You are here:

LGBT 2014 speakers

In order of appearance

Ambassador Stefano Sannino
Ambassador Stefano Sannino is the Permanent Representative of Italy to the EU, a position he holds since 2013. Previously, he held several offices at the European Commission, mostly in key leadership positions at DG Enlargement (2010-2013) and DG External Relations (2006-2010). He was diplomatic advisor to the Italian Prime-Minister (2006-2008) and President Prodi (2002-2004) as well as Head of the OSCE mission to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia (2001-2002).
Morten Kjaerum
Morten Kjaerum has served as Director of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights since June 2008. Before joining FRA, Mr Kjaerum was the founding Director of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. With over 17 years in top executive roles, Mr Kjaerum built the Institute, Denmark’s national human rights institution, into an internationally-recognised body. An expert in human rights implementation, Mr Kjaerum has been a member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and the President of the International Coordination Committee for National Human Rights Institutions. Mr Kaerum has written extensively on issues relating to human rights, in particular on refugee law, the prohibition of racial discrimination, and the role of national human rights institutions.
Ulrike Lunacek
Ulrike Lunacek (video message) is Vice-President of the European Parliament since 1 July 2014, on behalf of the Greens/EFA group. She heads the delegation of the Austrian Greens in the European Parliament and is co-president of the Intergroup on LGBT Rights. Ms Lunacek was the rapporteur on the EP resolution proposing an EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity (2014). In 2006, she was elected co-chair of the European Green Party in Helsinki, a position she has held for 3 years..
Martine Reicherts

Martine Reicherts is EU Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship since July 2014. Her career at the European Commission goes back to 1984, when she started as an Administrator at DG Science, Research and Development. Ever since then, she has held various positions in different DGs. From 1998 until 1999, she was spokesperson of the European Commission. Before starting her career at the European Commission she was a lawyer at the Bar of the Grand-duché de Luxembourg (1980-1984).

Julia Ehrt
Julia Ehrt is Executive Director of Transgender Europe (TGEU) – an umbrella organisation working towards the full equality and inclusion of all transgender persons across Europe. She has actively developed contacts with decision makers and other stakeholders in the EU, the Council of Europe and other governmental and non-governmental organisations for over a decade, and has represented TGEU in numerous conferences and meetings. She started trans activism more than ten years ago with a group of young transgender persons questioning the omnipresent bi-polar gender identity approach in society.
Marco De Giorgi
Marco De Giorgi is Counsellor at the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers. Since October 2012 he is also Director General of the National Office against Racial Discrimination (UNAR). From 2008 to 2012 he was Secretary General of the Ministry for the Protection of the Environment, Land and Sea. Mr De Giorgi has written numerous articles on public law, human rights and social policies in specialised legal journals, carrying out academic activities and research in the field of administrative law and human rights.
Sarah Halilovic
Sarah Halilovic is a student, currently residing in the Netherlands. Although she is of Croatian and Turkish descent, she sees herself as a citizen of Europe. In March 2014, Sarah got in contact with the Gay Straight Alliance for the first time as she became one of the faces for their campaign Day of Silence. Later on she decided to found a new Alliance at her own school. She is currently an active member of the National Council of the Gay Straight Alliance and of the Dutch organisation COC which advocates for the rights of LGBT persons.
Jeanette Larsson
Jeanette Larsson is former police inspector in Sweden and Vice-president of the Swedish Gay Police Association (2000-2014). Ms Larsson was also Vice-president of the European Group for Public Administration from 2009 until 2012. She was a police officer in Malmö from 1989 until 2014. She then retired to found her own educational company, Carpe Courage, which specialises in delivering lectures and trainings on diversity and hate crime. Ms Larsson has substantial experience in training civil servants, civil society organisations and law enforcement officials, as she has provided training courses for the Police Authority in Skåne, the City of Malmö, RFSL (an LGBT association), the Malmö District Court and others. 
Evelyn Paradis
Evelyn Paradis is the Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, providing overall leadership, strategic direction and management for the organisation. Before assuming the office of Executive Director, she held the position of Policy Director, coordinating the organisation’s advocacy work. Among other projects, she led ILGA-Europe’s campaign and advocacy work on the new proposed EU anti-discrimination directive. Prior to joining ILGA-Europe in 2005, Ms Paradis worked with the UN High Commission for Human Rights, the Council of Europe and human rights NGOs in Canada. She worked as a research assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression and Special Representative for human rights defenders, as well as a member of the preparatory team of the World Conference against Racism.
Sandra Artuković Kunšt
Sandra Artuković Kunšt is the Deputy Minister of Justice of the Republic of Croatia since January 2012. Previously, she was a judge at the County Court in Zagreb as well as a judge at the Civil Municipal Court in Zagreb (1993–2009). As a judge, she worked in the civil department, with an emphasis on family and statutory rights. During her career, she was especially dedicated to the protection of vulnerable groups, children without appropriate public care, victims of violence and minority groups. Furthermore, she was a member of the working group for drafting the Civil Partnership Act which recognises life partnership for same-sex couples, making them equal to married couples in everything except adoption.
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin TD is a Member of the Irish Parliament (Dáil) for the Dublin Bay North Constituency. In July 2014, he was appointed Minister of State with special responsibility for New Communities, Culture and Equality. Aodhán was first elected to the Irish Parliament in 2011 having previously served on Dublin City Council from 2004 – 2011 and was Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin in 2006. Prior to becoming a Minister of State, he served as the Vice-Chair of the Education and Social Protection Committee in the Irish Parliament. Before working full-time in politics, he worked as a teacher and Principal in St. Lawrence O’Toole’s Girls School in inner city Dublin.
Caren Marks
Caren Marks is Member of the German Bundestag since 2002. She is currently the Parliamentary Secretary of State to the Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. Ms Marks is also a member of the SPD since 1998, and has participated, on a volunteer basis, in several associations dedicated to promoting civil rights.
Jean-Michel Monnot
Jean-Michel Monnot is Vice-President of the Group Diversity and Inclusion for Sodexo, based in Paris. Since 2007, he has been responsible for implementing Sodexo’s Diversity strategy across 25 European countries in which Sodexo operates. Collaborating with local teams Jean-Michel works to establish each country’s business case for Diversity & Inclusion, sharing best practice and tools, and defining targets.
Conchita Wurst
Conchita Wurst (video message) is a musician, performer, spokesperson for equality and the winner of the Eurovision Song Competition 2014. The private person, Tom Neuwirth, and the art figure, Conchita Wurst - although they have never met before - are a team just working in sync. They respect each other from the bottom of their hearts. They are two individual characters with their own individual stories, but with one essential message for tolerance and against discrimination. Because of the discrimination against Tom in his teenage years, he created Conchita, The Bearded Lady, as a statement. A statement for tolerance and acceptance - as it’s not about appearances; it’s about the human being.
Ivan Scalfarotto

Ivan Scalfarotto, MP is the Italian Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Constitutional Reforms and Government Liaison to Parliament. He has been the rapporteur of the draft law proposal against homophobia and transphobia presented to Parliament in 2013, approved in the Chamber of Deputies and that will be discussed in the Senate.Before joining Parliament, Mr Scalfarotto was a human resources professional in the financial services industry for 20 years, covering senior positions in Milan, London and Moscow.


Cristina Gallach
Cristina Gallach is Head of Public Relations at the Council of the EU and an expert on foreign and security policy issues. She is an active promoter of equality. For 15 years she was the spokesperson of and senior communications advisor to Javier Solana (1995-2009). In 2010 she was the spokesperson for the Spanish Presidency of the EU. Before her professional experience in the EU and NATO, she had a long career as a journalist, in particular as correspondent in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and other crisis areas.
Friso Roscam Abbing
Friso Roscam Abbing has been Head of the Communication and Outreach Department at FRA since 2009. Prior to this, Mr Roscam Abbing was a Member of Cabinet of the European Commission Vice-President Jacques Barrot, the Commissioner for Freedom, Security and Justice. From 2004–2008, he was the spokesman of European Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini, the Commissioner responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice Affairs. Between 2000 and 2004, he headed the EU Asylum Policies sector at the European Commission’s DG Justice, Freedom and Security. Before this, he led the EU Office of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE, 1994-2000) after starting his career as Head of the Legal Department at the Dutch Refugee Council (1986-1994).