Amanda Rawls, Director of the Africa Division, joined ABA ROLI’s Africa Division in July 2013 to oversee ABA ROLI’s programs in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. From 2011–2013, Ms. Rawls worked as program advisor for the Carter Center’s access to justice program in Liberia, focusing on strengthening both statutory and customary justice systems through civic education, alternative dispute resolution, capacity building for traditional leaders and support to national law reform processes. Previously, she worked as a legal advisor to Liberia’s justice minister, and as policy director for the non-profit Touch Foundation in Tanzania. In addition, Ms. Rawls served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, working to promote girls’ education from 1999–2001. She holds an LL.M. degree in indigenous peoples’ law and policy from the University of Arizona, where she conducted research on natural resource exploitation and marginalized communities, and worked as a member of the support team for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples’ Rights. In addition, she holds a JD from the NYU School of Law and an M.Sc. in international development from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She speaks English and French and is admitted to the New York State Bar.
Diane Albrecht, Senior Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in April 2011. Previously, Ms. Albrecht implemented natural resource conservation and education projects in Benin with the U.S. Peace Corps. She holds a B.A. degree in international affairs, with dual concentrations in development and international economics from The George Washington University, where she also spent a semester studying Swahili language and culture in Kenya. Ms. Albrecht is fluent in French and currently works on programs in Mali, Guinea and the Central African Republic.
Kelvin Kabunga, Program Officer. Before joining ABA ROLI’s Africa Division in DC, Mr. Kabunga worked as a project director for ABA ROLI in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He has worked as a lawyer in the DRC for many years. Mr. Kabunga has worked with other international development organizations, such as Tetra Tech and Global Rights/Partners for Justice, on rule-of-law projects. He has also been a lecturer at the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs in the DRC. Mr. Kabunga has a bachelor and license degree in international public law from the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs. He speaks French, English, Swahili and Lingala.
Kristin Kirouac, Program Associate, joined ABA ROLI in April 2014. Ms. Kirouac works on rule of law programs in the Central African Republic, Mali and Sudan. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms. Kirouac worked as an assistant in the administrative and consular sections of the Consulate General of Canada in Boston and taught Business English in Moscow, Russia. She holds a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Maine and is fluent in French and Russian.
Timothy Meyer, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in Washington, DC, in January 2015 to manage justice support programs in Mali and the Central African Republic. Mr. Meyer previously worked for ABA ROLI in 2012 in Liberia, where he managed a program coordinating civil society groups to reduce instances of prolonged pre-trial detention. Prior to re-joining ABA ROLI, Mr. Meyer served, from 2013 through 2014, as a legal associate and program advisor for the Carter Center’s access to justice program in Liberia, where he focused on strengthening statutory and customary justice systems through civic education, alternative dispute resolution, civil society development, capacity building for traditional leaders and support to national law reform processes. Mr. Meyer holds a J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Law School and a B.A. degree in diplomacy and foreign affairs from Miami University in Ohio. In addition, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa, working to promote girls’ education and empower women from 2005–2007. Mr. Meyer speaks French and is admitted to the Illinois State Bar.
Paula Paixao, Senior Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in February 2012 to work on rule of law programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo and, more recently, in Mauritania. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms. Paixao worked for the legal departments of INTERPOL and UNESCO, practiced before labor courts in Brazil, advised high-ranking Brazilian government officials on foreign policy issues and volunteered for the University of Michigan Law School’s Human Trafficking Clinic. She holds a J.D. degree, cum laude, from the Universidade Federal do Amazonas in Brazil and an LL.M. degree in public international law from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in France. She is fluent in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish, and is admitted to the Brazilian Bar.
Rebecca Vernon, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI’s Asia Division as a Program Manager in June 2014 and transferred to the Africa Division in February 2016. She had previously served with the division as a legal fellow and consultant. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked for a government transparency academic research project and has held positions at PILnet, the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law and a large corporate law firm. She has also provided pro bono assistance to the ABA’s Center for Human Rights and the International Bar Association. She holds a J.D. degree with specialization in international legal affairs from Cornell Law School and a B.A. degree, cum laude, from Mount Holyoke College. Her work has been published inGovernment Information Quarterly, Pace Law Review, the International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law and the Federal Lawyer. She speaks French fluently.