Team

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 at the Universidad Complutense (Madrid) and in Law at the Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia. Master’s in Governance and Human Rights from the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid).

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.

Rocío Bresca Gómez-Martelo

Director of Education and Volunteering Programme

International relations graduate from Rey Juan Carlos University. She was awarded scholarships to complete her studies abroad at the Università degli studi di Verona (Italy) and the State University of New York (USA). She’s also a certified International Trade and Commerce Technician by the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid.

With almost ten years of experience under her belt as a volunteer for different NGO’s, she was also Proyect Assistant for Helsinki-España from 2020-2021. These ecperiences back up her commitment for defending and promoting of children and youth’s rights.

Nowadays, she’s currently Director of Education and Volunteering for Helsinki-España.

Gabriela Gonzalez Posada

Project Coordinator

Gabriela Gonzalez was born and raised in Seattle, Washington in the United States. In 2018, she decided to venture out and study International Relations at the University of Antonio de Nebrija in Madrid, Spain. In 2022, she underwent an internship at Helsinki España and also participated in the REACT and HEAT courses in same year.

Participating in volunteering and helping her community has been a hobby for her since she was 15 years old; from being secretary in her volunteer club at her high school in the United States, to being a translator at a Risk, Attachment and Trauma Convention on abandoned children in Honduras, coordinated by the Light Shine Organization and Family Life Mission.

Eulalia Díaz Tomás

Project Coordinator

Currently studying International Studies at the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid). She started volunteering in 2017, at Cruz Roja Española, in different interventions with children and youth. She also volunteered for the “Youth for Youth” project from 2020-2021.

Last year, she received the scholarship CEAL- Santander to study at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. Her interests are focused on social intervention, Human Rights and Latin American studies. She gave her first academic presentation at the “II Congreso de Jóvenes Americanistas”, at the Universidad Autónoma (Madrid). Now, she is Project Coordinator for Helsinki España.

Jimena Portas equipo Helsinki-España

Jimena Portas

Community Manager

Jimena Portas is a final year student of the double degree in International Relations and Journalism. She underwent an internship at Helsinki España, taking the opportunity to train herself participating in different programs developed by the association and volunteering in the 2023-2024 edition of the “Youth for Youth” Project.

She is a dynamic professional, with a strong foundation in communication and global affairs who embarked on her professional journey with a stint as a social media manager. Presently, Jimena thrives as a Community Manager and as a communicator for the REACT program. Her dedication to creating inclusive spaces aligns seamlessly with her fervent interest in human rights and conflict resolution, driving her to advocate for social justice and equality.

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.

Mariana Jacqueline Thenier Contreras - Voluntarios Helsinki España

Mariana Jacqueline Thenier

Lawyer graduated Summa Cumm Laude with a Master’s Degree in Mediation and Conflict Management. She received a scholarship for academic excellence from Fundación Carolina and AECID to study a Master’s Degree in Governance and Human Rights at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, in addition to that she has a specialization in Diplomacy and International Relations. International experience in the area of Human Rights as a member of the Friendly Settlements team at the IACHR in Washington D.C.

She was awarded as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young People”, category “CONTRIBUTION TO CHILDREN, WORLD PEACE AND HUMAN RIGHTS” by the Junior Chamber International.

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