<% IssueDate = "09/26/02" IssueCategory = "World" %> GayToday.com - World
Surina Khan is Leaving IGLHRC after 2+ Years of Leadership

Compiled by GayToday

Surina Khan is stepping down as executive director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission San Francisco, California-- Surina Khan has announced that she will be stepping down as Executive Director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) in December, 2002 and will be moving to southern California with her partner. She will have served as IGLHRC's leader for two-and-a-half years.

"It has been a profound honor to lead IGLHRC, an organization that plays a singularly important role in the world of human rights," stated Khan.

"It has also been a unique privilege to work closely with our phenomenal staff, our deeply committed Board of Directors, and, most importantly, with countless courageous activists throughout the world."

Khan is credited for increasing IGLHRC's visibility and stabilizing the organization. "Surina has provided vital and important leadership to IGLHRC over the past two-plus years," said Nicky McIntyre, Chair of IGLHRC's Board of Directors.

"Both IGLHRC and those whom we serve are deeply grateful for her tireless commitment." McIntyre praised Khan for orchestrating a significant rise in the visibility of IGLHRC and the organization's many constituencies.

"Surina has helped bring unprecedented visibility to once-hidden human rights issues and to the lives of people persecuted because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. These are lasting contributions to IGLHRC and the movements and people we support."

During Khan's tenure IGLHRC significantly expanded its work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) grassroots activists in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.

In Lucknow, India IGLHRC supported activists who mobilized international pressure and helped secure the release of four HIV/AIDS educators.

In Colombia, with IGLHRC's assistance, activists successfully advocated that the supreme court grant a lesbian prisoner the right to conjugal visits with her partner. In Brazil, a court convicted skinheads involved in the murder of a gay man.

In Thailand, HIV/AIDS activists succeeded in getting the Ministry of Health to include coverage for HIV/AIDS drugs in the country's new universal health plan. And in Egypt, IGLHRC's work helped draw international attention to the arrest, detention, and trials of the Cairo 52.

IGLHRC also achieved great success at the United Nations during Khan's tenure. In 2001, following intense advocacy by IGLHRC, six United Nations Independent Experts issued an unprecedented call for information about human rights violations against LGBT people.

That same year, IGLHRC fought for and secured inclusion at the U.N. General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS as an explicitly LGBT-focused non-governmental organization-an acknowledgement that made news around the globe.

Khan is also credited with bringing financial stability to IGLHRC.

"Surina leaves IGLHRC with solid financial resources in addition to a solid reputation," said Sandip Roy, Vice Chair of IGLHRC's Board of Directors.

"Surina has provided vital and important leadership to IGLHRC and she leaves the organization well-poised for the future," IGLHRC's budget increased steadily during Khan's tenure from $1.1 million in 2000 to $1.5 million in 2002.

"We are confident that Surina is leaving an organization that is strong and vibrant," said McIntyre. " And we are excited about identifying a dynamic new leader for IGLHRC," added McIntyre.

IGLHRC's Board of Directors announced that it will embark on its search for a new Executive Director beginning October 1, following a previously scheduled board meeting.
For More ...
Related Stories
IGLHRC Shocked at News of Anti-Gay Retrial in Egypt

Egypt Blasted by French Stars, French Citizens and IGLHRC

Related Sites
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission