Jos Kösters


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Promoting international understanding and cooperation, by contributing to the rule of law and the international legal order, are central in my career. I worked for inter alia Amnesty International (team manager, 1986-1990), Oxfam Novib (team and project manager, 1990-1996), the Netherlands Helsinki Committee (director, 1996-2009) and the Clingendael Institute (director of corporate staff, 2009-2019). At the Clingendael Institute, I was also temporarily seconded to the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (operations manager, 2017-2019). After being managing partner of Human European Consultancy in 2020, I succeeded Marcel Zwamborn as its director as of 1 January 2021.

I successfully developed, implemented and managed tailor-made projects and programmes in various Central and East European countries (such as Romania, Bulgaria and Czech Republic) and also in the Netherlands and Turkey. The topics of these projects included: professional training on international human rights law and the rule of law for magistrates, lawyers, police, prison staff and probation staff; and capacity building for professional organisations of judges and prosecutors, human rights organisations, a national probation service and training institutes for magistrates. For ICCT, I provided a training on fund-raising (civil society organisation, Indonesia) and did a project evaluation on the implementation of the ‘Rome Memorandum’ of the GCTF (prison service, The Philippines).

In addition, I succeeded in raising funds for them. My counterparts included international organisations, governments, non-governmental organisations and professionals.

A broad knowledge and professional experience in finance, human resources management, institutional reorganisation, institutional capacity building and governance are part of my toolkit.

Andrea Schouw-Naphegyi

Project manager
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I moved to the Netherlands as ‘love immigrant’ in 2007. I was born in Romania (1977), being a member of the Hungarian national minority. My educational background is human rights. Working on the implementation of human rights became my profession and passion. I am specialised in the field of diversity and inclusion.
I joined the team of Human European Consultancy in January 2022. It is an inspiring environment: my colleagues are just as passionate about human rights, equality, non-discrimination and participation. In my role as project manager for the European Disability Expertise network I am facilitating the cooperation between the experts of 30 European countries, the project team and the European Commission. Our aim with research and input for policy framework on European level is to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. My intercultural sensitivity and years of experience with working with our target group help me to fulfil my tasks and responsibilities.
I work with a diverse group of people also from my honorary position. I am the chairperson of the Dutch Association for Inclusion.  We have a wide network of ‘UN-ambassadors’ who are working on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

Outside the office I am enjoying my daily life with my husband and friends. We are regularly going to Transylvania to be with our family, friends and to experience nature and culture.

Helena Schmetz

Project manager and office manager

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Having followed a curious and diverse career path, I have finally found my niche at Human European Consultancy. Here, I can combine my acquired skills with my long-standing interest in human rights.

Due to some experiences in my private life, I have increasingly immersed myself in issues around accessibility, equal rights and education. Having studied Theatre, Film and Television, it was not a natural thing for me to delve into these topics. I am very glad that I did and that I can contribute to the research on human rights in my current position. 

When I am not at work, I like to spend with my family and friends, binge watch series, enjoy nature, and excersize by doing pilates and yoga.

Tobin den Blijker

Project officer and office manager

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After finishing my Research Master's Degree in Gender Studies at Utrecht University, I started working at Human European Consultancy as a project officer and office manager. I have a long-standing interest in topics surrounding equality and inclusion, and have organized relating to this topic, mainly in the sphere of the LGBTQ+ community. At Human European Consultancy, I am able to apply this interest and the critical thinking I learned during my studies to support and coordinate different projects.

In my spare time, I like to see my friends, watch women's soccer and visit the cinema.

Marcel Zwamborn

Research associate

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The running thread in my work is the promotion and protection of international human rights, equal treatment and non-discrimination. As director of HEC until the end of 2020, I have been network manager, project manager and researcher in the projects of HEC in these areas.

I have been involved in various EU wide studies on Equality Bodies, on legislation on violence against women, the right to housing and equality data collection and the development of indicators to measure democracy and human rights. Working as freelance researcher before joining HEC in 2007, I conducted research on promoting human rights in development cooperation and through foreign policy. I also performed many evaluations of human rights projects and programs of partner organisations of Dutch development agencies.

Parallel to that, I was the founding project manager of Equinet – the European network of equality bodies from 2001 – 2008, a secondment as an alternate member of the Dutch Equal Treatment Commission (ETC).

Our office

Wilhelminapark 61
3581 NP Utrecht 
The Netherlands
T: +31 (0)30 232 64 30

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