FI New York
Executive Director, Markus Heinze, ofm
Mr Markus Heinze is the Executive Director of Franciscans International.
After joining the Friars Minor (OFM) in 1980, Mr Heinze studied Theology in Freiburg (Germany) and Luzern (Switzerland). After a stint as a parish priest in Salmünster (Germany), he moved to Frankfurt where, for almost twenty years, he engaged in social work. This spanned from supporting children and youth from migrant families, to voluntary pastoral work in prisons, in houses hosting people with HIV/AIDS, and in homeless centres.
From 2003 to 2010 Mr Heinze served as the Coordinator for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) for the Friars Minor in Western Europe and globally as part of the Animation Committee for JPIC. In the same period, he was also appointed as a member of the International Board of Directors of Franciscans International.
Before becoming Executive Director in 2015, Mr Heinze served as Franciscans International Regional Director for Africa and Europe and as Transition Manager.
For interviews and media inquiries with Mr Markus Heinze, please contact email@example.com
International Advocacy Director, Sandra Ratjen
Ms Sandra Ratjen is the International Advocacy Director of Franciscans International.
She has extensive experience and expertise in international legal and advocacy processes, especially pertaining Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Prior to her position as International Advocacy Director, Ms Ratjen served as Senior Legal Advisor in the Legal and Policy Office of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) in Geneva, heading the Program on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Before joining the ICJ, she worked for over 10 years for Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) International—an international NGO specialized on the right to adequate food.
Ms Ratjen holds a Master’s degree in Public Law and International Relations from the University of Grenoble, France. She has published extensively on the issues of human rights, development and access to justice, and regularly lectures at universities and academic institutions—e.g. The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the University of Neuchâtel, the American University Washington College of Law, and others.
For interviews and media inquiries with Ms Sandra Ratjen, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Africa Program Coordinator, Enkeleda Papa
Ms Enkeleda Papa is the Africa Program Coordinator at Franciscans International.
She is a lawyer with extensive experience in human rights advocacy, project management, and capacity building. She has authored several reports to various UN human rights bodies, including the Human Rights Council.
Ms Papa joined Franciscans International in 2010, where prior to becoming the Africa Program Coordinator managed the Europe Program and the Contemporary Forms of Slavery Program. Previous to these appointments she worked with other Geneva-based NGOs—e.g. UPR Info and Child Rights Connect.
Ms Papa holds a Master’s degree in European Studies from the European Institute, Geneva, and a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. She is fluent in English, French, and Albanian. She also speaks Greek and Italian.
For interviews and media inquiries with Ms Enkeleda Papa, please contact email@example.com
Asia-Pacific Program Coordinator, Budi Tjahjono
With over fifteen years of experience in human rights advocacy both at the United Nations and in the field, Mr Budi Tjahjono is the Asia-Pacific Program Coordinator at Franciscans International.
Prior to his current position, he served as the Secretary General of the International Catholic Center of Geneva, worked with International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs in Geneva, and with the International Movement of Catholic Students in Paris.
Mr Tjahjono held academic positions at Sanata Dharma University (Indonesia) and Monash University (Australia). He also published extensively on the impact of climate change and of natural resources extraction on human rights, as well as on human rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the Asia-Pacific region.
Mr Tjahjono holds a Master degree in Development Studies from The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland.
For interviews and media inquiries with Mr Budi Tjahjono, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Americas Program Coordinator, Etienne Chénier-Laflèche
Mr Etienne Chénier-Laflèche is the Americas Program Coordinator
of Franciscans International.
Prior to joining Franciscans International, Mr Chénier-Laflèche was a Arthur Helton Global Human Rights Fellow working for the Penitentiary System Unit (NUSPEN) of the Public Defender Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Before that he worked as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Canada and was a Brian D. Tittemore Fellow at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He also worked as a research assistant for Prof. Philip Alston, member of the UN Security Council Commission of Inquiry on the Central African Republic. He contributed to the work of NGOs in Haiti, Ecuador, Guatemala, Argentina and Brazil. Mr Chénier-Laflèche was involved in litigation projects and fact finding initiatives relating to international human rights law, refugee law, indigenous peoples’ rights, and children’s rights.
Mr Chénier-Laflèche holds an LLM in International Legal Studies from New York University. He received numerous academic honours including a Fulbright Scholarship, a Arthur T. Vanderbilt Scholarship, and the Université du Québec à Montréal’s Faculty of Political Science and Law Excellence Award. He is called to the bar of Québec, Canada.
For interviews and media inquiries with Mr Etienne Chénier-Laflèche, please contact email@example.com
Project Manager, Cédric Chatelanat
Mr Cédric Chatelanat is the Project Manager at Franciscans International.
Prior to joining Franciscans International, Mr Chatelanat was Program Manager and Coordinator from 2013 to 2016 at Codap, a youth organization specialized in capacity building for young human rights activists, on topics such as international human rights law, project management, communication and group dynamics. Human rights advocacy was also part of his mandate, as he assisted grassroots organizations submitting reports to various UN human rights bodies.
Mr Chatelanat holds a Master’s degree in European Studies from the European Institute, Geneva, as well as a Certificate in adult education and training. He is fluent in French, English and German. He also speaks Italian.
Human Resources and Finance Officer, Lourdes Briones
Ms Lourdes Briones is the Human Resources and Finance Officer at Franciscans International.
Before coming to Franciscans International, Ms Briones worked for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and the International AIDS Society. She enjoys working in multicultural environments and is proud to be supporting the movement to defend human rights and the environment.
Ms Briones studied Anthropology and Literature in University of Bern and holds a graduate degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva.
Communications Officer, Paolo Cravero
Mr Paolo Cravero is the Communications Officer at Franciscans International.
Mr Cravero has extensive experience in multimedia and strategic communication, video and editing.
Prior to joining Franciscans International, Mr Cravero worked as a communications specialist and video producer for the World Trade Organization (Geneva), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Geneva, the International Institute for Environment and Development (London), and the Overseas Development Institute (London). As a freelance journalist, he has contributed to various media outlets, among which The Nation, The Global Journal, La Stampa, and the International Relations and Security Network Insights.
Mr Cravero holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. He is fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French.
Liaison Officer, Odile Coirier, fmm (New York)
Sister Odile Coirier (fmm) is the Liaison Officer of Franciscans International to the United Nations in New York, USA.
Prior to joining the Institute of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary in 1986, Sister Coirier was trained as a social worker. As a Sister, she then put these skills at use working for fifteen years in several institutions for people with mental and physical disabilities. Later, Sister Coirier brought her experience and expertise to the Philippines where she was a missionary within Indigenous communities and families stigmatized by leprosy.
Sister Coirier started working for Franciscans International in 2009 where she mainly worked on environmental and development issues, both in Geneva and on the field. She moved to New York as a Liaison Officer in 2015.
For interviews and media inquiries with Sister Odile Coirier, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative at the UN, Marina El Khoury (New York)
Ms Marina El Khoury is the Representative at the United Nations for Franciscans International.
Ms Marina El Khoury has specialized in grant-making and program management for over a decade, managing multi-million-dollar portfolios for major humanitarian and development organizations. She is an expert in civil society strengthening and capacity building, especially in post-conflict and complex political environments.
Prior to joining Franciscans International, Ms Khoury spent two years in Iraq as a partnership and development manager for UN Women and Oxfam, where she led the establishment of new projects, conducted gender-sensitive assessments of partners and contexts, managed several programs, and advocated for local and national authorities to respect humanitarian response standards.
Prior to her time in Iraq, Ms Khoury managed the human rights and rule of law portfolio for the Arab regional office of Open Society Foundations, overseeing more than fifty grant recipients in countries across the region. Ms Khoury also has extensive experience as a local human rights activist in her home country of Lebanon.
Ms Khoury holds a Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action and NGOs from Université Paris-Est Créteil in France, and is fluent in Arabic, French, and English.
Advocacy/Outreach Assistant, Christian Seno, ofm (New York)
Br. Christian Leo Seno (ofm) is Franciscans International's Advocacy and Outreach Assistant.
Based out of New York City, he has been involved in community organizing and pastoral ministry with migrants and refugees in Mexico and the United States, the LGBTQ community, and young adults.
He received his M.A. from the Pastoral Counseling Department at Loyola University Maryland. His thesis entitled, “Embodying Minority: Post-election Experiences of Minority Friars in Initial Formation and the Work Towards Racial Justice in Holy Name Province,” analyzed the experiences of minority friars and the racial dynamics operating in a predominantly White religious community after the 2016 United States presidential election. His areas of interest include antiracism and critical race theory, gender equity, and the concept of embodied minority.