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Our people

Our Staff

Photo Credit: Constanza Niclovos

Mauro Cabral Grinspan

Executive Director

Mauro (he/him) is an Argentinian intersex and trans rights activist. He is the founding co-director of GATE in 2009 with Justus Eisfeld and was promoted to Executive Director in January 2017. Mauro is a long-time activist and one of the most respected leaders in the international trans and intersex movements. He currently coordinates GATE’s initiative on the process of revision and reform of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and has been deeply involved in all the programs developed by GATE.

One of the initial signatories of the Yogyakarta Principles, Mauro was a key driver in the expansion of these principles (YP+10). In 2015, Mauro received the 2015 Bob Hepple Equality Award.

Mauro has a Degree in History from the National University of Córdoba.

Photo Credit: Naomhán O’Connor

Erika Castellanos

Director of Programs

Erika (she/her) is a transgender HIV positive woman from Belize residing in the Netherlands. A social worker by profession, Erika joined GATE in April 2017 as Director of Programs.

Erika plays an important role in the participation of trans people in global key decision-making platforms such as the Communities Delegation to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and the Communities, Rights and Gender Advisory Group where she is a member representing GATE. As of 1 June 2018, Erika is the first openly transgender advocate become appointed as a Member of the Board of the Global Fund.

Erika is fluent in English and Spanish and is currently learning Dutch.

Photo Credit: Naomhán O’Connor

Cori Zaccagnino

Director of Finance and Operations

Cori (she/her), based in New York, joined GATE in November 2012 as an Executive Assistant and became Director of Finance and Operations in 2016. Cori has a Degree in Business, a Masters in Global Affairs and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

In her spare time, she is a trainer of movement and mobility.

Photo Credit: Karen Bennett

Naomhán O'Connor

Communications Manager

Naomhán (he/him) is an Irish trans man and non-profit/NGO communications specialist. He joined GATE in September 2017. He holds a BA in International Media and Communication Studies from the University of Nottingham and is currently studying for an MSc in Marketing at Ulster University.

Naomhán’s previous experience includes social media communications and campaign filmmaking and photography for various NGOs and arts festivals. As a trans activist, he collaboratively founded and ran the European Trans and Intersex Summer Camp, founded Non-Binary Northern Ireland, co-led the Northern Irish gender recognition campaign to reform the UK Gender Recognition Act, co-founded Transgender NI and collaborated with TENI in their work to introduce non-binary legal gender recognition to the Republic of Ireland.

In his spare time, he can be found exploring the Northern Irish countryside.

Press Queries: press@gate.ngo

Photo Credit: Alex Giegold

Max Appenroth

Research & Community Sexual Health Officer

Max Nicolai Appenroth (he/they) is a trans activist and Public Health researcher from Berlin/Germany. Max joined GATE in October 2019 to coordinate our work around trans men and HIV. They are currently doing their PhD researching the sexual health of trans people, with a specific focus on HIV research and prevention for trans men and non-binary identities. Over the past years Max has been working together with activists from around the globe, to break down barriers in accessing health care for the trans community. Additionally, he currently collaborates with different health research institutions in Germany and the US, to further push the need for trans-inclusive sexual health research.

Max’s favourite self-care strategy is cooking some good food for himself and for others and to discover new food, when travelling. They are fluent in English and German, and know some basic Spanish, French, and Hebrew.

Photo Credit: Naomhán O’Connor

Karen Bennett

Executive Assistant

Karen is a non-binary trans musician and activist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She joined GATE in March 2013 as Executive Assistant to Mauro Cabral and also worked on communications prior to the hiring of a Communications Officer. Karen’s additional new role will be to provide support to Erika Castellanos for the Global Fund CRG Project.

A graduate professional composer, arranger, guitarist, singer, and performer, Karen has a 35-year experience of touring the local rock, jazz, and LGBT scenes in Argentina. She has been working as external an editor and collaborator for Argentinian newspaper Página 12’s LGBT supplement “Soy” since 2012.

Karen speaks fluent Spanish, English and German and loves movies, football and tennis.

Our Board of Directors

CO-CHAIR - Tamara Adrian


Tamara Adrián (she/her) is a Venezuelan lawyer and Professor of Law at the Central University and the Metropolitan University of Venezuela. As a transsexual lesbian feminist, she advocates for the recognition and protection of the civil and human rights of LGBTI people and women in Venezuela.

She has authored many published articles and books on law and has drafted laws and constitutional amendments for the National Assembly of Venezuela. She sits on various boards and committees, including IDAHO-T, the Scientific Committee for the Chair on Human Rights and Sexuality for UNESCO, WPATH, PLAFAM, and the Sexual Rights Committee for the WAS. Previously, she was the Co-Secretary General Alternate (2013-2015) and the World Trans Secretary (2010-2013) for ILGA World.

In 2009, she was awarded the “Luis Maria Olaso” Human Rights Prize, and in 2012 received a special mention for the Embassy of Canada in Venezuela’s Human Rights Prize.

CO-CHAIR - Dave Scamell


Dave Scamell (he/him) is a human rights activist based in Sydney, who has worked with GATE since 2010 and has sat on the Board since 2015. He is the Principal Consultant at Communities of Change Consultancy, providing advice and support to civil society actors advancing the rights of LGBTI and other marginalised communities.

Prior to this, he was the Director of International Advocacy at AJWS, where he established the organization’s International Advocacy department, overseeing advocacy initiatives to influence the U.N. and international funding organizations. Before joining AJWS, he worked at OSF leading work on the legal and health rights of trans people and sex workers. At both AJWS and OSF, he spearheaded funder advocacy that catalyzed resources for the global trans and intersex movements.

When not spending time with family and friends, Dave is hanging out with his little pug, Squash.

TREASURER - Ricky Nathanson


Ricky Nathanson (she/her) is a fierce global trans and gender diverse rights activist. In September 2015, she formed TREAT to address the civil rights issues relating to health, justice and socio-economics of trans and gender diverse communities in Zimbabwe. In 2016, she was instrumental in the formation of the Southern Africa Trans Forum, serving as Secretary and later as Chairperson. She is also member of the Africa Key Populations Expert Group to the UNDP, and the Every Woman Everywhere Coalition. She serves on many Boards – regionally and internationally, including SHEAMSHeR) and ENZA Research (South Africa)Trans Bantu Association Zambia; IRGT, and OutRight Action International (USA).

In 2014, Rikki took on the State of Zimbabwe with a civil lawsuit after being unlawfully arrested and acquitted for using a public female restroom. This resulted in threats to her life, forcing her to flee Zimbabwe, seeking asylum in the USA. She settled in Rockville, Maryland and is currently employed as the HIV Prevention Outreach Manager at Casa Ruby. She holds a qualification with the Institute of Chartered Secretaries & Administrators of Zimbabwe.

Kitty Anderson


Kitty Anderson (they/she) is an Icelandic Intersex activist based in Reykjavík and drinks way too much coffee. They co-founded Intersex in Iceland in 2014 and have served as the organisations Chairperson since. They have been on the board of OII Europe since 2014, first as secretary and then as Co-Chair since 2018. In 2015-2018 they served on the board of Samtökin 78 – The national Queer organisation of Iceland, first as a board member and then International Secretariat and from 2016-2018 as Chairperson of the Icelandic Human Rights Centre.

In 2015 they co-founded a working group to change the legislative landscape for trans and intersex people in Iceland that went on to work directly with the current Minister of Health on drafting a Legal Gender Recognition Bill based on self-determination that passed in June 2019. Several committees working under the Prime Minister have been called together to propose further changes to Icelandic legislation to further protections and rights for trans and intersex people.

Tshepo Ricki Kgositau

South Africa

Ricki Kgositau (she/her) is the Executive Director of Accountability International, an international NGO working at the Pan-African level for 10+ years advancing accountability, transparency and inclusion of the most underserved communities, and a member of the UNAIDS International Reference on HIV and Human Rights since 2019. As a trans feminist with over 11 years’ experience, she advises various strategic litigation initiatives to advance and safeguard the rights of marginalized communities across the African continent. She was a chief litigant on a successful constitutional case seeking legal gender recognition in 2017 at the High Courts in Botswana.

Formerly, Ricki was the Executive Director of Gender DynamiX, Program Director for the KP-REACH regional program, and has greatly contributed to cross-movement building and strengthening for the attainment of an inclusive Development Agenda (Agenda 2030 & 2063) and global HIV response. She co-founded the Southern Africa Trans Forum (SATF) and has written for various publications. She also writes a weekly column Queer I in the Botswana Gazette.

Ricki is a 2016 Mandela-Washington Fellow and holds a degree in International Relations and Criminology from Monash University.

Eszter Kismodi


Eszter Kismödi (she/her) is an international human rights lawyer for Hungary specializing in sexual and reproductive health and rights, human rights, and legal and policy aspects of sexuality, gender expression and gender and bodily diversity. Currently, she is the Chief Executive of SRHM, which promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights globally through its multidisciplinary, open-access, peer-reviewed journal.

Previously, she worked as an independent human rights lawyer for UNAIDS, UNHCR, UNDP Asia Pacific Hub, OHCHR, WHO, WAS and CREA, and was a human rights adviser at WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research. She worked on depathologization of gender identity and expression in the ICD, leading WHO’s work on elimination of forced sterilization of key populations and co-coordinating collaborative research into legal gender recognition for UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. She is a member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights.

Since 2016, she has been a visiting fellow at the Global Health Justice Partnership of the Yale Law School and Yale School of Public Health. She is a regular guest lecturer at various universities, has been published extensively in international journals, and has contributed to several WHO and other UN publications.

Annual Reports and IRS Documents

Our Annual Reports and IRS Documents are now available on our about page.