Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) provides the Special Rapporteur with personnel, policy, research and logistical support for the discharge of his mandate.

Support Team

The Special Rapporteur has a team of external advisers working in various countries:

 Gaëtan VANLOQUEREN (Coordinator and Senior Adviser)


Gaëtan Vanloqueren, agro-economist by training and Research Associate at the University of Louvain (UCL, Belgium), advises the Special Rapporteur and coordinates his support team. He is also Guest Lecturer at ICHEC-Brussels Management School, where he teaches development economics.

A reviewer for several scientific publications, including Research Policy, Ecological Economics, Journal of Peasant Studies and Sustainability, he also takes part in the work of the research groups ‘Agroecology’ and ‘Redefining prosperity’ of the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS, Belgium).

Before joining the team of the Special Rapporteur, Gaëtan finished a PhD on the innovation dynamics within agro-food chains and the democratic choices to be made on scientific progress in agriculture.

Gaëtan also worked as a consultant for the global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), while at the same time being involved with NGOs promoting stronger human rights obligations for multinational companies.

He can be reached at gaetan dot vanloqueren at uclouvain dot be.

 Nick JACOBS (Communications assistant)

nick_jacobsNick Jacobs is Communications Assistant for the Special Rapporteur. Nick has spent three years as a journalist reporting on EU agriculture, trade and environment issues for weekly publication Agra Europe.

Before living in Belgium Nick completed an MA in Modern Languages from Cambridge University, and worked for a London-based news agency

He can be reached at nicholas dot jacobs at uclouvain dot be.

 Priscilla CLAEYS (Senior Adviser)

priscilla_claeysPriscilla Claeys is a PhD student in Social and Political Sciences at the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Belgium. Her research interests include peasant movements, food and agriculture, human rights, and economic globalization. She is completing her dissertation on the use of human rights by contemporary transnational agrarian movements, using concepts from the sociology of law and the sociology of social movements. She also teaches two online courses on the right to food at the Open University of Catalunya (UOC), in partnership with the FAO.

Before joining the team of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to food in May 2008, she worked for a number of Human Rights NGOs (International Federation for Human Rights-FIDH, Rights & Democracy, FIAN International and the Maquila Solidarity Network) as well as development NGOs (Oxfam Canada, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation-CCIC ). She sits on the board of FIAN Belgium.

She holds a Master in Business Engineering from the Louvain School of Management (UCL, Belgium) and a Master in Environmental Sciences from the Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning (ULB, Belgium).Se can be reached at priscilla dot claeys at uclouvain dot be.

Research Assistants

 Nadia Lambek (Research Fellow)


Nadia Lambek is a Canadian lawyer with a background in international development and human rights law. She currently holds a fellowship in international human rights with the Robina Foundation that supports her work with the Special Rapporteur.

She graduated from Yale Law School in 2010, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal and directed the Lowenstein Human Rights Project. She has worked for human rights and community development organizations in Senegal, Kenya, India, Canada and the United States. She recently completed a judicial clerkship at the Court of Appeal for Ontario.

Her research interests include the food sovereignty movement as well as inclusive methods of food policy development, and comparative approaches to achieving greater and better access to food.

She can be reached at nadia dot lambek at gmail dot com.

 Jose Luis Vivero (Research Assistant)


Jose Luis Vivero has fourteen years of experience in the domain of right to food advocacy, food security, agriculture and nutrition policy in Latin America, Africa and the Caucasus. He is currently working towards a PhD on Global Food Governance and Transition towards Sustainable Food Systems at the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Prior to his arrival in the team, he worked for the EU, FAO and NGOs such as Action Against Hunger and the Red Cross, and has taught on hunger and the right to food at a number of universities. He developed the “Hunger-free Latin America and the Caribbean” initiative and was founding member of the Chair on Hunger and Poverty Studies of the University of Cordoba. He has been involved in many of the right to food developments that have taken place in Latin America, and will assist the mandate in surveying them.

He is an Agricultural Engineer (University of Cordoba) by training, with post-graduate studies in Development, Natural Protected Areas, Geopolitics and Food Security. His current interests include binding international frameworks, the global commons, motivations for anti-hunger actions, food transitions and ethical aspects of development.

He can be reached at jose-luis dot viveropol at uclouvain dot be.

 André Geissmann(Research Assistant)


André Geissmann-Castedo is a masters candidate at the University of Sciences Po, Paris. He has gained on-the-ground experience as a junior consultant at the World Food Programme’s Latin American and Caribbean Regional Office.

He worked towards advancing the implementation of regional food programs by analyzing school-feeding patterns and enhancing capacity building, south-south and triangular cooperation, and assisting the development of, a network platform of governmental institutions, international agencies, universities, NGOs and professionals for fighting child hunger and malnutrition.

His research interests include food sovereignty related to the right to land, and comparative analyses of the legal framework of the right to food. André received the Annual Award for Exceptional Service 2009 from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland, Swiss Consulate General New York City and is a member of the National Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Academic Honor Society, Delta Epsilon Iota.

He can be reached at geissmann dot andre at gmail dot com.

 Marie Cuq (Research Assistant)


Marie Cuq is a PhD student in International Law at the Paris-Ouest Nanterre University, France. Her research focuses on the consideration of global food issues in International Law and especially on Economic Law and the concrete implementation of the right to food. She is also a member of Amnesty International's Economic actors, Poverty and Human Rights Commission.

For the mandate, she is working on progress on the national implementation of the right to food in West and Central African countries.

Before joining the team in August 2012, she gained work experience in non-governmental organizations (International Union for the Conservation of the Nature – IUCN – Senegal office; International Federation for Human Rights –FIDH ; French Human Rights League –LDH-), at the French National Assembly (as assistant to MP P.Adam) and at a law firm (Dano-Aveline Partners).

She can be reached at maricuq at yahoo dot fr.

Former Contributors

  • Kedar Mankad was a research intern during summer 2012 and supported the preparation of the mission to Cameroon in addition to background research on gender and food security.
  • Lily Megaw was a research intern during fall 2012 and contributed to the preparation of the expert roundtable on fisheries and the right to food in Nairobi.
  • Samantha Powell worked as a communications intern during the summer of 2012, strengthening the Special Rapporteur's media and stakeholder databases in Africa and Asia.
  • Ana Cristina Suzina contributed to strengthen our media database in 2011.
  • Frederic Janssens was the communication assistant of Olivier De Schutter between April 2010 and July 2011.
  • Aravind Ganesh was a research assistant in 2009-2010, and contributed to the briefing notes on food commodities speculation and on concentration in food supply chains.
  • Claire Debucquois supported the work of the Special rapporteur on issues related to land and large-scale land investments in 2010-2012.
  • Danyelle Gerges conducted background research for the mission to Syria in 2010.
  • Matias Margulis supported the work of the Special rapporteur on issues related to trade and food security in 2010-2011, includng the briefing note "Putting Food Security First in the International Trade System".
  • Johanna Somerville supported research work related to the report "Access to land and the Right to Food"
  • Kaitlin Cordes was an adviser to the Special Rapporteur in 2009-2010 on issues related to access to land and agricultural workers.
  • Matthias Sant'ana, currently PhD candidate (University of Louvain), supported the preparation of the mission to Brazil in 2009, as well as contributing to reflections of the mandate on other areas, notably the Global Fund for Social Protection (2012).
  • Jessica Corsi and Laurence Doering, as research interns during the 2009 summer, conducted background research which led to the Briefing Note "Countries tackling hunger with a right to food approach".

Several student organizations from various universities, supported by commited professors, also helped to prepare background research notes on a wide range of thematic issues (Harvard Law and International Development Society at Harvard University ; Center for Human Rights and Global Justice and the International Human Rights Clinic at New York University School of Law; New York University Law Students for Human Rights; Columbia Environmental Law Clinic at Columbia University ; Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School)


Olivier Nisole runs this website, Julie Chapelle gives an administrative help to the webmailing database. Fiore Vacchiano and Barbara Otten help with translations. At the University of Louvain, Anne Liesse and Marie-Claire Brand support many administrative issues related to the U.N. mandate of Professor De Schutter.