Secretary General and Senior Leadership Team
Richard Burton

Secretary General and Senior Leadership Team



Follow @KumiNaidoo on Twitter.

Kumi Naidoo is a life-long social justice and environmental campaigner hailing from South Africa. Born in Durban in 1965, Kumi’s first taste of activism came at age 15 when he organised and took part in an anti-apartheid protest that saw him expelled from his school.

As a result of his continued anti-apartheid activism, he was forced to live in exile in the UK in 1986. He returned to South Africa in 1990 to work with the African National Congress. He went on to hold multiple leadership roles in civil society and global organisations, including as the Executive Director of Greenpeace.


The International Secretariat of Amnesty International is led by a team of Senior Directors headed by the Secretary General. The Senior Directors work closely with the directors and deputy directors of the IS' programmes (departments) and together they provide strategic direction, operational management and direct support to the secretariat’s staff and volunteers. They also work closely with the directors of Amnesty International’s local chapters.

The Senior Directors are:



Anna Neistat is Senior Director of Research at Amnesty International. She is responsible for leading and developing Amnesty International’s global research agenda, as well as overseeing the organization’s crisis response.

Anna has been involved in human rights work for more than 18 years. She has conducted more than 60 investigations in conflict areas around the world, including Afghanistan, Chechnya, Ukraine, Haiti, Kenya, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Yemen and Zimbabwe. Prior to joining Amnesty International she was Associate Director for Program at Human Rights Watch.  Her work features in the film, E-Team

Anna has also worked for "Echo of Moscow,", the Open Society Institute, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies. She holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School, a J.D. and Ph.D. in law, and an M.S. in history and philology. She is a member of the New York State Bar.


Office of the Secretary General

Colm Ó Cuanacháin is Senior Director of the Office of the Secretary General at Amnesty International. He is responsible for the Office of the Secretary General, Global Management and Strategy and Evaluation teams; supporting sections and structures at the global level and overseeing the National Offices; and Amnesty International’s governance function for the International Board

Colm has held a number of other roles in Amnesty International including as Senior Director of Movement Building, Chair of Amnesty International’s global governance body, Secretary General of the organization's Irish Section and Senior Director for Campaigns.

He formerly worked as Head of Campaigns for ActionAid International. He holds a PhD in Human Rights Education.


Global Fundraising & Engagement

Julie Verhaar is Senior Director of Global Fundraising and Engagement at Amnesty International. She is responsible for leading Amnesty International’s fundraising efforts to achieve ambitious goals for growth in income and membership.

Julie has more than a decade’s experience leading fundraising efforts for major organizations, including the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) - where she was Chief of Fundraising Services and acting Deputy Director for Private Sector Fundraising - as well as Greenpeace International and The Netherlands Red Cross.

Her previous roles include Founder and Managing Director of Sunrise Integrate Marketing Services Ltd, a project management and consultancy firm in the Netherlands.


Global Operations

Minar Pimple is the Senior Director of Global Operations at Amnesty International. He is responsible for overseeing the operations and impact of the International Secretariat’s regional offices which are being opened around the world from 2013, creating a global presence for the organization.

Minar oversees the operations of these new offices where Amnesty International's research, campaigning, communications and development activities are managed by teams based from within the region.

Prior to joining Amnesty International, Minar was the Regional Director of the United Nations Millennium Campaign where he led the Campaign’s Asia-Pacific operations and advocacy. He has also held roles as Executive Director of Decade of Human Rights Inc. (PHDRE) in New York, USA, and as Chief Executive Officer of “Youth for Unity and Voluntary Action” (YUVA), a civil society organization that promotes human rights and sustainable development for urban and rural poor in India. Minar has played various global board roles with Habitat International Coalition, Oxfam International where he was the Founder Chair of Oxfam India.


People and Services

Richard Eastmond is the Senior Director of People and Services at Amnesty International.  Richard’s role encompasses responsibility for Human Resources, Internal Communications, Finance, Legal services, Information & Technology, Security and Workplace services. Richard was previously the Senior Director for Organization Development and Human Resources at the International Secretariat where his main focus has been to help implement the Global Transition Programme and the setting up of the Regional Offices.  

Richard previously worked at Tearfund, Clear Channel International, CBS, LexisNexis and Reed Education.


Law & Policy

Tawanda Mutasah is Senior Director of Law & Policy at Amnesty International. He is responsible for leading the formulation of the movement's human rights policies, legal positions and litigation strategies.

Tawanda has 20 years of leadership experience in human rights, governance, rule of law and humanitarian work. His previous roles include Executive Director for Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa; Coordinator of Policy, Advocacy, Communications for Southern Africa for Oxfam GB; and the principal founder of a broad-based national Coalition for Constitutional Reform in Zimbabwe.

He has served as the governor of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa; led the organization of a Brazil-Africa project encouraging the sharing of human rights lawyering skills among young Lusophone lawyers; and helped found the Southern Africa Litigation Center.

Tawanda received his legal training from Harvard Law School, New York University Law School, and the University of Zimbabwe. He holds a Master of Management degree from the University of the Witwatersrand. He received the International Bar Association's "International Rule of Law Award" in 2004.


Campaigns and Communications

Thomas Schultz-Jagow is the Senior Director of Campaigns and Communications at Amnesty International. He leads on an integrated strategy for the movement’s global campaigns and communications including responsibilities for editorial, media and digital communications. Thomas is a key spokesperson on campaigns and the Amnesty International movement.

He previously worked at Oxfam GB, where he held the roles of Director of Campaigns and Director of Communications. Prior to Oxfam, Thomas was Director of Communications at the International Secretariat of WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and held senior campaigns and communications roles at WWF Germany, Greenpeace International and Greenpeace Germany. He holds degrees in Political Science and History.