Africa Division Staff

  • Staff by Location


Washington, D.C.

Maria Koulouris, Director of the Africa Division, joined ABA ROLI in March 2011. From 2004–2011, Ms. Koulouris worked at Global Rights where, in 2008, she designed an initiative on Natural Resources and Human Rights. As its director, she strengthened the capacity of civil society organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Guinea and Congo-Brazzaville to address economic and social injustice from a human rights perspective and to document the impact of industrial gold mining and oil exploitation on the rights to water, food, participation and information. She also worked on access to justice, women’s rights and land rights programming in DRC and Burundi. Previously, Ms. Koulouris worked in Croatia as a legal officer for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. She also documented war crimes and crimes against humanity in Chad on behalf of Human Rights Watch, which led to the indictment of the country’s former president Hissène Habré by Belgian authorities in 2005. She holds a LL.B in law from the Université de Montréal in Québec, Canada, as well as an LL.M. in law from Columbia University in New York, where she was also a human rights fellow. Maria is a member of the Québec Bar Association. She is fluent in English and French, and speaks Greek and Spanish. You can contact her at

Diane Albrecht, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in April 2011. She currently supports programs combating gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced servitude in Mali. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she implemented natural resource conservation and education projects in Benin with the U.S. Peace Corps. She holds a B.A. in international affairs with concentrations in international economics and development from The George Washington University, and she spent a semester studying Swahili in Kenya. Diane is fluent in French. You can contact Diane Albrecht at

Kelvin Kabunga, Program Associate. 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. You can contact him at

Kristin Kirouac, Administrative Assistant, joined ABA ROLI in April 2014. Previously, Ms. Kirouac worked as an assistant in the administrative and consular sections of the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, and provided research and client services at the State of Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection. She holds a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Maine. Having lived in Canada and Russia, Ms. Kirouac is fluent in French and has basic proficiency in Russian. You can contact Kristin Kirouac at


Adam Nord, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in August 2013, bringing years of experience working on human rights and rule-of-law issues. Most recently, Mr. Nord worked as the advocacy director at International Justice Resource Center in support of advocacy efforts by grassroots organizations before the United Nations Human Rights Council and the African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights. Previously, he was the lobbying and engagement manager at CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, where he sought to influence high-level decision makers with local voices from civil society. Mr. Nord has also worked with legal assistance organizations at the national level to defend the rights of individuals in Sri Lanka, Israel and Palestine. Mr. Nord holds a J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and is a member of the State Bar of New York.

Maggie Nyce, Program Associate, joined ABA ROLI’s Africa Division in August 2012 after working as a development associate for a refugee resettlement center in Baltimore, MD. Currently, she provides support to ABA ROLI’s programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She holds a B.A. degree in modern Middle East studies with minors in French and economics from the University of Pennsylvania. You can contact Maggie Nyce at


Paula Paixao, Senior Program Officer, joined the Africa Division in February 2012. 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 Human Trafficking Clinic. She holds a J.D. cum laude from the Universidade Federal do Amazonas in Brazil, and an L.L.M in Public International Law from the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in France. She is fluent in Portuguese, English, and French and speaks intermediate Spanish. You can contact her at


Amanda Rawls, Senior Program Manager, 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. You can contact Amanda Rawls at

Central African Republic

Jean Lavoie,  Regional Program Director for the African Center for Justice (ACJ), Jean Lavoie brings decades of development experience in Africa, including several years as Director of the Governance Program with UNDP in the Democratic Republic of Congo and as Chief of Party for the Burundi Policy Reform Project with USAID and Chemonics. During his service as Senior Advisor to the Quebec Minister of Justice and Intergovernmental Affairs,  Jean promoted internal and external communication between all branches of government, and helped parties reach consensus on sensitive political, economic, social and environmental issues. From his work in numerous countries, both within Africa and globally, Jean has a thorough understanding of policymaking procedures and comparative models of policies, laws and regulations. His academic background is in political science and constitutional, administrative and public international law. You can contact Mr. Lavoie at


 Richard Malengule, Country Director, is a human rights lawyer and international development professional. He joined the ABA in 2012 as the Director of a Women’s Justice and Empowerment Program in North Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he worked to strengthen local capacity to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the region. In DRC, Mr. Malengule oversaw the operation of legal aid clinics, support for mobile investigation teams, and trainings of justice sector officials - work that he now implements in the Central African Republic. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Mr. Malengule served as the Project Director of HEAL Africa’s USHINDI program assisting SGBV survivors in North Kivu. Mr. Malengule has also conducted extensive research on socio-cultural barriers to access to justice for SGBV survivors and attitudes and practices related to gender and HIV/AIDS in eastern Congo. Mr. Malengule is fluent in English and French and holds a post-graduate degrees in International Public Law and in Community Care. You can contact Mr. Malengule at  


Democratic Republic of Congo

Charles Guy Makongo, Country Director, became the DRC Country Director in February 2010. From June 2009 through January 2010, Mr. Makongo served as the director to ABA ROLI’s Dutch Embassy-funded program in Maniema province to combat sexual and gender-based violence. Mr. Makongo graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Yaoundé, Cameroon with a B.A. in Law. He obtained his M.A. in international relations and international disputes from the International Relations Institute of Cameroon. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Mr. Makongo worked for a number of international organizations, including a SightFirst Project, funded by the Lions Club International Foundation. He was also a project manager and national expert under the sphere of European Union-Cameroon Cooperation and the PACDET human rights pilot project. You can contact Guy Makongo at

Guy Mathe Kambale, Acting Project Director, currently oversees ABA ROLI’s Dutch Embassy-funded program in Maniema Province. Prior to this, he supported ABA ROLI's legal aid clinic in Goma as a staff attorney where he served as a liaison between the legal aid clinic, the police and the Prosecutor's Office. Prior to working with ABA ROLI, Mr. Kambale worked as an attorney presenting cases before the Court of Appeals in Goma and as an assistant teacher at the University of Goma. You can contact Guy Mathe Kambale at

Amani Kahatwa Mireille, Project Director, works with ABA ROLI in Goma, where she heads a USAID-funded program known as USHINDI. Ms. Amani received her law degree at Kisangani University and is currently studying to obtain her L.L.M. in international law. She is a member of the North Kivu Bar Association and has prosecuted gender-based violence cases in Goma. From July 2009 to August 2010, she also served as the project director for ABA ROLI’s MacArthur-funded program in Butembo. Prior to this position, Ms. Mireille worked with ABA ROLI as its legal clinic director in Goma. You can contact Amani Mireille at

Robert Simueray, Project Director, supports the efforts of ABA ROLI’s programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Simueray has worked for the Committee of Observers of Human Rights for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He also has experience presenting cases to the Court of Appeals in Goma. Mr. Simueray was awarded his law degree from the University of Kinshasa. You can contact Robert Simueray at



Axel Etoundi, Project Director, joined ABA ROLI’s Africa Division in July 2013 to implement the women’s rights program in Guinea. Mr. Etoundi has nearly 10 years of experience implementing rule of law and human rights programs across Africa. He has recently worked with the United Nations Development Program in Madagascar, where he implemented a program that supported human rights, gender non-discrimination and access to justice. Prior to holding this position, Mr. Etoundi was a visiting professional at the International Criminal Court (ICC) Department for Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation, where he analyzed the admissibility of cases filed before the ICC. Mr. Etoundi also worked at the Humanus Foundation in Cameroon, where he ran field programs and research related to democracy, governance and political participation. He is a native French speaker and fluent in English. Mr. Etoundi holds a LL.M. degree in international and European human rights law and an M.A. degree in public law.


Olivier Kambala wa Kambala, Project Director, is a human rights lawyer and international development professional with a focus on transitional justice, especially in post-conflict settings. He has worked for programs to prevent and combat mass atrocities, notably through campaigns in Central Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Togo, Mauritania, Burundi, Tunisia and Namibia. Mr. Kambala has worked for international organizations including the International Center for Transitional Justice and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. His expertise on international criminal justice is highlighted by his regular contributions to legal publications, including his case studies of International Criminal Court adjudications. Mr. Kambala recently managed a project to enhance stability in the Sahel region, including in northern Mali and Niger. Mr. Kambala is fluent in English and French and holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Kinshasa, as well as diplomas in transitional justice and post-conflict peace building.

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