Rakiya Omaar, a Somali lawyer and human rights advocate, is the Director of Horizon Institute. Rakiya is the author of numerous books, reports, and articles on genocide, conflict, war, justice, and gender. As the first human rights researcher on the ground during the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, Rakiya authored the earliest detailed account, “Rwanda: Death, Despair and Defiance” in August 1995, which has since become a standard reference text on the subject. She has also written extensively on Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other countries in Africa.
In 2009, Rakiya served as a member of the African Union High Level Panel on Darfur, chaired by President Thabo Mbeki. In 2012, she worked as an advisor to the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations/African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID). In 2013-2014, she was a member of the High Level Panel on Fragile States established by the African Development Bank. Rakiya co-founded Horizon in 2013. Horizon is a continuation of Rakiya’s life long work and commitment to bring human rights and the rule of law to the forefront of movements for peace, reconciliation, and development in Africa.
Caitlin Lambert is Horizon Institute's Legal Advisor. Before joining Horizon, Caitlin clerked in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court for Judge Sanji Mmasenono Monageng and worked for African Rights in Kigali, Rwanda. She holds a Master's in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford, a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.
Bilan Hussein is Horizon Institute’s Research & Communications Officer. Bilan has provided administrative support for academic institutions in Toronto, Canada. In addition, she has created and managed digital content for private communication firms in Ethiopia. She has also volunteered for various community development programs in Canada and Ethiopia.
Bilan Mohamed is a Paralegal on Horizon's Somaliland Paralegal Project. Before joining Horizon Institute, she received her LLB degree with honours from the University of Hargeisa in Somaliland. Bilan was involved in several community development projects, and taken short courses in monitoring and evaluating, leadership management and conflict management. She has also partaken in basic human rights training provided by Amnesty international as well as worked with the Human Right’s Centre and legal aid clinic in Hargeisa.
Hoodo Omar Ali
Hoodo Omar is Horizon Institute’s Administration and Finance Assistant. Before joining Horizon Institute, Hoodo was an Administration and Finance Officer for the Somaliland Red Crescent. She holds a double degree in Business Administration and Islamic Studies; a BBA from the University of Hargeisa and BIS from Golis University. She has been working in finance, administration, logistics and human resources, for the last 6 years.
Esther Mwangi is Horizon Institute's Finance and Administration Officer in Nairobi. Prior to Horizon, she gained over five years of experience in accounting and grants management in the not-for-profit sector in Kenya. Esther holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya and is also a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya. She is currently pursuing the Certified Human Resource Professional course at the Kenya Institute of Management.
Idiris Mohamed is a Paralegal on Horizon’s Somaliland Paralegal Project. Before working with Horizon, Idiris was working as an independent lawyer within the Somaliland court system. He is a member of the Somaliland Lawyers Association (SLLA) and has worked in different local NGO's and international organizations such as EDC, IMO, DRC, Shaqadoon, and Alhuda Charity. He holds an LLB degree with distinction from the University of Hargeisa and is currently a master’s candidate in International Relations & Diplomacy at the University of Hargeisa.
Siman Ahmed is a Paralegal on Horizon’s Somaliland Paralegal Project. Before working with Horizon, Siman was working as a lawyer under the University of Hargeisa’s Legal Aid Department. She holds an LLB degree with distinction from the University of Hargeisa. Siman is currently a master's candidate in Legal Drafting at the College of Law in the University of Hargeisa.
Rahma Abokor is a Paralegal on Horizon's Somaliland Paralegal Project. Prior to Horizon, she graduated from Noradin High School for Girls, with honours. Upon graduation, Rahma began working with Noradin as a history teacher. She has also worked with Somaliland Legal Advocates, which is an organisation assisted by University of Hargeisa’s law students. Currently, Rahma is a student at the University of Hargeisa, pursuing a LLB degree.
Ahmed Saed is Horizon Institute's Regional Representative in Burao. Before Horizon, Ahmed worked in the humanitarian and nonprofit organization for 10 years. Working with different organizations such Danish Refugee Council, Save the children, Candlelight, and KOW Media Group. He is currently completing a Masters in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid with KALU University's distance learning program. Ahmed also has a Bachelors in Business Administration with a focus on Accounting from the University of Hargeisa.
Elizabeth Atkinson is a Researcher at Horizon Institute. As an Australian solicitor, she holds a Master of Laws in Transnational Crime and Justice from the United Nations Interregional Crime and Research Institute and the University of Peace, Italy, as well as a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) from Macquarie University and Sydney University, Australia, respectively. Before joining Horizon, she undertook research into selected transitional justice issues with the Institute of Integrated Transitions in Barcelona, Spain. Elizabeth has also previously provided legal aid services to refugees and asylum seekers in Greece and Aboriginal victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the Central Australian Desert.