FI Geneva

37-39 rue de Vermont
P.O. Box 104
CH-1211 Geneva 20

T: +41 22 779 40 10
F: +41 22 779 40 12

FI New York

246 East 46th Street #1F
New York, NY


T: +1 (917) 675 1075


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.

To contact Mr Markus Heinze, please write to m.heinze[at]

International Advocacy Director, Sandra Epal-Ratjen

Ms Sandra Epal-Ratjen is the International Advocacy Director and Deputy Executive 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 Epal-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 Epal-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.

To contact Ms Sandra Epal-Ratjen, please write to s.ratjen[at]

Institutional Development Manager, Cédric Chatelanat

Mr Cédric Chatelanat is the Institutional Development 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.

To contact Mr Cédric Chatelanat, please write to c.chatelanat[at]

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 and Deputy Advocacy Director 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.

To contact Mr Budi Tjahjono, please write to b.tjahjono[at]

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.

To contact Ms Enkeleda Papa, please write to e.papa[at]

Americas Program Coordinator, Ulises Quero

Mr Alberto Ulises Quero Garcia is the Americas Program Coordinator of Franciscans International.

Prior to joining Franciscans International, Mr Quero was the Geneva liaison of the Mexican Commission for the Defence and Promotion of Human Rights (CMDPDH). Before joining the CMDPDH, he ran the UPR Programme at the International, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA). He also worked at the Special Prosecutor of Crimes Against Women and Human in Trafficking of the Mexican General Attorney’s Office and as a research assistant at the National Institute of Criminal Sciences. He has also been involved in the submission of amicus curiae before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He has published on issues related to international criminal law and international human rights law.

Mr Quero holds a Master’s degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and a Law degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. 

To contact Mr Quero, please write to u.quero[at]

Representative at the UN, Marya Farah (New York)

Marya Farah is the UN Representative for Franciscans International in New York.

Prior to joining Franciscans International, Ms Farah worked with Al-Haq, a human rights organization based in the occupied Palestinian territory on topics including business and human rights, forcible transfer, and accountability. Ms Farah has also worked with the International Commission of Jurists in Geneva and Cairo, and with other organizations in the Middle East region on issues related to human rights and refugees.

Ms Farah received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

To contact Ms Marya Farah, please write to m.farah[at]

Finance and Human Resources Officer, Lourdes Briones

Ms Lourdes Briones is the Finance and Human Resources 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.

To contact Ms Lourdes Briones, please write to l.briones[at]

Communications Officer, Thomas Kleinveld

Mr Kleinveld is the Communications Officer at Franciscans International.

He has extensive experience in multimedia, design, video, photography, and editing—both with civil society organizations and as a freelance journalist.

Prior to joining Francians International, Mr Kleinveld worked as Communications Officer for the Ugandan based East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, Trac FM, and the Netherlands Debating Institute. His journalistic portfolio includes Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands Worldwide, and One World Magazine.

Mr Kleinveld holds a dual Master’s degree in Journalism, Media, and Globalization and Financial Journalism from Aarhus University, the University of California (Berkeley), and City University London. He is fluent in English, Dutch, and German.

To contact Mr Thomas Kleinveld, please write to t.kleinveld[at]