Helen Darbishire 

Executive Director

Helen Darbishire is a human rights activist specialising in the right of access to information (freedom of information) and the development of open and democratic societies with participatory and accountable governments.

Helen established Access Info in Madrid in 2006, with the goal of promoting the right of access to information across Europe and globally. She leads Access Info’s team of transparency specialists, manages EU and international projects, and represents the organisation at events and in the media.

Helen is an Open Government Partnership Envoy, having served two terms on the OGP Steering Committee (2016-2022), and is Chair of the UNCAC Coalition, a global network of civil society organisations working to combat corruption.

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).

Helen started her career as a campaigner at Article 19 (1989 to 1998) based in London and Paris. She then worked with the Open Society Foundations (1999-2005), based first in Budapest and then in New York, directing global programmes on freedom of expression and freedom of information.

Helen holds a degree in Philosophy of Science and Psychology from Durham University, United Kingdom.

Resident in Madrid, she speaks English, French and Spanish.

She is a huge fan of third wave, speciality coffee.


As Executive Director, Helen oversees campaigns to advance transparency cam

  • Access to information
  • Anti-corruption
  • EU Transparency
  • Company Registers and Beneficial Ownership
  • EU Funds Transparency
  • Open Data for Democracy
  • Open Government
  • Lobbying

Articles and Events

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