Who we are

REF Switzerland Foundation

Andrzej Mirga (Chair)

is a Polish Roma who headed the Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues at the OSCE’s Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) from 2006 till 2013. He is also a long-term associate of the Project on Ethnic Relations and has served as an expert on the Committee of Experts on Roma and Travellers of the Council of Europe, and later as its chair, in addition to several official posts in Poland. Mirga was appointed to the position of Chair in spring 2015.

Kinga Göncz (Vice Chair)

is the chair of Roma Advisory Board of Open Society Foundations and a visiting professor at Central European University School of Public Policy. She has held different positions in the Hungarian Government between 2002 and 2009, including Minister of Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and Minister of Foreign Affairs, and she was a member of the European Parliament from 2009 to 2014.

Gábor Ormosy (Treasurer)

is the CFO of Geosol Group, a renewable energy source provider to power generators in Hungary. He is president of the Non-Profit Partner Foundation which was established to provide specialized advisory services to non-profit organizations on a non-profit basis in order to strengthen their sustainability through forming executable strategy, streamlining operations and focusing fundraising. He was instrumental to the success of MAG, a subsidiary of the Hungarian Development Bank, working with EU Funds, and also was responsible for restructuring two units of Wallis Group. He was appointed in summer 2016.

Tímea Junghaus

Tímea Junghaus is an art historian and contemporary art curator. She started in the position of Executive Director of the European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture in September 2017. Previously, Junghaus was a Research Fellow of the Working Group for Critical Theories at the Institute for Art History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2010-2017). She is completing her Ph.D. studies in Cultural Theory at the Eötvös Lóránd University in Budapest, Hungary. She is the curator of the Visual Arts Section for RomArchive – Digital Archive of the Roma, funded by Kulturstiftung des Bundes (2015-2018). Junghaus was the founding director of Gallery8 – Roma Contemporary Art Space (www.gallery8.org) in Budapest (2013-2017), the winner of the 2014 Catalyst Contemporary Art Award (of Tranzit Hungary) and the 2014 Otto Pankok Prize awarded by the Roma Foundation of German writer and Literary Nobel Laureate, Günter Grass.

Ciprian Necula

Ciprian Necula started his career as a human rights activist under the supervision and mentorship of Nicolae Gheorghe, using innovative tools to address the stereotypes and prejudices against Roma. He has been a journalist, a leader of public campaigns, a promoter of social-economic projects, a political analyst, co-founder of a social enterprise, the leader of a Roma NGO, a consultant for international organizations, a debater in public media, the initiator of the Roma Culture Museum in Bucharest, and a member of the Scientific Council of the European Academic Network on Romani Studies. The single purpose behind all these pursuits is to change the perceptions and narratives about Roma. His dream is to see Roma respected for what they are: a European model of a translational and non-territorial nation. Necula holds a PhD in social anthropology and served as State Secretary in the Romanian Ministry of European Union Funds (2015-2017).

Yvana Enzler

recently retired as Swiss Ambassador to Sweden and was reappointed to the REF Board in 2016. She previously served as representative of the Swiss government on the REF Board from 2008 to 2012 while Swiss Ambassador to Albania. She joined the Swiss diplomatic service in 1979 and was posted in Berne (1979–80), Brussels (1980–81), Berne (1981–88), Rome (1988–91), Washington (1991–95), and again Berne (1995–98). From 1998 to 2002 she was Deputy Head of Mission at the Swiss Embassy in Sarajevo and, from 2002 to 2007, Head of the Swiss Liaison Office in Pristina (Kosovo). She holds an MA in Political Science from the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) and a M.A.L.S. from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Pierre Mirel

served at the European Commission 1981-2013, first on trade relations with “emerging” countries, then on the EU’s fifth enlargement (1990-2004) and on EU relations with Croatia and Turkey (2004-2006). He was Director for the Western Balkans until he retired from the EC at the end of 2013. He is a lecturer at Sciences Politiques-Paris on EU enlargement and neighborhood policies. His most recent publication on these themes is Géopolitique de la Démocratisation: l’Europe et ses ‘voisinages’ (Presses de Sciences Po, Paris, 2014).

Mariam Sherman

is the Director of Strategy and Operations in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. She has occupied several positions in the World Bank in Washington and abroad, and previously worked for NGOs on programs in the Middle East and South Africa. She received a MS in Development Management from the American University in Washington D.C., and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies (Arabic and Modern Hebrew) from Manchester University in England.

Sybille Suter

currently serves as Swiss Ambassador to Macedonia and represents the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on the REF Governing Board. She previously served as Head of the SDC’s Latin American Division. She received an LLM from the University of Bern. She joined the REF Board as representative of the Swiss government in mid-2016.

REF Hungary Foundation

Kinga Göncz

also serving as Chair of REF Hungary in addition to being Vice Chair on the REF Switzerland Board.

Andrzej Mirga

also serving as a member of the Board of REF Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia in addition to being Chair on the REF Switzerland Board.

Andrew Ryder

Andrew Ryder is currently an Associate Professor at the Corvinus University Budapest and Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre (University of Birmingham). From 1990 to 2001 he worked as a teacher in state schools and with the British Council taught Roma children in the UK, Hungary and Portugal. From 2002 until 2006, Ryder was the policy officer for the Gypsy and Traveller Law Reform Coalition (GTLRC), which lobbied for more Traveller sites and greater social inclusion. The GTLRC was awarded the Liberty Human Rights Award in 2004. Ryder was the researcher to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Roma and Travellers from 2002 – 2007. Between 2006 and 2009 he was the National Policy Officer for the Traveller Movement. His interests focus on Roma Travellers/marginalised groups, social justice; community groups/social movements and participatory action research. Ryder most recently has been contracted to write a book on Brexit by Policy Press.

Stanislav Daniel

Stanislav Daniel is a Roma rights activist, advocate, researcher and trainer from Slovakia. Being member of the community himself, his abilities combine first-hand experience with the theoretical knowledge he gained through both formal and non-formal education. His previous work experience includes the Roma Education Fund, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights at the OSCE, European Roma Rights Centre and the Open Society Foundations in Bratislava. After a variety of research and advocacy activities on education, but also housing, freedom of movement, health, and state response to racially motivated violence, he worked with the International Step by Step Association, specifically promoting access to quality early childhood services for Roma children. Currently, he works with Porticus as grant manager responsible for education initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe. He also co-chairs the board of the European Roma Grassroots Organizations (ERGO) Network in Brussels.

REF Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia Foundations

Andrzej Mirga

also serving as a member of the Board of REF Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia in addition to being Chair on the REF Switzerland Board.

Andrew Ryder

also serving as a member of the Board of REF Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia.

Stanislav Daniel

also serving as a member of the Board of REF Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, and Serbia.