A Devex live virtual event

LGBTQ+ inclusion in global development

June 24, 2021

9 a.m. ET | 3 p.m. CET


Hosted by:


About the Event

As the U.S. celebrated Pride Month, Devex brought together a group of experts to discuss LGBTQ+ inclusion in the global development sector. Building inclusive workplaces is critical for supporting LGBTQ+ staffers around the world. It's also important in ensuring the rights and needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people are taken in account when designing and delivering aid programs and advancing progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this event, we discussed:

• Best practices for creating inclusive and safe global development workplaces, and why that is so important.

• Guidance for policymakers and project leaders to ensure the needs of LGBTQ+ communities are taken into consideration in developing programs across the SDGs.

• How an intersectional lens must be applied in understanding how to support LGBTQ+ communities.


9 a.m. ET

Welcome & introduction by Devex Executive Vice President, Kate Warren

9:05 a.m. ET

Fireside chat with UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, Victor Madrigal-Borloz

9:15 a.m. ET

Panel discussion


• Clifton Cortez, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Global Advisor, Work Bank Group
• Gurchaten Sandhu, President, UN-GLOBE
• Moderator: Kate Warren, Executive Vice President, Devex

9:55 a.m. ET

Closing remarks


Clifton Cortez

Clifton Cortez

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Global Advisor, World Bank Group

Clifton Cortez joined the World Bank Group in November 2016 as its first-ever Global Advisor on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI), leading efforts to try to ensure borrower governments address SOGI inclusion and non-discrimination in Bank-financed projects, as well as leading the Bank’s SOGIESC-specific data generation efforts. He served as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Deputy Director for Health and UNDP’s global LGBTI lead (2014–16), based at UN headquarters in New York City. Prior to his global role, he led related efforts as the UNDP Asia-Pacific HIV, Health and Development Regional Practice Leader based in Bangkok, Thailand (2010–2014). Prior to that he was with USAID’s Office of HIV in Washington, DC, and later in the Regional Development Mission Asia in Bangkok, including with a focus on gay, bi and other men who have sex with men as well as transgender women (1997-2010). Over 24 years, his work has taken him to countries throughout Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. Clif holds a law degree from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is married and his spouse, Owen, is from Venezuela.

Victor Madrigal-Borloz

Victor Madrigal-Borloz

UN Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Victor Madrigal-Borloz, a Costa Rican jurist, is a senior visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program. He will be in residence at Harvard Law School from July 2019 to December 2023. Until June 2019, he served as the Secretary-General of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT), a global network of over 150 rehabilitation centres with the vision of full enjoyment of the right to rehabilitation for all victims of torture and ill treatment. A member of the UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture from 2013 to 2016, Mr Madrigal-Borloz was Rapporteur on Reprisals and oversaw a draft policy on the torture and ill-treatment of LGBTI persons. Prior to this he led technical work on numerous cases, reports and testimonies as Head of Litigation and Head of the Registry at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. He has also worked at the Danish Institute for Human Rights (Copenhagen, Denmark) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (San José, Costa Rica). Mr Madrigal-Borloz is a founding member of the Costa Rican Association of International Law (ACODI), a founding Board member of the International Justice Resource Centre (IJRC), and a founding Board member of Synergia-IDH.

Gurchaten Sandhu

Gurchaten Sandhu

President, UN-GLOBE

Born to Panjabi Sikh working-class migrant parents in the UK, Gurchaten (Nanoo) Sandhu (he/his; they/them) is a Non-Discrimination Programme Officer at the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work Branch. Alongside his B.A. (HONS) in Economics and MSc in Development Economics, his passion for social justice has led him to focus his efforts on promoting the principle of non-discrimination in employment and occupation. Over the past 15 years, Gurchaten has built his expertise and knowledge on promoting social justice through quality, decent and inclusive work for all, in particular to enhance LGBTIQ+ rights at work and economic inclusion. He also finds the time to volunteer as President for UN-GLOBE, the group representing LGBTIQ+ staff in the UN system. As its President, he works to ensure the voice and rights of LGBTIQ+ staff are represented in UN policies and procedures. He also serves as committee member of International Family Equality Day NGO, advising on non-discrimination based on family status in the world of work, a fellow of the Salzburg Global LGBT forum, a Sarbat LGBT Sikhs volunteer and a trustee for We Create Space. In 2018, 2019 and 2020 he was listed as the OUTStanding Executive Role Model and in 2021 was a nominee for a British LGBT Award.

Kate Warren

Kate Warren

Executive Vice President, Devex

Kate Warren brings two decades of global development and digital media experience to cover and shape the important conversations driving the Sustainable Development Goals. In her role as EVP and Executive Editor, Kate leads Devex’s special coverage including news events, Devex Pro, and other editorial initiatives tied to key moments on the global development calendar. Kate is a frequent speaker and author on human capital, talent, leadership, skills development and career trends in the social impact and global development space. As the parent of a transgender child, she is also an active advocate for the rights of transgender youth.