Access Info Team
The team working on projects day-to-day consists of the staff, consultants, and our much-appreciated volunteers. Here you can see who's who and if you click on the names you get a fuller bio of each person.
President: Daniel Bezares Susín. Daniel is an economist specialising in Corporate Social Responsibility, Human Rights, NGO management, transparency and the right of access to information. He works as a consultant on these themes with the organization Sustentia, and is a member of the Board of the Spanish Humnan Rights Association (APDHE). A lecturer in Corporate Social Responsibility for Spain's Open University (UNED), Daniel has a degree in Economics, Business, International Trade and Development from Madrid's Complutense University and an MBA from Madrid's Instituto de Empresa.
Vice-president: Helen Darbishire
Secretary: Juan José Cordero Sanz
Treasurer: Carlos Cordero Sanz is director of the consultancy Sustentia-Innovación Social which specialises in corporate justice, development, transparency, and human rights. With a degree in Economics and Business and an Executive MBA, Carlos is an expert in Management of Development Projects.Access Info's is governed by an Executive Board, or Junta Directiva in Spanish, which is constituted in accordance with Spanish law. It consists of the persons who founded Access Info in 2006 and continue to dedicate their time pro bono to overseeing its functioning. Further substantive and strategic guidance comes from the International Advisory Board, composed of experts in access to information and related issues from across Europe.
International Advisory Board
The following persons helped create Access Info by giving advice, guidance and moral support and continue as members of the international advisory board:
David Goldberg, Academic and activist working on issues of freedom of expression and freedom of information
Gergana Jouleva, Executive Director, Access to Information Programme, Bulgaria
Maeve McDonagh, Professor of Law, University College Cork, Ireland.
Ulf Öberg, Öberg Associés AB Lecturer Faculty of Law, Stockholm University.
Ivan Szekely, Counsellor of Open Society Archives, Hungary.
Access Info Team
Access Info's multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual team comprises full and part-time staff members, consultants, service providers, and volunteers.
Helen Darbishire, Executive Director
Lydia Medland, Researcher & Project Coordinator
Victoria Anderica Caffarena, Legal Researcher and Campaigner
Pamela Bartlett Quintanilla, Researcher and Campaigner
Alvaro Rodriguez Matesanz, IT administrator / Webmaster
Andreas Pavlou,Open Government Researcher and Coordinator
Elena Arrontes, Communication
David Cabo, Consultant Programmer
Tanya Almanzar, Volunteer
Helen Darbishire is a human rights activist specialising in the public's right of access to information (freedom of information), and the development of open and democratic societies with participatory and accountable governments. Helen is founder and Executive Director of the Madrid-based NGO Access Info Europe, established in 2006 to promote the right of access to information in Europe and globally. Helen has worked for over 20 years as a human rights professional, focusing on issues of freedom of expression and information, media freedom, civil society development, and democratisation.
Prior to setting up Access Info Europe, Helen worked as a campaigner and project manager at Article 19 (1989 to 1998) based in London and Paris, and for the Open Society Institute (1999-2005) where she directed programmes on freedom of expression and freedom of information, based in Budapest and New York. Helen has provided expertise to a wide range of non-governmental and inter-governmental organisations, including UNESCO, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the World Bank. She is a founder of the global Freedom of Information Advocates Network and served two terms as its chair (2004-2010). She holds a degree in History and Philosophy of Science and Psychology from Durham University, UK. Resident in Madrid, she speaks English, French and Spanish.
Lydia Medland has been with Access Info Europe since September 2008. She works as a researcher and campaigner and coordinates the Freedom of Information Advocates Network as well as other initiatives and projects.
With Access Info she has researched and published four reports, on aid transparency, civil liberties and anti-corruption; Not Available! Not Accesible!, The Right to Know: Europe and the Police, The Anti Corruption Transparency Monitoring Methodology and Rendition on Record. Lydia has been involved in Access Info's work with the Coalición pro Acceso, the campaign for an Access to Information law in Spain. She has also developed campaign and outreach strategies for several of Access Info's projects such as Access Info's project for journalists and our work on civil liberties. Lydia’s current areas of research are the relationship between access to information and public participation and decision making as well as the relationship between access to information and anti-corruption mechanisms such as the UN Convention Against Corruption.
Based in Madrid, Lydia has also worked on other civil society campaigns. She coordinated the Spanish premiere of the hit film about climate change, The Age of Stupid, an event that took place in 69 countries worldwide. Lydia has a first class honours degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex in the UK, her native language is English and she is fluent in Spanish.
Victoria Anderica, Legal Researcher and Campaigner
Victoria Anderica has worked with Access info Europe since January 2010. Her work includes analysis of access to information legislation under the Ratification Readiness and the Right to Information Rating projects. Victoria has managed two global transparency monitoring projects, “The 6 Question Campaign” and the “Tell Us What You’ve Done Initiative”.
Victoria also works on the Access Info’s Open Government Data Project investigating the legal and practical dimensions of new initiatives to publish and re-use government information. She is involved in the “Legal Leaks” project training journalists on how to use access to information laws. In addition, she coordinates campaigns in Spain and France to promote adoption and implementation of the access information laws.
Victoria has a Law degree from the Carlos III University (Madrid) where she specialised in European Law and an MA in Euroculture from the Deusto University (San Sebastian) and Georg-August University (Göttingen, Germany). As part of her MA she spent time studying in Germany, Mexico, Poland and Spain. She has represented Access Info Europe in public fora in a range of countries including Argentina, Brazil, France, Hungary, Tajikistan, Uruguay and the UK.
Based in Madrid, Vicky speaks Spanish, English, French and some German.
Pam Bartlett Quintanilla is a researcher and project coordinator who has worked with Access Info team since February 2010. Her specialist interests include transparency of international organisations and business transparency.
Pam coordinates research, partner networking and advocacy on EU Transparency, including work on Access Info's Court Case against the Council of the European Union, the revision of the EU Regulation on access to official documents, improvement of the Parliament and Commission's joint Transparency Register and coordination of the EU Citizens project. She represents Access Info Europe on the steering committee of the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation and is also engaged in the European Coalition for Corporate Justice.
Pam is also involved in Access Info's Civil Liberties projects, in www.AsktheEU.org, and in the promotion of an access to information law in Spain via the 100 Question Campaign. She also coordinates the Access Info Europe Help Desk.
Pam has a postgraduate degree from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) in Inequality, Cooperation and Development (Desigualdad, Cooperación y Desarrollo) and holds a degree in Politics and Sociology (MA Hons) from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (UK), which included a year studying in Grenoble, France.
Now based in Madrid, Pam works in English, Spanish and French.
Alvaro is currently completing a degree in Information Engineering at Madrid’s Autonomous University. His experience includes running the Cíber-Café “Hangar” in Madrid as well as building websites for a range of clients. He has extensive knowledge of computer hardware and of website and programming software.
Collaborators and Consultants
Fiona Harrison, Human Rights Consultant
Fiona is a UK-based human rights consultant specialising in a number of thematic areas including media freedom, freedom of expression and information, minority and indigenous rights, peaceful conflict resolution, human trafficking, and women's health.
Fiona's work experience includes project management, research, writing, editing, training and fundraising with a range of UK based organisations. Fiona worked for ten years with Article 19 in London (1992-2002) as Head of Europe Programme. Her management experience includes three years as director of the NGO Women's Health (2002-2005) and two maternity cover stints as Deputy Director of Minority Rights Group International (MRG).
She has also worked with the Oxford Research Group and the Anti-Trafficking Alliance and carried out consultancy work for the AIRE Centre, Rights and Humanity, the Council of Europe, and the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Fiona has an LLM in Human Rights from the University of Essex (1998) and a BA Hons in French, German and Linguistics. Based in Cambridge, she speaks English, French, German and some Spanish.
David Cabo is vice-president of Pro Bono Publico and creator of dondevanmisimpuestos.es, a web for visualizing the annual budgets from Spanish public administrations, developed in collaboration with the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN). David is working with Access Info on a number projects using information and communication technologies to further open government, including the AsktheEU.org web portal project.
With an M.Sc. in Software Engineering, David has extensive development experience as senior developer and team lead in projects at British Telecom, HM Revenues & Customs, Accenture, Sainsburys and BVA Global Markets. He has lived in the UK, France, and Germany. Currently based in Madrid, David is a native Spanish speaker who is fluent in English as well as speaking some French and Portuguese.
Elena is a student of Journalism at the Complutense University in Madrid. She has been studying 5 years so far and her higher education has been done mostly in Toulouse, France. She also went to French high school in Madrid. Thanks to Erasmus student exchange program she studied in Rome for one year. The main goal of her studies was to focus on the issues related to international relations, policy of information and communication in the European Union and the global system of information. Currently she writes in Spanish for Global Voices – an international network of bloggers as well as works as a translator for a tourist guide. She is mostly interested in topics related to means of communication and citizen journalism. She speaks Spanish, French and has some knowledge of Italian and English.
Andreas is the Civil Society Coordinator for Open Government Standards and liaison with the Open Government Partnership Civil Society Coordinator, Paul Maasen. His work also includes outreach to civil society to collect the best practices and help develop the Open Government Standards.
Andreas is also responsible for management of AsktheEU.org. He has undertaken research and writing reports and analyses with Access Info on Aid Transparency, the Open Cyprus Project and AsktheEU.org. Andreas has an MA Contemporary European Studies, having studied in the UK, the Czech Republic, and Spain with his dissertation focussing on post-economic crisis social movements in Spain and Greece. Currently in Madrid, Andreas speaks and works in English and Spanish, and knows French and Greek.
Access Info volunteers are professionals working or studying in fields related to access to information, they give their time and we are grateful for their assistance. Access Info has a in-house seminar programme which it offers to volunteers to give them an on-the-job learning experience. For more information on becoming a volunteer click here.
Tanya has a Degree in International Trade and a postgraduate degree in International Relations from the Guadalajara University, Mexico. Also has a Masters in Business Administration and International Business from the Paris XII University.
Currently, she is a scholarship holder of the Spanish Agency for International Development and Cooperation and She is studing her PhD at the Complutense University, Madrid, researching the area of transparency and accountability on the cases of Chile and Mexico .
She is very interested in questions of corruption and secrecy, which has led to focus her professional and academic career on the development and implementation of best practices in public administration, aimed at eradicating these barriers.
She speaks Spanish, French and English.
Alicia is a communications and media expert specialising in new technologies. She has worked in the media industry for over fifteen years (Press, Radio, TV and Internet). She is interested in Open Government, freedom of expression and participatory democracy. At Access Info Europe she is working on the civil liberties and Access Info España projects as well as FOIAnet coordination and office management.
Alicia holds a BA in Communications from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, with a year studying in Lisbon, an MBA from Carlos III University in Madrid, and an MA in Contemporary European Studies at the University of Bath (UK) and the Institute of Political Science (Sciences Po, Paris). She also studied European studies and Human Rights at the Diplomatic School and Madrid and the College of Europe (Bruges). At the moment, she is finishing her Degree in Sociology at (UNED) at the Open University in Madrid, where she provided support on e-learning projects.
Currently in Madrid, Alicia speaks and works in Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and knows Italian.
Maxine Lange is an arts/law student at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, specialising in Chinese, Japanese and Spanish. Maxine has studied in China, Mexico and Spain. Maxine is currently studying international law in Madrid at Universidad Autonoma. Maxine is a current scholarship holder of the Walter Mangold Trust Fund scholarship and also a recipient of the Prime Minister's Asia Endeavour Award.
Maxine is interested in international and human rights law. In Australia, Maxine volunteers with the Refugee Immigration Legal Centre.