The Secretariat manages the daily business and operational activities of UPR Info. It implements its policies, runs its programmes and ensures a timely and efficient use of funds.
The Director of the Secretariat reports to UPR Info’s Executive Board on the implementation of the organisation’s strategy. She/He represents the organisation and, with the team, helps maintain and develop relations with partner stakeholders.
Mona M'Bikay – Executive Director
Mona M’Bikay is the Executive Director of UPR Info since September 2017.
For more than 20 years, she has gained extensive work experience in the field of justice, democratic governance, and human rights.
Before joining UPR Info, she worked for the Swiss Government (Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and UN agencies (UN OHCHR, Regional Office for Southern Africa, UNDP Bangladesh).
She provided technical assistance to various national stakeholders to support the implementation of programmes and projects in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. She also led capacity building projects in Southern Africa and Bangladesh.
She authored articles on human rights and their monitoring mechanisms, and also supervised several research projects. Her specific areas of expertise include results-based management, organisational development, human rights, rule of law, democratic governance, sustainable development, and gender equality.
Mona M’Bikay holds a Law degree from the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, a Master’s degree in International Studies with specialisation in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva, Switzerland, a Postgraduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution Skills from the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University, United Kingdom, and a Diploma in Sustainable Development and Human Rights from the Human Rights Centre, University for Peace, San Jose, Costa Rica.
She is fluent in French and English and has a good knowledge of Dutch and German.
She is a passionate runner and mother of two children.
Saïda Laurent – Finance and Administration Manager
Saïda joined UPR Info in January 2018 as Human Resources and Finance Manager. Prior to that, she worked at the International Commission of Jurists (2016-2018) and as Finance Officer for the International Legal & Policy Programme and the Africa Programme. She was in charge of the payroll for national and international staff.
Previously, she worked as Regional Budget Coordinator for the Department of Health Prevention and Promotion in Lyon (2013-2014). She was also a humanitarian field worker for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the Central African Republic. In Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, she worked as Human Resources Coordinator and Finance Manager (2009-2012). She started her career in 2004, as a high school teacher l in Paris (Health and Social management).
Saïda holds a Master’s degree in Finance and Human Resources Management for NGOs from the Bioforce Institute, Lyon, and a Bachelor’s degree in Human and Social Sciences from the University of Montpellier. She speaks French and English, and her mother tongue is Amazigh (Berber).
Nicoletta Zappile – Programme Manager
Nicoletta joined UPR Info in July 2018 as Programme Manager. Prior to that, she worked as Project Officer for the ICJ Global Redress and Accountability Initiative for gross human rights violations (2017-2018), and at the International Commission of Jurists as Development Officer (2013-2018). She started her career as a journalist and Digital Editor for The Global Journal, a media start-up focused on international affairs based in Geneva.
Nicoletta holds a LL.M. in International Humanitarian Law from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights and a MAS in International Relations with specialisation in international law from the University of Florence. She speaks Italian, English and French.
Ashleigh Shields – Programme Manager
Ashleigh joined UPR Info in 2018 as Manager of the Policy and Advocacy Programme. She has experience working in both government and non-profit sectors on issues related to human rights and conflict, including for Global Affairs Canada in Paris and Geneva, and the Juno Beach Centre in Normandy, France.
Ashleigh holds an M.A. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada where she studied as a civilian graduate student, as well as a B.A. with Honours from Queen’s University. She is fluent in English and French and has a good knowledge of Spanish.
João Rebelo – Programme Officer
João Rebelo joined UPR Info in 2021 as Programme Officer of the Policy and Advocacy Programme (PAP). Before joining UPR Info, he worked in both non-profit and public sectors, such as the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs in Switzerland and abroad. His professional path has led him to work on issues related to human rights, conflict prevention/resolution, and sustainable peacekeeping – among others.
João holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.A. in European Studies. He is bilingual in Portuguese and French, speaks English fluently, has a good command of German and a good knowledge of Spanish.
Nargiz Arupova – Programme Manager
Nargiz joined UPR Info in July 2017 as Programme Manager. She has worked extensively in the area of international human rights, development and rule of law.
Prior to joining UPR Info, she worked for the Geneva Center for Security Sector Governance, DCAF, where she contributed to monitoring the capacity building of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and to enhancing the good practices of parliamentary oversight of the security sector. She has also gathered professional experience within the Geneva Infant Feeding Association and the International Institute for Humanitarian Law.
Nargiz holds an LL.M. in Public International Law from Leiden University and an LL.B. in European Law from Maastricht University. She is fluent in Russian, French, English and has a good knowledge of German.
Tenar Lorente – Programme Officer
Tenar Lorente joined UPR Info as Programme Officer in 2017. Prior to that, she worked for the Permanent Mission of Spain to the UNOG, closely collaborating with the Human Rights Council and its treaty bodies. At WFUNA, she trained world youth on the implementation of human rights projects in local contexts. She also has experience in training Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), parliamentarians, National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), Inter-ministerial committees, and government representatives.
She studied International Relations at the University of Arkansas and holds a Master in European Studies from the Spanish Royal Institute of European Studies. Tenar speaks Spanish, English, French and is learning Arabic.
Laura Sinner – Programme Officer
Laura joined UPR Info in January 2018. In her role as Programme Officer, she is now working for the In-country Programme (ICP). She holds a B.A in International Relations and a M.A in European Studies from the University of Geneva with specialisation in Economics and Politics. Prior to joining UPR Info, she worked at the Zurich-based think tank Avenir Suisse where she assisted in communications, translation, logistics, and research on Swiss social and economic policies.
She is particularly interested in parliamentary oversight of the respect of human rights. Laura speaks fluently French, English, and German and has basic knowledge of Portuguese, Albanian and Russian.
Claudia Caicedo – Programme Manager
Claudia joined UPR Info in August 2020 as Programme Manager (a.i) of the Pre-Sessions Programme. Since November 2020, she is responsible for the Digital Innovation and Knowledge Management (DIKM) Programme. She has professional experience in the field of conflict transformation in Colombia, Spain, Switzerland, Equator, and Bolivia, especially in interpersonal, family, and communitarian conflicts. Her expertise includes a human rights- and gender-based approach applied to public policy implementation, and the mainstreaming of both perspectives in specific projects and programs of UN agencies (UNFPA, UNDP).
With strong facilitating, training, and teaching skills in the area of human rights, gender, development, and peace studies, she has worked as visiting professor in universities in Colombia and Spain. Since 2011, she is also Collaborating Lecturer at the online Open University of Catalunya- UOC (Spain).
Claudia holds a Law degree (Colombia), a Master’s degree in Political Studies from the Javeriana University (Colombia), a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the University Carlos III (Spain), and a Ph.D. in International Studies in Peace, Conflict, and Development from the University Jaume I (Spain).
She speaks Spanish, French, and English.