Gertrude Nyausi Angote is the Executive Director at Kituo Cha Sheria, the oldest legal aid organization in Kenya, whose mission is to empower poor and marginalized people towards access to justice. She is a human rights lawyer and social transformation advocate who has been at the forefront of litigating, agitating, and advocating for equal access to justice and human dignity for all. Angote is a trained trial advocacy teacher from the University of Washington, and serves as a faculty member and lecturer at the Kenya School of Law. She is currently a Council Member of the Law Society of Kenya and an LL.M. student at the University of Nairobi.
Juan Auz is an Ecuadorean attorney with experience in human rights and environmental issues. He is the Co-Founder of Terra Mater and the Executive Director of Fundación Pachamama, two organizations that defend the rights of indigenous people in the Ecuadorian Amazon and protect the remaining ecosystems of indigenous territories. He is also a Research Fellow at Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. Auz is a political and legal advisor for national and regional indigenous organizations. He received his LL.B. from Universidad de las Americas in Quito and LL.M. on Global Environment and Climate Change Law from the University of Edinburgh.
Peter Chapman is a Senior Policy Officer working on law and development at Open Society Justice Initiative with a focus on community-based justice services and natural resource governance. Prior to joining the Justice Initiative, Chapman worked on governance and justice reform in East Asia and Africa with the World Bank’s Justice for the Poor program. He previously worked with the Carter Center in Liberia and the Public International Law & Policy Group in Uganda and Washington, D.C. He has developed publications on law and development for a variety of audiences. Chapman holds a J.D. from the Washington College of Law, American University; a Master’s in International Affairs from the School of International Service, American University; and a B.A. in Political Science and Peace Studies from Colgate University.
Alex Yong Kang Chow is an activist and was the Secretary-General of the Hong Kong Federation of Students in 2014-2015. He helped to lead the Umbrella Movement, a nearly three-month protest for voting rights in Hong Kong. Chow was sentenced to seven months in prison because of his participation in the movement, making him one of several political prisoners in Hong Kong. Currently he is a Master’s student of City Design and Social Science at the London School of Economics and in Fall 2018 will begin his Ph.D. in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. Chow and the entire Umbrella Movement were nominated for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize.
Sukti Dhital is the Deputy Director of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU School of Law and a human rights lawyer with extensive international law experience in the fields of economic and social rights. Previously, she was the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Nazdeek, an award-winning legal empowerment organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India. She worked closely with affected community members and social movements to advance human rights through a community-driven approach, with a focus on indigenous and Dalit women. Prior to Nazdeek, Dhital was the Director of the Reproductive Rights Unit at the Human Rights Law Network, India where she assisted in securing landmark social and economic rights judgments. She has also worked at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project and the firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP. She received a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Denise Dora is the Founder and CEO of THEMIS - Legal Assistance and Gender Studies, a feminist organization that works for the democratization of justice in Brazil. She is a human rights activist and lawyer committed to combating gender and socio-economic inequalities in Brazil by increasing women's access to the justice system, and training poor and disenfranchised women to fight for their rights. From 2000 to 2001, she was responsible for the Ford Foundation’s Human Rights Program in Brazil and created the Brazil Lawyer Advocates for the People program. She received her law degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul; a Master’s Degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Essex; and a Master’s in History, Politics and Cultural Heritage at the Center for Research and Documentation of the Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro.
Tashwill Esterhuizen is a South African lawyer and head of the LGBTI and Sex Workers Rights Programme at the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC). Esterhuizen has extensive experience in public interest and human rights litigation and advocacy in ten Southern Africa countries. Prior to SALC, he worked as a litigation attorney at the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa, where he assisted communities and social movements on protection of their socio-economic rights. Previously, Esterhuizen advised the Office of the Provincial Police Commissioner in Cape Town on police actions and human rights. He received his LL.B. from the University of Cape Town.
Walter Flores is a Social Scientist and the Director of the Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en Sistemas de Salud, a Guatemalan organization specializing in research, capacity building, and advocacy around issues affecting indigenous and other marginalized populations. He has more than 20 years of experience spanning at least 25 countries in the areas of health policy analysis, health systems, right to health, democratic governance of public policies, and community participation. Flores is also the global coordinator of the Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health, a network of civil society organizations from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America working towards improving healthcare services for marginalized populations through human rights, accountability, and social mobilization. Flores received a Ph.D. and a Master’s of Community Health from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK.
Stephen Golub is an International Development Scholar and Consultant with more than 25 years of experience in 40 countries around the world. He has deep expertise in field of legal empowerment, with more than 20 academic and policy papers published on the concept. Golub has consulted and conducted research for numerous leading multilateral and bilateral agencies, foundations, policy institutes, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. His focus areas span access to justice, anti-corruption strategies, civil society, human rights, social accountability, legal empowerment, legal services for the disadvantaged, governance, economy analysis, and project design and evaluation. Golub has taught courses on legal empowerment and international development at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at Berkeley Master of Development Practice Program, Central European University Public Policy Department, and Tufts University International Relations Department. He received his J.D. from Harvard Law School and B.A. from Brown University.
Manzoor Hasan is the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace and Justice at BRAC University of Bangladesh. He is a barrister and public policy reform specialist with nearly two decades of experience in capacity building and strengthening of institutional governance in Bangladesh. Previously Hasan served as the Founding Director of the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development, and the Deputy Executive Director of BRAC, the largest nongovernment organization in the world. Prior to BRAC, he was the Asia-Pacific Regional Director of Transparency International, and the Founding Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) to Hasan in 2003 for his promotion of transparency in Bangladesh. Hasan received his Diploma in Law from University of Central London and B.Sc. in economics from The London School of Economics and Political Science.
Lam Ho is the Founder and Executive Director of Community Activism Law Alliance (CALA), an organization committed to uniting lawyers and activists to help underserved communities access justice and pursue social change. Prior to CALA, he was a staff attorney at Equip for Equality, where he defended the civil rights of people with disabilities. Previously, Ho worked at Chicago’s Legal Assistance Foundation where he established and ran 10 community-based clinics providing free legal services to youth and their families on the west side of Chicago. He was an Echoing Green Global Fellow and Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow, and has received numerous awards for his public service work. Ho was previously Chairperson of the HIV/AIDS Response Review Panel for the State of Illinois, and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Law Project, which provides pro bono transactional legal services needed to strengthen Chicago communities. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and graduate degrees from Brown University and the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar and Sub-Dean of Wadham College.
Sharon K. Hom is an Adjunct Professor of Law and Director of the China and International Human Rights Law Research Program at the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at NYU School of Law. Hom is also Professor of Law Emerita at the CUNY School of Law where she taught for 18 years, including training judges, lawyers, and law teachers in China. In addition to her academic activities, Hom is the Executive Director of Human Rights in China, and leads their human rights, media advocacy and strategic policy engagement with NGOs, governments, and multi-stakeholder initiatives since 2003. She has actively lobbied and participated in the UN human rights system for more than 15 years and published extensively on Chinese legal reforms, trade, technology, and international human rights. Hom was named one of Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” in 2007. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Dan Jackson is the Executive Director of NuLawLab at Northeastern University School of Law, an interdisciplinary innovation laboratory working to imagine, design, test, and implement pioneering approaches to legal empowerment. Prior to NuLawLab Jackson worked for 13 years with the law firm of Bingham McCutchen, ultimately serving as the firm’s director of attorney development after practicing in the employment law group. He also clerked with The Honorable Hugh H. Bownes at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Prior to law school Jackson worked as a designer for theater, and continues to do so, most recently with the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and The Provincetown Theater. He received his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law and B.S. from Northwestern University.
Rajesh Jayadev is the Director and Co-Founder of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a media, community organizing, and social entrepreneurial collective based in San Jose, California. For nearly fifteen years, the organization has been a platform for the least heard of Silicon Valley — youth, immigrants, low-income workers, the incarcerated — to impact the political, cultural, and social landscape of the region. Through De-Bug, Jayadev and is colleagues also started a family organizing model called the Albert Cobarrubias Justice Project, a methodology for families and communities to impact the outcome of cases of their loved ones and change the landscape of power in the courts. The approach is called "participatory defense" and has been implemented in numerous cities across the nation. Jayadev is currently an Ashoka Fellow and a Rosenberg Foundation Leading Edge Fellow. His writing and work has appeared and been profiled in media outlets such as the New York Times, Time.com, and National Public Radio.
Anuradha Joshi is a Social Scientist at the Institute for Development Studies. She is an expert on policy processes and institutional analysis of development, with a focus on poverty, low-income housing, public services, and environmental policy. Her current research interests focus on collective action, social accountability and service delivery, mobilizing “demand” in basic services, and the scaling-up of innovative service delivery approaches. Joshi has consulted for bilateral and multilateral agencies in development and managed large, multi-country research projects. She has travelled and researched in India, Indonesia, Nepal, Vietnam and Ghana. Joshi is a member of the International Experts Panel of the Independent Report Mechanism, the accountability arm of the Open Government Partnership. She received her Ph.D. in public policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Lu Jun is a barefoot lawyer and the Co-founder of Beijing Yirenping Center, a Chinese NGO founded to promote public health, eliminate discrimination, and defend the rights of disadvantaged groups through legal means. Jun is a widely recognized legal expert and anti-discrimination advocate, with deep expertise in the fields of public health, disability, gender, and mental health. Since 2003, he has engaged in nearly 100 high-impact legal cases defending the rights of marginalized people, including the first lawsuits in China alleging employment discrimination on the basis of HIV/AIDS status, gender, physical appearance, genetic screening, hukou (city/town of household registration), and disability discrimination in public servant recruitment. Jun is currently a visiting scholar at Fordham University School of Law and was a visiting scholar at U.S.-Asia Law Institute at NYU School of Law.
Tim Kakuru is a Co-Founder and Head of Research at Barefoot Law, an organization in Uganda that provides free legal information through technology and other innovative mediums. He is a lawyer with ten years of experience working in the access to justice field and believes deeply in the power of applied knowledge and the potential of citizens to improve their livelihoods given knowledge of the laws that affect them. Previously he was an associate at a law firm, served as a clerkship student with the Uganda Law Council, and contributed research and reporting on the law-making process in the Parliament of Uganda. He received his LL.B. from Uganda Christian University.
Erin Kitchell is the Director of Global Learning and Practice at Namati. In this role, Erin leads efforts to generate comparative learning on legal empowerment methods and to document impact. Erin works closely with program teams to design and test innovative models of program delivery. She has experience managing large-scale action research projects and building grassroots organizations’ capacity to use program data for iterative learning. Before joining Namati, Erin spent 10 years working on environmental and health issues in West Africa. She has conducted research on land rights and climate change in Senegal and Mali for the World Bank, USAID, and the Senegalese Agricultural Research Institute (ISRA). She is completing her PhD in Geography on pastoral land rights and local land governance. Erin formerly served as Executive Director of Mali Health, a grassroots NGO dedicated to improving maternal and child health in peri-urban areas.
Kanchi Kohli is the Legal Research Director of the Namati-Centre for Policy Research Environmental Justice Program in India. She has worked on environment, forest and biodiversity governance in India for over two decades. Her work explores the links between law, industrialization and environment justice, and draws empirical evidence from sites of conflict and locates it within national legal and policy processes. She co-coordinates an Information Dissemination Service for Forest and Wildlife cases in the Supreme Court of India and also the Campaign for Conservation and Community Control over Biodiversity related to the implementation of the biodiversity regulation in India. Kohli has individually and in teams authored several books and publications. She was awarded a fellowship at the Fulbright-Nehru Environment Leadership Program at Department of Law, University of California, and has been on the U.S. Government's International Visitors Leadership Program. She is an honorary associate of the University of Technology, Sydney and has been Guest Faculty at Tata Institute of Social Science and the National Law University of Odisha. She received her Master’s from the Tata Institute of Social Science.
Gregor MacLennan is the Program Director at Digital Democracy, an organization that empowers marginalized communities to use technology to defend their rights. MacLennan has worked with indigenous communities throughout the Amazon Basin on land rights issues, the impacts of extractive industries, and supporting indigenous peoples’ right to self-determination. Prior to Digital Democracy, he worked as the Peru Program Coordinator for Amazon Watch, leading a campaign to successfully stop Talisman from drilling for oil in Achuar territory in a remote and biodiverse area of Amazon rainforest. He was also the founder and director of Shinai, a grass-roots non-profit organization, helping communities map their territory and resource use, and set up a community-run environmental monitoring system for Achuar communities affected by contamination from oil drilling. He received his M.A. from Cambridge University and a Masters in Professional Studies from the Forum for the Future.
Marlon Manuel is a Senior Adviser to Global Legal Empowerment Network, Namati. Previously he was the National Coordinator of the Alternative Law Groups (ALG), a coalition of twenty NGOs in the Philippines that adhere to the principles of alternative or social development-oriented law practice, with a commitment to public interest, respect for human rights, and promotion of social justice. Manuel is also a Professor and Bar Review Lecturer at the Ateneo de Manila University School of Law, and at the University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Civil Law, where he specializes in labor and constitutional law. He is a fellow of the Social Weather Stations, a non-stock, non-profit, social research organization. He was also the Vice-Chairperson for the Basic Sectors of the National Anti-Poverty Commission and serves on the steering committee of various organizations and consortiums. He received his J.D. from Ateneo de Manila University School of Law
Vivek Maru is the Founder and CEO of Namati, an organization dedicated to building an evidence-based movement for legal empowerment around the world through grassroots innovation, research and advocacy, and convening of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. Prior to Namati, Maru served as senior counsel in the Justice Reform Group of the World Bank. His work focused on rule of law reform and governance, primarily in West Africa and South Asia. From 2003 to 2007, Maru co-founded and co-directed the Sierra Leonean organization Timap for Justice, which has been recognized by the International Crisis Group, Transparency International, and President Jimmy Carter as a pioneering model for delivering justice. Maru was named an Ashoka Fellow in 2014 and a "legal rebel" by the American Bar Association in 2015. In 2016, Maru, Namati, and the Global Legal Empowerment Network received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. He received his J.D. from Yale University and A.B. from Harvard College.
Gustavo Maurino is the National Director of Access to Justice at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Argentina. Previously he was the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ), a NGO dedicated to furthering democratic practices and rule of law in Argentina to increase civic participation, eradicate discrimination, and enable marginalized communities to exercise their rights under law. He has served as the Director of the Public Interest Law Clinic at Palermo University, and a Professor at Law and Political Science and International Relationship departments at Universidad Torcuato Di Tella. Maurino has published articles on human rights and constitutional theory, social rights, access to justice, and democratic theory. He received his LL.B. from Córdoba National University and an LL.M. from the University of Palermo.
Samuel Nesner is a community organizer who lives and works in Haiti. From 2013 – 2017, he served as one of five lead organizers with the Kolektif Jistis Min (KJM), a coalition of Haitian social movement organizations that are monitoring the development of metal mining and supporting affected communities to know and defend their rights. KJM collaborates with the Global Justice Clinic (GJC) at NYU School of Law. Nesner’s work with KJM has taken him to Washington D.C. to meet with Congressional staffers and speak before members of Congress, to Guatemala and Costa Rica to build solidarity with Latin American anti-mining organizations, and to Ghana, where he participated in a GJC team mission to document human rights abuses in the context of gold mining. He is currently studying agronomy at Université Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince, and continues to contribute to KJM and to his home community in the rural Northwest Department of Haiti.
Ravi Ragbir is a nationally recognized immigrant rights activist and organizer who serves as the Executive Director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York, where he works directly with those who are facing deportation to empower them in the struggle to remain in the United States. He has trained numerous advocates from immigrant and allied organizations on the impact of immigration policies, on creating sanctuary spaces, and accompanying immigrants through the challenging deportation process. Ragbir and his team at New Sanctuary Coalition have developed a clinic that brings together unrepresented immigrants who are facing deportation with volunteers to assist in their court cases, and coordinates a large accompaniment program. He has testified before the New York City Council, presented at local and national conferences, and provides information on immigration to city and state agencies, and to consulates. Ragbir has first-hand knowledge of the deportation system because he is facing removal. He is fighting to remain here with his family, friends and supporters.
Brian Rawson is the Associate Director of Advocacy and Communications at Asylum Access, an organization committed to making human rights a reality for refugees through legal empowerment, policy reform, and global systems change. He works closely with staff from Africa, Asia, and Latin America to bring the story of Asylum Access to a broader audience. Rawson has extensive experience in policy advocacy, communications, and community engagement on issues pertaining to human rights, global health, and poverty relief. Previously he represented Nobel Peace Prize-awarded organization IPPNW at United Nations sessions on arms trafficking, and for more than a dozen years led grassroots advocacy mobilization for Oxfam America, helping to plan strategy for campaigns to reform U.S. foreign aid, improve corporate supply chain practices, and protect rights of small scale farmers and women. Rawson received a B.A. in Development Economics and International Development from Brown University.
Rebecca Sandefur is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also faculty fellow at the American Bar Foundation, where she founded and leads the Foundation’s access to justice research initiative. In 2013, she was the Hague Visiting Chair in the Rule of Law, affiliated with The Hague Institute for the Internationalization of Law. In 2015, she was named Champion of Justice by the National Center for Access to Justice. Sandefur’s research focuses on inequality, particularly as it relates to law, including the Roles Beyond Lawyers project, a study of emerging models that use trained nonlawyers to provide services traditionally available only from lawyers. Her scholarship includes investigations of work and inequality in the legal profession and other professional occupations, lawyers’ pro bono service and its contributions to legal aid, and studies of ordinary people’s experiences with common problems that could bring them into contact with the civil justice system. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Jayshree Satpute is the Director and Co-founder of Nazdeek, a legal empowerment organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India. She is also a human rights lawyer with extensive experience advocating at the Supreme Court of India and various High Courts. Her groundbreaking work has focused on the protection of people living in informal settlements, refugees, and marginalized women and children, among others. Previously, Satpute was the Director of Litigation at the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), India's largest public interest organization. She has been recognized by The Guardian (UK) as one of the “World’s Top 100 Inspiring Women” and was selected by the White Ribbon Alliance as one of seven young advocates from developing countries to attend the "Women: Inspiration & Enterprise" symposium. She received a LL.B. from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University College of Law, Nagpur and a LL.M. from City University London.
Margaret Satterthwaite is a Professor of Clinical Law, Faculty Director of the Robert L. Bernstein Institute for Human Rights, Faculty Director and Co-Chair of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice, and the Director of the Global Justice at NYU School of Law. Her research interests include economic and social rights, human rights and counterterrorism, methodological innovation in human rights, and vicarious trauma among human rights workers. Before joining the academy, she worked for a number of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights First, and the Commission Nationale de Verité et de Justice in Haiti. She has authored or co-authored more than a dozen human rights reports and dozens of scholarly articles and book chapters. Satterthwaite has worked as a consultant to numerous UN agencies and special rapporteurs and has served on the boards of several human rights organizations. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law.
Marta Schaaf is the Deputy Director of the Averting Maternal Death and Disability program at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. In this role, she develops program research and implementation to promote accountability for maternal and other health programs, including research examining the intersection of ICT, legal empowerment, social accountability, and access to health services. Previously, she managed pediatric HIV care and treatment and drug supply chain programs for the Clinton Foundation in several countries of West Africa. She has also conducted research and policy analysis and implemented programs on minority health, health and social exclusion, tuberculosis, and health systems for the World Lung Foundation, HealthRight, the Open Society Foundation, and the World Health Organization. Schaff has a Masters in international affairs and an MPH from Columbia University, and a B.A. from Smith College. She is currently pursuing a doctorate in public health at Columbia University.
Susan Turay is the Monitoring and Evaluations Manager at Access to Justice Law Center, an organization dedicated to the legal empowerment of marginalized communities in Sierra Leone. She joined the organization in 2006 as part of the inaugural batch of paralegals and has worked in varying positions for the last 12 years. Turay has gained expertise in using alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and negotiation procedures to address gender-based violence in remote communities in Sierra Leone. Previously, Turay worked as a Family Support Grant Officer with Action for Children in Conflict and a Nutrition Assessment Officer with Action Contra La Faim. She received her LL.B. at University of Makeni and diploma certificate in Paralegal Studies from University of Makeni.
Johanna von Braun is the Executive Director of Natural Justice, an organization that specializes in environmental and human rights law in Africa in pursuit of social and environmental justice. Her work has focused in the area of access and benefit sharing, sustainable finance, extractives, and infrastructure. Before joining Natural Justice, von Braun worked for the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development in Geneva, focusing on the interface between intellectual property rights and sustainable development. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of London; a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University; and a B.A. in Development Studies from the University of Sussex.
Jane Weru is a founder member and Executive Director of Akiba Mashinani Trust, a housing development and finance agency established by the Slum Dwellers Federation of Kenya. She is a lawyer whose early work focused on public interest litigation on behalf of poor communities threatened with forceful evictions and violent demolitions. Previously, she served as the Executive Director of Kituo Cha Sheria and of Pamoja Trust, and as a Team Leader for the Kenya Railway Relocation Action Plan for the Ministry of Transport and the World Bank. Weru is a Board Member of the Slum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI), an Ashoka Fellow, and a member of the National Task Force for the preparation of the Community Land Bill and the Evictions and Resettlement Bill. She received a Master’s in NGO Management from the London School of Economics.
Haya Zahid is the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Office (LAO), a quasi-government entity which provides legal aid services to pre-trial and under trial prisoners in the province of Sindh in Pakistan. LAO works across 21 prisons providing legal aid and empowerment support through legal literacy and convict-led paralegal programs. Zahid is also the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Society, an organization that seeks to enhance the legal empowerment of marginalized women, children and minorities through raising awareness, facilitation, capacity enhancement, and policy work. Her research interests include legal needs mapping, conflict configuration, and countering violent extremism inside prisons. Zahid is an Acumen Pakistan Fellow 2015 and an Australia Awards Fellow at the Australian National University 2017. She received her LL.B from the University College London in 2006 and completed the Bar Vocational Course from City Law School in 2009.