The National Board of Amnesty International Ireland is our membership elected governance body. Excluding the Executive Director, who is recruited and paid a salary, members of the board serve in an entirely voluntary capacity and do not receive any pay or remuneration.

Stephen Bowen – Executive Director

Stephen Bowen is a well-known and passionate human rights expert and social justice advocate.

Stephen is a barrister specialising in international human rights law and an academic with over 30 years’ experience, and has served as the Chief of Staff and Legal Adviser at the UN Special Coordinator for Sarajevo, and as Chief Human Rights Officer to the UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH) during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. He is also a former Director of the British Institute of Human Rights and most recently completed his role as Human Rights Course Director at Kingston University, London. Bowen has also been a Visiting Professor of International Human Rights Law at Queen Mary, University of London.

Stephen has spent time with Amnesty International UK as Campaigns Director and as Director for External Affairs with Scope, one of the UK’s leading disability equality charities. He was also Legal Adviser to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip and is a former trustee of Manchester Pride. Today he is a trustee of Sheffield DocFest and a trustee of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, a faculty of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Bríd Cannon – Chairperson

Bríd has been involved in the voluntary sector for over 11 years, in organisations, including the Free Legal Advice Centres, the National Youth Council of Ireland and also the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras which she chaired for 5 years. A law graduate of TCD, Brid is qualified at the New York Bar and also has over ten years’ experience working in financial services.

She has a keen interest in the issues of corporate responsibility, and diversity and inclusiveness and the impact of financial services on the wider community. Bríd was first elected to the National Board in 2018 and was appointed as Chairperson in 2019.

Razan Ibraheem  – Honorary Secretary

Razan Ibraheem is an Irish-Syrian journalist and activist. She came to Ireland to do her Masters degree at the University of Limerick. Her deep sorrow for the tragic situation and the mass displacement in her homeland has led her to volunteer in Greece to help refugees. She gave a speech with the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Ireland. In 2016, she was invited by the UN to a high-level meeting in Geneva on global responsibility sharing for pathways for admission of Syrian refugees.

Razan is a journalist and editor with extensive expertise in investigative journalism and verifying content from social media. She focuses on misinformation and disinformation spread online. Her work has been featured in local and international media organizations and news websites. Razan is a regular contributor to various newspaper articles and current events programmes on Irish radio and TV.

She was awarded the International Woman of the Year by Irish Tatler in 2016.

Razan was first elected to the National Board in 2019.

Katie O’Houlihan

Katie is a World Religions graduate of TCD and a MSc. in Violence, Conflict and Development Studies candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

She joined Amnesty as a university activist, taking an active role in advocacy and fundraising as part of DU Amnesty, Trinity’s Amnesty society. In 2017, she directed Jailbreak, Ireland’s largest student-run charity event. Since its inception, the event has collectively raised over €285,000 for Amnesty International and St. Vincent de Paul. In 2018, she represented Irish Youth in the annual Global Assembly, Amnesty’s international governance meeting.

She has a keen interest in intersectionality, grassroots solutions and inclusive approaches to development frameworks.

Katie was first elected to the National Board in 2019.

Máille Brady Bates

Máille is an experienced solicitor specialising in Employment Law. In addition to her employment law practice, Máille carries out public interest legal work with a number of charitable organisations on a voluntary and pro-bono basis. Máille has a keen interest in human rights and public interest law and has worked with NGO’s such as FLAC, PILA, Human Rights Defenders, the Red Cross and the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. Máille is a member of the Amnesty HR Sub-Committee and sits as a Board Trustee on the Board of Voluntary Services International.

Máille was first elected to the National Board in 2022.

Fiona O’Connor

Fiona is a Director at Tom Smyth & Associates HR Consultancy where she provides legal advice and business risk support to both private and public sector industries. With over 15 years of experience specialising in employment law, HR and industrial relations, she has a deep understanding of workplace relations and the application of employment law.

She has advocated before the Equality Tribunal, EAT, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) as well as the Labour Court. While working with the Citizens Information Service she provided information, advice and advocacy on a broad range of public and social services and is committed to improving equality & social justice in all aspects of society.

Fiona is a graduate of the Law Society of Ireland (Employment Law) and UCC (Government & Public Policy and later Human Resource Management). She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) where she was a member of the Southern Regional Committee.

Fiona was first elected to the National Board in 2022.

Seán Mulligan

Seán has significant experience in leadership and governance roles and has been Finance Director with Tayto Snacks since 2014 having previously held similar positions with PepsiCo Ireland and Valeo Foods. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, a Chartered Director and holds a degree in International Business and Languages from TU Dublin. Seán has a keen interest in social justice and the defence of human rights.

Seán was first elected to the National Board in 2022.

Lorraine Smyth

Lorraine Smyth is an e-Enablement and Digital Solutions Manager within Corporate HSE. Lorraine holds an MSc of Science from UL and a Professional Diploma in Human right and equality IPA. Lorraine has a long history as a human rights defender first joining Amnesty at 16.

Lorraine is now a member of the Wexford branch of Amnesty where she has worked on many campaigns including both Yes campaigns, the Ibrahim Halawa and the Stardust campaign. Lorraine is a public servant for the last 21 years and has worked to change culture in the HSE working on the Anti-Bullying task force. The Steering group for the National Staff Engagement Forum and the Women in Leadership Forum. Lorraine is a member of the LGBTQI+ Allies.

Lorraine has an interest in patient centred care and was project lead on the Covid Patient Monitoring App, allowing patients remain at home while monitored during the Covid Pandemic. Lorraine was also the Covid Laboratories Logistic Lead during Covid facilitating testing nationally and enabling forecasting on Lab capacity.

Lorraine has an interest in Sociotechnology, using technology for good.

Lorraine won Women in IT, Digital Leader of the Year and Innovator of the Year in 2021, she was also awarded Student Project of the Year at the Irish Healthcare Awards for her MSc Project Covid Patient Remote Monitoring.

Lorraine was first elected to the National Board in 2023.

Graham Roe

Graham is a passionate believer in human rights, the power of people to bring about societal and structural change, and a long time Amnesty International supporter. Graham has held multiple leadership roles nationally and internationally in the area of integrated fundraising, communications, advocacy and campaigns. These have included executive and non-executive roles with Oxfam Ireland and Oxfam International, Concern Worldwide, Action Aid, and with Amnesty International Irish section at the outset of his career in the not for profit sector. Graham is currently the Director for Marketing, Communications and Fundraising for Special Olympics Ireland, and believes in an inclusive society where sport and all other areas of society are open to all to thrive within, and contribute to.

Graham holds an undergraduate degree from Trinity College in History. As a leading practitioner for many years nationally and internationally, Graham he has been involved for many years with Fundraising Ireland – now Charities Institute Ireland – contributing on evolving fundraising regulation, and helping to develop and deliver modules for CII’s education courses.

He holds a Diploma in Fundraising Management (honours) from Charities Institute Ireland, a Certificate in Charity Law, Trusteeship and Governance (with distinction) from the Law Society of Ireland, and an MA (honours) in Law.

Graham was first elected to the National Board in 2023.