The work of Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) is guided by an Advisory Board comprising a cross-section of individuals of high repute from the shipping industry, academia and the legal world. The Board gives advice to the Executive Director on the strategic direction of the work of SRI to ensure that SRI meets its aims and objectives.

The Advisory Board also provides expert guidance on the content of SRI’s work programmes so that it meets the needs of its principal stakeholders and key users, and it ensures the relevance in the setting of SRI’s work programme, the quality of its projects and the editorial independence in the execution of these projects.
Deirdre Fitzpatrick

SRI’s Executive Director is Deirdre Fitzpatrick. Ms Fitzpatrick is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales and is dual qualified in Ireland. She joined the ITF in 1994 to head up its legal services department, and has considerable experience in the protection and enforcement of seafarers’ legal rights. She is co-editor of…

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Brian Orrell

SRI’s Chair is Brian Orrell OBE. Brian Orrell is former Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Section and until recently was General Secretary of Nautilus UK. He is an ex-marine engineer officer and an honours law graduate. In 2007 he was honoured with an Order of the British Empire for services to seafarers; he was elected…

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The other advisory members are:

Rosalie Balkin (retired)

Dr Rosalie Balkin is former Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) (London). While she held this position she also served as Secretary of IMO’s Legal Committee and for a time also as IMO’s Assistant Secretary-General. She was previously Assistant Secretary in the Office of International Law at the Federal Attorney-General’s Department…

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Bruno Ciceri

Bruno Ciceri is a representative of the Apostleship of the Sea International at the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People, Vatican City. He is also a member of the Executive Council of the International Christian Maritime Association. During his career, Bruno Ciceri has worked caring for migrants, refugees…

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David Cockroft (retired)

David Cockroft is former General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (1994-2013). He began his union career at the British Trades Union Congress 1978-79. He then became the Head of Research at the Association of Professional, Executive, Clerical and Computer Staff. He was also the Secretary for Industrial Salaried Employees at the International Federation…

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Steve Cotton
Stephen Cotton

Stephen Cotton is General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) since August 2014, and was Acting General Secretary since October 2012. He joined the ITF in 1993. Under Stephen’s leadership, the number of flags of convenience ships covered by ITF approved collective agreements increased from less than 2000 to more than 12000, the…

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Alastair Couper

Professor Alastair Couper is former Head of the Department of Maritime Studies and International Transport at the University of Cardiff, Wales, UK, and former Director of the Seafarers International Research Centre in that Department, a world-leading maritime studies centre. He has several years’ shipping experience and has worked as a consultant for UN agencies, including…

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Richard J. Dodson

Richard Dodson is an Attorney-at-Law and founding and senior partner of the law firm Dodson & Hooks APLC, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Mr Dodson has been a practising attorney since 1966, with specialty in the field of international maritime law. From 1987 to 2007, he was an adjunct Professor at Southern University Law School…

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Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, is President of the World Maritime University, Malmo, Sweden. Previously she was Director of the International Labour Standards Department of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. She began her career at the University of the West Indies, Barbados, as a lecturer in law. She worked with the Iran-US Claims Tribunal…

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David Heindel

David Heindel is Secretary Treasurer of the Seafarers’ International Union (SIU) of North America, AFL-CIO (the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations). He began his career with the SIU in 1973. Prior to that, he sailed on deep-sea vessels as a member of the engine department before coming ashore in 1980 to…

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