A senior lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba, Dr. Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah has been elected Chair of the International Board (IB) of Amnesty International (AI).
Dr. Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah becomes the first Ghanaian to hold the Chair position of the IB of Amnesty International.
Prior to his unanimous election on April 10, 2021, Dr. Adzahlie-Mensah was a member of the International Board of Amnesty International since August 2013.
The role of the International Board
As well as being the Board of Directors of the International Secretariat (AI Ltd), the International Board provides global stewardship for the fulfillment of Amnesty International’s mission and vision and its compliance with global policies and standards.
- provides proposals for the approval of the Global Assembly including on the international financial assessment system, global governance procedures, global standards and the Strategic Goals;
- oversees the movement’s finances and risks;
- oversees the protection of the movement’s reputation and resources;
- oversees the work and operations of the International Secretariat including by appointing the Secretary General, approving the International Secretariat’s annual audited accounts and budget and appointing its auditors;
- monitors compliance of all parts of the movement with the provisions of the AI Statute, the decisions of the Global Assembly and other global policies and standards;
- approves the establishment of membership entities and other movement entities;
- may take measures affecting the membership status of a membership entity or an international member including without limitation termination or suspension of membership; and
- provides reports, at least once a year, to the movement on the budget, the financial position of the movement and of the International Secretariat and on the Board’s work and performance.
The International Board appoints and directs Amnesty International’s Secretary General who, in turn, is responsible for the day-to-day conduct of the international movement, acting as the movement’s chief spokesperson, its chief political advisor and as the chief executive officer of the International Secretariat.
Who sits on the International Board?
The Board is made up of nine people from the movement who are elected by, and accountable to, the Global Assembly (GA), which meets annually. Eight positions are ordinary Board member positions. The International Treasurer is elected separately and makes up the ninth member of the Board. The Board elects a Chair and a Vice-Chair from among the eight ordinary members to co-ordinate its work.
Brief profile of Dr. Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah
Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah is a Ghanaian academic (specialised in security and social justice issues), a consultant and researcher. He joined the human rights advocacy organisation in 2001. Since then, he has served in various capacities, including as a member of the National Council, where he served as liaison for the West Africa Human Rights Education Project. He became Board Chair of AI Ghana in January 2009. He led AI Ghana – developing policies, establishing effective governance systems and a leadership development programme – in the transition to regain section status in 2012. During that time Vincent was also a member of the Governance Committee of the International Board, and was involved in developing the Core Standards. He was elected as member of the International Board of Amnesty International in August 2013.
Dr. Adzahlie-Mensah has extensive experience in research, organizational leadership and institutional governance. He holds a PhD in International Education and Development from the University of Sussex, UK; an MPhil in Conflict Resolution and a BEd. in Social Studies from the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. In his professional life Vincent has undertaken research for many international organizations including The Economist Intelligence Unit (UK), British Council (UK), USAID, World Vision and Australia Aid.
Outside of Amnesty International, Vincent was a member of the Steering Committee of the Ghana Human Rights NGOs Forum. He served as a member of the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba. He served as Board member of several organizations including Facts for the Youth in the Southern Sector (an affiliate of the International Organisation on Migration in Ghana). He was a Director of Advocates and Trainers for Women’s Welfare Advancement and Rights. He was National Coordinator for Youth Development Foundation (YODEF). He also worked as liaison for Youth for Human Rights International in human rights education.