MEET THE TEAM
Tshepo Ricki Kgositau-Kanza’s background is International Relations with a speciality in International Human Rights Law and Diplomacy. She won a constitutional court case seeking legal gender recognition in the High Court of Botswana in 2017. She was a 2016 Mandela~Washington Fellow. Ricki is a recipient of the African Feather of the Year and Role Model of the Year Awards. She is a columnist for The Botswana Gazette with her weekly column “Queer I” which she uses to advance queer experiences and challenge prevailing narratives around and about queer persons. She is the Founding Chairperson of the Ricki Kgositau Foundation in Botswana aimed at raising funds for trans diverse and gender diverse persons to access gender affirming surgeries to affirm themselves.
Ricki is also a part of the LGBTIQA+ Task Team in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA). She is a business woman and social entrepreneur at heart with an objective to continue to invest back into her community.
Sheriff Mothopeng is a gender non-conforming person, LGBTI activist and archaeologist by profession with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental History and Cultural Heritage from the National University of Lesotho and other certificates of achievements in Public Policy, Governance and Leadership and Marginalization, Exclusion and Inequality through OSISA.Sheriff has been working towards the elimination of discrimination and meaningful inclusion of LGBTQI identifying youth, produced two films, and on the global and Southern African region on trans rights. Sheriff is the first person to achieve legal name change and access gender-affirming surgery in Lesotho, thereby opening the door for others.
Keikantse Phele is a human rights lawyer. She holds a Master of Laws in Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa and is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow. Her areas of expertise are women rights, public interest litigation, HIV and the law, LGBTQIA and indigenous rights. She has worked in civil society organizations Botswana and internationally.
Keikantse is a Co-Founder &Curator of the Gaborone Book Festival.
Mats is our current AI Director for Finance & Operations, since January 2017. Before this he was the Deputy Executive Director of the International AIDS Society. He started his employment with the IAS as Conference Director in 2003, running one of the largest medical conferences, the International AIDS Conference, normally with 15.000-25.000 participants. Prior to this Mats was the Director of Member Services at the International Cooperative Alliance.
Mats brings years of expertise on finance and organisational management, as well as his roots as an activist to his work at AAI. He is 66 years old, of Swedish origin, living and working in Switzerland for international NGOs since 1992.
Alex is an International Relations specialist, and currently a Researcher at Accountability International. She holds a MSSc in International and European Relations from Linköping University, and a BA in Political Science from University of Bucharest. Recently, she became a member of the United Nations Association of Sweden. Alex’s journey through the ‘sociological imagination’ of IR enabled her to develop a creative and critical thinking, thus complementing her dedication to equality and human rights, regardless skin pigmentation, religion, SOGIE, or any other socio-cultural affiliations. She is particularly interested in gender-based violence research aimed at policy chance.
On a more personal note, Alex was born in Bucharest and is passionate about fine arts and artivism.
Phillipa is a European-African human rights researcher and activist and currently serves as the Research and Communications Director. Her focus has always been on rights for the people who have been the most left behind. She uses research, policy analysis, community watchdogging, advocacy, and accountability as tools. She specialises in conceptualising new ways to work in the gaps and innovate the way work is done by activists, development partners and other stakeholders.
Throughout her career, her passion for ethical, inclusive and participatory research has driven high quality and needs-based research. She says she is at her happiest when she has the freedom to develop innovative projects and responses that allow her to merge her multidisciplinary roots and interests in pedagogy, psychology, community work, technology, the life sciences, political theory and a desire for high design and accessible communication.