Staff and board
Staff and consultants
Mark Dearn, Director
Mark was appointed CORE’s Director in May 2020. He joins CORE from the Labour Party, where he was a strategic communications adviser in the Leader’s office, with a particular policy focus on international development, trade and foreign policy. Prior to that he was a senior campaigner at War on Want, where he was also a board member of the UK Trade Justice Movement and a member of the Seattle to Brussels Network coordination group. He has also previously worked for NGOs including End Water Poverty and IBON International. Before this he worked as a journalist for local, national and foreign publications.
Georgina joins CORE as our new full time Policy and Communications Officer. Georgina was previously a paralegal at Bates Wells where she carried out legal and factual research often with a focus on the Human Rights Act and scrutinised several government policies. After studying for an undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Oxford she completed a master’s degree in Communications and Development at the LSE. After her studies she worked as a Consultant at the United Nations and a Campaign Officer for Choose Love.
Ligia joins CORE as our new Network Officer – it’s a three day a week role, and her normal days will be Monday – Wednesday. Ligia was previously the Business and Human Rights Officer at Forest Peoples Programme, she’s undertaken independent research in the Brazilian Amazon with indigenous peoples and previously worked for the service provider, Proforest, where she worked on human rights within responsible sourcing. Ligia is British-Brazilian and has undergraduate and master’s degrees in Social Anthropology.
Board of Directors
Elaine Gilligan (Chair)
Elaine has over twenty-five years’ experience of leading change for Friends of the Earth, including working on ground-breaking projects on citizen rights and action for justice, through to supporting environmentalists at risk around the world. Elaine has significant experience of being on boards of NGOs, including seven years on the Board of Friends of the Earth International.
Seema has over 20 years of professional experience working globally in law, policy and human rights. During her career, she has created, led and developed cutting-edge strategies at leading human rights organisations including: Amnesty International, Global Witness and the UN Development Programme in Bangkok. For many years as Amnesty’s Head of Business and Human Rights she provided substantive expertise to, and led, the organisation’s investigative, advocacy and campaigning work on supply chains, corporate crimes and environmental justice. Seema is a Canadian qualified lawyer (1999) with a Master’s in International Law (2002). Currently, she is co-producing a podcast called “The Lives of Others” as an Associate member of the University of Greenwich Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group.
Dan Leader is a barrister and partner at Leigh Day with over 17′ years litigation experience. He specialises in international human rights and environmental litigation with a particular focus on group actions by claimants from the developing world. Dan has lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya where he worked with local lawyers on human rights and public interest cases, and in 2001 was awarded the Bar Council’s Sydney Elland Goldsmith award for his contribution to pro bono work in Africa. From 2014 to 2017 he was an independent expert member of the Government Steering Board which oversees the implementation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.
Danielle is a Senior Researcher on Labour Rights at the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre. Her work focuses on the full range of labour rights including freedom of association, modern slavery and living wage. Danielle is a human rights lawyer and her experience includes representing asylum seekers as a caseworker at Refugee & Migrant Justice. She started her career at the law firm Mayer Brown where she was a solicitor in the litigation department.
Mustafa Qadri is the Founder and Executive Director of Equidem Research and Consulting, a specialist human rights and labour rights investigations consultancy. He is a human rights research and advocacy expert with over 15 years of interdisciplinary experience in government and public international law, journalism and the non-governmental sector. Mustafa is the author of several landmark human rights reports into the construction industry, civil and political rights issues, and media freedom, including most recently ‘The Ugly Side of the Beautiful Game’ – the first independent human rights investigation to uncover labour abuse on Qatar 2022 World Cup construction sites.
Prof. Olga Martin-Ortega
Olga Martin-Ortega is Professor of International Law at the School of Law, University of Greenwich and has been researching business and human rights for over ten years. She currently leads the Business, Human Rights and Environment (BHRE) Research Group and undertakes research on multinational enterprises and human rights, post-conflict reconstruction and transitional justice. She is currently a member of several international research networks, including Chair of the Board of the Interest Group on Business and Human Rights of the European Society of International Law. Olga is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Electronics Watch and member of the Board of Directors of the London Universities Purchasing Consortium.
Susie Talbot is an activist human rights lawyer working with communities around the world towards transformative change at the intersection of corporate accountability, economic policy, gender and other socio-economic issues. She is currently Legal Director of ESCR-Net – the International Network for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and previously worked on strategic litigation and other forms of advocacy at INTERIGHTS, the Kurdish Human Rights Project and Minority Rights Group International, among others. Susie has facilitated interactive workshops in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia, integrating human rights, nature-connection practices and a living systems philosophy to advance social and environmental justice visions and collective action.
Swee Leng Harris
Swee Leng Harris is the Senior Policy Advisor on Mainstreaming the Rule of Law in Parliament at the Bingham Centre. She is interested in international law and governance of sustainable development both in terms of environmental governance and human rights. She has previously worked in the Research and Policy Department of the International Development Law Organisation in Rome and practised law at Allens (now Allens Linklaters) in Australia for over four years, specialising in environment and planning law. She has also undertaken extensive pro bono work advising on business and human rights issues and on indigenous peoples’ rights.
Tim Cooke-Hurle practises a broad range of civil and international law, including cases raising business and human rights issues. He has been a junior counsel in cases such as The Bodo Community v Shell and The Ogale Community v Shell, both cases arising from oil pollution in Nigeria, Various v African Barrick Gold, concerning mining operations in Tanzania and Various v British Airways and Simon Woods in Kenya. He also advises in relation to complaints under the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, such as in the case of Crude Accountability v the KPO Consortium in Kazakhstan and Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain v the Formula One Group.