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IWGIA is following the situation of indigenous peoples and their rights. Get the latest updates, alerts, stories and up-to-date facts here. Click here for more news.

Biologist with strong indigenous peoples’ knowledge appointed as new IWGIA chair

27 January 2020 | Copenhagen, Denmark | IWGIA welcomes the appointment of its new Board Chair, Professor Ida Theilade, who joined the Board in September 2019. Ida Theilade has a PhD in tropical botany from the University of Copenhagen and has worked with participatory management and the conservation of tropical forests for the past 25 years. Her research explores the role local and indigenous knowledge and institutions can play in natural resource management, tropical forest preservation and climate action.

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IWGIA is looking for an Executive Director

The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) is seeking an Executive Director to take up appointment May 1, 2020, and invites applications from suitably qualified candidates.

IWGIA is a politically independent, non-profit international human rights organisation staffed by specialists and advisers on indigenous peoples’ rights. We seek a person who is committed to working for the advancement of indigenous peoples’ rights in close collaboration with IWGIA’s global network of indigenous partners. The applicant should be willing and capable to motivate a small, highly competent and independent and professional team to realise the organisation’s strategic goals and guarantee its continued resilience. The director should have a strong international profile and knowledge of IWGIA’s area of work.

The director is expected to have a very strong commitment to IWGIA’s aim and ethos and to be able to convincingly represent and brand IWGIA towards different target-groups (i.e. international networks, donors, partners, media, politicians etc.). The director will further be expected to pursue the overall management of the secretariat in close collaboration with the staff and the board, including leading the process of implementing organisational strategies.

In addition to above-mentioned criteria the director should meet the following criteria: 

  • Professional knowledge of and demonstrated commitment to indigenous peoples’ rights/human rights
  • Strong facilitation skills and the ability to encourage a professional, dynamic and highly committed staff
  • Proven leadership and management experience
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English (language skills in one of the Scandinavian languages and Spanish is an advantage)

The aim of IWGIA is to defend and promote the rights of indigenous peoples in concurrence with their own efforts and aspirations. The secretariat has approximately 20 staff members. Funding for IWGIA’s different activities comes from a number of Danish and international public and private sources. More information about IWGIA can be found at

Salary level is DKK 750.000 including pension.

The position is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

For further information please contact IWGIA’s chairperson Knud Vilby: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(or phone: +45 53 73 28 30 (Annette Kjærgaard)).

The closing date for applications is January 10th 2020. Applications received after the published deadline will not be considered. First round of interviews are planned to take place late January.

IWGIA is an equal opportunity employer and guarantees that all applications will be treated confidentially.

Please submit a letter of application, together with a CV to IWGIA at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Time to act: Protect defenders who speak up against business impact on people and planet

On Human Rights Day, the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights together with the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and a group of civil society organizations1 are highlighting a key message from the recent UN Forum on Business and Human Rights (Geneva, 25-27 November 2019): that the international community must take concrete actions to prevent attacks against human rights and environmental defenders who put their lives at risk to protect those affected by business activities.

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A farewell message to Julie Koch

Julie Koch is resigning as the Executive Director of IWGIA and has her last working day on October 29 and here is IWGIA's Chairman of the Board, Knud Vilby's farewell words.

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IWGIA - International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs - is a global human rights organisation dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending indigenous peoples’ rights. Read more.

Indigenous World

IWGIA's global report, the Indigenous World, provides an update of the current situation for indigenous peoples worldwide. The Indigenous World 2019.

Contact IWGIA

Prinsessegade 29 B, 3rd floor
DK 1422 Copenhagen
Phone: (+45) 53 73 28 30
CVR: 81294410

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