Halifax, 13th January, 2015
The beginning of a new year can provide an opportunity for reflection and consideration of new opportunities and personal and professional growth. This is exactly the moment for ARC International to engage in such a process. With the passage of a new SOGI resolution in September 2014, the publication of our two reports at the end of 2014 (which allowed for a process of reflection on goals, accomplishments and future directions), and consideration of opportunities for staff to explore their own growth and development possibilities within a changing landscape in Geneva, we are announcing some significant and exciting changes to our organization.
The current Staff Team, along with the Board of Directors, have crafted a restructure plan for the organization. This plan envisions a continuation of many of the core elements of our work that act as a “bridge” between the UN and activities on the ground, but with a significant shift toward implementation around some of the key international developments in the last 10 years, and capacity enhancement with communities engaging with those developments.
We are very proud of what has been accomplished and our role in those accomplishments, and wish to see them have real impact for LGBTI people across the globe. We are also proud that there is increasing and sustained advocacy in international spaces and have supported that development. This restructuring means that we will shift some of our emphasis away from direct advocacy to implementation of international standards.
In terms of our staff structure, we are going to look different in the coming months:
Sheherezade Kara, our Communications and Advocacy Director (and friend, feminist sister and techie guru), has decided that she will pursue new opportunities for professional growth outside of Geneva as of the end of January, 2015. She will be involved with us in the hiring process and training of a new part time Communications Officer position. It has been an absolute joy to have such a competent and strong voice on the team for the last five years and we wish her all the best in her new ventures. She will be an incredible asset to any organization lucky enough to have her.
John Fisher, my Co-Director (and friend, co-founder, confidante, work husband, etc.) will be starting a new position as the Geneva Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, and will be in a transition process between ARC and HRW from late February-April. This is an incredible opportunity for John to expand his base of human rights work, and bring to HRW over a decade of UN knowledge and experience. It is hard to encapsulate in a brief announcement how much he will be missed and how much he has struggled with this decision, but it’s the right one for this moment, and we wish him amazing success. John will be remaining on our board of directors in a volunteer capacity to continue to transfer organizational knowledge and support us during this transition and beyond.
I will be remaining with ARC International and transitioning into a new position as Executive Director, and Kandra West remains as our Finance and Administration Officer. John and the board will be working with me to recruit a new Geneva Director, who will assume some elements of both John’s and Sheherezade’s positions with a focus toward implementation and capacity enhancement. We also anticipate that during this transition and refocusing period, there may arise possibilities for consultancies and project work outside of Geneva, and we will recruit for those at appropriate times.
We hope that you will join us in wishing John and Sheherezade well in their new ventures, support us in this time of transition and re-envisioning, and assist us in spreading the word about these exciting new opportunities.
Sincerely, Kim Vance
On behalf of the entire ARC team and Board of Directors