Free the Slaves is honored that two exceptional anti-trafficking experts have agreed to join our board of directors.
Davina Durgana and Karen Stauss will help shape innovative anti-slavery strategies as we enter our third decade as an organization.
Davina Durgana is an award-winning international human rights statistician with more than a decade of experience developing leading global models assessing risk and vulnerability to modern slavery. She is an American Statistical Association Statistical Advocate of the Year, Vice Chair of Statistics without Borders, and a Forbes Top 30 Under 30 in Science for 2017 for her work on statistical modeling, human security theory, and human trafficking (full bio here).
“I am thrilled to join the board of Free the Slaves after receiving with gratitude significant mentorship and support early in my career from FTS founders Kevin Bales and Jolene Garcia Smith,” she said. “I look forward to working with my esteemed colleagues on the FTS Board.”
Karen Stauss serves as senior policy counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU). She works on legislative and executive branch policy proposals affecting the capacity of the unit and of U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to prosecute trafficking, and supports building capacity among HTPU’s enforcement partners. Stauss was previously the director of programs for Free the Slaves from 2010 to 2016, where she was responsible for overseeing the organization’s policy advocacy work and its partnerships with community-based organizations in eight countries (full bio here.)
“After previously serving on Free the Slaves staff, I am so honored to join the board to reconnect to and support the work of my biggest heroes — Free the Slaves country staff and Free the Slaves partners who are leading the modern anti-slavery movement in their communities,” she said.
“I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Davina Durgana and Karen Stauss to the Free the Slaves board of directors,” said FTS Board Chair Timothy Patrick McCarthy. “Davina and Karen join the board at an important time of transition and growth for our organization and our freedom work in the world. Together and individually, they bring an incredible depth of expertise and breadth of experience to the difficult but vital work of ending modern slavery. They also bring an uncommon energy and enthusiasm to the board that has already proven to be infectious. Davina and Karen represent the very best of the rising generation of 21st century abolitionists, and we are so honored to welcome them to the Free the Slaves team!”
“I am so thrilled to welcome these incredible new board members and I look forward to working together to continue making FTS a groundbreaking organization and a leader of the modern-day anti-slavery movement,” said FTS Executive Director Bukeni Waruzi.
Free the Slaves also thanks Jane Covey for her ongoing service to the organization. She is leaving the board after a second term of service, but will remain active in the board’s support committees.
“Jane Covey is one of the great champions of human freedom, and one of the most important leaders in the history of Free the Slaves,” said McCarthy. “During her first tenure on the board, from 2011-2017, she wore many hats ̶ including acting executive director and longtime board chair ̶ and performed heroic work to strengthen the organization during a time of significant change and evolution. Last year, Jane agreed to come back on the board for a limited term, during which her well-earned wisdom and reliably steady hand were once again indispensable. Though she is now retiring from her work with us, her profound legacy will long endure. As the new board chair, I want to mark this moment by saying that the opportunity to work so closely with Jane Covey for the last decade has been one of the greatest honors of my professional life. We will miss her!”
“I also heartedly thank Jane Covey for her outstanding service to FTS during many years on the board. I am grateful for her everlasting support to the FTS and the anti-modern day slavery around the world,” said Waruzi.
See the full membership of the FTS board, with bios, here.