ILGA is the world federation of national and local organisations dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people. Founded in 1978, ILGA enjoys consultative status at the United Nations, and engages in international fora to represent more than 1,300 member organisations from 142 countries across the world.
“We are exceptionally pleased that André has taken on this leadership role,” said co-Secretaries General Ruth Baldacchino and Helen Kennedy on behalf of the whole Board of ILGA. “André has been a crucial part of the ILGA World team for many years, and we believe he is the right person to build on what this organisation has accomplished so far. With his strategic leadership, ILGA is now ready to advance in its growth to the next level of achievement in effecting positive changes for LGBTI people around the world.”
André has worked with ILGA since 2013 as the Head of UN Programme and Advocacy, assisting LGBTI organizations from around the world to engage with the various levels of the United Nations.
Born in Zambia, André is from South Africa and grew up in the UK and India. He is a human rights lawyer by profession with experience also in the Corporate and Financial Services and Human Rights Law, and has also worked in China and Switzerland. Prior to ILGA, he worked on the human rights compliance of private military contractors in conflict zones, and as a Human Rights Officer in Special Procedures at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
His appointment successfully concludes a comprehensive 4-month search for a new Executive Director. The ILGA Board engaged the services of an independent global recruitment firm to conduct the process which led to the hiring of our new Executive Director.
“This is an exciting time for ILGA,” said André du Plessis. “This year the ILGA family celebrates 40 years of tireless work around the world to advance the human rights of LGBTI communities. And as we look back, we also look forward, to develop the strategic plan for the years ahead.
ILGA is such an amazing network of LGBTI groups around the world, celebrating who we are and working against violence and discrimination in multiple creative, queer and intersectional ways. I’m excited to be stepping into this role and am committed to amplifying the voices of the least visible groups within our communities, including lesbian and bisexual women, trans, non-binary, and intersex persons. No one will reach full equality until all of us are heard.”
main photo: André du Plessis (ph. J. Andrew Baker)