ERGO Network has a new Director

ERGO Network has a new Director

As of 1st April 2017, ERGO Network has a new executive director who will lead its secretariat and advocacy work in Brussels. Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova, former deputy director, has been appointed by ERGO’s board to tave over from our colleague and friend Ruus Dijksterhuis who said goodbye to ERGO after 14 years in its leadership.

Ruus Dijksterhuis has co-founded ERGO Network in 2003 and since then has been fundamental to its growing strength and outreach. She said good-bye to many members and close partners during the EU Roma Week 2017: “It is amazing to realise that ERGO has become a key player on European level thanks to the commitment of man people around. I believe we have built a unique organisation, being the only truly European Roma network. I am proud that many of the people from the first hour are still engaged to make the best out of our network.”

Ruus Dijksterhuis has been a great advocate for the participation of Roma as equal stakeholders in civic and political life and ERGO would not exist today without her hard work, passion and dedication for Roma rights.  We wish her all the best for the future.

Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova is not new to ERGO Network; she has been its advocacy and policy coordinator and later deputy director since 2011. She is a strong human rights activist with extensive experience in protection, promotion and advocacy of Roma rights and is a Roma herself.

She started her career as a consultant for non-profit organisations in Czech Republic and then joined the Governmental Office as Director of the Roma Office for the Council of Roma Minority Affairs, where she coordinated strategic and conceptual work related to Roma integration. She was strongly involved in the Czech Presidency of the European Union when the 10 Common Basic Principles for Roma Inclusion were adopted, and organised the first meeting of the EU Roma Platform. She is furthermore a member of the Advisory Panel to the Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency and a board member of RomMedia Foundation in Budapest.

Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova’s focus for the coming years will lie on strong capacity-building among Romani organisations in order to be more impactful in advocacy and to increase quality standards in accountability and transparency of (pro)Roma civil society. She aims to support the creation of coalitions and alliances to increase the voice of Roma in policy-making processes and to strengthen ERGO’s work to combat antigypsyism on all levels. Besides this, she states: “Within our network, my passion lies on creating a learning organisation that encourages sharing knowledge and experiences, creating ideas together and learning from each other. We will explore and build new potential especially among young Roma activists and strengthen our say in policy-making”.

For more information on ERGO Network, please follow us on www.ergonetwork.organd www.Romareact.org. The new director Jamen Gabriela Hrabanova can be contacted at g.hrabanova@ergonetwork.org, +32 2 893 09 45.