Australian human rights lawyer and scholar Anne Therese Gallagher has been appointed as the new Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation. The Foundation is one of three intergovernmental agencies of the Commonwealth, along with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth of Learning. It builds the capacity of civil society organisations to respond to people’s needs, with a focus on governance and gender.
Currently president of the International Catholic Migration Commission, Ms Gallagher also served as the Co-Chair of the International Bar Association’s Presidential Task Force on Human Trafficking and as a member of the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration. She previously taught at the law school of the Australian National University, and served for 12 years at the United Nations, including as special adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson.
“As the civil society voice of the Commonwealth, the Foundation has played a vital role in advancing core Commonwealth values of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law,” said Ms Gallagher. “That role will continue to be critical as we move into a future where truly inclusive multilateral cooperation is becoming ever more urgent. I am honoured to take the helm of the Foundation at this exciting, challenging time.”
She will begin her duties as Director-General in June.