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MRG announces Claire Thomas as Co-Executive Director

1 March 2023

Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is delighted to announce that Claire Thomas has been appointed Co-Executive Director to the organization. Ms Thomas will now share responsibility for leading MRG and realizing its strategy with Prof Joshua Castellino. 

Anastasia Crickley, Chair of MRG’s Council, says ‘The elevation of Claire to Co-Executive Director at MRG is recognition of the instrumental role she has played in MRG’s continued success in advocating for minorities and indigenous peoples. As a Council we are delighted with this appointment and are confident that it will enable MRG to run smoothly during a period of tremendous growth.’  

The new position recognizes Ms Thomas’s years of achievements in and dedication for building more inclusive societies worldwide. For the last 27 years, she has been integral to MRG as Deputy Director, leading on numerous areas including programme design, fundraising and the implementation of innovative programmes in countries ranging from Haiti to Somalia. Striving to achieve fair outcomes in society for everybody, key achievements include the development of the innovative minority inclusion audit approach, overseeing MRG’s cultural programmes and bringing a health lens to the organization’s work. Her dedicated efforts and unwavering commitment to change have been instrumental of the expansion of MRG’s work to new regions.  

Prof Joshua Castellino, Co-Executive Director at MRG, says ‘I am excited to publicly acknowledge the de facto role that Claire has had in shaping MRG in view of the mass need for minority and indigenous advocacy worldwide. Claire’s knowledge, experience and skillset have always been an asset to MRG, and in this role alongside me she will now also be able to ensure that the rapid growth we are experiencing will be handled in a manner that is strategically adept. I am delighted the Council have recognised Claire’s extraordinary contribution to date and look forward to working ever more closely with her.’ 

As an evolving world presents new challenges to minorities and indigenous peoples, Ms Thomas’s current areas of focus include achieving inclusion in humanitarian interventions, using tech to analyse hate speech and Covid-19 vaccine confidence amongst minority and indigenous communities, and exposing the importance of disaggregated data in Leaving No One Behind and public health policy. She continues to maintain close relationships with many among MRG’s 150+ partners and to play an active role in programme development, evaluation and implementation. 

Claire Thomas says ‘I am delighted to be given this opportunity to contribute to MRG’s vital work of surfacing entrenched injustice impacting minorities and indigenous peoples. I look forward to continuing this much needed work with my colleagues, the Board and all MRG’s partners, with the goal of breaking down barriers to achieve true equality for all.’   

Ms Thomas commences her new role as of today, 1 March 2023. 

Photo:  Portrait of Claire Thomas, February 2023. Credit: Miriam Lawson/MRG