Africa Division Staff

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Washington, D.C.


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 QuarterlyPace Law Reviewthe International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law and the Federal Lawyer. She speaks French fluently.


Central Africa Regional Program


Louis-Marie Nindorera, Program Director, is an international development professional with over twenty years of experience promoting the rule of law and access to justice in Burundi. He served as the Country Director for Global Rights for more than a decade, where he oversaw programming on land rights, compliance with international criminal law, and truth and reconciliation.  He also led two Burundi-based human rights groups, the Burundian Human Rights League and Projet de Renforcement Organisationnel des Associations de Droits Humains. He has spoken and written extensively on the topics of transitional justice and land rights in Burundi and served on the Human Rights Watch Africa Advisory Committee.  He holds a degree from the University of Burundi and speaks French, English, Kirundi, and Swahili.

 

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. 

Central African Republic


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. 

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. 

Guinea


Aimé Raphaël Haba, Country Director, is a human rights lawyer and international development professional. He joined ABA ROLI in 2013 as the Program Officer of our USAID-funded program to provide legal assistance to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Prior to his work with ABA ROLI, Mr. Haba worked with Lawyers Without Boarders-Guinea and several other human rights civil society organizations in Guinea, where he worked to provide access to justice and legal assistance  to women, girls and vulnerable populations. Mr. Haba is specialized in the training and supervision of paralegal networks and community development. Additionally, Mr. Haba co-runs an access to justice civil society group that meets monthly in Conakry. Mr. Haba holds degrees in law with a focus on public rights as well as political philosophy from the University of  Nasser in Guinea and the University of Saint Pierre of Canisius in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  

Mali


Lury Nkouessom, Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in 2016 after serving as a Project Coordinator for the Carter Center in Liberia, where he managed access to justice programming that provided community-based paralegal and public education. In that role, he worked with traditional leaders to provide justice education and legal advisory services to underserved and marginalized communities. Prior to joining the Carter Center, he was a Legal Officer with the United Nations Mission in Liberia, where he monitored and advised on more than 500 criminal cases, including high profile cases involving government officials.  He holds a law degree and master’s degrees in international relations and international cooperation and humanitarian aid.  He speaks French and English.

Mauritania


Axel Etoundi , Project Director, is a lawyer originally from Cameroon with more than 10 years of experience implementing access to justice and human rights programs in Africa. From 2013 until June 2015, he managed ABA ROLI’s program in Guinea to build the capacity of civil society organizations to promote women’s rights through legal aid, strategic litigation, and human rights monitoring and reporting. Prior to that, Mr. Etoundi worked with UNDP to implement an access to justice and gender program in Madagascar, where he worked closely with and provided technical support to the justice sector. He was also a visiting professional at the ICC in The Hague and worked as the executive director of the human rights non-governmental organization Humanus Foundation in Cameroon. Mr. Etoundi holds an LL.M. degree focused on human rights from the University of Nantes and an M.A. degree in international affairs and diplomacy from the University of Lyon, France. He is fluent in English and French.

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