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Nov 06, 2007 News: ILGA Welcomes New Executive Director
By Danny Sonnenschein

(Belgium) - Trevor Cook joins the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) as new Executive Director made possible through the financial contribution of development agency HIVOS. ILGA is also supported by Oxfam Novib, SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and IBM, whose support has enabled the organization to grow.

Trevor Cook said: “After 30 years of work, promoting development and justice, particularly in Africa, I am delighted to be able to contribute more specifically to the promotion of LGBTI rights around the world. I hope my past experiences can contribute to the success of ILGA and its members”.

Born and raised in a politically conservative area of the flat, semi-desert prairies of Alberta, Canada, Trevor has worked as Field Program Director in Nigeria, Botswana and the Eastern Caribbean and has been Africa Program Officer for a major Canadian funding organization for 20 years.

A great traveler and internationalist, Trevor Cook has been involved in various international solidarity groups and campaigns: Farm workers of the Southwest USA, El Salvador, Grenada, Central America, Nicaragua and the Anti-Apartheid movement. He also has experience in the workers movement and has been president of a trade union. As such, he has negotiated recognition of same-sex relationships, non-discrimination clauses in collective agreements, insurance coverage for same-sex partners and has conducted workplace education and sensitization. In 1997, he successfully filed a discrimination claim against London and Midlands insurance company for refusal to recognize his same-sex partner within a family policy.

Trevor has been a member of various LGBTI groups in Canada and also in Montreal, where he has spent the last 21 years. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Education degree in Social Sciences. He is bilingual in French and English and speaks some Spanish. He will be joined in Brussels by his partner of 18 years, Pierre Simard, a social worker with considerable experience in the field of literacy and adult education.

Rosanna Flamer Caldera and Philipp Braun, Co-Secretaries General of ILGA say:

“This is an exciting time for ILGA. A time for growth and a time to expand in a way that positive change can be made for the global LGBT community, sooner rather than later. It’s a great pleasure to have a person such as Trevor Cook as our Executive Director. Trevor brings such a lot of experience and knowledge to the job. We wish him well and hope that he learns and grows with ILGA as we all have”.

The International Lesbian and Gay Association is a global federation of national and local groups dedicated to achieving equal rights for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) people worldwide.

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