Our team

Distributed leadership at Digital Freedom Fund

Since May 2024, DFF has adopted a distributed leadership model. Under this structure, our two Co-Directors steer strategy and governance, with other decision-making powers delegated to appropriate circles. The model formalises delegation of responsibilities to recognise each staff’s contribution in their circles, ensure smoother decision-making and empower staff to assume greater responsibilities.

DFF also hosts Weaving Liberation. Weaving Liberation is a hosted entity that was founded as a result of the decolonising the digital rights field process co-led by Laurence Meyer as part of her former role as Racial and Social Justice Lead at DFF. As a hosted entity at DFF, Weaving Liberation participates in DFF’s leadership structure. For details about the Weaving Liberation team, please visit the website.

Our team


Fundraising Lead & DIGIRISE Project Coordinator

Alexandra Giannopoulou

Alexandra is the Fundraising Lead and Project Coordinator for the Developing Information, Guidance, and Interconnectedness for (Charter) Rights Integration in Strategies for Enforcement (DIGIRISE) project.  She is a licensed lawyer, holds a PhD in law from the University of Paris II Assas, and has broad expertise in information law. Before joining DFF, Alexandra worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam. She is an associate researcher at the CNRS Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in Paris and has also worked as a research fellow at the Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG) in Berlin. Alexandra’s research addresses regulatory challenges of emerging techno-social systems, with a strong digital rights focus. 

PGP Fingerprint: 3F6770AE81867AE632B3C34EFDA4D0B4302EC397

Darrah Hassell

Co-Director & Finance Lead​

Darrah Hassell​

Darrah is Co-Director and Finance Lead at the Digital Freedom Fund. She is a qualified finance professional, holding a Master’s in Finance from the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. Before taking up her position at DFF, Darrah worked for eight years in the international development sector. Darrah has been with DFF since 2018 and is based in Berlin.

PGP Fingerprint: 3DBC 3963 5DA0 EAB0 D224 39F5 37BC 0ACA 201D B84D


Well-Being and Care Lead & Community Strengthening Project Support

Joel Hide​

Joel is the Well-Being and Care Lead and Community Strengthening Project Support at the Digital Freedom Fund. They recently completed a master’s degree in Global History where their research focused on the way in which gender and sexuality were reforged in colonial contexts. Before joining DFF they worked for an LGBTQ+ rights organisation. Joel is based in Berlin.

PGP Fingerprint: 6499 EE47 6063 4A0C 41CD  F933 B3C3 85F4 4A15 5114

Weaving Liberation Operations Lead

Adelaide Hirwe

Adelaide is the Operations Lead at Weaving Liberation, where she is dedicated to creating and aligning operational frameworks and practices with the organisation’s vision for digital justice. She is committed to addressing and dismantling existing structural issues, and to supporting and organising with the communities most harshly affected by these issues. Before joining Weaving Liberation, Adelaide supported the Digital Rights for All project at DFF. She has been an advocate for anti-racism in the EU and for youth engagement. She is also involved in several civil society initiatives in Europe and Africa.

PGP fingerprint: 3E86 90DE 8529 9480 5ED2 146F 65C3 DD4C 1C44 D87B


Events and Operations Lead & Well-Being and Care Officer

Jihane Jadrane​

Jihane is the Events and Operations Lead and a member of the Well-Being and Care Circle at the Digital Freedom Fund. She has a Master’s Degree from the University of Groningen in International Relations and International Organisation. Before taking up her position at DFF, Jihane held different positions in governmental and non-governmental organisations. Jihane is based in Berlin.

PGP Fingerprint: 72B5 51FE F2CD 1BDE 537D CB3D 12CB 3C83 CABE B5C4

Nikita Bio

DFF Co-Director & Community Strengthening and Support Lead

Nikita Kekana​

Nikita is DFF Co-Director and the Community Strengthening and Support (CSS) Lead at the Digital Freedom Fund. Nikita has extensive experience in digital and media law, international law and human rights. Before joining, DFF, she worked within the strategic legal defence team at a leading international non-governmental organisation. She has also worked at two of South Africa’s big 5 law firms. Nikita holds an LLM cum laude in Public International Law from Leiden University. She is based in Munich, Germany.

PGP Fingerprint: 1EB9 73A2 B44F F8AF F9C0 6CB6 B493 1F6B 5C56 C77A

A photo of Laurence Meyer

Weaving Liberation Co-Director & Adviser to DFF Leadership

Laurence Meyer​

Laurence is Strategic Adviser to DFF Leadership at the Digital Freedom Fund and Co-Director at Weaving Liberation. Before launching Weaving Liberation, Laurence co-led the decolonising process as part of her role as Racial and Social Justice Lead at the Digital Freedom Fund. She previously worked as a parliamentary assistant in the French National Assembly and works on the notion of race in law. She is also involved in several community-centered projects. Laurence is based in Berlin.

PGP Fingerprint: 68B1 72BD 74F6 DEBB B43A 1A44 21C9 8542 361F 75D3


Legal Officer

César Manso-Sayao

César is the Legal Officer at Digital Freedom Fund. He is a law graduate from the University of Costa Rica, and holds two Master’s degrees from the University of Barcelona, one in Human Rights and the other in Sociology. He also has a postgraduate degree in Technopolitics and Rights in the Digital Age from Pompeu Fabra University and previous work experience in digital rights organisations. César is based in Berlin.

PGP Fingerprint: AF0A B486 DE9D 4B50 1809 3EAC 0D3A 7C44 EC83 CDEE

Portrait or Barbara Okeyo

Communications Lead

Barbara Okeyo

Barbara is the Communications Lead at the Digital Freedom Fund. She brings over 10 years of experience in marketing communications, and content marketing strategy. She has worked in digital communications, social impact and advocacy with gender and reproductive rights NGOs. Her career goal is to use her skills to strengthen civil society in the areas of social justice and advocacy, intersection of gender and digital rights, sustainability, diversity & inclusion. Barbara is based in Berlin.

PGP Fingerprint: D15C 3CE6 8D83 F3C1 4495  B6C4 B079 15A5 943F F62C

Thomas Vink

Grantmaking Lead

Thomas Vink

Thomas is the Grantmaking Lead at the Digital Freedom Fund, responsible for coordinating DFF’s grantmaking. Before joining DFF he worked at an international anti-corruption organisation, managing multi-country projects on areas such as ethics and integrity policy, protecting victims and witnesses of corruption, and social accountability. Thomas is based in Seoul, South Korea.

PGP Fingerprint: 4785 9ED7 AE81 E2BC BA5C  C7DE 2A9F ECE2 498A 87E9

Weaving Liberation Co-Director

Salmana Ahmed

Salmana is Co-Director of Weaving Liberation. Salmana is committed to advancing changes that address existing power dynamics, structures and politics in the funding sector. She supports organisations on strategy, fundraising and organisational development.

PGP fingerprint: CB28 1917 90E0 1993 4E71 E2B1 C2FA F5C3 6FFD 0328

Ekaterina Balueva

Communications Support

Ekaterina Balueva​

Ekaterina is the Communications Support at the Digital Freedom Fund. She has a master’s degree in Journalism, Media and Globalisation from the University of Amsterdam. Before joining DFF she worked for several independent media outlets and a human rights non-governmental organisation focused on relocating human rights defenders at risk. Ekaterina is based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

PGP Fingerprint: 3969 3C1E A2AD ADB4 B571 B44B E7E5 91E4 4068 979E

Ewa Pieszczyk__KP_0715

Finance Officer

Ewa Pieszczyk​

Ewa is the Finance Officer at the Digital Freedom Fund, providing support in financial administration and management. Before joining DFF, Ewa most recently worked as Budget Assistant in the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Previously she also held various roles at the British Embassy in Warsaw, UNDP and others. She has a Master’s degree in Italian Studies and a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology from University of Warsaw, she also completed postgraduate studies in Gender Mainstreaming at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Ewa is based in Warsaw, Poland.

PGP fingerprint: 071F 2093 C835 C1D2 54CF 774F 5B93 3E5F 5DB0 E0D0


Development Officer

Vaska Cvetanoska

Vaska is the Development Officer at DFF. With over 13 years of experience in the non-profit sector in Western Balkan, Vaska has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in her field. Before joining DFF, she worked with various national and regional CSOs and Networks such as the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN HUB. Vaska has a Doctor of Dentistry degree from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje and is based in Skopje, North Macedonia.

PGP fingerprint: 4B20 B921 A6AC 7B3E 8606 1742 47C3 C617 F047 128B