The Council of advisors is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Progressive International.
In September – pandemic permitting – the Council will convene for the inaugural Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, hosted by the Prime Minister of Iceland and the Left-Green Movement.
Read more about the members of the Council below.
Julian Aguon is a human rights lawyer and founder of Blue Ocean Law, a progressive firm working across Oceania at the intersection of indigenous rights and environmental justice.
Kali Akuno is a co-founder and co-director of Cooperation Jackson. He served as the Director of Special Projects and External Funding in the Mayoral Administration of the late Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, MS.
Slim Amamou is a blogger, activist, and a former Secretary of State for Sport and Youth in the transitional Tunisian government. He resigned from the role in 2011 — protesting the transitional government’s censorship of a number of websites.
Celso Amorim is the longest serving foreign minister of Brazil to date (1993-1994 and 2003-2010). He also served as Minister of Defense (2011-2014). Amorim remains active in academic life and as a public figure, having written a number of books and articles on matters ranging from foreign policy to culture.
Andres Arauz is a former Minister of Knowledge of Ecuador and a former Central Bank General Director. He is a founding member of the Dollarization Observatory and a former board member of the nascent Bank of the South. He is currently based in Mexico City as a Doctoral Fellow at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM.
Niki Ashton is a Member of Parliament for Churchill–Keewatinook Aski. She serves as the NDP’s Critic for Democratic Reform and Transport, and Deputy Critic for Women and Gender Equality.
Renata Ávila is an international human rights lawyer. She is a 2020 Stanford Race and Technology Fellow at the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. She is a Board member for Creative Commons, the Common Action Forum, Cities for Digital Rights, Article 19 Mexico & Central America, and a Global Trustee of Digital Future Society. She also serves as a member of the Coordinating Collective of DiEM25.
Edil Baisalov is the current ambassador of Kyrgyzstan in London. A renowned human rights defender and civic activist, Edil played a key role in bringing down authoritarian and corrupt governments in 2005 and 2010. His voice was persistent in the fight against corruption and organised crime, often at great risk to his safety. In 2008-2010 he lived in Sweden as a UNHCR refugee after facing a jail term for his opposition work as executive secretary of the Social Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan.
Nnimmo Bassey is the director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF). He is a member of the steering committee of Oilwatch International, and was the chair of Friends of the Earth International (2008-2012) and Executive Director of Nigeria’s Environmental Rights Action (1993-2013). He is also a Member of the Action Research Network for a Wellbeing Economy in Africa (WE-Africa).
Sami Ben Gharbia is a Tunisian human rights campaigner, blogger, writer, and freedom of expression advocate. He is the Founding Director of the Advocacy arm of Global Voices Online, the anti-censorship network dedicated to protecting freedom of expression and free access to information online. He is a co-founder of the award-winning collective blog Nawaat, a Tunisian citizen journalism website.
Natália Bonavides is a human rights lawyer and a congresswoman in the Worker’s Party of Brazil. As a lawyer, she has defended social movements for landless workers and popular homeless movements. She was elected to City Hall in the city of Natal in 2016, before winning a seat as Federal Deputy two years later, where she defends the rights of the working class.
Khaled Ali is a prominent lawyer and advocate of social justice and workers' rights against corruption in Egypt. He is the former head of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and co-founder of the Front for Defending Egypt's Protesters and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center (HMLC).
Áurea Carolina is a federal deputy for Minas Gerais state (BR), affiliated with the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). Áurea is part of the Muitas municipalist movement, of #partidA (an informal party composed dedicated to electing women into office), and of the Ocupa Política network (devoted to boosting the occupation of the institutional politics by progressive activists). Together with Andréia de Jesus, Bella Gonçalves, and Cida Falabella, she takes part in the “Gabinetona”, a forum where four parliamentary mandates work collectively.
Alicia Castro is a political and union activist. She was the General Secretary of the Union of Aeronavegantes, the founder of the Argentine Workers Movement (MTA), and a member of the ITF Council. She served as the Argentine ambassador to the United Kingdom from 2012 to 2016. Before that, she served in ambassadorial posts in Venezuela and as the National Deputy for the Province of Buenos Aires.
Noam Chomsky is considered the founder of modern linguistics. He has received numerous awards, including the Kyoto Prize in Basic Sciences, the Helmholtz Medal and the Ben Franklin Medal in Computer and Cognitive Science. Chomsky joined the UA in fall 2017, coming from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he worked since 1955 and was Institute Professor, later Institute Professor emeritus.
Sue Coleman-Haseldine is an activist and organizer from the Kokatha-Mula nation. Born on the Aboriginal mission of Koonibba, she is a survivor of British nuclear weapon testing, and the Australia ambassador of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), awarded the Peace Nobel Prize in 2017.
Rafael Correa is former Constitutional President of the Republic of Ecuador, 2007- 2017, and Chairman of the Eloy Alfaro Political and Economic Thought Institute (IPPE). Rafael holds a Ph.D. and MSc. in Economics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a MA in Economics from the Catholic University of Louvain- la-Neuve, Belgium. He obtained his first economics degree from the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador.
John Cusack is a director, producer, actor, and activist from the US. He is a founding board member of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He was a vocal opponent of the Iraq war and the use of drone warfare by the administration of US President Barack Obama. He has also been an active supporter of the Palestinian struggle for liberation.
Nikhil Dey is one of the founding members of the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). He has helped to lead campaigns for the people’s Right to Information (RTI) and the Right to Work (MGNREGA), served as a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), and organized for the Jan Sarokar, a network of Indian social movements.
Fatima Diallo is a Senegalese constitutional lawyer with more than eight years of experience in the fields of justice, governance, human rights, transparency and accountability. She was the Deputy General Secretary of the African Network of Constitutional Lawyers.
Jean Drèze is a development economist and Visiting Professor at Ranchi University in India. His recent books include An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions (with Amartya Sen) and Sense and Solidarity: Jholawala Economics for Everyone. Jean is also active in various campaigns for social and economic rights as well as in the worldwide movement for peace and disarmament.
Tasneem Essop is Executive Director of Climate Action Network International (CAN-I). She served in the first democratic provincial parliament in South Africa, and later in the Provincial Cabinet. She was an anti-apartheid activist from an early age in different capacities, student and youth activist, teacher and trade unionist.
Nick Estes is a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe. He is an Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. In 2014, he co- founded The Red Nation, an Indigenous resistance organization. For 2017-2018, Estes was the American Democracy Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. Estes is a member of the Oak Lake Writers Society, a network of Indigenous writers committed to defend and advance Oceti Sakowin (Dakota, Nakota, and Lakota) sovereignty, cultures, and histories.
Miatta Fahnbulleh has a wealth of experience in developing and delivering policy to empower communities and change people’s lives. She has been at the forefront of generating new ideas on reshaping our economy inside government and out. Prior to joining the New Economics Foundation as Chief Executive she was Director of Policy & Research at the Institute of Public Policy Research. Before this, she has worked at senior levels for the Leader of the Opposition, the Cabinet Office, and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the United Kingdom.
Gael García Bernal is an actor. He began performing in stage productions with his parents in Mexico, and later studied at the Central School for Speech and Drama in London. He is a founder and the president of Ambulante, an itinerant not-for-profit documentary film festival promoting documentaries within Mexico and abroad. He has recently opened his new production company, La Corriente del Golfo, together with Diego Luna.
Alvaro Garcia-Linera is a Bolivian politician from Cochabamba. He led the indigenist Tupac Katari Guerrilla Army rebel group during the early 1990s, and he was imprisoned from 1992 to 1997. In 2005, he was elected Vice President of Bolivia, serving until his resignation in November 2019.
Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta is the Minister of Women, Genders and Diversity of Argentina. Previously, she practiced law from more than twenty years, representing victims of state terrorism and political prisoners. She is also Professor at the University of Buenos Aires, where she teaches criminal law. She has published numerous articles on criminal law, human rights law and gender. She holds a law degree from the University of Buenos Aires and has completed postgraduate studies in law, sociology and political sciences.
Fernando Haddad is a Brazilian politician and academic who served as Minister of Education (2005-2012) in the cabinets of both Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, served as Mayor of São Paulo (2013- 2017), and was the Worker’s Party (PT) candidate in the 2018 presidential elections in Brazil. Haddad holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law, a Master’s Degree in Economics and a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of São Paulo (USP). He is a professor of Contemporary Political Theory at USP and of Public Administration at Insper.
Harry Halpin is the CEO of Nym Technologies SA, a Swiss privacy company that produces mixnet technology that can even resist NSA-level surveillance. Previously, he led research projects at Inria, W3C/MIT, and received his Ph.D. from University of Edinburgh in Informatics. He is currently active in the global movement for democratic confederalism as inspired by Rojava.
Hilda Heine is Senator for Aur Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. She served as President of the RMI from 2016 to 2020, and the Minister of Education before that. As RMI President, Heine took the issue of climate change, an existential threat for the peoples of the Marshall Islands and others in similar situations, to the international stage to share the story and to increase others’ awareness of RMI and the difficulties it faces due to climate change.
Rachmi Hertanti is Executive Director of Indonesia for Global Justice. She has led IGJ’s policy advocacy process related to the alternative system on globalization and free trade agenda, including patents on seeds and medicines, Investor-State Dispute Settlement Mechanisms on the mining sector in Indonesia, digitalization and its impact to workers in Indonesia.
Srećko Horvat is a philosopher. He has been active in various movements for the past two decades. He co-founded the Subversive Festival in Zagreb and, together with Yanis Varoufakis, founded DiEM25. He published more than a dozen books translated into 15 languages, most recently Poetry from the Future, Subversion!, The Radicality of Love and What Does Europe Want?.
Aruna Roy is a Founder-Member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), the National Campaign to People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) and the School for Democracy (SFD). She was with the IAS from 1968-1975. In 1975 she came to the Ajmer District in Rajasthan to work with the SWRC and the rural poor. In 1987 she moved to live with the poor in a village called Devdungri, Rajsamand District in Rajasthan. In 1990 she was part of the group that set up the MKSS. She has worked for accessing constitutional rights for the poor - Right to Information, Employment, Food Security etc. She was a member of the National Advisory Council (NAC) from 2004-06 and 2010-13. She is also President of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW).
Wang Hui, the founding Director of the Tsinghua Institute for Advanced Study in Humanities and Social Sciences, Beijing. He teaches at Tsinghua University, Beijing as Distinguished Professor of Literature and History. One of the esteemed scholars in fields of intellectual history, social theory and modern literature, and a leading figure of the “Chinese New Left”, Wang Hui’s work has attempted to chart the intellectual and political conditions of contemporary China and has remained committed to the project of deep engagement with both the history and the consequences of Chinese modernity.
Giorgio Jackson is a politician and activist. He started as an activist by being a national leader in the student mobilizations of 2011. He is founder and first congressman of the political party Democratic Revolution and the coalition “Frente Amplio” (Broad Front), achieving the highest number of votes in the last national elections. His main concerns in politics are the disputes on knowledge and technologies, and how international trade agreements contribute to global inequality, injustice and unsustainability. He is the co- author of Copia o Muerte (Copy or Death).
Vicenta Jerónimo Jiménez is deputy to the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala for the Movement for the Liberation of Peoples (MLP). She is the founder of Mujeres Madre Tierra México in Guatemala, with years in the struggle for indigenous rights and social justice in Guatemala.
Joacine Katar Moreira is a historian, feminist and anti-racist activist, and an elected Member of Parliament. She is part of the Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees Committee and of the Environment, Energy and Territorial Planning Committee. She holds a Ph.D. in African Studies, a master’s degree in Development Studies and a BA in Modern and Contemporary History at ISCTE — University Institute of Lisbon. Katar Moreira is also the founder of INMUNE — Black Woman Institute and has been an active participant in public and academic debates on gender, colonialism, slavery, and racism.
Dr. Burcu Kilic directs the Digital Rights Program at Public Citizen and serves as the US Chair of the Digital Policy Committee at the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue. She was listed among the “300 Women Leaders in Global Health” by the Graduate Institute in Geneva in 2015 and currently leads a project on the intersection of health policy and digital rights. She completed her Ph.D. at Queen Mary, University of London, holds L.L.M. degrees in Intellectual Property Law from Queen Mary, University of London and Information Technology Law from Stockholm University. She obtained her law degree with distinction from Ankara University.
Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author of No Logo, The Shock Doctrine, This Changes Everything, No is Not Enough and On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal. She is Senior Correspondent for The Intercept, a Puffin Writing Fellow at Type Media Center and is the inaugural Gloria Steinem Chair in Media, Culture and Feminist Studies at Rutgers University.
Ertuğrul Kürkçü is the current Honorary President of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and Honorary Associate of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). He was the co-chair of the HDP in 2013-14 and the member of parliament for three successive terms between 2011-2018. He spent 14 years as a prisoner between 1972-1986 for his political activism in Turkey, after which he helped found the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP). After its disintegration, he joined the united block of ‘Labor, Democracy and Freedom’ in 2011 what successfully transformed into the HDP.
Avi Lewis is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, journalist, and lecturer in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University. His 25-year journalism career has spanned local news reporting to hosting and producing a variety of current affairs shows for television networks worldwide, to directing theatrically released documentaries that premiered in festivals like TIFF and the Venice Biennale. In 2017, he co-founded and is now Strategic Director of The Leap — an organization launched to upend our collective response to the crises of climate, inequality and racism.
Scott Ludlam is a writer, activist and former Australian Greens Senator. He served in Parliament from 2008 - 2017, and as Co-Deputy Leader of his party from 2015 - 2017. Currently working as a freelance researcher and troublemaker, while writing occasional pieces for Meanjin, the Monthly, Junkee and the Guardian.
Harsh Mander is human rights and peace worker, writer, columnist, researcher, and teacher. He works with survivors of mass violence, hunger, homeless persons and street children.
Achille Mbembe is a philosopher and political scientist. Mbembe is a Research Professor of History and Politics at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research in Johannesburg, South Africa and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Romance Studies at the Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University.
John McDonnell is a Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington. From 2015 to 2020, he served as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer under party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Kavita Naidu is Climate Justice Programme Officer at Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) based in Thailand. She specializes in the area of international climate law and human rights, working with grassroots women in the Asia Pacific region.
Vanessa Nakate is a climate activist. She was the first Fridays For Future activist in Uganda and founded the Rise up Climate Movement, which seeks to amplify the voices of activists from across Africa. She also spearheaded a campaign to save Congo’s rainforest, which is facing rapid deforestation. She is currently working on a project to install solar panels and stoves in schools.
Leah Namugerwa is a 15-year-old climate activist from Uganda. She's the Team Leader of Fridays for Future Uganda and the Founder of Birthday Trees Project.
Nanjala Nyabola is a writer, independent researcher, and political analyst. Her work focuses on conflict and post-conflict transitions, with a focus on refugees and migration, as well as East African politics generally. She is the author of Digital Democracy, Analogue Politics and the co-editor of Where Women Are. Nanjala holds a BA in African Studies and Political Science from the University of Birmingham, an MSc in Forced Migration, and an MSc in African Studies, both from the University of Oxford, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Lyn Ossome is Senior Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research, where she teaches politics and political economy. She is the author most recently of Gender, Ethnicity and Violence in Kenya’s Transitions to Democracy: States of Violence and co-editor of the forthcoming volume Labour Questions in the Global South. She serves on several boards, including the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) and the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), and organizes on several fronts with feminist and agrarian movements.
Gustavo Petro is a Senator from Colombia, former mayor of Bogotá (2012-2015) and has been a candidate for the Presidency of Colombia (2018) where he obtained the largest vote in the history of an opposition leader with 42% of the votes. He is an economist and founder of the progressive movement: Colombia Humana, with an innovative emphasis on climate change issues.
Varshini Prakash is the Executive Director and co-founder of Sunrise, a movement of young people working to stop climate change, build economic prosperity for all through a Green New Deal, and elect a new generation of politicians to office. Varshini has been a leading voice for young Americans, inspiring thousands of young people to fight for the Green New Deal alongside the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders and helped put the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda in the states.
Vijay Prashad is the Director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and Chief Correspondent of Globetrotter. He is the author of thirty books, most recently Washington Bullets with a preface by Evo Morales Ayma.
Carola Rackete studied nautical science in Elsfleth and conservation management in Ormskirk, England. She has mainly been working on polar research vessels and spent eight seasons in the Antarctic. Since 2016, she has been volunteering on NGO ships and aircraft in the central Mediterranean and, as captain of the SEA-WATCH 3, was arrested in 2019 for entering an Italian port to safeguard a group of rescued refugees.
Trusha Reddy is Head of the Energy & Climate Justice Program at the WoMin African Alliance. She has more than 15 years of experience in the fight for a just transition in the Global South and around the world.
Asad Rehman is the Executive Director of the radical anti-poverty and social justice charity War on Want. He was a founder of the Stop the War Coalition and the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, amongst other initiatives. He has also served on boards of Amnesty International UK, Friends of the Earth International, Global Justice Now, and Newham Monitoring Project.
Apolena Rychlíková is a Czech filmmaker and journalist at A2larm.cz. Her feature film Limits of Work was named Best Czech Documentary in the Czech Joy section at the 21st Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival and won also Audience Prize. She has also won a prize for Best Opinion Journalism in 2017. She is founder of project Memory of city — interdisciplinary collective of people researching on housing issues, overtourism and gentrification. Apolena has two daughters and believes that a better world is possible.
Alexey Sakhnin is a Russian activist and a member of the Left Front. He was one of the leaders of the anti-Putin protest movement from 2011 to 2013, and was later exiled to Sweden.
Pierre Sané is the Founder & President of Imagine Africa Institute was UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences from May 2001 - June 2010. He was Secretary General of Amnesty International from October 1992 to April 2001.
Mona Seif is an Egyptian human rights activist and struggling scientist. She is co-founder of the No Military Trials for Civilians movement, and the sister of software developer and political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah.
Céline Semaan is a Lebanese-Canadian researcher and designer, and the founder of Slow Factory. With a background in digital literacy, transparency, and open data, Céline has worked at the intersection of fashion, politics, and climate since 2003. In 2013, she launched Slow Factory, a non-profit that works with companies to develop actionable and tailored solutions for a wide range of climate-related issues, with science and post-colonial theory at the forefront.
Sarika is a part of the autonomous women’s movement in India and works with caste based sex workers, manual scavengers, Dalit, tribal, and Muslim women. She was instrumental in setting up the first one-stop crisis center in India for women survivors of violence. Sarika works closely with progressive social movements across India.
Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the bestselling novel The Map of Love. Her account of the Egyptian revolution of 2011, Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed, came out in 2014. She is the Founder and Chair of the Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) and a widely published political and cultural commentator.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is an author and professor of African American Studies at Princeton University. Her books include From #BlackLives Matter to Black Liberation, How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective and Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership. She is also a contributing writer to The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Ece Temelkuran is one of Turkey’s best- known novelists and political commentators, appearing in the Guardian, New York Times, New Statesman, and Der Spiegel. Her recent novel Women Who Blow on Knots won the 2017 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. She is the recipient of the PEN Translate Award, the New Ambassador of Europe Prize, and “Honorary Citizenship” from the city of Palermo for her work on behalf of oppressed voices.
Fawwaz Traboulsi teaches Political Science, History and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut. He has been a visiting professor at New York University, the University of Michigan, Columbia University, and Vienna University. He is a fellow of St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Yanis Varoufakis is a member of the Hellenic Parliament and the Secretary-General of MeRA25. He is the co-founder of DiEM25, and the former finance minister of Greece. He is the author of several books, including Adults in the Room and And The Weak Suffer What They Must?.
Paola Vega is a Costa Rican congresswoman. She is the chair of the Environmental Committee and a member of the Economic and Women's Committees. Her main goals in environmental matters are to change plastic consumption, pass a new and modern water law, ban gas and oil exploration and exploitation, evolve to sustainable fishing practices, and to promote green businesses and circular economies.
Paola is a systems programmer who, since 1998, has worked and played with all things ‘open’ in governments, NGOs, and the private sector. She is the Coordinator of Data Science for the National Advisory Board for Science and Technology in Mexico’s government. In 2018, she was awarded the MIT Innovators Under 35 LATAM and the Visionary of the Year 2018 awards for her work at the intersection of data science and justice. She was also a 2016-2017 fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
Cornel West is a philosopher, writer, activist, and public intellectual. He is Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard University and holds the title of Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. He has written 20 books, and is a leading social critic on issues of race, class, and political change in the US.