Feb 19, 2024

UNPO welcomes new Advisory Board Dr. Liam Saddington and Alexandra Gavilano for Sustainable Empowerment Campaign, Tendor Dorjee and Prof. Francesco Palermo for Democratic Pluralism and Dr. Jonathan Harris for our UNPO Academy.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) is thrilled to announce the addition of five members to its Campaigns Advisory Board, Dr. Liam Saddington and Alexandra Gavilano, Tendor Dorjee and Prof. Francesco Palermo and Dr. Jonathan Harris.

With their diverse expertise and dedication to social and environmental justice, our new incorporations bring invaluable perspectives to UNPO's mission of advocating for the rights of marginalized and unrepresented peoples worldwide.

  • Dr. Liam Saddington

Dr. Liam Saddington is a political and environmental geographer whose research focuses on the geopolitical implications of climate change, particularly concerning small island states and rising sea levels. His research on the changing role of the UK in the South Pacific sheds light on historical narratives of environmental degradation and population displacement, crucial for informing contemporary climate discourse.

Dr. Saddington's involvement in the development of the Model UNPO together with Professor Fiona McConnell, brings a role-playing debating exercise on human rights, conflict resolution, and environmental justice, inside primary and secondary schools in the UK . He is also the academic advisor for the UNPO Youth Network and part of the preparatory team for the study sessions organized in collaboration with the Council of Europe. His expertise in the intersections of geopolitics and environmental justice brings a unique perspective to UNPO's advocacy efforts.

  • Alexandra Gavilano

Alexandra Gavilano is an environmental scientist and climate justice decolonisation and democracy activist. With a focus on environmental protection, democratic decision-making, and personal and collective adaptation, Gavilano brings a wealth of experience in grassroots activism and advocacy to UNPO.

As a climate and food justice activist, Gavilano has co-launched initiatives and associations that address social and ecological challenges. Her focus lies on system change for environmental protection, strengthening of democratic decision-making, and personal and collective deep adaptation.

  • Tenzin Dorjee

Tenzin Dorjee, known as Tendor, is a Tibetan writer, activist, and scholar based in New York. His expertise in nonviolent resistance, showcased in his book 'The Tibetan Nonviolent Struggle,' published by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, is complemented by his doctoral research at Columbia University. 

With a background in international relations and political science from Brown and Columbia, He combines academia and activism, underscoring his commitment to advancing human rights and political change. His research examines the influence of religious beliefs on political preferences and conflict behavior, and the links between transnational repression and political participation. Recognized for his leadership at organizations like Students for a Free Tibet and the Tibet Action Institute, his research and writings have been published by Foreign Affairs, Oxford Encyclopedia of Politics and Religion, Journal of Democracy, Migration Information Source, Washington Post, China Brief, and the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

  • Prof. Francesco Palermo

Prof. Francesco Palermo is a professor of comparative constitutional law at the University of Verona and Director of the Institute for Comparative Federalism at Eurac Research in Bolzano/Bozen. He worked for the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities and was member and president of the Council of Europe’s Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities.

From 2013 to 2018 he served as a non-party member of the Italian Senate, Member of the Scientific Committee of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the EU for the term 2018-2023 and Constitutional Adviser to the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Autonomies since 2019. He has authored over 300 publications, including 11 monographs and 36 edited volumes.

  • Dr. Jonathan Harris 

Dr. Jonathan Harris is a political geographer and educationalist, working on the social dynamics of radical contestation at the margins of national and international politics. His research examines geopolitics and diplomacy through diasporic and educational settings, with a particular focus on how these contribute towards self-determination in (post)colonial contexts. He worked closely with Amazigh activists during his PhD and in recent years with the trainers of diplomats in Africa and globally.

The appointment of Dr. Liam Saddington and Alexandra Gavilano to UNPO's Sustainable Empowerment Campaign Advisory Board,  Tendor Dorjee and Prof. Francesco Palermo for Democratic Pluralism and Dr. Jonathan Harris for our “UNPO” Academy, marks a significant step forward in strengthening the organization's capacity to address the needs and concerns of marginalized and unrepresented communities worldwide. Their expertise, activism, and commitment to social and environmental justice will undoubtedly propel UNPO's advocacy efforts to new heights, fostering positive change for all.