Coordinating Committee

Members of the Coordinating Committee 

Prof. Leonor Briones, (Philippines, co-chair) Lead Convenor, Social Watch Philippines, became Treasurer of the Republic of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001 during the term of President Joseph Estrada. She is also former Presidential Adviser for Social Development with Cabinet Rank, former president of the Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) and Nominee to Congress of KAARBAY Party list during the 2010 national elections.

The Coordinating Committee (CC) is the key political body for the ‘daily’ work of the network, with an organizational structure, which requires fluid communications, facilitated principally through an email list, plus biannual face-to-face meetings and regular telephone conferences to discuss specific issues.

The CC is composed of up to 16 members, two from each of six regions (Africa, Asia, the Arab region, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe), plus a maximum of three members co-opted by the CC, and the Social Watch Coordinator as ex-officio member from the International Secretariat.

The 12 regional members of the CC are nominated by the regional groups at the General Assembly and elected by all attendees of the Social Watch Assembly. They are therefore accountable to the network as a whole and they are not formal representatives of their regions, as there is no existing mechanism that would legitimate such representation. The membership of the CC shall be composed with sensitivity to gender balance, i.e., as a principle, from each region one woman and one man shall be elected; cooptation of members by the CC shall also be gender sensitive.

To ensure renewal of the membership of the CC and to provide participation opportunities to different members, it is strongly suggested that each of the regional members of the CC should not be re-elected more then once, thus serving two following terms of up to six years. The term of the co-opted members ends with the General Assembly. Co-opted members can be selected by the new CC again.

The members of the CC appoint at the first meeting after the election two co-chairs (one man and one woman from different regions).

The effectiveness of the CC depends on the active participation of all members of the CC. Therefore, in order to guarantee the functioning of the CC, members have to fulfill several basic requirements:

  1. Capacity to participate in two CC meetings per year, several conference calls and the regular communication through the email list;
  2. Willingness and ability to represent Social Watch in international fora;
  3. Ability to communicate in English.

In between Assemblies the CC should provide political leadership and guidance and oversee the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly.

The CC ensures the political visibility and participation of the network in relevant fora and processes.

Based on proposals from the members, the CC decides the principal theme for the annual Social Watch Report.

The CC oversees and supports the work of the Secretariat in between General Assemblies. These include:

  1. Review and approve projects, activity plans and budget/financial proposals and reports prepared by the Secretariat.
  2. Oversee the preparations for and the conduct of the General Assembly, including the Report to the Assembly.
  3. Work with Secretariat to stimulate the emergence of new national Social Watch coalitions and strengthen existing ones.

The CC reports about its activities to the General Assembly.

The CC decides the time and place of the General Assembly.


Tanya Dawkins (USA, co-chair)  Tanya is the executive director of the Global-Local Links Project where her work focuses on engaging one of the most pressing issues of our time ? what it means to build citizen and community power in an age of intensifying globalization(s).   She is dedicated to developing a new generation of globally minded, community-centric tools, networks, law and policy that “put people and communities at the center of the global economy.” This work includes the development of the Global Community Rights Framework Initiative, a law and policy innovations project focused on advancing new rights, remedies and avenues of opportunity for people and communities affected by mega trade, infrastructure and investment projects around the world. Tanya has an MBA from Barry University and has completed post graduate studies in international human rights law at Oxford University. She currently serves as co-chair Social Watch International and has been active in Social Watch-US since 2005.




Abdulnabi Alerky (Bahrain) Founder and Coordinator of Bahrain Committee for Human Rights, in exile 1982-2001; Founder and Training Officer of Bahrain Human Rights Society since 2001; Founder, Member of Board, and currently President of Bahrain Transparency Society; Coordinator of Arab NGOs Network for Development (ANND) in Bahrain; Member of CC of ANND since establishment in 1997; ANND member organizations are members of SW, thus by defacto member of SW; Editor or Co-editor of the country report of the SW annual report; Contributor of Bahrain report on MDGs; Contributor of alternative report to the major UN mechanisms on human rights; Bahrain national with BA in Engineering and diplomas in human rights and statistics.


Gustave Benjamin Assah (Benin) is currently Coordinator of Social Watch Benin. He is continental chair of Civic Commission for Africa (Pan African TICAD Civil Society Advocacy Network for Aid Effectiveness). He is a nationa Coach for UEMOA and AfDB for benin AfCOP / Afrik4R. Former National Director of building capacities  project of Civil Society Organizations and the Media in Benin (UNDP-Benin). Member  of West and Central Africa NGOs Network (REPAOC). He holds a DEA Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies and  a Master in Human Resources Manager Program Evaluation specializing in Interactive methodologies. He is a Community Development Expert in Managing for Development Result and Governance, Advocacy and lobbying.
He also holds an Honors degree in Human and Social Sciences (Sociology and option Anthropology) at University of Benin Specialising in Development and Project Management. He has done Advocacy and lobbying Consultancy for ECA, with experience on APRM / NEPAD support to CSOs.

Susan Eróstegui (Bolivia) is the Executive Director of the National Union of Institutions for Work in Social Action (UNITAS) a national platform of 26 NGOs which develops different programs to strengthen urban-popular, indigenous and peasant organizations, fostering reflection and discussion to actively promote their participation in analysis and public proposals, while at the same time promoting new development paradigms in the national context and public debate surrounding development and human rights issues at the national, regional and global levels. UNITAS has been a member of the national coalition of Social Watch since 1997 and, along with CEDLA, has been the Social Watch focal point in Bolivia since 2009. Susana is a Communications Specialist, and has studied women’s human rights and communication for sustainable development. Since 2008, she has been part of the Global Facilitating Group of the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness.  

Kate McInturff Canada) is a Research Associate at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Kate is an ongoing contributor to the Alternative Federal Budget and leads CCPA’s initiative on gender equality and public policy: Making Women Count. Kate is the past Executive Director of FAFIA and currently sits on the Coordinating Committee of SocialWatch. Kate received her doctoral degree from the University of British Columbia in 2000.


Mirjam van Reisen (European Union ) is the founder of Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA), a research and advice centre on European Union external policy, based in Brussels. EPPA works in cooperation with Eurostep and its members. She was a political advisor in the European Parliament from 1999 – 2001. She has 20 years experience of working both in and alongside the EC Institutions. In October 2010, Prof van Reisen was appointed for the Endowed Chair in honour of Marga Klompé on International Social Responsibility at Tilburg University, School of Humanities. Mirjam van Reisen is the author of the books “Window of Opportunity: EU development Cooperation after the End of the Cold War” (Africa World Press) and “EU Global Player: The North-South Policy of the European Union” (International books).


Yao Graham (Ghana) is the Coordinator of Third World Network-Africa, a pan-African research and advocacy organization based in Accra Ghana and also a founding member of Social Watch. TWN-Africa's work covers the areas of economic policy, international trade, investment and the role of the IFIs on African development, gender and economic policy and Africa's extractive sector (mainly mining). Yao has been involved in activism and debates and written extensively about Africa and global development issues since the mid 1970s, working with key social organisations such as trade unions over the years.


Barbara Adams (New York) is Chair of the Executive Board of Global Policy Forum. She was trained as an economist in the UK and served as Executive Director of the Manitoba Council for International Affairs in Canada from 1977 to 1979. She served as Associate Director of the Quaker United Nations Office in New York (1981–1988), where she worked with delegates, UN staff and NGOs on issues of economic and social justice, women, peace and human rights. Barbara served as Deputy Coordinator of the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) through the period of the UN global conferences and until 2003. From 2003 to 2008 she worked as Chief of Strategic Partnerships and Communications for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). Her recent experience has included being a member of the Civil Society Reflection Group on Global Development Perspectives.


Martina Mnenegwa Kabisama (Tanzania) Martina works as a national co-ordinator of Southern Africa Human Rights NGO Network (SAHRINGON)-Tanzania Chapter. She has served as a Sub Regional Co-ordinator and Africa Regional Vice President for Oikosnet-Africa and served as a Vice Chairperson of East Africa and Horn of Africa Fellowship of Christian Councils from 2003-2006. She holds a Masters Degree in Education, International Management and Policy from the University of Birmingham –UK. She is also a human rights and gender activist with over 20 years' experience, and an international trainer on nonviolence approaches to conflict management.


Roberto Bissio (Uruguay, ex officio) is coordinator of Social Watch and Executive Director of the Third World Institute (Instituto del Tercer Mundo, ITeM). He is a member of the boards of the Third World Network (TWN) and of the Montreal International Forum. He is also a member of the Civil Society Advisory Committee to the UNDP administrator.