Collectively, we have experience of working with companies, governments, intergovernmental organisations, financial institutions, and NGOs on a range of business and human rights issues. Our experience provides a solid foundation for our multidisciplinary understanding and approach.
Désirée Abrahams has been advancing responsible business standards since 2002. In 2008, she started to specialise on business and human rights, heading up the Business and Human Rights Programme at the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) from 2008-2011. During this time, she developed the Guide to Human Rights Impact Assessment and Management tool, piloting it with Nokia, ENI and Statkraft. Désirée has advised several oil and gas companies on human rights-sensitive business practices, including Petrofac and Repsol. She sits on the UN Global Compact's Human Rights and Labour Working Group and the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Business and Human Rights Working Group.
Habab Elshoush has worked in the legal field, in government and in the private sector in the UAE and Sudan. Her areas of expertise include planning and financial appraisal of development projects, most notably, in the sustainable energy and agri-business fields. She developed large, sustainable agricultural exploits aimed at developing food security in the Middle East. Habab has has been involved in the planning and development of significant national projects such as the National Micro-Finance Strategy Framework for Sudan, in cooperation with the World Bank, and the National Wealth Sharing Scheme. Habab has an executive education course in Executing Strategy for Results at the London Business School and is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science and BPP Law School. She speaks French and is a native Arabic speaker.
Graham Minter retired from the British Diplomatic Service in 2005. During his career, his Diplomatic Service assignments included postings to Mexico, Australia, Paraguay and as Ambassador, to Bolivia. His final government position was as Head of the Foreign Office’s Global Business Group, responsible for the FCO's relations with business. From 2005 to 2009, Graham co-chaired an OECD initiative to help to improve the investment climate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In 2010, he worked with the Egyptian Corporate Responsibility Centre on the development of a national strategy for responsible business. Since 2005, Graham was a member of the Secretariat of the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights.
Alex Newton is a lawyer and specialist in business and human rights. She consults to corporations, governments and non-government organisations on a wide range of matters related to business and human rights, corporate responsibility, corruption and discrimination. Before launching her management consulting business in January 2016, Ms Newton worked as an executive in Australia’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for more than six years, advising on complex legal and public policy issues. Previously, she served in the United Nations Secretary General’s Strategic Planning Unit in New York and as a lawyer with the Australian Human Rights Commission. She started her career as a commercial lawyer, with King and Wood Mallesons in Sydney.
Helen Sheppard is a corporate responsibility specialist with experience in managing global community programmes, benchmarking corporate performance with sustainable investors, and corporate reporting. She is currently a consultant with RELX Group, reviewing their response to and how they implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and benchmarking progress against the UN Women's Empowerment Principles. Helen has both corporate and charity sector experience, having successfully secured funding from government and institutional donors.