FIONA SAMPSON – B.A., M.A., LL.B., Ph. D., C.M. CEO
Fiona Sampson is the CEO of the equality effect. Fiona is a human rights lawyer with a PhD in women’s equality law who has dedicated her 20+ year career to seeking justice for society’s disadvantaged: First Nations, refugees, disabled persons, and victims of violence. Fiona founded the equality effect in 2008. As CEO of the equality effect, Fiona led her team to the 2013 landmark victory in Kenya in which the country’s High Court found the state’s failure to protect girls from rape was unconstitutional and violated their human rights. Fiona has been called one of the world’s “women revolutionaries” alongside notables that include Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton, and Isobel Coleman.
An experienced litigation lawyer, Fiona has appeared repeatedly before the Supreme Court of Canada representing various women’s NGOs in equality rights cases. Fiona has received many awards and much recognition for her human rights work; Fiona was appointed an Ashoka Fellow, named one of the 25 top most influential lawyers in Canada, top 5 on the World Stage, by Canadian Lawyer magazine 2014, and named one of 50 “Global Heroes” working to end violence against children, along with Queen Noor and Hillary Clinton, among others. In 2015 Fiona was appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada, the highest honour a Canadian civilian can be awarded. In 2017 Fiona was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Trent University, in recognition of her contribution to human rights law.
ANNE W. IRERI – LL.B, NATIONAL COORDINATOR – ‘160 GIRLS’ PROJECT, KENYA
Anne is the National Coordinator for the ‘160 Girls’ Project in Kenya under the equality effect and has played a leading role in the implementation of the 160 Girls case strategic litigation initiative. Anne earned her LL.B hons degree from Moi University in Kenya and has a post graduate diploma in Legal studies from the Kenya School of law. She is a member of the Kenyan Bar and has nine years post admission experience. Anne has also earned a post graduate diploma in human rights and gender equality from Uppsala University in Sweden. Anne has proceeded to be a legal consultant nationally, regionally and internationally. She has specialized in public interest litigation and legal protection of human rights having previously worked with FIDA Kenya as the Program coordinator for the access to justice program. Regionally, Anne has consulted with the African Union and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Ghana on International Humanitarian Law. Internationally, Anne has worked at the INTERIGHTS, London on strategic litigation around women rights in Africa. Anne is also a recipient of the United States International Visitor Program on Women and Leadership. Anne has taken a research interest on state responsibility towards legal protection and security of vulnerable members of the society. She has proceeded to serve in various boards of organizations in Kenya which focus on empowerment of women and girls in the society.