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Change in the General Direction of Fundación Secretariado Gitano [editar]

Fundación Secretariado Gitano

Change in the General Direction of Fundación Secretariado Gitano
  • At the proposal of Isidro Rodríguez, director general of FSG for the last 18 years, the Board of Trustees has appointed Sara Giménez Giménez as the new director general.
  • The former Member of Parliament, and until now President of the FSG, will take over the executive management of the largest European organisation working for Roma inclusion and equality.
  • "It is a decision that is consistent with our intercultural aspiration that the main entity for the promotion and defence of the rights of the Roma people should be led and directed by a Roma professional", in the words of Isidro Rodríguez.

At its meeting on 18 December, the FSG Board of Trustees appointed Sara Giménez Giménez as the new Director General of the organisation. Lawyer and national deputy in the XIII and XIV Legislatures of the Spanish Congress, she has been president of FSG since June 2021. In the words of her predecessor, Isidro Rodríguez, "Sara embodies the best of the values and culture of FSG, where she began her professional career as an employment guidance counsellor more than 20 years ago, but she also embodies the legitimacy of her Roma status". 

With a solid training and a brilliant curriculum as a lawyer specialised in equal treatment and the fight against discrimination, Sara Giménez, also Spanish representative in the ECRI (European Commission against Racism and Intolerance of the Council of Europe), has earned throughout her professional career, inside and outside the FSG, the respect and recognition of political leaders, the media, private institutions and third sector entities, including the Roma associative movement.

Throughout her last period as a member of the Spanish Congress, she has stood out not only for the defence of Roma rights, but also for the promotion of equality and social causes that she has personally championed. Her work on behalf of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) sufferers, promoting the proposal to pass the ALS law, as well as the rights of women and girls with disabilities, promoting the repeal of the forced sterilisation of women with legal incapacity, is particularly noteworthy. For this work she received the CERMI 2022 Award from the CERMI Women's Foundation.

A staunch defender of equality for all women - with special emphasis on the most vulnerable women - and of the right to education for Roma youth, causes which she promoted during her time in Parliament, she is particularly proud of having participated in the approval of the Law on Equal Treatment and the Fight against Discrimination, and of having promoted in particular the reform of the Penal Code to incorporate antigypsyism into it. It should also be noted that in 2023 she received recognition from the legal publishing company Aranzadi at the II Meeting Women in Law (Encuentro Mujeres por Derecho).

After her time as President of FSG, Sara Giménez now assumes the executive management of an organisation with a strong territorial presence throughout Spain: 1 100 people on staff and a volume of activity and budget that place FSG among the largest NGOs in Spain and, without doubt, the largest organisation specialising in Roma equality in Europe. "With this decision, I am taking on a challenge and a firm commitment to the FSG and to my people; it is from here that I believe I can do the most for Roma, the best institution at the service of Roma rights", in the words of Sara Giménez.

This change in the General Direction is consistent with an internal process that has been maturing in the organisation for years. Fundación Secretariado Gitano has a track record of more than 40 years in which it has prioritised the defence of its founding purpose: the promotion of the Roma people, together with its own sign of identity, interculturality, a value defended both inside and outside the organisation. 

In June 2021, Pedro Puente Fernández, founder and president of FSG, proposed to the FSG Board of Trustees that he take over the presidency, with Sara Giménez becoming the new president. "It is a decision that shows the express will to give way to new profiles that are better adapted to these times of social transformation and new challenges in society, which also affect the Roma community, in a context of greater protagonism, representation and participation of Roma people", in the words of Pedro Puente.

In the case of the General Direction, the FSG has so far only had two Directors General. The first, José Manuel Fresno, was at the head of the entity for 23 years and was responsible for setting up the organisation and, to a large extent, for creating the foundations of its organisational culture. He was also responsible for devising and securing access to the Structural Funds for the FSG and mobilising new resources for the Roma community. In 2005, he felt that he had done his job and that it was time to passing the baton.

Isidro Rodríguez, who will now become deputy director after taking over, has been the other director general for the past 18 years. During this time, he has consolidated FSG's role as a central actor in the Third Sector and in society, making the organisation more solid, more intercultural, more respected and more influential. "I believe that I have also fulfilled my task and I feel truly privileged to be able to pass the baton to the first woman and, above all, the first Roma person to lead Fundación Secretariado Gitano in the coming decades. A new stage is beginning in which FSG will undoubtedly play an increasingly relevant role in our society and for the Roma people. And all of us who have contributed to building one of the most attractive and transformative projects in our society will be there.”

Sara Giménez takes the reins of FSG at a time when the organisation is working on its new Strategic Plan until 2030 and, therefore, it will be she who will mark the future of an already solid and recognised organisation, which now has the added legitimacy of being led by a Roma professional.