Image: the current board at the AGM in October 2023. Credit Mazz Image.

Our board is made up of eight Directors who are elected by membership.

The Board

The Board of the European Pride Organisers Association are elected by the membership at the Annual General Meeting. They must be nominated by a member organisation, and serve for a maximum of four terms of two years each. The roles are voluntary and unpaid, though board members can claim expenses for their travel and other out-of-pocket costs.

Board members

Lenny Emson is a Ukrainian-born LGBTQI human rights activist, a person that identifies as a bigender individual. (S)he (him/his) has about 20 years of experience in the fields of human rights and advocacy for LGBTQI freedoms.

Lenny has been involved in the LGBTQI movement as an activist, founder, and employee of several LGBTQ non-profit organisations, has been representing the trans community on ILGA’s Steering Committee for four years, and for three years was serving the community as a member of Grant Making Panel of the International Trans Fund. Since 2021, he has served as the Executive Director for Kyiv Pride, the largest pride non-profit in Ukraine. Lenny was a co-founder of Kyiv Pride back in 2012 when a group of Ukrainian activists launched the very first pride march in Ukrainian history, and of Kyiv Pride Canada where he sits on the board of directors.

Lenny was elected to the board as Human Rights Coordinator in 2022 and then as President in 2023.


Lars Arnesen is the chair of Oslo Pride. He has been part of Oslo Pride since 2013 and was the executive director from 2014 to 2016. He was elected Secretary of EPOA in 2023.

He works at the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo, teaching and researching human rights law and technology law. He has previously worked on a research project on gender identity and sexual orientation in Norwegian and international law, resulting in a series of books and academic articles.

He has a background in several civil society organizations, working on topics ranging from discrimination law, transgender rights, and regulation of surrogacy. He has also been part of the Norwegian UNESCO delegation in Paris, working on sexuality education in particular.


Uwe represents CSD Rhein-Neckar / Pride in Mannheim in Germany where he has been a board member since 2008. His responsibilities there are as treasurer and the national and international networks.

Uwe is also on the board of CSD Deutschland (our associate member), the German national pride organisers platform and InterPride regional director for region 12 – the German speaking countries. Uwe has been working in the finance sector for over 30 years. He joined the board in 2018 and was re-elected in 2020 and 2022.


Noah Leão is an Afro-Portuguese LGBTQIA+ activist. They began their activist journey in 2018, including volunteer work at ILGA Portugal and QueerIST. With a professional background in Computer Science, they are currently developing their thesis on ‘Digital Tools for the Curation of LGBTQ+ Cultural Heritage’.

Over the past several years, Noah has served on the Board of rede ex aequo, including holding the position of President in 2023. Their activism is focused on intersectionality and anti-racism, addressing the concerns of people of color, as well as trans and non-binary youth. They were appointed to the board of EPOA in 2024.


Julia is a Polish LGBTQIA activist and Obama Foundation Leader 2022. She has been associated with the human rights sector since 2011. With roots in feminist and environmental movements, she represents cross-sector inclusive activism. Since 2017 she has served as a chair of Warsaw Pride – the largest pro-equality event in Poland. Julia is also founder and member of the Board of the Polish Pride Alliance.

She joined the Board in 2022 and is responsible for membership and outreach.


Goran is representing Belgrade Pride where he has served on the Organising Committee since 2009. Goran started his activism in the LGBTI+ community in 1991 as a member of Arkadija – the first-ever LGBTI+ organisation in Serbia. Decades later, he is still one of the key leaders of the LGBTI+ movement in Serbia, and he was a coordinator of EuroPride 2022 in Belgrade.

Goran is a Director for Europe and MENA and a Deputy Global Director for Civil Rights Defenders, where he has worked since 2004. In this position, he has mainly focused on drafting and lobbying for the adoption of inclusive anti-discrimination legislation in the Western Balkans, as well as improving the legislative framework for the LGBTI+ community in the region. He prepared and conducted numerous training sessions related to human rights, prohibition of torture, prison monitoring, advocacy, lobbying and monitoring of human and minority rights. His training sessions focused on various aspects of respect of human and minority rights, as well as the legislation and practice of law in the countries of the region. At the moment, Goran is working on lobbying for the adoption of the law on same-sex unions and the law on gender identity in the region.

Goran is a member of the European Commission of Sexual Orientation Law (ECSOL) and the Expert Council of NGO Law within the Council of Europe. Since its establishment, he is a member of the Board of the Heartefact Foundation. He is finalising his PhD thesis on the subject of civil protection from discrimination.


In 2014 Patrick started volunteering at Hamburg Pride where he took care of the cooperation with other Pride organisers and LGBTI+ organisations in Hamburg and beyond.

He has been involved in HIV and STI prevention for over ten years and is now the head of the department for prevention among men who have sex with men of Aidshilfe NRW, the largest state association for HIV/STI prevention in Germany.

Patrick was elected to the Board in 2021 as Conference Coordinator. In 2023 he was elected EuroPride Coordinator.


Steve Taylor is a communications and campaigns specialist with 20 years of experience in NGOs and civil society organisations. He is currently Head of Secretariat at Copenhagen Pride in Denmark and Vice President of Global Outreach for InterPride.

Before joining Copenhagen Pride Steve was Director of Communications & Marketing for Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames, a consultant to Sydney WorldPride, and Communications Director for ILGA Europe. He created the Global Pride 2020 concept and from 2013-2020 he held senior roles with Pride in London. He co-founded and was a Co-Chair of the UK Pride Organisers Network, and facilitated the creation of the Ireland Pride Network.

He was elected to the board in 2016 and re-elected in 2018, 2020 and 2022.


Join the board

For more information on joining the board, click here.

Image: Mazz Image