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Erika Castellanos

Executive Director

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 and is currently Executive Director of GATE since January 1st, 2023.

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.

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.

Chamindra Weeraawardhana

Director of Programs and Global Partnerships

Dr. Chamindra Weerawardhana is a human rights defender, researcher, and published author. She has worked in grassroots trans and intersectional feminist organizing in several countries, and is passionate aout developing inclusive, feminist, decolonial and internationalist approaches to human rights advocacy. Her previous roles span the international advocacy sphere, political advocacy, university teaching, research, and international consulting. In her activist and academic output, she firmly conceptualizes trans human rights as an intersectional feminist priority. Her discipline is International
Politics, and she is especially known for her work on trans feminist approaches to international relations
and international development work.

She is the author of Decolonising Peacebuilding: Managing Conflict from Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka and Beyond [2018]. Her writing has appeared in international peer-reviewed journals and many media outlets worldwide. Chamindra is the founder of the Consortium for Intersectional Justice, a transnational collective that focuses on strengthening how intersectional justice is understood in policymaking and international cooperation sectors. She is a Commissioner of the O’Neill-Lancet Commission Racism, Structural Discrimination, & Global Health [co-convened by the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health]. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Dignity Network Canada, the secretary to the Regional Steering Committee of the Asia-Pacific Transgender Network and a member of the Grant-Making Panel of the International Trans Fund.

A Sri Lankan national, Chamindra is an alumna of Université de Tours (France) and Queen’s University Belfast (Ireland).

Anil Pavadatan

Health Officer

Anil StClair Padavatan (he/she) is a non-binary trans masculine health and human rights activist.  Anil holds a Degree in Psychology and worked for many years in the fields of HIV, human rights and access to health care, with organizations including the AIDS Law Project, the SA HIV Clinicians Society and Gender Dynamix.  During his time with Gender Dynamix, Anil had the opportunity to work on various projects aimed at extending access to health rights for trans and gender diverse community members in Southern Africa, and is a co-author of the South African Gender Affirming Healthcare Guidelines

Anil lives in Polokwane, South Africa, and is the proud parent of two children.  In his free time, he enjoys hiking, growing indigenous plants and writing children’s fiction.  

Irish man with short hair and eyebrow piercing smiling into the camera wearing a blue jumper

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:

Kira Xonorika

Communications Assistant

Kira Xonorika (she/they) is a non-binary writer, artist, and researcher based in Asunción, Paraguay. Kira joined GATE in January 2021 as our Communications Assistant.

Kira has worked in communications and has advocated for economic justice and access to technology for trans people in the Global South. She has been a guest lecturer in various universities and institutions, including Cambridge and the United Nations. In her academic work, she discusses the politics surrounding the representation of trans bodies in visual arts and media. 

She is an Outright Beijing +25 Fellow and holds a Degree in Visual Arts.

Kira speaks fluent English and Spanish and has an advanced understanding of Portuguese. They’re currently learning German and code.

Levan Berianidze

Gender Movement Program Officer
Levan Berianidze (they/them/theirs) is a queer feminist activist from the Republic of Georgia.  They are a graduate of the Social Justice and Human Rights MA program at Arizona State University and the Gender Studies MA program at Central European University. Levan has vast experience in LGBTQI and feminist movements in the Eurasia region, which spans over nine years. As an executive director at Equality Movement, Levan managed to evolve the organization into the largest and the most influential LGBTQI organization in the Caucasian region over a period of four years. As part of their activism, Levan has won strategic cases in the European Court of Human Rights and the Georgian Constitutional Court against the Georgian government for violating the public assembly rights of the LGBTQI community and for discriminatory laws against the LGBTQI community; Levan has organized the largest and the first-ever LGBTQI public demonstrations (IDAHOT) in Tbilisi. After the last homophobic attack on their partner, Levan, and three transgender women, Levan organized an international campaign with HRC and AllOut and pushed the Georgian government to establish a human rights department within the police forces. Moreover, being aware and critical of the challenges caused by NGO-ization of activism, in collaboration with activist friends, Levan started organizing a series of queer events – HOROOM – which has opened up pathways to forming an independent, non-formal, and nonhierarchical queer community in Georgia. With up to 1000 attendees per event, the party series has become one of the most important safe spaces for mobilization, education, and empowerment of the LGBTQI community in Georgia.

Vidda Guzzo

Intersex Program Officer

Vidda Guzzo (she/her) is an intersex transgender woman and LGBTI rights advocate based in Brasília, Brazil. Vidda has worked on SOGIESC issues and international human rights law, in seven years of combined experience as a researcher, professional and human rights defender, at national State institutions, international, national, and local organizations, and diverse research and civil society groups. Vidda has acted in operational and programmatic positions on sex variations and intersex issues especially focused on fundraising, campaign and project management, research, and community-building. She is currently an international consultant working with the Brazilian Intersex Association and a counselor sitting at the Brazilian National LGBTI Popular Council. She holds a scholarship position as a master’s student in Political Science at the University of Brasilia, where she also finished her bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Before joining GATE, Vidda’s professional background in human rights matters includes experiences working for the Brazilian Ministry of Justice’s Amnesty Commission; the Department of Human Rights and Citizenship of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the Communications and Representation team at UNODC in Brasília. She is an OutRight United Nations Religion Fellow. Vidda’s biggest professional aspiration is to create an intersex Latin American and Caribbean organization to foster a regional human rights advocacy strategy for intersex-led organizations in the region.

Annual Reports and IRS Documents

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