Name, surname: Vladimir Simonko
Position: Co-founder and Executive Director
About the employee: I have a long experience and a strong background in working on LGBT* rights in Lithuania, acting as expert and trainer in various national and international projects and actively participating in human rights conferences. I was an organizer of the first Eastern European Conference of ILGA in Palanga in 1994 and the annual ILGA-Europe conference in Vilnius in 2007. I was also one of the main organizers of the first Baltic Pride that took place in Vilnius in 2010. Currently I serve as a member of the Lithuanian Human Rights Coalition and National Equality and Diversity Forum. I have also participated in National Working Groups on EU anti-discrimination policy and the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All (2007).
Name, surname: Eduardas Platovas
Position: Programmes Director
About the employee: I am a former journalist and hold a position at LGL since its foundation in 1993. Long time experience helped me to gain a strong background and skills in working on LGBT rights in Lithuania and shows my great commitment to human rights in general. My general activities involve: coordination of project activities and general project administration, including financial reporting and general reporting on project implementation. Other longstanding international human rights activities include organization of the “ILGA-Europe” conference in Vilnius in 2007 and the “Baltic Pride” festival in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Name, surname: Eglė Kuktoraitė
Position: Communications Coordinator
About the employee: I got my bachelor’s degree in Lithuanian philology and promotion from Vilnius University in 2012. While studying a Master’s degree programme of American studies in University of Turin I realized that conscious society is a vital force in making political decisions and implementing the rights of LGBT people. Employment in LGL promises a chance to apply energy and excitement of writing to publicize LGL’s humane initiatives. Therefore, if my texts would encourage a single person to a positive change – my work will be worthwhile.
About the employee: I got my degree in economics at Vilnius University and ever since I have been working in the fields of financial services and accountancy. I gained plenty of experience in various positions in large companies during my career. Being responsible of all financial documents and accounts I ensure that LGBT* rights activists at least don’t need to take care of that. It is my small contribution to the cause! In my free time I enjoy resting in the nature, I like accompanying hunters (though, I don’t use a gun). Also, I try to catch every opportunity to fly to European capitals – I adore travelling!
Name: Ignas Rėkašius
Position: Project Manager
About the employee: Whilst I was shaking hands with the President of Lithuania during the internship at the Ministry of the Interior, the pure disregard to the reality of LGBTQ+ rights took me by surprise, which provoked my interest in the politics of gender and international human rights law. I have obtained an undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations at the University of Dundee in Scotland, during which I had an opportunity to partake the transatlantic exchange programme at the University of Oklahoma. At the moment, I am doing a master programme of Human Rights at the Paris School of International Affairs (Sciences Po). In the summer of 2016, I took part in an international human rights training course “Stay Human!”. As part of this, I organised an international youth exchange programme on LGBTQ+ rights in Vilnius during Baltic Pride, empowering young people to stand for their own rights and those of their fellow citizens. As a project manager at LGL I strive towards a more tolerant and inclusive society I was once so afraid of.
Name: Marinela Gremi
Position: Project Manager
About the employee: I am originally from Albania. I received a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications, and then studied Master of Science in Public Relations at the University of Tirana. In the past four years I have been contributing as a Human Rights Journalist, Project coordinator and Executive Director for one of the most active LGBT organizations in Albania, Pro LGBT. During my work I’ve been proudly advocating for LGBT+ rights as a straight person in a country where homophobia was prevalent and I strive to do the same here in Lithuania. I’m passionate about raising awareness for issues affecting the rights of LGBT+, girls and women through using new media productions. Currently I’m following a digital university on gender equality, health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women at Women Deliver Young Leaders Program. In my free time I enjoy traveling, outdoor activities and painting.
Position: Project Manager
About the employee: At the moment, I am a history student at Vilnius University. I strongly believe that equal rights are fundamental human rights and should not be suppressed. Working at LGL gives me a chance to advocate for LGBT rights and work towards minimizing homophobia and discrimination. I am joining LGL team as a project manager to help ensure all “Baltic Pride 2019” events go smoothly and are as inclusive as possible. In my free time I enjoy traveling, literature and board games.