Joshua Aiken
(Missouri & Pembroke 2014)
Writer & Policy Fellow, Prison Policy Initiative

Joshua Aiken is the Policy Fellow at the Prison Policy Initiative, a research and advocacy organization focused on mass incarceration in America. He received his undergraduate degree in Political Science and American Studies from Washington University in St. Louis where he graduated summa cum laude. He received Masters degrees in History and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford. Joshua has previously worked at Human Rights Watch and for the Missouri History Museum. His research focuses on histories of state violence and is featured in the forthcoming collection Black Lives Matter: The Past, Present, and Future of an International Movement for Rights and Justice.Joshua is also a writer, playwright, and poet. In 2016, he received the Martin Starkie Prize from the Oxford University Poetry Society. His Pushcart-Prize nominated poetry can be found in publications including Juked, the Winter Tangerine Review, and Assaracus. His writings on race, gender, sexuality, and inequality have been featured in publications such as The Hill, The Oxford Race & Resistance Group, A Muse, and Blavity.

Randy Boissonnault, M.P. (Prairies & Corpus Christi 1994)

Mr. Randy Boissonnault is the Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and a member of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights.

On November 15th 2016, Mr. Boissonnault was named Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues. His principal role is to advise the Prime Minister of Canada "on the development and co-ordination of the Government of Canada’s LGBTQ2 agenda", including the protection of LGBTQ2 rights in Canada and addressing both present and historical discrimination.

A Rhodes Scholar and Ironman triathlon finisher, Mr. Boissonnault is one of six openly LGBTQ2 MPs serving in the 42nd Canadian Parliament, alongside the Honourable Scott Brison, Rob Oliphant, Seamus O'Regan, Randall Garrison, and Sheri Benson. He is also the first openly gay MP from the province of Alberta.

Prior to his election, Randy Boissonnault was a successful entrepreneur, community leader, and philanthropist with a long history of charitable work, most recently as Co-founder of Literacy Without Borders, an international NGO devoted to promoting literacy for both children and adults in the developing world and in Canada.

Doug Hallward-Driemeier (Missouri & Hertford 1989)

Partner & Head, Ropes & Gray’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice

Douglas Hallward-Driemeirer is an American attorney, currently a partner and Head of Ropes & Gray’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice in Washington. In 2015, he argued before the United State Supreme Court in the highly-publicized landmark marriage equality case Obergefell v. Hodges — in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Doug joins with us to speak about the legal protections for LGBTQ people and the work both inside and outside of the law necessary for safe, flourishing lives of queer people around the world.

Moud Goba
Project Manager, Micro Rainbow UK

Moud Goba, is a Zimbabwean lesbian and refugee residing in the UK. She is an LGBTI and human rights activist with more than 10 years’ experience in working with BME LGBTI grassroots community groups and running her own small business. She was one of the founding members of UK Black Pride. Ms Goba passionately supports LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees, especially women in immigration detention centres. She currently works for as a Project Manager for Micro Rainbow International, an organisation that addresses LGBTI poverty worldwide. She has previously worked for UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. In 2015, Ms Goba was named one of the top 100 most influential LGBTI people in the UK by The Independent and was the recipient of the Attitude Pride Award.

Professor Paul Maylam

Professor of History, Rhodes University 

Paul Maylam is Head of the Department of History at Rhodes University. He was conferred with the title of Distinguished Professor in 2012 at the University. For some years now, he has worked in the field of South African urban history with a focus in apartheid. Previously, he has co-edited a book on the history of Durban and written a number of seminal articles on urban segregation in South Africa. Recent work includes a book tracing the history and historiography of racism, segregation and apartheid in South Africa. Maylam will be joining with us to speak to the figure of Cecil Rhodes, following from his text, ‘The Cult of Rhodes’ — a historical analysis of the intersection of power and sexuality in the colonialist businessman and politician. 

Dr Frank Mugisha
Executive Director, Sexual Minorities Uganda

Dr. Frank Mugisha is a Ugandan LGBTI advocate and Executive Director of SMUG, a human rights network raising awareness on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in Uganda. The network comprises 18 LGBTI organisations. One of the organisations under SMUG is Icebreakers Uganda: an organisation which caters for LGBTI Ugandans of 18 years and over who are 'coming out', as well as men and women who are already 'out’, or having feelings of loneliness or isolation due to sexuality or sexual related orientation. The organisation also educates men and women about their sexual health with regard to risky sexual behaviour with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS and STIs. In 2011, Dr Mugisha has won the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award and Thorolf Rafto Memorial Prize for his activism in this arena. He was also a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee in 2014.

Shauna Olney
Chief of Gender, Equality and Diversity, International Labour Organisation

Shauna Olney studied law at the University of British Columbia and as a postgraduate at the University of Oxford, with a focus on industrial relations and human rights. She has been with the ILO since 1991, working in the areas of equality and non-discrimination, industrial relations, international labour standards, labour law and freedom of association. Previously she worked as a barrister and solicitor in Canada, specializing in industrial relations, labour law and human rights. She also worked at the Supreme Court of Canada. She has authored and co-authored a number of publications on gender, equality and non-discrimination, including ‘Migrant Workers and the Right to Non-discrimination and Equality’ in Migrants at Work (OUP); Equal Pay: An introductory guide (ILO); ‘The ILO, gender equality, and trade unions’ in Making globalization work for women (Suny Series, Praxis); Gender equality: A guide to collective bargaining (ILO).

Bishop Gene Robinson
Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress

Gene Robinson is a retired bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. Robinson was elected bishop coadjutor in 2003 and succeeded as diocesan bishop in March 2004. Robinson is widely known for being the first priest in an openly gay relationship to be consecrated a bishop in a major Christian denomination believing in the historic episcopate. He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, an independent nonpartisan policy institute dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans, through bold, progressive ideas, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. He is known for his activism for full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. He has also been involved with AIDS education for youth and children as well as promoting anti-racism in the church. He is also an author of various books including ‘In the Eye of the Storm: Swept to the Center by God’ and ‘God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage’. His life story is featured in the 2007 feature-length documentary, ‘For the Bible Tells Me So’ and a feature-length documentary on his ministry, ‘Love Free or Die’.

Alok Vaid-Menon
Nonbinary activist, performance artist and writer

Alok Vaid-Menon is a non-binary transfeminine writer, entertainer, and performance artist. They perform with DARKMATTER: a trans South Asian performance art duo comprised of Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian. Based in New York City, this duo regularly performs at venues like La MaMa Experimental Theater, Nuyorican Poets Café, and the Asian American Writer’s Workshop. Their work has been featured in various outlets including HBO, MTV, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, The  New  York Times, The New Yorker, TEDx.They have worked with the Audre Lorde Project, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans and Gender Non-Conforming People of Color center for community organizing, focusing on the New York City area. Through mobilization, education and capacity-building, it works for community wellness and progressive social and economic justice.

Marlena Valles
MPhil (Law) Candidate 2016/2017 

Marlena Valles is a current postgraduate student at Exeter College, Oxford, researching equality law. In 2016, she was awarded the Vinerian Scholarship for best performance on the BCL, Oxford’s law masters degree. Prior to coming to Oxford, Marlena worked for the Human Dignity Trust, a legal charity which works to decriminalise homosexuality around the world. There she conducted the research and drafting behind “Breaking the Silence: The Criminalisation of Lesbian and Bisexual Women and its Impacts”, a ground-breaking report which was the first comprehensive look at the extent to which gross indecency and anti-gay laws are used to prosecute and persecute queer women.

Dr Naomi Wolf (Connecticut & New College 1985)
Author; Journalist; Former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton

Naomi Wolf is an author and leading spokesperson in the third wave of the feminist movement. She garnered international renown after the publication of her book ‘The Beauty Myth’ in 1990, and went on to write a number of other books, including ‘Vagina: A New Biography’, published in 2012. She has also worked as a political consultant on the presidential campaigns of Bill Clinton (1996) and Al Gore (2000). Her recent book, ‘Promiscuities - A Secret History Of Female Desire', explores Female sexuality in the Victorian era and was recently featured by the BBC. Naomi joins with us to share lessons from her recent PhD that explores the intersection of sexuality and power borne of the Victorian period in England which ultimately laid the legal foundations of much of the world via colonisation — and which affects and limits the lives of countless individuals to this day.

Ulrich Zachau (Germany & Nuffield 1984)
Director for Southeast Asia, World Bank

Ulrich Zachau holds degrees in mathematics and economics from the University of Munich and a PhD in economics from Oxford University. Before joining the World Bank, he worked for McKinsey & Co and taught economics at the University of Bonn. Previously he has spearheaded programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, Turkey, East Asia, and the Pacific. As the present Country Director for six countries in Southeast Asia, he is responsible for oversight of work with LGBTQ residents for this global multilateral institutional actor. Specifically this includes diagnostics of often entrenched exclusion and discrimination through to legal jeopardy and violence; fostering and supporting voice; public stance & policy advocacy; project and financial support for issues key to our community, from fighting HIV/AIDS; and inclusion of marginalised LGBTQ people in credit/financial markets. Ulrich also joins with us to share his expereince in promoting LGBTQ sensitivity and friendliness in the workplace and advocating for inclusion and equality amid operational work, and in both the local and expat and diplomatic communities throughout Southeast Asia.