Meet Our Team
Dr Desmond Bermingham (BA Oxon; MA; MSc; Ed D) is the non-executive director and chair of the board for the Justice Institute Guyana. He has over thirty years’ experience in education and international development and has been a chair and board member of international education and charitable environmental organisations in Europe, North and South America. He is currently the Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Education Research in the UK and Chair of the International Technical Advisory Panel for the Global Partnership for Education. Desmond was formerly Global Education Director for Save the Children, Head of Education for the UK government Department for International Development (DFID), the Head of the Secretariat for the Education for All Fast Track Initiative at the World Bank and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Education. Desmond has a long-standing relationship with Guyana and visits the country regularly.
Valini Persaud (FCCA, MBA) is a Guyanese born non-executive director of the Justice Institute Guyana. Valini is a Certified Chartered Accountant with an MBA from London Business School and has over 30 years of in-depth experience in accounting and finance. She has been heavily involved in project finance and investment banking in the City of London as well as controlling aid projects in Latin America for the International American Development Bank IADB) in Washington. She is a past president of the Certified Women’s Society and also a trustee of Panos, a charity promoting sustainable and equitable development through dialogue and public debate in developing countries. Currently living in London, Valini is a director of Manetti Young Ltd, a niche consultancy specialising in acquisition and divestment services in the UK media sector. She still maintains strong links with Guyana including regular visits.
Michael Ellman (BA, Juris Oxon, MA) is a non-executive member of the board for the Justice Institute. Michael is a solicitor of some 50 years standing He was formerly a partner and consultant with Vizards and has been involved in international human rights work for much of his career. He was the Vice-President of FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights) from 1992-2001 and is currently an Officer of the International Board. Michael has been involved with the FIDH since 1985 and has carried out human rights missions of investigation, judicial observation and training for them and other organisations in many countries of the world. Michael has lectured and taught Human Rights in the UK (Essex University and others) and carried out training missions in Kenya, Cameroon, Serbia among other countries. In 2004, Michael re-constituted with others the Solicitors International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) in the UK, and was its Chair until 2009.He continues to be a Patron of SIHRG. He has also been involved with the International Commission of Jurists, Amnesty International, Union Internationale des Avocats among others. Michael is fluent in English, French and Italian; he also speaks Spanish, Russian, German plus a few words of Greek, Mandarin Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic and Polish.
Finella Martin is an experienced sales and marketing professional who is currently studying Management at the University of Guyana. She is passionate about justice. Born in Region 9, Finella spent some of her earlier years in the Macushi community of Karasabai before moving to the capital city to further her education. She remains committed to empowering people and communities with the necessary knowledge and tools to build a better future for generations to come.
Clarindo Lucas is a member of the Wapichan people and the former Chairman of Region 9 (Rupununi). Mr Lucas is a highly respected Amerindian leader. He was elected as the Toshao (Chief) of his community of Aishalton (1984 -1988), as Regional Vice-Chairman (2001-2006) and as Chairman of the Regional Democratic Council (2006 -2011). From 1964 – 1978 Mr Lucas has worked as a teacher. In 1988 he returned to teaching and lived and worked among the WaiWai in Gunns Strip (Kanashen) until 1998. Mr Lucas is fluent in both Wapichan and English and has worked on translating the Bible into Wapichan. He also speaks WaiWai. Mr Lucas remains active in public life and advises a number of communities and organisations.
Leon Prescott is our accountant responsible for keeping track of all income, expenditure and project finances.