15th Global Labour University Conference, March 30-April 1, April 4-5, 2022

Plenary Speakers during the 15th GLU Conference

Mark Anner

Mark Anner is Professor of Labor and Employment Relations at Penn State University. He is the founding director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights and the Penn State master’s program in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights, which is a part of the Global Labour University network. His current research examines how pricing and other sourcing dynamics in global supply chains affect working conditions and workers’ rights. Before beginning his academic career, he lived in Latin America for eleven years where he worked with labor unions and a labor research center.


Baba Aye

Baba Aye is the health and social services policy officer of Public Services International (PSI). He worked with the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), before leaving as Deputy Secretary General to join PSI in 2016. During this period, he helped establish the West African Health Sector Unions’ Network (WAHSUN), emerging as its pioneering Coordinating Secretary. Baba is currently co-president of the Geneva Global Health Hub (G2H2), a member of the Core Team of the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (CT-GCSPF) and a member of the secretariat of the Health Workers for All Coalition (HW4All). He has written several book chapters and journal articles on health, migration, women’s rights, the labor movement, etc. Baba is a contributing editor of the Review of African Political Economy (ROAPE), an editorial board member of the Global Labour Column, and the author of Era of Crises & Revolts (2012), and Drafts of Becoming (2021), a collection of poems.


Hugo Dias

Hugo Dias is a Professor at the Economics Institute and a Researcher at the Center for Trade Union Studies and Labour Economics (CESIT), both at the State University of Campinas, Brazil. He holds a PhD in Sociology from the School of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal. He is the 2022 chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Labour University.


Cathy Feingold

Cathy Feingold is International Director at AFL-CIO and Deputy President at the International Trade Union Confederation. Feingold is a leading advocate on global workers’ rights issues. As director of the AFL-CIO’s International Department, Feingold is a committed and passionate advocate, strategic campaigner and policy expert. In 2018, Feingold was elected Deputy President of the International Trade Union Confederation, the organization representing 200 million unionized workers worldwide. She brings more than 20 years of experience in trade and global economic policy, and worker, human and women's rights issues.


Barbara Figueroa

Barbara Figueroa Sandoval is a teacher from Santiago, Chile. She began her union career as a leader of the Colegio de Profesores de Chile, and in 2012 was elected as the first woman President of the Central Unitaria de Trabalhadores de Chile (CUT Chile), the country's largest national union federation. She served in that capacity through 2021. She was elected in June 2020 to serve as the Secretary of Economic Policy and Sustainable Development of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), the regional body for the Americas of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).


Carmen Foro

Carmen Foro is a small farmer, born in Moju in the Amazon state of Para, Brazil. She became president of the Sindicato de Trabalhadores Rurais de Igarape Miri in 1992, and was later elected to the Executive Committee of the Federação dos Trabalhadores na Agricultura do estado do Pará (FETAGRI), in which she served as Secretary of Rural Womens Issues. In 2003, she was elected to the Executive Committee of the Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores na Agricultura (CONTAG) and was the principal organizer of the Marcha das Margaritas which mobilized thousands of rural and Amazon-region women from around the country in 2007 and 2011. In 2009-2012, she served as the first Environment Secretary of the Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT). She later served as National Vice President of the CUT from 2012-2019 and was the first woman to be elected National General Secretary of the CUT for the 2019-2023 period.


Mostafa Henaway

Mostafa Henaway is an organizer at the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal since 2007. The Immigrant Workers Centre is a labour education and campaign centre focused on organizing with temporary foreign workers, temporary placement agency workers and undocumented workers. Mostafa is also a GLU alumni, and is currently doing his PhD research at Concordia University focusing on the economic geography of Amazon's logistics network.


Mirko Herberg

Mirko Herberg coordinates the FES Global Trade Union Project in Berlin, Germany. He has previously served as FES Country Director in Cameroon and the Philippines.


Frank Hoffer

Dr Frank Hoffer is a research fellow of the Global Labour University. He was a Labour Attache at the German Embassy in Moscow, worked as a senior research officer at the International Labour Organisation and served as the Executive Director of the ACT Foundation. His main areas of interest and research are social policy, wage policies and the application of international labour standards. He is a non-executive director of the GLU Online Academy board.


Christy Hoffman

Christy Hoffman has been the General Secretary of UNI Global Union since 2018 and was previously its Deputy General Secretary. Her work at UNI followed more than 25 years of experience as a U.S. based trade unionist, including early years as a rank and file leader and organizer and later as legal counsel to leading U.S. unions. She has a long track record of campaigning for corporate accountability and the right to organize, and was instrumental in negotiating the ground-breaking Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh.


Elaine Hui

Elaine Hui is the Acting Director of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights and the MPS Program in Labor and Global Workers’ Rights at Penn State University. Her work focuses on labor relations in China, and she has been involved in the labor movement since college. 



Antonio Lisboa

Antonio Lisboais a geography and history teacher from Ceara, Brazil, son of family farmers. He moved to Brasilia when he was 12 years old and participated in the student movement during the final years of the Brazilian military dictatorship. He was elected President of the Sindicato dos Professores do Distrito Federal from 2001-2009, leading some of the biggest teachers’ strikes in the union’s history. He was later elected to be Treasurer of the Confederação Nacional dos Trabalhadores em Educação (CNTE) and then became the Secretary of International Affairs of the Central Unica dos Trabalhadores (CUT) from 2014 until the present day. He was also elected to serve as a Workers’ Representative on the ILO Governing Body in 2014.

Reema Nanavaty

Reema Nanavaty has been working with SEWA for more than 35 years, facilitating rebuilding lives and livelihoods of earthquake affected rural women and riot-affected members. She is leading the rehabilitation programs in Afghanistan and has also led the rehabilitation program for war-affected widows in Sri Lanka. Reema oversees self-help groups, co-operatives and economic federations, focusing on women’s economic empowerment. She was honored by Padma Shri (the fourth-highest civilian award in India) for her contribution in the area of Social Services in 2013 and is currently the member of the Advisory Council on Gender of the World Bank Group. Reema was invited to the ILO’s High Level Global Commission on Future of Work as the only member representing the informal sector workers, women workers, self-employed workers and the rural workers’ union as well as a member of the working group for the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy and as a Gender lead in the Working group for the UN's Food System Summit. Reema was also one of the only worker’s representative invited to speak alongside UN secretary General Antonio Gueteras in the Official Opening Ceremony of the UN’s Food Systems Summit 2021.

Stefanie Nutzenberger

Stefanie Nutzenbergeris a Member of the Federal Executive Board of ver.di and Head of the Commerce Department. She is also responsible for women’s and equal opportunities policy as well as gender policy. Stefanie is a Business Economist and graduated in Business Administration with a focus on human resources management. She worked as a retail salesperson and was voluntarily active in trade unions for many years.

Rosa Pavanelli

Rosa Pavanelli is General Secretary of the global union federation Public Services International (PSI). She was elected at PSI’s World Congress in 2012 and was re-elected for a second mandate in 2017. In 2016, Rosa was nominated as Commissioner on the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth (UN ComHEEG), representing the trade union movement, health workers and public services. Rosa is also a member of the UN High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters and of the Cornell University International Labour Relations Worker Institute Advisory Council. She also collaborates closely with the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT). In 2002, Rosa was elected to the FP-CGIL* National Secretariat and led the European and International Department from 2005 to 2012. Prior to that, she was responsible for the municipal and healthcare sector and was FP-CGIL General Secretary of the Lombardy region.

Kemal Ozkan

As a second-generation trade unionist originally from Turkey, Kemal Ozkan is Assistant General Secretary of 50-million member of IndustriALL Global Union in manufacturing, mining and energy sectors. Upon the establishment of IndustriALL at its founding Congress in June 2021, Ozkan was elected to his position and re-elected in the organization’s second and third congresses in October 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and in September 2021. Among others, he has had different responsibilities, including establishment trade union networks in major multinational companies, negotiation and implementation of global framework agreements, policy development on sustainable industrial policy around decarbonization, digitalization and Just Transition, promotion of supply chain strategies.


Uma Rani

Uma Rani is Senior Economist at the Research Department of the International Labour Office. She has been conducting research on informal economy, minimum wages, poverty and inequality issues with a focus on gender. Since 2016, she has been working on digital economy and has recently coordinated the major flagship report of the ILO World Employment and Social Outlook 2021 on "The role of digital labour platforms in transforming the world of work”.


Christoph Scherrer

Christoph Scherrer is Director of the International Center for Development and Decent Work. Scherrer, an economist and political scientist, is Professor of Globalization & Politics and Executive Director of the International Center for Development and Decent Work at the University of Kassel. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Labour University.


Jana Silverman

Jana Silverman holds a Ph.D. in Labor and Development Economics from the State University of Campinas in Brazil and is currently a Post-Doctoral Scholar at the Center for Global Workers Rights at Penn State University. She is also a researcher with the Centro de Estudos Sindicais e Economia do Trabalho (CESIT) at the State University of Campinas. Her research interests include labor relations in Brazil, the political economy of Latin American labor market institutions, and gender, race, and labor. Silverman served from 2012-2020 as the Country Programs Director for Brazil and Paraguay of the Solidarity Center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and before that, was a member of the Research Department at the National Union School in Colombia. She was also the founding President of the national union of Colombian NGO workers and union staffers, SINTRAONG´S, from 2004-2008 and the Vice-Chair of the Solidarity Center Field Staff Association, CWA, from 2016-2020.


Julie Su

Julie Su was appointed by President Biden to serve as the deputy secretary of labor and confirmed by the Senate on July 13, 2021. The deputy secretary serves as the de-facto chief operating officer for the department, overseeing its workforce, managing its budget and executing the priorities of the secretary of labor. Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Labor, Deputy Secretary Su served as the secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, and has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School.


Rebecca Tarlau

Rebecca Tarlau is an Associate Professor of Education and of Labor and Employment Relations affiliated at The Pennsylvania State University. She is affiliated with the Adult Education and Lifelong Learning, Comparative and International Education, and the Labor and Global Workers’ Rights programs. She is on the faculty committee of the Center for Global Workers’ Rights and is the co-founder of the Consortium for Social Movements and Education Research and Practice. Her research focuses on theories of the state and state-society relations, social movements and critical pedagogy, and Latin American education and development.


Myrtle Witbooi

Myrtle Witbooi is the founding President of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), the first international union federation led by women and informal workers. She is also General Secretary of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU). She was the recipient of the Fairness Award, which honors leaders who dedicate themselves to bringing economic justice, fairness and equality to poor and marginalized communities, in 2015.


Albert Yuson

Albert Yuson was elected as General Secretary of the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) in 2009. Since then, Ambet has led the BWI campaign on labor rights in mega-sporting events, including the FIFA World Cup and Winter and Summer Olympics. His solicitude for the welfare of migrant workers has driven his leadership in Qatar, the host nation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he developed innovative organising strategies and represented migrant construction workers in the BWI-SCDL agreement on Health and Safety Joint Inspections. Ambet was a member of the FIFA Human Rights Advisory Board (2017-2020) and is a Member of the Advisory Council of the Centre for Sports and Human Rights as well as Chair of the Council of Global Unions (CGU) Migration Working Group.


Edlira Xhafa

Edlira Xhafa is the Executive Director of the Online Academy of the Global Labour University. She has a master's degree in Labour Policies and Globalisation from the Global Labour University (Germany) and holds a PhD in Labour Studies from the University of Milan, Italy.


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