Rachel Pulfer

Rachel Pulfer
Executive Director

Working with journalists Michael Cooke, Troy Reeb and Lisa LaFlamme among many many others, Pulfer pioneered an approach to media partnerships that embedded Canadian journalism experts in training programs with JHR across the media landscape. On her watch the organization has more than doubled its budget (growing at a rate of 25% over the past two years) while winning several regional and national awards acknowledging the impact of JHR programs. Such recognition includes the 2018 Bill Hutton Award for Excellence in Journalism from RTDNA Canada, 2018 Ontario Heritage Award and 2013 Canadian Ethnic Media Award for Innovation for the Indigenous Reporters Program, and a 2013 Governor-General’s Award for Services to the People of Ghana. 

She is a contributing editor to Corporate Knights magazine, a Fellow of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a member of the Banff Forum.

Prior to running JHR, Rachel was the 2009-2010 Webster-McConnell William Southam Journalism Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. She was a columnist and US correspondent for Canadian Business, as well as a member of the editorial. She continues to work as a journalist, writing op-eds and features for the Walrus, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Azure and many other publications.

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Nabin Pokharel
Finance Manager

Nabin Pokharel is the JHR Finance Manager. Nabin has over ten years of experience in financial management, internal control, administration, community development and micro finance areas. He has worked with international development agencies such as the UN Development Programme and World Bank on projects in Nepal. Nabin has a masters degree in business administration (MBA) from Tribhuwan University, Nepal, and advance diploma in accounting from Centennial College, Toronto, Canada. Nabin works closely with JHR’s country offices and partner agencies to streamline the financial management, documentation and financial reporting processes. JHR is very pleased to have Nabin on the team!

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Janine DeVries
Director of Operations, Communications & Research

Janine is working on communications, research, donor stewardship and fundraising for JHR.

Janine has graduated in International Relations (MA) and International Human Rights Law (LLM) from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. She has worked on a wide range of human rights issues and international development since, and has done in depth research in eastern Congo on the obstacles and remedies to legal assistance for victims of sexual violence.

With an international perspective, and cross-cultural experiences, she is excited to contribute to JHR’s media development programs and sees journalism and press freedom as one of the crucial links for people to obtain their human rights.

Zein Al Mograhby

Zein Almograhby
Director, International Programs

Zein joined JHR in October 2015 as a consultant on grant development, and moved on to the program manager position for South Sudan in March 2016. After studying law, Zein started his professional life as a legal aide to Syrian human rights advocacy before moving on to media development, working as program coordinator at the Center for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ) in Amman, Jordan.

At CDFJ, he was responsible for more solid projects and programs with complete attention to media development. He handled all aspects related to the Center’s projects, from securing funds to implementing the project, including preparing various types of reports and communicating with partners, beneficiaries and donors. He has managed national projects in Jordan that focused on building the capacity of journalists and the media sector in general, as well as to lawyers, in defending freedom of speech. His involvement in other regional projects included supervising partners’ activities and commitments to plans and contracts in different countries such as Iran, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Aicha Touré

Aicha Touré
Associate Program Manager, Francophone

Aicha Touré holds a bilingual master’s degree in Public Policy and International Affairs from York University. Her work is informed by a broad interest in the Human Rights – Development nexus. She has worked and volunteered for a wide-range of human rights organizations in North America and Sub Saharan Africa. Aicha enjoys doing research and her work centers around gender mainstreaming in development policies and the interplay between the rule of law and development in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nesreen Abusultan
Project Assistant, Arabic

Nesreen is the Project Assistant supporting JHR’s Arabic speaking projects. Previously, she worked with different organizations defending the rights of people with disabilities, right of education, and juveniles rights in Gaza, Palestine. Later, she joined the United Nations in Jordan. She is experienced non-profit project management professional with 5 years of success in the fields of human rights, refugees’ appeals, and humanitarian assistance. She participated in human rights clusters, international campaigns structuring, leadership, and public relations activities. Nesreen is graduated of University of Westminster in UK, where she finished her MA of International Relations and Democratic Politics.

Sarala Sigdel

Sarala Sigdel
Finance Associate

Sarala is working as a Finance Associate with JHR. She graduated with a Diploma in Accounting from Centennial College Toronto. She has also completed a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies (BBS) and a Master’s Degree in Rural Development from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

She worked as a Social Science teacher for grade 11 and 12 for three years at a higher Secondary School in Nepal. Her major subjects were Sociology & Rural Economics. Sarala has more than two years of working experience as a cashier & bookkeeper at a saving and credit co-operative in Nepal and has done research on women’s issues such as the participation in politics and civil service in Nepal.

Karolina Mikula
Finance Associate

Karolina is a graduate of the Masaryk University in the Czech Republic, where she studied Political Science and Security and Strategic Studies. She also studied as an exchange student at Sciences Po Bordeaux. Religious radicalism, conflict studies and current security threats have been her main focus. Some of her articles have been published in online media.

Karolina has 5 years of work experience in finance in the private sector. She has worked as an Accounts Payable Specialist and Office Manager. Before moving to Canada in 2016, she was involved in many European youth NGOs projects focused on informal education, tolerance and intercultural dialogue. It all started with her life-changing volunteer development internship at Kyrgyz Economic University in Bishkek. Karolina is very happy to be joining the JHR team. She strongly believes in Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred.

Leigh Nunan

Leigh Nunan
Field Coordinator, IRP

Leigh is a Franco-Ontarian writer, photographer and filmmaker. She is committed in all her work to telling stories from perspectives that are underrepresented in mainstream media and to creating opportunities for others to tell their own stories. She has a bachelor of film production from Ryerson University and is currently living in Thunder Bay, ON.

Siyabulela Mandela Headshot

Siyabulela Mandela
Team Leader, South Sudan

Siyabulela Mandela is currently a Ph.D. candidate (International Relations and Conflict resolution) in the Department of Politics and Conflict Studies at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa, where he is also a lecturer for the Politics and Conflict Studies Department. As a youth activist, he has worked at the Nelson Mandela Museum for more than five years as a Youth Pioneer. In this role, he helped educate youth on South African history before and during apartheid with specific focus on the role that Nelson Mandela played in the struggle against apartheid. As a university student activist, Siyabulela played an instrumental leadership role in numerous campaigns for the economic and employment rights of university students and staff. As an internationally-recognized academic and activist, he has delivered papers and talks on topics related to activism, development, human rights, peace, reconstruction and conflict resolution in Canada, Republic of Ecuador, Sri Lanka, Germany, Portugal and the United States of America.

Juma John
Project Coordinator, South Sudan

Juma John Stephen is the project coordinator for Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)-South Sudan. He is posted to Bakhita Radio 91.0 FM-The Voice of the Church.

He was a Radio Trainer and Producer for BBC Media Action (BBCMA)-South Sudan. Juma was tasked with the training of radio producers, presenters, reporters in all the Catholic Radio Network (CRN) radio stations including other community and commercial radio stations for two years.

Prior to that, he was part of Eye Media Production Department as a producer and presenter for “On The Road” and ‘Akwana Junubin’ programs.

He was the Central Equatoria State Correspondent for Gurtong Peace Trust www.gurtong.net for five years. Juma worked in South Sudan Radio and Television as a reporter, prior to that he worked as a reporter for The Juba Post Newspaper, The Star Newspaper and The Citizens Newspaper (currently all closed). Juma John Stephen is a 2013 graduate from Uganda Christian University (UCU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication majoring in Broadcast.

Mustapha Dumbuya

Mustapha Dumbuya
Senior Media Trainer, South Sudan

Mustapha is a Sierra Leonean international journalist and Media trainer based in Juba, South Sudan. Prior to joining jhr, Mustapha worked for BBC Media Action in Sierra Leone as a producer and community radio mentor/trainer. Working with community radio stations, Mustapha covered the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa as it ravaged communities in Sierra Leone, particularly affecting the women who cared for the sick. His experiences come from working for both print and broadcast media. Mustapha’s stories have appeared on several international media outlets like the Guardian in the UK, Inter Press Service and the New Internationalist.

Mustapha was the 2015/2016 Gordon N. Fisher/JHR journalism fellow at Massey College at the University of Toronto.

Growing up in Sierra Leone, Mustapha saw first-hand how misinformation – or a lack of information – was used to fuel the war in his country. The massive scale of human rights violations – especially those against women and girls during the war – was what first ignited his interest in pursuing a career in human rights journalism. Through his work in the field, he learned the power of words to educate entire communities on their rights.

Mohammed Shamma

Mohammed Shamma
Chief of Content and Program Manager, Jordan

Mohammed Shamma is a journalist specialized in human rights. He has been working for JHR as a media trainer based in Amman, Jordan, since 2014. Over the past 15 years, Shamma has produced and presented several leading radio shows at the main community radio in Amman, Balad Radio, besides producing a series of documentaries focusing on human rights. He also collaborates with several media outlets based in both the Middle East and Europe.


Rameen Al Rameeni
Program Coordinator, Jordan

Rameen Alrameeni graduated from New York Institute of technology with bachelors of accounting and pursued her MBA from Talal Abu Ghazaleh School of business – German Jordanian university. She started off as an auditor then she went as a volunteer to Spain. She also worked in marketing.

Rameen was always against injustice and it’s a principle that she carries throughout life. Therefore, she always wanted to work in human rights and by working at JHR, she is taking her first step into a huge milestone in her career.

Mohammad Ghbari Photo

Mohammad Ghbari
Investigative Journalism Mentor, Jordan

Currently working with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) as an Investigation Journalism Mentor. He holds a master’s degree in Journalism and New Media for the Jordan Media Institution (JMI).
He has worked as a Digital Investigations Editor at Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), and as an editor and journalist at 7iber e-magazine, and as a freelance Investigative Journalist in the Investigative Journalism Unit at Ammannet.net.
Prince Murhula Mushagalusa

Prince Murhula Mushagalusa
Senior Program Manager, DRC

Founder and director of JHR’s implementing partner in Eastern DRC, Journalistes pour la promotion de la démocratie et des droits humains.

Prince graduated in Law in 2009 at the University of Bukavu (South Kivu). Since he was a kid, he dreamed of becoming a journalist. At 17, he started working for a local radio station, “Radio Maria”, where he stayed until 2012 as a presenter, reporter and editor-in-chief. In December 2010, Prince won the Prix JDH (JHR Award). With a renewed perspective on responsible journalism, he immediately founded a network of journalists in South Kivu, “Journalistes pour la promotion de la démocratie et des droits humains.” The organization strives to promote quality journalism on issues related to human rights and democracy in our local media and communities.

Munor Kabondo

Moro Siaka Diallo
Project Coordinator, Mali

Moro Siaka Diallo est un jeune professionnel en Communication et Plaidoyer au Mali. Il a débuté sa carrière en agence, puis en 2012 s’est s’engagé dans le secteur humanitaire avec des organisations internationales. Cet engagement lui a permis d’appuyer de nombreux projets d’urgence et de développement intervenant dans la protection de l’enfance, la santé maternelle, néonatale et infantile et le marketing social.

Après son diplôme de 2ième cycle universitaire en Information et Communication, Moro Siaka a été Chef de publicité Junior (stage); Assistant en communication & media ; Chargé Marketing et Communication ; Chargé communication et plaidoyer et Responsable Communication et Plaidoyer. 

Moro Siaka souhaite mieux contribuer au respect des droits humains, à la promotion de la démocratie dans son pays où la paix, la sécurité, la protection des personnes, les droits humains, la démocratie sont actuellement des plus grands défis à relever.

Sammy Muraya Headshot

Sammy Muraya
Program Manager, Kenya

Sammy Muraya is a highly motivated trainer and journalist who has over 15 years of experience. As a trainer Sammy has worked with journalists, NGO staff and editors from different regions of Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

Along the way Sammy has picked up different roles in journalism, public relations and communication.

Sammy started working as a journalist in 2001 at the Kenya broadcasting corporation and one of the programs that he did for the English service was “A stitch in time” a weekly HIV show that helped him interact with different people working in the HIV field and it’s co-related ailments that included TB. Sammy developed an interest in TB and started working with the Kenya AIDS NGO’s Consortium (KANCO) and the National TB program to raise awareness on TB amongst journalists and the public. Sammy has been a journalism trainer since 2005 after extensive training by Internews, on health reporting and training of trainers. And he has trained different journalists, civil society organization members and members of the public on effective communication and media interaction especially on health. As part of the interaction in TB, Sammy has been working with different organizations to improve communication and relations with editors to improve reporting of TB and to follow up on commitments that were made by President Uhuru Kenyatta during the UN Nation’s General Assembly in 2018 to reduce TB deaths in Kenya.

Recently in June 2019 Sammy was tasked with the responsibility of training of the recently appointed TB, HIV and Malaria champions from some of the counties with the heaviest triple HIV, Malaria and TB burden in Kenya, at a meeting organized by the Impact Research And Development Organisation (IRDO) in Kisumu.

He is an URTNA best programme in Africa winner in 2004 and a two time CNN/ Multichoice African Journalist of the year, Radio General News Category Winner in 2006 and 2009.

Sammy is a bachelor degree holder in communication and public relations from the University of Nairobi.


Benard Ogoi

Program Coordinator, Kenya

Prior to joining JHR, Benard worked for the Association of Media Women in Kenya (AMWIK) since July 2010, starting as a radio producer and rising over the years to the position of Senior Programmes Officer. During the nine years, he organized community discourses on gender and energy, peace and security, gender and entrepreneurship, reproductive health, gender and governance, and gender based violence among others.

Benard Ogoi is a proficient Communications and Public Relations professional who has specialized in content development for radio and other media platforms. He is an audio production coach and has coordinated several trainings for radio journalists in the East Africa region on production of health focussed radio documentaries. He has also produced several radio features and documentaries for use in facilitating access to information and community dialogues to help end Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in Kenya.

Besides supporting project fundraising initiatives, he is also passionate about gender parity in the media and coordinates media monitoring tasks to generate evidence for capacity building of journalists on reporting different gender related topics.

Benard has worked with wide-ranging media and human rights stakeholders including government representatives, INGOs and CSOs in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. In these engagements, Benard has been involved in event organizing, conducting trainings as well as moderating and rapporteur tasks. His recent assignments include training women journalists on digital safety and security.

Benard holds a Diploma in Radio Production from the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC), A BSc degree in Communications and Public relations from Moi University, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts Degree in Communication Studies, specializing in Development Communication at the University of Nairobi.

Peninah Ochieng

Financial Coordinator, Kenya

I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Studies. My work experience began in the hotel industry and later was part of the financial reporting team for health and nutrition projects carried out in South Sudan. I enjoy being part of a team that improves the living situations of a community in both stable and changing environments.

Anne Florence Wanjiku Kimani

Anne Florence Wanjiku Kimani

Finance Coordinator, Tanzania, Uganda & South Africa

Anne Florence Wanjiku Kimani works in the Finance Team in JHR representing Uganda, Tanzania and South Africa. She is a Finance graduate from Kenyatta University having work experience from Kenya and Dubai in finance, accounting and administration where she has enthusiastically executed her roles. 

Anne uses the opportunities given to her to positively impact the world through empowering others, with her biggest achievement being mentoring young African girls and women on financial freedom through self-sustaining strategies such as self-employment in small businesses. 

Positive impact and teamwork is the philosophy that she uses in every opportunity given to her both professionally and personally. Anne enjoys listening to music and travelling.

Board of Directors

Board Chair

Michael Cooke was appointed Editor of the Toronto Star in 2009. Michael was raised near Lancaster in Northern England and began his career at age 17 as an apprentice reporter. He moved on to work in and around London’s Fleet Street, and at Bristol’s Western Daily Press and emigrated in 1974 to Toronto where he became assistant national editor at The Star, Canada’s largest newspaper. In 1977, Michael moved to The Gazette in Montreal, where he served as assistant city editor, city editor and co-managing editor. Michael moved to The Edmonton Journal in 1992 as managing editor and became editor in chief of The Vancouver Province in 1995.

During the winter and spring of 1998, Michael was one of a team of founding editors of Canada’s new national newspaper, The National Post. And, for the summer of 1998, Michael served as the last editor of The Financial Post. He supervised the paper’s merger with the new national newspaper. During both periods, Michael continued to edit The Province, commuting between Toronto and Canada’s west coast.

In 2000, Michael was named editor in chief of the Chicago Sun-Times and was appointed editor in chief of the New York Daily News in January of 2005, returning to Chicago as Vice-President of Editorial for the Chicago Sun-Times news Group (100 titles) in 2006. Michael was also re-appointed editor in chief of the Sun-Times in the fall of 2006.

Vice Chair

Alethea Au practices in the Corporate M&A and Technology & Outsourcing Groups in Stikeman Elliott’s Toronto office. Her practice areas include mergers and acquisitions involving both private and public entities, corporate commercial transactions, corporate finance transactions and various securities matters.She advises on a wide range of corporate commercial matters including those related to corporate governance, corporate structures and general commercial engagements. She also acts for large and mid-sized technology companies in connection with outsourcings, licensing and technology development and has been involved in IT procurement arrangements in a variety of industries including, financial services, retail, insurance, telecommunications and mining.

In addition, Ms. Au is a member of the Knowledge Management Group of Stikeman Elliott. She advises principally in mergers & acquisitions and corporate commercial transactions for a wide range of corporate entities across various industries and is consulted on a variety of corporate practice matters as well as various drafting and transactional issues.

Ms. Au is responsible for developing, managing and delivering legal content and current awareness to ensure that both lawyers and clients have the benefit of the firm’s collective legal expertise and the latest in legal and industry developments. She also participates in the training and education of practice group members about legal, regulatory and market developments through formal and informal education initiatives and the creation, assessment and implementation of legal project management and other value-added initiatives for clients.

She also works on a wide range of other firm-wide Knowledge Management initiatives, including internal and external continuing legal education, publications, legal project management and client development initiatives.

Ms. Au is a graduate of McGill University, Osgoode Hall and the Schulich School of Business. She is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the Ontario Bar Association, the Federation of Chinese Canadian Professionals and CATA (Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance) WIT (Women in Technology) Toronto Chapter.


Chad Rogers is a founding partner at Crestview Strategy.

Chad helps companies and industry associations make their case to governments and mobilize coalitions that support jobs, growth and investment. He is a frequent commentator on public affairs in print, radio and television and appears as a member of CBC Power & Politics’ Power Panel.

He previously led the public opinion research practice at a national public affairs firm, served as a Senior Advisor to Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm, worked on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and has volunteered on campaigns at the municipal, provincial and federal level. Chad was a Country Director with the Washington based National Democratic Institute (led by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright).

Chad has worked with governments and political leaders around the globe, namely in: Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Georgia, Iraq, Jordan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Moldova, Pakistan, Serbia, Trinidad & Tobago and Ukraine.
The Hill Times magazine named him of the ‘Top 100 Lobbyists’ in Canada.

Chad is currently a board member and works to fight global malnutrition with Action Against Hunger/ACF Canada, he supports the military and their families through the board of The True Patriot Love Foundation and global transparency through the board of Journalists For Human Rights. He has previously served the boards of the Canadian Club of Toronto, the Churchill Society for the Advancement of Parliamentary Democracy, Save The Children and the Kosova Democratic Institute.


Derek Fisher has been involved with JHR since 2011. He served for many years as a Director and President of the Alva Foundation, which endowed the Gordon Fisher/JHR Journalism Fellowship at Massey College. He continues to participate in the annual selection process for the Fellowship.

Derek is President of Net Directories Inc, a company he founded in 1995 to help not-for-profits with their communication and fundraising needs. Prior to forming NDI he worked at Southam Inc for 12 years in a variety of positions in the Business Communications division and Head Office.

Derek has an Engineering degree from the University of Toronto and an MBA from Western University.

An avid sailor, Derek has served on the Board, and is a past Commodore, of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. He and his wife Adrienne have three grown children.


Karen is a member of Dokis First Nation (Anishinabek Nation) and a beneficiary of the Robinson-Huron Treaty 1850. She currently serves as the associate chair of the Ontario Parole Board within Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario.

Previously, Karen was director of the Justice Sector at the Chiefs of Ontario, where she coordinated the efforts of First Nations leadership in Ontario to address justice and legal issues. She started her career in restorative justice and later worked in Ontario’s correctional system.

In 2016, Karen co-founded Bold Realities, an organization that aims to promote discourse among Indigenous and non-Indigenous leaders on the importance of reconciling the relationship between Indigenous communities and corporate Canada. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa’s common law program (in French), where she was inducted into the Honour Society in 2014 for using her legal education as a foundation for making a significant contribution to her community.

Karen is a fellow with Public Policy Forum and sits on boards for the Banff Forum and Level Justice. She enjoys leisure and commuter cycling, kayaking and spending time at the cottage with friends and family.


As one of Canada’s most experienced communications strategists and a veteran adviser to leaders in corporate Canada, and at all three levels of government, Peter brings more than twenty-five years of experience in communications and government relations.

Using his understanding of both the rapidly changing currents of public opinion and the complex decision-making processes of government, Peter is a senior adviser to H+K’s senior management and to its clients – focusing on strategic communications and public engagement.

Peter has in-depth knowledge to provide counsel to clients facing major transformational challenges when it comes to the economy, the way we now engage audiences and how we live together in society. And he appreciates the importance of developing the right strategy and putting together the best team to achieve measurable results.

Peter is a director of (G)irls 20, CIVIX, and a former director of Pathways to Education Canada, the Toronto Board of Trade and the Canadian Journalism Foundation.

Peter was most recently special adviser to the Ontario government on intergovernmental affairs and communications. He is the longest-serving prime ministerial director of communications in Canadian history (to Prime Minister Jean Chrétien), served as a senior executive in the private and public sectors, and also represented Canada abroad as a senior diplomat


Theresa Ebden is the Canadian Director of Media Relations at Accenture, which together with its design agency Fjord designed and built JHR’s online learning portal, www.dibaajimo.com. Theresa worked as a journalist with Bloomberg News, The Globe and Mail, BNN and the Toronto Star.

She currently chairs the Industry Advisory Board at the Ryerson School of Journalism, where she graduated with a B.A.A. in Journalism (Print) in 1998. Theresa volunteers with the Girl Guides of Canada and is an avid cross country skier, triathlete and hiker.


Co-Founder and Board Chair Emeritus

Ben Peterson co-founded Journalists for Human Rights in 2002, and served as its Executive Director until 2011. During that period, JHR grew into Canada’s largest international media development organization. Under Ben’s leadership, JHR worked across 15 different countries in sub-Saharan Africa and built one of Canada’s strongest student leadership networks. Ben has a BA in Economics and a BAH in Political Studies from Queen’s University, and an MSc in Political Theory from the London School of Economics (LSE).

Ben has received many national and international awards for his work, including Canada’s Top 40 under 40 Award, the Action Canada Fellowship and the Queen’s University Alumni Humanitarian Award. Ben is a published author and accomplished public speaker.

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