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Group: Safety and security

Gael Leopold

Gael Leopold is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. Gael worked in country director and programme roles in international NGOs for nearly a decade, including with Première Urgence Internationale, WWF International, and ACTED in Chad, Palestine, Lebanon, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Fiji. He was also previously the executive director of Toilettes du Monde and the Rotary Pacific Water for Life Foundation. After three years in Palestine, Gael returned to France and now provides security consultancy and personal security training (HEAT) to NGOs in the humanitarian, development, and human rights sectors. He is fluent in French, English, and Spanish. 

Leon Nsiku

Leon Nsiku is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. He has over a decade of experience in security management, human rights, and humanitarian access in fragile environments. Prior to joining Open Briefing, Leon was a senior protection associate at DefendDefenders, where he provided security management training and conducted security risk assessments for civil society organisations and human rights defenders in the East and Horn of Africa, Central Africa, and the Sahel. He also led DefendDefender’s protection and empowerment programme for exiled human rights defenders. Leon’s early career was focussed on humanitarian access and the promotion of human rights in DR Congo, including with the Humanitarian Initiative for Development in South-Kivu Province. Leon has a master’s degree in security studies. He is fluent in English, French, and Kiswahili.

Renata Oliveira

Renata Oliveira is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. Renata has a decade of professional experience working with human rights defenders at risk in Latin America and, more recently, in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She was Oxfam’s security coordinator for Latin America and the Caribbean for four years and subsequently provided security support to Oxfam’s operations in northern Mozambique. She has worked as a consultant for the UN Human Rights Office and Front Line Defenders and provided international protective accompaniment to human rights defenders at risk in Mexico with Peace Brigades International. Renata is a lawyer by training and holds a master’s degree in international law and international relations. She speaks Portuguese, English, and Spanish.

Tom Bendall

Tom Bendall is the director of safety and security at Open Briefing. Tom was previously the global safety and security lead at WaterAid, where he was responsible for providing expert safety and security support to leadership, staff, and partners in 34 countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Prior to that, Tom worked as a senior risk adviser for the security consultancy International Location Safety. During this time, he provided retained safety and security support and trainings to NGOs, academic institutions, and media groups and led a number of high-level projects with a variety of international organisations, including ActionAid, Doctors of the World, Catholic Relief Services, Forest Peoples Programme, and the London School of Economics. Between 2013 and 2016, Tom held various safety and security roles within the British Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies at a headquarter and regional level, including postings across East Africa and in the Philippines. Tom holds a master’s degree in international security and terrorism.

Shaun Martinez

Shaun Martinez is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. Shaun has over 20 years’ experience working on the safety and security of human rights defenders and activists and supporting the victims of human rights violations. He has a keen interest in the rights of marginalised defenders and activists, including LGBTIQ+ activists, sex workers, women’s rights activists, and disability rights activists, and where these discriminations intersect with race and poverty to create even greater challenges. Shaun has worked with organisations across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. He has worked for the UN, the EU, and the International Commission of Jurists. And he has provided international protective accompaniment to human rights defenders in Colombia and Nepal with Peace Brigades International. Shaun is a volunteer case worker for LGBTIQ+ refugees and asylum seekers with Portsmouth City of Sanctuary.

Molly Rose Freeman Cyr

Molly Rose Freeman Cyr is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. Molly focusses on protecting human rights defenders and civil society organisations through risk assessments, trainings, and protection planning. She has previously worked with Front Line Defenders, the International Federation for Human Rights, and the 11th Hour Project to support defenders and organisations at risk, particularly in West and Central Africa. Molly holds a degree in peace and justice studies and a master’s degree in international peace studies. She speaks English and French.

Juan Goyanes

Juan Goyanes is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. Juan is a logistics and security professional with nearly 20 year’s experience in the humanitarian sector. He has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and Action Against Hunger in emergencies and programmes in conflict situations, nutritional emergencies, epidemics, and refugees crises in Africa, Asia, and South America. In recent years, he has provided training and support to indigenous defenders organisations and has led several projects on the integration of mobile technologies and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to improve security follow-up. Originally from Madrid, Juan is a native Spanish speaker and fluent in Portuguese and English.

Khalil Sayyad Hilario

Khalil Sayyad Hilario is a security risk management consultant at Open Briefing. Khalil began his career working as an investigative journalist in Palestine uncovering Israeli war crimes. After being kidnapped, he moved into the humanitarian sector, and was, until 2014, the deputy logistics director for Médecins sans Frontières. He also previously served as MSF’s country director in Iraq, programs director in Haiti, and logistics coordinator in Ivory Coast, Sudan, and DR Congo. In the last six years, he has focussed on security risk management, and has supported journalists, human rights defenders, and humanitarians in the Central African Republic, DR Congo, Burundi, Burkina Faso, South Sudan, Kenya, Chad, Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and the Balkans. Khalil is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, and currently lives in France.