 1991 to 1996. She was appointed the Ombudswoman of Namibia in 1996 and held that position until 2003. As Ombudswoman, she received and investigated complaints relatingto human rights violations, mal administration, corruption and degradation of the environment. Through her role as the Ombudswoman she advocates for a human rights approach in tackling poverty or addressing socio-economic development. She was elected as the African Union Commissioner for Social Aairs and assumed oce in September 2003 until present. Her work involves advocacy and the harmonisation and coordination of regional and continental policies and programmes relating to social development issues including health, HIV/AIDS,Malaria, TB and other related infectious diseases, migration, population, culture and sport, drug control, social welfare of vulnerable groups,labour and employment. She has been appointed as the Sponsor for the African Union Commission Institutional Transformation Project.She also served as a member of the Global Task Team on Improving Coordination Amongst Multilateral Institutions and Donors and alsoserved as a member of the Global Steering Committee on Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment. She is a member of theInternational Board of Trustees of the African Child Policy Forum, an African NGO based in Ethiopia. She holds an LLB Honours degree fromthe University of Warwick in the UK and an Utter Barrister degree from the Inns of Court School of Law and was called to the English andIrish Bar as a barrister and as an advocate to the Namibian High Court. She also holds an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town.

The Hon. Dame Carol Kidu is presently the only woman in the 109 member Papua New Guinea Parliament. She was rst elected to Parliament in Papua New Guinea in 1997 and re-elected in 2002 and 2007. She has been the Minister for Community Development since2002 and has been described as a “visionary reformer” because of her commitment to transform legislative and policy frameworks forsocial development in Papuan New Guinea societies as they interface with Western society. She has facilitated the preparation of majorlegislative reforms to the criminal code on rape and sexual assault, as well as new legislation on child sexual abuse and sexual exploitationof children; the review of the colonial Child Welfare Act with the passage of the new Lukautim Pikinini Act 2009 (Child Protection Act).She has spearheaded a major shift in public policy to refocus social development to an integrated community development approach. She established the Parliamentary Committee on HIV and AIDS in 2003 and has assumed political leadership in eorts to reform legislationthat criminalises same sex relationships and prostitution. She was a Member of the Commission on AIDS in the Pacic that produced theUN Report on AIDS in the Pacic Region, and was a member of the Regional UN Committee on HIV and AIDS. Dame Kidu received theImperial Award of Dame of the British Empire in January 2005 and was awarded International Woman of Courage Award by the Secretary of State of the United States of America in March 2007. She was named Pacic Person of the Year December 2007 and the 2008 RegionalRights Resource Team Pacic Human Rights Award winner for her contribution to promoting the rights of Pacic Islanders. In February 2009 she was honoured with the highest award for a non-citizen by the French Government - the Cross of Knight in the Order of the Legion d’Honneur. Dame Kidu represents Oceania on the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility. She is the Pacic representative onthe Board of the Commonwealth of Learning and is an international advisor on the Board of the Cairns Institute.

The Hon. Michael Kirby was appointed as Deputy President to the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission in December 1974.In 1975 he was seconded to be the inaugural Chairman of the Australian Law Reform Commission. He served in that post until 1984.Between 1983 and 1984 he was a judge of the Federal Court of Australia followed by his appointment to the Presidency of the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He was elevated to the High Court of Australia in February 1996 and retired from that Court on 4 February 2009, six weeks short of the mandatory retiring age xed by Section 72 of the Constitution. Michael Kirby has participated in many national and international bodies, including as President of the International Commission of Jurists and as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia. He has served in many agencies of the UN, most recently UNAIDS, UNODC, ILO, WHO,UNDP and UNESCO. In 2007, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights appointed him to be a member of the International Judicial Reference Group of her Oce. He also serves as a member of the UNAIDS Global reference panel on human rights. On his retirement fromthe High Court Michael Kirby was elected an honorary life member of the Australian Bar Association and the NSW Bar Association. He is anhonorary Bencher of the Inner Temple, and Fellow of the Society of Legal Scholars, both in London, and of the American Law Institute andthe American Society of International Law in the United States. He holds fteen honorary degrees from Australian and overseas universities. In March 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators, Australia and a member of the Council of that body.In 2010, he was also appointed to be a member of the Eminent Persons Group advising on the future of the Commonwealth of Nations.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee has a distinguished record as an HIV champion, working tirelessly to stop the spread of HIV in the United States and around the world. Since her election to Congress more than a decade ago, the California Democrat has played a leading role in the development of every major HIV/AIDS Bill, and has sought to build bipartisan support for eorts to combat a disease that knows no political or geographic boundaries. She has travelled to India, Africa and the Caribbean to examine these issues. She has worked to eliminate the abstinence provision as a requirement for countries to receive AIDS money. The Congresswoman was the co-author of the landmark legislation that created President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003. This law established a $15 billion global AIDS initiative, at the time the largest nancial commitment of any nation in history to combat a single disease. She writes about her HIV/AIDS work in her 2008 autobiography. In 2008, Congresswoman Lee was a co-author of the PEPFAR legislation that renewed the global AIDS program and included Caribbean nations, and successfully fought to increase the U.S. nancial commitment to $48 billion through 2013 to the ght against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. She co-authored The Protection Against Transmission of HIV for Women and Youth Act of 2006 (PATHWAY) to reduce the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV infection. The Congresswoman has played a pivotal role in increasing domestic funding for HIV prevention, education, care and treatment programs, including the Minority AIDS initiative. She has strongly advocated for creation of a National AIDS Strategy with clear goals and timelines to provide accountability; backed HIV vaccine development, and secured House passage of a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day. She led an eort to declare a state of emergency in Alameda County where the number of African Americans with HIV continued to climb. The Congresswoman has supported eorts to reduce the spread of sexually transmitted infections in federal and state correctional facilities, and has promoted programs to teach comprehensive sex education and reduce the rate of unplanned pregnancies and the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among adolescents. She has worked to lift the ban prohibiting people living with HIV from travelling to the United States.

Mr. Stephen Lewis is co-director and co-founder of AIDS-Free World, an international advocacy organisation that works to promote moreurgent and more eective global responses to HIV/AIDS. Stephen Lewis’ work with the United Nations spanned more than two decades. He was the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa from June 2001 until the end of 2006. From 1995 to 1999, Mr. Lewiswas Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF at the organisation’s global headquarters in New York. In 1997, in addition to his work at UNICEF, Mr. Lewis was appointed by the Organisation of African Unity to a Panel of Eminent Personalities to Investigate the Genocide in Rwanda.The ‘Rwanda Report’ was issued in June of 2000. In 1993, Mr. Lewis became coordinator for the international study -- known as the Graça Machel study -- on the “Consequences of Armed Conict on Children”. The report was tabled in the United Nations in 1996. From 1984through 1988, Stephen Lewis was Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations. In this capacity, he chaired the Committee that drafted the Five-Year UN Programme on African Economic Recovery. He also chaired the first International Conference on Climate Change, in 1988, which drew up the first comprehensive policy on global warming. In the 1960s and 1970s, Stephen Lewis was an elected representative tothe Ontario Legislature. During this time he became leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party and leader of the Ocial Opposition. Inaddition to his work with AIDS-Free World, Mr. Lewis is a Distinguished Professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative and of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative. Mr. Lewis is also the chair ofthe board of the Stephen Lewis Foundation in Canada. Mr. Lewis holds 32 honorary degrees from Canadian universities and in June 2010he received an honorary degree from Dartmouth College in the United States. Mr. Lewis is a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest honour for lifetime achievement. In 2007, the Kingdom of Lesotho invested Mr. Lewis as Knight Commander of the Most Dignied Order of Moshoeshoe. The order, named for the founder of Lesotho, is the country’s highest honour.

Professor Sylvia Tamale is a leading African feminist lawyer and scholar based in Kampala, Uganda. She is the immediate outgoing Dean of Law at Makerere University and has been a visiting professor at several academic institutions around the world. Professor Tamale has servedon national and international boards and committees in multiple organisations, including the Uganda HIV/AIDS Alliance, the InternationalCouncil on Human Rights Policy, the Equal Rights Trust, and the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa. In combining academia withactivism, Professor Tamale adopts a critical approach to the law that aims at enhancing students’ transformative personal growth and action. In 2006 she founded the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Project at Makerere University. Professor Tamale has published and spoken publicly around the world on topics ranging from women’s rights, gender and access to medicine, sexual minorities and HIV/AIDS. Her Readeron African Sexualities is to be published in late 2010 by Pambazuka Press. She has won several awards for defending the human rights ofmarginalised groups such as women, sexual minorities, people living with HIV and refugees. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University, a Master of Laws from Harvard Law School and a Ph.D. in Sociology and Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota.

Mr. Jon Ungphakorn, a former Senator for Bangkok, is a Thai social activist who has spent most of his life working with Thai NGOs on human rights and development issues. His particular interests during the past 25 years have been HIV/AIDS (prevention, treatment, andrights), access to health, development of the welfare state, and development of civil society media. In 1991 he founded and was the first Executive Director of the AIDS Access Foundation, a Thai NGO which provides condential counselling services for people living with HIVand their families, gives training and support to organisations of people living with HIV, campaigns against public stigma of AIDS, and advocates the rights of everyone to eective and aordable health treatment. In 2000 he was elected to the Thai Senate for six years with the support of the NGO and HIV communities, and in 2005 he was a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay Award (a prestigious Asian award) for his advocacy work on human rights. Jon Ungphakorn is an advocate for Thailand and other developing countries to make full use of flexibilities allowed under the WTO TRIPS agreement and the 2001 Doha Declaration in order to provide their citizens with access to life-saving medicines that are readably available in developed nations. At present he is Vice-Chairperson of the Thai Foundation for AIDS Rights and a member of the Board of Governors of the Thai Public Broadcasting Service.

Professor Miriam K. Were is a Kenyan who has taught in the University of Nairobi Medical School (1974-1985) and worked in UNICEF (1985-1990), as Representative of the World Health Organisation (1990-1993) and as UNFPA Director for the Country Support Team that provided technical services in Population and Reproductive Health, which also covered HIV, in East, Central and Anglophone West Africa from 1993 to 2000 when she retired from the UN. In 1999, Miriam was Leader of a multi-agency Mission Ghana that established the basis for the Ghanaian HIV response. Following retirement from the United Nations, Miriam Were has been Chair of the Kenya National AIDS Control Council (2003-2009) during which period Kenya’s National HIV Response had tremendous success. She has also been Chair of the African Medical and Research Foundation-AMREF (2002-2009) that addresses HIV in the African countries where AMREF works. Among her current responsibilities is Membership in the Champions for HIV-Free Generation. Miriam Were is also Co-founder of UZIMA Foundation with a focus on Youth empowerment towards good quality life which includes the control of HIV and AIDS. Among the honours bestowed on her is the prestigious Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize by Japan rst awarded in 2008 for outstanding achievements in increasing access to Medical Services. Other honours include Kenya’s National Honour of the Elder of the Burning Spear, in 2007, the World YWCA Trail Blazer Award among Women Leading Change, The Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medal for Public Health, Knight in the French National Order of the Legion d’Honneur and in 2010, the AMREF Pioneering Public Health Award. Miriam very much values her community based health care (CBHC) work. Kenya presented its CBHC work at the Alma Ata Conference in 1978 at which the Primary Health Care Strategy was adopted. She holds a medical degree from University of Nairobi and also holds Master and Doctor of Public Health degrees from Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. JVR Prasada Rao is presently the UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Asia-Pacific. Prior to that, he was the Special Advisor to the Executive Director, UNAIDS for the Asia-Pacic region, based in New Delhi, India, providing strategic advice and support to the Executive Director on AIDS-related policy and implementation issues. He is the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Government of India. In that role he was instrumental in drafting the National Health Policy, the National AIDS Prevention and Control Policy and the National Blood Transfusion Policy of India. He also initiated a large Reproductive & Child Health (RCH) project for the country. He served as the Regional Director, UNAIDS Asia-Pacific from 2004 to 2009 and was the Director of India’s National AIDS Control Organisation between 1997 and 2002, contributing to the successful launch of an enhanced,decentralised national AIDS response. Prasada Rao also served as Member Secretary to the Commission on AIDS in Asia and the Commission on AIDS in the Pacific. He has participated in important global initiatives, including the Transitional Working Group (TWG) for the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the High Level Forum established jointly by the World Bank, the World Health Organisation,and bilateral donors to monitor achievement of health-related Millennium Development Goals. He was also a member of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB).