ERIS in Cote d'Ivoire

ERIS' website provides training manuals, websites and blogs for community radio programming and on issues including reconciliation and social cohesion. More> 

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ERIS Annual Democracy Lecture

ERIS organises an annual lecture in solidarity with those working for democracy around the world. Read, watch and listen to previous lectures here.

Resources

View updated election calendars, recent election observer reports, key publications and more information on observing elections here>

Keith Best

Keith Best
Chair

Keith Best has been Chairman of ERIS since 2007. He is the Chief Executive of the national charity Freedom from Torture (formerly the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture) and was Chief Executive of the Immigration Advisory Service from 1993-2009.
 
A barrister and former MP, he was awarded the Territorial Decoration after serving in airborne and commando forces, and left with the rank of major. He was formerly Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Wales and Director of Prisoners Abroad.
 
He is currently Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy, which seeks improved international structures on federalist principles with observer status at the UN. He was also the first Chairman of the Association of Registered Immigration Advisers and currently is Chair of the Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust.
 
He chaired the national charity the Electronic Immigration Network for ten years and was formerly Chairman of the Electoral Reform Society.

 
David Mathieson

David Mathieson
Treasurer

David Mathieson was educated as an engineer and information systems technologist, specializing in administrative systems, business processes, planning, and operations.He has worked as a consultant and IT Director with both commercial and public sector clients, in the UK, USA and EU countries.

He is a former party local chairman, elected District Councillor and was the founding treasurer of the UK Parliamentary Information Technology Committee. Since 1998 he has been a Director of ERIS, the International Services Division of the Electoral Reform Society of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and has run several election and voter registration projects in Africa.

 
Michael Carpenter

Michael Carpenter
Board Member

Michael Carpenter has been a member of the Board of ERIS since the end of 2012.  A barrister and former civil servant, Michael is currently Speaker’s Counsel at the House of Commons and head of the Office of Speaker’s Counsel. He was Counsel for European Legislation at the House of Commons from 2000 to 2008.

As a civil servant, Michael held posts in the European Commission from 1973 to 1981 and subsequently in the Lord Chancellor’s Department, as Deputy Legal Secretary to HM Attorney General and in the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. Michael later assisted the House of Commons representatives on the Convention for the Future of Europe.

As Speaker’s Counsel, Michael advises Mr Speaker on legal issues affecting the Speakership and the House of Commons, as well as advising a number of Select Committees, the Clerk of the House and the House departments.
            
Michael is also a non-executive director of a friendly society, and is a trustee of Oxshott village hall. He was made a CBE in the New Year’s honours list for his services to Parliament.

 
Garth Glentworth

Garth Glentworth
Board Member

Dr Glentworth retired from the Department for International Development in February 2005 after 27 years with that organisation and its predecessors. Prior to 1978, Dr Glentworth was a lecturer with the Development Administration Group of the then Institute of Local Government Studies in the University of Birmingham. He had worked in junior capacities in Africa before that - Makerere University in Uganda and the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland then based in Roma, Lesotho.

Dr Glentworth played a major role in the build-up of the priority sector now known as "Governance" but which had a number of names before settling on Governance in the mid-nineties. It involves a wide range of subject areas: capacity building in public administration and local government; the development of political institutions including the whole electoral sequence; the Justice Sector - police, prisons and Rule of Law institutions; and increasingly the interface between security, politics and development.

He brings to the ERIS Board this wide-ranging background and experience and considerable knowledge of the workings of aid agencies and their priorities - including their strategies, plans and detailed project design intentions in the field of election support defined widely.

Dr Glentworth was awarded the OBE for services to governance development and public service development in the New Year's Honours List of 2006.

 

 
Dame Audrey Glover DBE CMG

Dame Audrey Glover DBE CMG
Board Member

Dame Audrey Glover is a human rights lawyer who was formerly a Legal Counsellor at the FCO. During that time she was the UK Agent before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights.

Dame Audrey was seconded by the FCO as Director of ODIHR from 1994 to 1997. She then headed the UK Delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission from 1998 to 2003. More recently, Dame Audrey has headed the OSCE/ODIHR EOMs including those to Georgia and Azerbaijan (2010), Albania (2009), Italy and the US (2008) and Ukraine (2007). She has worked in Baghdad as a human rights adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

 
Simon Hearn

Simon Hearn
Board Member

Simon is a Director at Electoral Reform Services Limited.

Simon has seventeen years experience managing elections and consultations on behalf of many of the UK's major trade unions, private companies, government agencies, charities, local authorities and professional associations.

Simon has also worked overseas on various election projects (Armenia, Ghana, Cambodia, Kosovo) and was notably appointed as the "Electronic Voting Expert" to the EU Observation Team for the 2004 Venezuelan Parliamentary Elections.

 
Darren Hughes

Darren Hughes
Board Member

Darren is the Deputy Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society.  He joined ERS in 2012 and is responsible for the Society’s campaign and research work. His team is responsible for developing ideas and themes to improve British democracy and then working to see that change brought into reality.

Previously Darren was a Labour MP in New Zealand over three Parliaments, serving as a Minister in the Helen Clark Government and later in the NZ equivalent of the Shadow Cabinet. In addition to portfolio roles (across education, transport and infrastructure) he also held parliamentary positions as Shadow Leader of the House and Chief Whip.

 
Derek MacLeod

Derek MacLeod
Board Member

Currently the University of Edinburgh's International Officer for the Middle East and Africa, Derek was previously Programme Manager at ERIS for two years and also worked for ERIS and The Carter Centre UK on the EC Bi-lateral Elections Programme for Liberia during the historic 2005 elections.

Derek has extensive experience with both EU and OSCE observation missons and has also worked in Private Office for the Scottish Executive in Edinburgh and for The Carter Center in Atlanta, GA.

 
Gerald Shamash

Gerald Shamash
Board Member

Gerald qualified as a solicitor in 1976, and founded Steel & Shamash Solicitors in 1981. He has acted as the solicitor to The Labour Party since 1990.

Gerald is recognised as one of the leading practitioners in the country in his areas of expertise which include: Election Law (both local and national, and incorporating European, Scottish and Welsh elections); Parliamentary boundary enquiries; Judicial Review (Public Law); Local Government law; Parliamentary Rules relating to the conduct of Members of Parliament and Ministers; and Media Law including defamation and privacy (including phone hacking)

He is recognised in Chambers and Partners within the category of Parliamentary and Public Affairs and The Legal 500 within Electoral Law.

His position as solicitor to The Labour Party and the Society of Labour Lawyers has closely involved Gerald with legislative reform of Electoral Law. In this capacity he has met regularly with Ministers and Shadow Ministers and has contributed to a number of consultations, including a review of Electoral Law by the Law Commission and the Electoral Commission.

Gerald's Electoral Law expertise has brought him into contact with many jurisdictions to lecture, train and advise including Sweden, Malawi, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cuba and Russia.Law

 
Kathryn Thompson

Kathryn Thompson
Board Member

Kathryn Thomson was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board in December 2007 following three years as Director of Finance & Business Planning at NITB.  Overseeing the Corporate Development and Organisational Development Directorates, her key role is to build an effective organisation that both supports and delivers for the tourism sector in Northern Ireland.

Working closely with the Chief Executive this includes strategy development, corporate engagement, governance and operational effectiveness. 

Kathryn holds a BCom (Hons) degree in Business Studies from the University of Edinburgh, completed her accountancy training at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and has a professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Prior to joining NITB Kathryn worked in the senior finance team within NHS Greater Glasgow, primarily involved in business and financial planning to influence strategic decision making.

 

Rolf Timans
Board Member

Rolf Timans is a trained German lawyer who joined the services of the European Commission (EC) in 1976 following a period with a private law firm in Germany.  In his thirty-six years of service at the European level he held a wide range of different positions, including as Head of Delegation/Ambassador to Poland and Brazil, as well as Head of the Democracy and Human Rights Unit at the EC’s External Relations Department.

Upon the latter’s transformation into the European External Action Service (EEAS) in 2011, Rolf continued his career as Head of Division for Human Rights at the EEAS until his retirement in October 2012.

Other than his overall EU policy credentials, Rolf brings to the ERIS Board a broad international experience and expertise in the fields of governance, democracy building, election observation, human rights policy, civil society support and relevant project guidance and management in the European Union’s partner countries across the world.