Our Team

The main objective of Helsinki España-Human Dimension is to promote the respect and protection of human rights through education, mainly at the university level. In order to accomplish this goal, we have a team of highly qualified people deeply committed to our mission, and thanks to them we are able to coordinate the day-to-day management of the organization.

María Jaén Barandiarán

President / Project Director

Maria Jaén holds a degree in Business Administration from the Universidad Europea (Madrid) and a Master’s degree in Marketing from the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid).

In 2010, she was selected as an International Visitor for the U.S. Government for its IVLP program, and she completed her English studies at Georgetown University in 2009.

She joined Helsinki Spain in 1999 and since then she has been working for this organization, carrying out projects and seminars on human rights, conflict resolution, poverty eradication and peace building from a multicultural approach. In 2020 she became President of Helsinki España – Human Dimension.

Ana María Nieto Centeno

Vice President

Ana Nieto received her law degree from the Universidad Complutense (Madrid). She has more than 30 years of experience in private practice as a lawyer. From 1995 to 2014 she was Secretary General of Helsinki Spain.

She has conducted several researches related to the improvement of higher education and professional ethics in teaching, participated in numerous international workshops and seminars on Human Rights and poverty alleviation in cooperation with OSCE, UN and EU. In 2015 she was elected President of Helsinki Spain. She is currently Vice President of Helsinki España – Human Dimension.

Silvia Escobar

Vice President

Silvia Escobar is a leading Spanish expert on human rights. She has been Director of the Human Rights Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Spanish Ambassador for Human Rights. She was a founding member and first president of Amnesty International in Spain, Director of Social Services of the Spanish Red Cross, Secretary General of the Humanitarian Law Center of the Spanish Red Cross and Secretary General of the CEAR Foundation.

She has been part of numerous diplomatic missions with the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the EU, holding the position of president of the EU dialogues with third countries during the Spanish presidency of the EU in 2010. She is currently a visiting professor at several Spanish universities and Vice President of Helsinki España – Human Dimension.

Angela Suárez Jaimes

Secretary General / Project Director

Graduate in International Relations from the Universidad Complutense (Madrid). Master’s in Governance and Human Rights from the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid). Currently studying at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

She was involved in security, migration flow and international terrorism with the center for analysis and prospective of the Civil Guard. She was selected through an international cooperation grant to work with the Committee for Solidarity with Political Prisoners in the defense of human rights defenders in Bogotá (Colombia). She is currently the Secretary General of Helsinki España.

Yaryna Vovk

Director of Education and volunteering / Project coordinator

Graduated in International Relations from the Rey Juan Carlos University. Youth Ambassador of the International Circle of Hotel Directors in Madrid.

She has done numerous volunteer work, collaborating with the Rey Juan Carlos University Hospital or the Helsinki Spain – Human Dimension Association. Likewise, she has served as Press Director and General Director in the Model of the Organization of American States (OEA’s Model).

She is passionate about languages, youth, photography and assiduously growing and improving not only as a professional, but also as a person.

Iliya Kurtev

Project Coordinator

Iliya holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the Complutense University of Madrid, a Master’s degree in International Security from Sciences Po Paris, and a public policy specialization from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore. He also completed a Hansen Fellowship on leadership and international cooperation at the University of San Diego (United States), focusing on mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

He has completed multiple assignments in the field of human and communities’ rights, most recently as an online UN volunteer with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Geneva, where he conducted research on the impacts of conflict and disaster-induced displacement in Afghanistan. Following his interests in conflict resolution, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation, he currently works as a Project Coordinator of Helsinki España.

Our volunteers

The humanitarian work carried out by Helsinki España would not be possible without the efforts of our large team of volunteers. We have volunteers from different academic backgrounds united by the determination to protect human rights, making possible a more complete management of the organization and creating a positive synergy that facilitates the achievement of our objectives.

Giorgia Leone Voluntarios Helsinki España

Giorgia Leone

Graduated in Translation and Interpreting at the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (Madrid). Final year student of the International Relations degree at the Universidad Alfonso X el Sabio (Madrid). Italian mother tongue and English advanced level.

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