Board of Directors

Civil Rights Defenders has an independent, non-profit board of nationally and internationally recognised human rights experts and other professionals. The board is responsible for ensuring that the organisation’s operations are conducted in accordance with the organisation’s vision, mission and core values. The board is also responsible for internal control and that operations are conducted in an efficient manner. The members of the board are elected during the Annual Meeting, which is the organisation’s supreme decision-making body.

Board of Directors | Election Committee

Gerald Nagler, Honorary Chair of the Board

Founder of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights and the Swedish Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in 1982, later renamed Civil Rights Defenders.

Benedicte Berner, Chairperson of the Board (Political scientist)

Benedicte teaches media, democracy, and development at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris. She has held lectures on freedom of expression at Harvard University and is an associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard Universtity. Benedicte has previously worked at the International Red Cross and IOM (International Organization for Migration) in Moscow. As Director of International Issues at the European Institute for the Media, she is also a member of The Swedish Society for International Affairs.

Fredrik Andersson, Board Member (Entrepreneur)

Fredrik has extensive experience in strategic communications consultancy and entrepreneurship, both in Sweden and internationally. He also has a long track record in social issues, politics, and rights. Fredrik is a partner and a member of the board of communication company Miltton Group. He is also a partner in the Museum of Photography and a member of the Board of the MEDEA Award for dramatic arts in Sweden. In 1998, he founded the Public Affairs Section at the PR agency Prime, where he worked for 14 years.

Carin Norberg, Board Member (Chair of the Center for Economic and Social Rights)

Carin holds a master’s degree in political science from Uppsala University. She has extensive experience of working with Sida, where she was employed from 1971 to 2002. She has also worked as an advisor to the Office of the United Nations Commissioner for Namibia in New York and was the director of the Nordic Africa Institute during the period 2006–2012. Carin has also been an active member of several boards, including the Swedish Institute Alexandria and TI Sweden.

Christian Åhlund, Board Member (Lawyer)

Christian is a member of the Swedish Bar Association since 1983 and has focused on international humanitarian law, labor law and criminal cases. Christian was the driving force behind the establishment of the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) in 2002 and its secretary general until 2015. Christian has previously been chairman of the Swedish Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee and the European Human Rights Committee within the CCBE (Conseil Consultatif des Barreaux Européens). Since 2005, he has also been Sweden’s representative in the Council of Europe´s Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).

Christoffer Lindblad, Board Member (Founder and Partner, Pelago AB)

Christoffer is the founder of and a partner at Pelago, a prominent Nordic leadership services company. Christoffer was previously country manager (Sweden) and partner at Alumni, a leading company in executive recruitment and leadership development . He has a broad network in the Nordic business community and solid experience in board and executive recruitment for large international corporations and organisations. Christoffer has a law degree from the University of Lund and has previously worked for the law firm Mannheimer Swartling.

Lars Häggström, Board Member (Executive in Residence, IMD Business School)

Lars works at IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he is a lecturer and researcher in leadership and change. He is also the founder and CEO of the company Enable Performance AB, which works with development of organisations and individuals . Lars previously worked as HR Director of Stora Enso, a company active in the field of renewable materials, and before that as HR Director of Nordea. He has also worked in the pharmaceutical industry in the UK and the US. Lars has an education in behavioural science and economics from Uppsala University.

Anne Ramberg, Board Member (Lawyer)

Anne Ramberg has been a lawyer since 1976, of which 13 years with her own law firm. She has been a member of the Ethical review board at the Swedish National Police Board and was between 2000 and 2019 the Secretary General for the Swedish Bar Association. She has several assignment  in Sweden and internationally, among other as a member of the board at the International Bar Association Human Rights Institute, IBAHRI and as an ad-hoc judge at the European Court of Human Rights as well as mediator at the Court of Conciliation and Arbitration at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, OSSE, and chairperson of the board at the Stockholm Centre for the Rights of the Child at Stockholm University.

Lena Svensson, Board Member (Economist, senior advisor focusing on the nonprofit sector)

Lena Svensson is a former certified public accountant and partner at PwC. She has several years of experience as an accountant and advisor in the nonprofit sector and has, among other things, worked with organisations within the fundraising and international development sectors. Beyond leading numerous audit teams, Lena has held several leadership roles within PwC, namely as group manager and business area manager, and has been responsible for developing PwC’s nonprofit sector department. Today, Lena holds several board positions and works as a consultant, specialising in associations and foundations.

Election Committee