About Katherine Clerides
Katherine Clerides is Honorary President of the Board of the Glafcos Clerides Institute*, an independent political think-tank in Cyprus, which among other activities, offers workshops in leadership and mediation skills training free of charge, primarily to young people and women.
Ms. Clerides is also a member of the UN-sponsored Bi-communal Technical Committee for the restoration of religious sites desecrated during the inter-communal fighting in 1963 and the Turkish military intervention in 1974.
She has qualifications in Sociology, Political Science and Law. After working in social research and the banking sector as a legal advisor, she entered politics in the late 1980s and was elected as a municipal councilor for Nicosia in 1986. She was elected as an MP for the Nicosia district for two terms (1991-2003), and as a substitute candidate (2004-2006).
Throughout her parliamentary career, Ms. Clerides was active in promoting legislation to enhance the status of women, including: the prevention of violence in the family, the division of marital property on divorce, combating sexual harassment at work, and promoting LGBT rights. She was the first woman to be elected as Vice-President of the Democratic Rally Party (2003-2007) and the first Secretary of the Women’s Organization (1990s).
Ms. Clerides was active in promoting contact and reconciliation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and established the Bi-communal Relations Bureau of the party in 1999 to provide support to citizen action groups.
She further served as Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs of the Cyprus Government (2013-2015) with responsibility for the religious minorities of Maronites, Armenians and Latins, Cypriots of the diaspora, and matters relating to missing and enclaved persons.
Ms. Clerides began her ADR journey in the 1990’s, participating in conflict resolution workshops organized by the Fulbright for Greek and Turkish Cypriots working for the reconciliation and re-unification of the island. She qualified as a conflict resolution trainer and organized and participated in training workshops, as well as participated in brainstorming activities to find solutions to the Cyprus dispute throughout the 1990’s and early 2000’s. She continues to be active in reconciliation efforts.