- Gerard Quinn – Centre for Disability Law & Policy NUI Galway.
- Georgette Mulheir – Lumos.
- Anne-Sophie Parent – Age Platform Europe.
- Catherine Naughton – European Disability Forum.
- Maria Orejas-Chantelot – European Foundation Centre.
- Liz Gosme – European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care.
Steering Committee Observers
The Committee’s Role
The Steering Committee provide the overall strategic direction of the Initiative to ensure it addresses the implementation of the 2014-2020 Regulations for the European Structural and Investment Funds. The Committee identify promising practices and innovations that can be replicated as well as highlight deficiencies that undercut the achievement of key goals with respect to community living for all.
The Steering Committee attend quarterly meetings to provide guidance and input to the work of the Initiative. The work product of the Initiative is configured to assist the advocacy efforts and campaigns of the members of the Steering Committee as well as other organisations interested in achieving community living for all with the assistance of the Funds.
Gerard Quinn (co-chair)
Professor Gerard Quinn is a leading authority on international and comparative disability law and policy and is a professor of law at NUI Galway. Gerard is the Director of the Centre for Disability Law and Policy in NUI Galway. He was called to the Irish Bar in 1983, and holds a masters (LL.M) and doctorate in law (SJD) from Harvard Law School as well as a BA (Political Science) and LL.B from NUI Galway.
Gerard was director of the Irish Government’s Law Reform Commission and also a civil servant in the European Commission where he helped change EU policy on disability. He led the delegation of Rehabilitation International during the negotiations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in New York. Gerard served as First Vice President of the Committee on Economic and Social Rights under a Council of Europe treaty on social rights where he developed its jurisprudence on the rights of older people as well as people with disabilities.
He received the Presidential Award of excellence from Rehabilitation International in 2008 and in 2012 he was named by Enterprise Ireland as a ‘Champion of European Research’. More recently Gerard was appointed by President Michael D. Higgins to serve on the Council of State which provides constitutional advice to the President and was given a Lifetime Acheivements Honarary Award at the EASPD 20th Anniversary celebration.
Georgette Mulheir (co-chair)
Georgette Mulheir is the Chief Executive Officer of Lumos, an international non-governmental organisation, founded in 2005 by J. K. Rowling to end the institutionalisation of children throughout the world. In the past four years, largely under Georgette’s leadership, Lumos has helped to support 12,000 children move from institutions to safe and caring family environments, saved the lives of 459 children suffering from malnutrition and neglect, and trained more than 15,000 social workers, health professionals and teachers.
Georgette has worked in 17 countries across Europe and Africa, leading large scale programmes to transform the lives of thousands of children and their families. Georgette pioneered a model of deinstitutionalisation now followed in many countries across Central and Eastern Europe, and has advised governments on the reform of their services for children and families. Georgette has authored four books related to children’s rights, and currently advises the European Commission on the reform of children’s services across the EU.
Liz Gosme is co-chair of the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care (EEG). Liz is the Director of COFACE – Families Europe. She is an EU social policy analyst with twelve years of experience in the Brussels policy arena representing the interests of civil society organisations, namely promoting the de-institutionalisation of the homeless shelter system through innovations such as Housing First (through her work as policy officer in the FEANTSA secretariat).
Liz now focuses on family policy and services, feeding the expertise of family organisations into EU frameworks, including the voice of family carers and supporters of people with disabilities. Her EU specialist areas have included the following over the years: EU-SILC, the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived, the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, the EU urban agenda, the Social Open method of coordination, the Social Investment Package, the EU Semester, EU public procurement legislation, and various transnational EU funding programmes.
Anne-Sophie Parent is the Secretary-General of AGE Platform Europe. AGE Platform is an EU network which represents 30 million people directly aged 50+ across the EU. AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million inhabitants aged 50+ in the EU.
Anne-Sophie has 20 years experience in dealing with policy and project development at EU level, having been Director of Autism-Europe for 6 years and President of the Social Platform for 2 mandates. She sits on various advisory committees set up by the European Commission (European Pensions Forum, e-Health Stakeholders Group, European Health Policy Forum, Advisory Board of the Assisted Ambient Living Programme, Dialogue Group on Insurance, Financial Services Users’ Group, Steering Group of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing). She is also a member of the Advisory Group of the United Nations – Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) Generations and Gender Programme and a member of the Advisory Board of the World Demography & Ageing Forum (WDA).
Catherine Naughton is Director of the European Disability Forum (EDF), an independent non-governmental organisation that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.
Catherine has a longstanding relation with EDF, working at EDF’s member organisation, CBM, as Director of International Alliances and Advocacy Development. Catherine has also been the Chair of the International Disability and Development Consortium.
Catherine is strongly committed to the disability movement and has a wide knowledge of international cooperation and the European Union, together with a strong commitment to the promotion of the involvement of organisations of persons with disabilities in policy and decision making processes.
Maria Orejas-Chantelot is the Policy and Programmes Director of the European Foundation Centre, the Brussels-based international association representing more than 200 philanthropic organisations, including foundations and corporate funders.
Maria is a lawyer, member of the Madrid’s Bar specialised in international business law. Maria has held various positions related to European matters. Following years active as a lawyer in Spain, she worked in Paris on project management assignments in international organisations from both the public and private sectors.
Steering Committee Observers
European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. These agencies are set up to provide expert advice to the institutions of the EU and the Member States on a range of issues. FRA helps to ensure that the fundamental rights of people living in the EU are protected.