Europe & Eurasia Staff

  • Staff by Location


Washington, DC

Alexandra (Sasha) Belenkaya, Director, Europe and Eurasia Division, joined ABA ROLI in March 2012. Belenkaya comes with 16 years of experience designing and managing donor funded programs in  democracy and governance and rule of law, health, and private sector development and economic growth. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she managed international development projects and led business development efforts at Booz Allen Hamilton and Chemonics International. Bringing her technical expertise in institutional strengthening and organizational capacity building, she has worked to support capacity building of partner organizations in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, South East Asia, and Africa in strategic planning, organizational management, fund-raising, and monitoring and evaluation. In her current role at ABA ROLI, Belenkaya helps design and oversees implementation of legal reform and access to justice programs in the countries of Europe & Eurasia funded by USAID, State Department, foreign governments and private donors. She holds an M.A. degree in Slavic studies from Florida State University and a change management practitioner certificate from Georgetown University. Belenkaya is a native Russian speaker. 

Brian Afeltra, Program Associate, joined the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in June 2014 and supports programming in the Central Asian republics. After beginning his tenure at ABA ROLI as an International Support Associate, he transferred to the Europe & Eurasia team in June 2015. Afeltra previously worked at the American Wind Energy Association and interned with the United Nations Foundation and Sister Cities International. He graduated with a B.A. in international studies from American University’s School of International Service in May 2013. 

Ryder Cobean, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in July 2013 and supports programming in Moldova and Russia. He previously worked at IREX, where he managed virtual educational exchanges between United States high school students and their peers in Kyrgyzstan, Vietnam and the Philippines, and supported media sector development in Georgia. Prior to IREX, Cobean served in the United States Peace Corps in Georgia, where he advised school administrators on grading reform, designed and facilitated open source software trainings and extended a leadership program for girls into the country’s ethnic minority regions. Cobean graduated from the University of Arizona in 2007 with a B.A. degree in Russian & Slavic studies and political science, and speaks Russian, Georgian and Armenian.

Nolen Deibert, Program Officer, joined the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in February 2016 and supports programming in the Central Asian republics. Deibert previously worked at IREX, supporting public access to information programming in Kazakhstan, Georgia, Nigeria and Bangladesh. He has also supported telecommunication advocacy with the U.S. government at Motorola and democracy and governance programming in the Balkans at the National Democratic Institute. He has also lived and worked in China and South Korea and speaks French and Mandarin Chinese. Deibert holds an M.A. degree in international affairs with a concentration in Asian studies from George Washington University and a B.A. degree in English literature from the Catholic University of America.

Andrea (Andi) Grote, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in August 2011 and supports technical assistance programming in the Central Asian republics. Grote has six years of project management and development experience in democracy and governance, institution building and rule of law from her work at ABA ROLI and experiences at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the German Marshall Fund and the Woodrow Wilson Center. She holds an M.A. degree in European and Eurasian studies from the Elliott School for International Affairs at The George Washington University, where she concentrated on post-conflict state-building and helped found a regionally-focused student organization, and a B.A. degree in international studies from the University of California, San Diego, where she also studied in Lancaster, England, and Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

April Hewko, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in June 2012 and supports programming in Armenia, Georgia and Russia. She previously worked as the Program Associate for her current portfolio and as the administrative assistant for the Europe and Eurasia division. Hewko interned at Amnesty International U.S.A. in the Advocacy Policy and Research Department, working with the Science for Human Rights Project. She also worked as an intern in the Florida House of Representatives and spent time in South Africa supporting marine and great white shark research projects. Hewko is a graduate of Florida State University, where she majored in international affairs, with concentrated studies in political science, anthropology and human rights.

Kristi Kontak, Senior Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI’s Europe and Eurasia Division in June 2010 and supports programming in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova. She previously worked as an intern for the Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan portfolio. Kontak holds a J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center, where she was a student attorney in the school’s Immigration Clinic and president of the Human Rights Alliance. During her third year of law school, she attended American University Washington College of Law to focus her studies on international law and human rights with an emphasis on women’s rights. She also interned with Aequitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource for Violence Against Women and with Aid to Victims of Domestic Abuse. She holds a B.A. degree in psychology and German from Agnes Scott College. 

Ashley Martin, Senior Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in November 2010 and manages the Europe and Eurasia Division’s Balkans and Roma Rights programs. After earning her B.A. in international/Russian studies from the College of William and Mary, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Far Eastern Russia and then worked for Chemonics International, managing projects in Russia, Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans. She earned her J.D. from Vermont Law School and is licensed to practice law in Virginia. Martin came to ABA ROLI from a clerkship with Judge Kathryn A. Oberly at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. 

Irina Parshikova, Senior Advisor, joined ABA ROLI in October 2005 and oversees the Europe and Eurasia Division’s programs in the Caucasus, Ukraine and Moldova. Most recently, she has worked in our Georgia field office as the regional operations director. Parshikova has also worked on ABA ROLI’s Central Asia portfolio and the Balkans. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked with a United Nations Development Program governance project in Sierra Leone, was a lawyer with a human rights organization in Russia and was the director of a legal education program in Russia. She holds an M.P.A. from Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Oregon and a degree in jurisprudence from Syktyvkar State University in Russia. 

Denise Shelton, Administrative Assistant, Europe and Eurasia Division, joined ABA ROLI in August 2016 as an administrative assistant supporting the Africa and Europe and Eurasia Divisions. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked for Kelly Services and Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in Baltimore, Maryland as a project coordinator. In her role, she successfully recruited candidates for open departmental positions and served as chair of the Interview Panel Committee assisting with writing the departmental dress code and alternative work schedule policy, organized training events and office moves, trained new staff on SAP financial reporting systems and handled departmental payroll functions. Shelton also worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an office manager and marketing assistant overseeing the day-to-day functions of the local office.

Zlata Unerkova, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in June 2014 and supports programming on the Balkans portfolio. Prior to joining ABA ROLI full time, she served as a temporary program associate, supporting programs in the Balkans. Before joining ABA ROLI, Unerkova worked at the Advisory Council for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the United Macedonian Diaspora in Washington, D.C., advocating on human rights, democratic capacity building and transitional justice issues in the Balkans. Unerkova leverages her past experience working on good governance  and democratic capacity building in the field, including working in the cabinet of the president of the Republic of Macedonia, the cabinet of the deputy prime minister for European Affairs, the USAID/Booz Allen Hamilton “Business Environment Activity” office in Macedonia and the Macedonia-based Association for Development Initiatives – Zenith, to successfully implement ABA ROLI’s Balkan programming from the home office in Washington, D.C. Unerkova received her bachelor of arts in government from St. Lawrence. She speaks Macedonian, English, Spanish, Bosnian and Serbo-Croatian. 


Hasmik Hakobyan, Deputy Country Director for Armenia, has worked in a variety of capacities in Armenia since joining ABA ROLI in 2001. Hakobyan has been heavily involved in the creation of the Public Defender’s Office of the Chamber of Advocates, criminal law reform issues, advocacy skills training, the General Meeting of Advocates in 2005, and the qualification examination for advocates in 2006. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Hakobyan was a member of the Collegium of Advocates of Armenia providing defense counsel in criminal and civil cases. She served for two years as a civic education program fellow, providing professional skills to students using interactive teaching methods.From 1998 to 2000, she worked with a USAID-funded land registration and titling program in Armenia. Hakobyan graduated from Yerevan State University Law Faculty and received her LL.M. from American University of Armenia. 

Sofya Mkhitaryan, Senior Field Finance Manager, joined ABA ROLI as an office manager in April 2000. After graduating from the State Pedagogical University of Foreign Languages in 1985, Mkhitaryan served as the deputy director of a secondary school. She has worked with the following international organizations since 1989: Gyulbenkyan Foundation, Switzerland, CEC-TACIS/BCEOM, France, and EBRD/Lahmeyer International, Germany; she has also served as a program specialist with USAID/Hagler Bailly. She earned a law degree from Galik University in August 2003. 

Yelena Yarmaloyan, Criminal Law Program Assistant, joined ABA ROLI in 2013. After having obtained her second M.A. degree in English for specific purposes in France at “ENS de Cachan and Paris Diderot”, she enhanced her knowledge and skills in legal English. Besides the organizational work at the office, she has been doing oral and written translations for the office, including European Court of Human Rights cases, contracts, official documents, etc. She has been teaching legal and business English at French University in Armenia since 2014 and has also been doing freelance translations since 2011.


David Rubino, Regional Director, Georgia and Tajikistan, has worked with ABA ROLI in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Morocco as a country director and rule-of-law specialist. He has nearly 20 years of experience practicing law, primarily in complex litigation defending clients in malpractice, products liability and toxic tort cases. He was most recently the coordinating counsel for Demos’ Ideal Elections Team in New York. Rubino has a B.A. degree in arts and English from Tufts University and a J.D. degree from the Fordham University Law School. Rubino speaks English and Azerbaijani and has basic Italian-language skills.

Tea Chelidze, Field Financial Manager/ Office Manager, joined ABA ROLI in July 2004 as the office manager after providing administrative and translation support to several companies in Georgia. In 2009, she became the field financial manager. Chelidze graduated from Ilia Chavchavdze State University of Western Languages and Culture and holds a degree in business administration from the Caucasus Academic Centre. Chelidze speaks Georgian, English, Russian and Spanish. 

Ana Loria, Senior Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in June 2010. She is a member of the Georgian Bar Association, with a license in general specialization (civil, administrative and criminal law). Loria has worked as the executive director at the Centre for Protection of Constitutional Rights. Loria holds an LL.B. degree from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. From 2005–2006, she studied business communications at Harvard University Extension School in the United States. She speaks Georgian, English and Russian. Her permanent home is in Tbilisi, Georgia. 

Mamuka Mamatsashvili, Deputy Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in 2002. Before joining the ABA ROLI, Mamatsashvili worked in the Inspector General’s Office of the Ministry of Tax Incomes, where he worked on investigating disciplinary matters and other misconducts of ministry employees at the Tax Department, Custom Department and Financial Police. Prior to that, Mamatsashvili worked in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MOIA). While at the MOIA, he served as a senior inspector in the National Anti-Drug Trafficking and Anti-Narcotics Bureau, and later he was responsible for the movement and transportation of former president Eduard Shevardnadze. Mamatsashvili has an LL.M. degree from Tbilisi State University. 

Medea Matiashvili, Senior Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in September 2005 as a street law intern and works on criminal law programs. Matiashvili has worked as a junior staff attorney and a staff attorney before she was promoted to senior staff attorney. She developed and implemented the street law program in Georgia, coordinated Georgian Law Students Association’s activities and implemented other legal education projects. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Matiashvili was the deputy chair of the Georgian Law Students’ Association. Matiashvili holds an M.A. degree in law from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. She also studied at Budapest Business School’s department of international management and business in Hungary from 2003–2004 as a Socrates/Erasmus exchange program student. Matiashvili is currently a Ph.D. candidate and an adjunct faculty at Tbilisi State University’s Department of Law. She is also a member of a legal history research institute at Tbilisi State University.  Matiashvili was admitted to the Criminal Law Bar in 2007. 


Sholpan Tashmukhambetova, Country Director for Kazakhstan, joined ABA ROLI’s office in Astana in June 2012. Tashmukhambetova holds a law degree from Karaganda State University and a Ph.D. degree in law from the Institute of State and Law of Kazakh National Academy of Sciences. Tashmukhambetova comes with 22 years of experience working for state organizations and international projects. She served as deputy director of the Research Institute of Private Law of Kazakh State Law Academy and as senior lawyer/expert of the Legislation Institute of the Ministry of Justice of Kazakhstan. Previously, she held positions including as director for business development, government and public relations and as deputy chief of party for various USAID projects within the judicial sector. In addition, Tashmukhambetova was served as an expert in an EU project supporting judicial and legal reform in Kazakhstan. Tashmukhambetova speaks Russian and English. 

Aizhan Almussina, Program Assistant, joined ABA ROLI in February 2015. Before joining ABA ROLI, she worked in the Department for International Cooperation of the Prosecutor General’s Office. She also worked in the Department of Public Monitoring at the National Chamber of Entrepreneurs. In 2011, Almussina graduated from E.A. Buketov Karaganda State University with a bachelor’s degree in international law. Almussina speaks Russian and English. 

Liana Kravets, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in September 2013. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she provided administrative assistance to a European Union project to support judicial and legal reform in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kravets graduated from L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University with a bachelor’s degree in international law. She is currently a second-year LL.M. student of international law at the Kazakh University of the Humanities and Law. Kravets speaks Russian and English.

Inna Kuznetsova, Field Finance Manager, joined ABA ROLI’s Astana office in June 2012. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Kuznetsova worked as financial manager/office manager at a European Union project supporting judicial and legal reform in the Republic of Kazakhstan. She has worked with European Union projects since 2005, including supporting Kazakhstan’s accession to the World Trade Organization. She has also served as a chief expert of Information Centre on TBT/SPS with the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Kuznetsova holds a degree in English from the Eurasian National University’s Foreign Languages Department, and certificate in accounting. She speaks Russian and English. 

Anastassiya Sokolova, Judicial Reform Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI’s Kazakhstan office in May 2010. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Sokolova worked as a translator at a local pharmaceutical company. She is a graduate of Almaty Humanity and Economic Institute, where she earned a B.A. degree in both English and French. In December 2012, Sokolova obtained a law degree from Saint-Petersburg University of Humanities and Social Sciences. She speaks Russian, English, French and basic Kazakh. 


Azamat Kerimbaev, Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in May 1999 after working at the Kyrgyz Embassy in Washington, D.C., and in the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Kerimbaev is responsible for the day-to-day management, personnel and financial, of ABA ROLI’s two offices in Kyrgyzstan. During his ten-year tenure with ABA ROLI, he has been involved in a number of programs, including: legal resource center development; legislative drafting assistance and the provision of technical assistance on constitutional reform; drafting and implementing the 2003 judicial reform, the 2004 legal profession reform and the 2007 prosecutorial reform indexes for Kyrgyzstan; the production of educational manuals for universities on legal ethics and advocacy skills; and a variety of criminal justice reform and anti-corruption programs. A native of Bishkek, Kerimbaev holds a law degree from Kyrgyz State University and a degree in international relations from Kyrgyz Diplomatic Academy. 

Nurlan Abdyldaev, Senior Staff Attorney, is a licensed advocate and has trained advocates, law students, judges and prosecutors in various substantive legal topics and skills development. Prior to his work with ABA ROLI, Abdyldaev served as deputy head of the External Labor Migration Unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also worked at the Adilet Legal Clinic helping law students at various universities obtain practical skills through workshops and seminars. Abdyldaev has written articles for legal publications and participated as an independent expert in workshops, round tables and trainings, including those sponsored by international organizations. Abdyldaev is a graduate of the Russian State Humanitarian University and the Kyrgyz State National University. He speaks Russian and Kyrgyz and has a basic knowledge of English.

Ulan Aralbaev, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in January 2007, where he supports ABA ROLI’s Bishkek office. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Aralbaev worked as a project officer for the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and as an English language instructor for the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University and Kyrgyz State Architectural University. 

Aiaz Baetov, Regional Program Coordinator, joined ABA ROLI in October 2014 after previously working as an ABA ROLI staff attorney in 2008 and 2011. Baetov leads the implementation of ABA ROLI’s INL-funded regional court monitoring program, coordinating activities across ABA ROLI’s three offices in Bishkek, Astana and Dushanbe. Baetov received his PhD in law in 2009 from Kyrgyz National University in Bishkek and his master’s degree in public policy in 2011 from the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. Baetov also teaches international public law courses as a part-time associate professor at the American University of Central Asia. Previously he served as a head of the International Law Department of the Constitutional Chamber and with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a senior diplomat. While working for the Constitutional Chamber, Baetov coordinated the cooperation between state organs and international organizations, represented the Kyrgyz Republic to the Joint Council of Constitutional Justice of the Venice Commission and contributed to drafting the Constitutional Chamber’s decisions (legal expertise and consultations). As a senior diplomat, Baetov served as a desk-officer and coordinated the cooperation with Western European countries (including the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Swiss Confederation and Austria), supervised the logistical organization for the official visit of the president of Austria to the Kyrgyz Republic in 2013 and served as a member of inter-government (Swiss-Kyrgyz) trade commission. 

Asel Djamankulova, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in June 2010. After graduating from the Law Department of American University in Central Asia in 2007, she practiced in the areas of international human rights and juvenile justice. Dzhamankulova worked at Public Foundation’s advocates’ training and legal centers. She has been a licensed advocate in Kyrgyzstan since October 2009. 

Albina Kozhontaeva, Field Finance Manager and Coordinator, coordinates ABA ROLI’s street law program both in secular schools and madrassas and is in charge of field finance management. Kozhontaeva joined ABA ROLI’s Osh office in January 2001 after working in communications. She has also served as an interpreter for the Foundation for Tolerance International and the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe. 

Asanov Seitek, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in January 2015 to work on a regional court monitoring program. After graduating from the law school of Kyrgyz National University (KNU) in 2006, he worked as a lecturer in KNU, as a senior attorney in the open joint-stock company Uchkun and served as a senior attorney in the ATO-Finance Group LLC. 

Madina Talatbekova, Deputy Field Finance Manager, joined ABA ROLI in February 2005 and is responsible for the financial management and administration of the Bishkek office’s day-to-day operations. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked as a finance officer for Every Child (UK) and Save the Children (UK), and as a marketing and credit specialist for Demir Bank. She holds a degree in English from Osh State University and a degree in finance and credit from Kyrgyz State National University. 


Elizabeth Givens, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in September 2011. Givens is a litigator who has practiced in both criminal and civil courts in California. She tried criminal cases for five years as a public defender before switching to civil litigation. Givens was a member of a Los Angeles firm that specialized in business torts, real estate and products liability cases. She also has experience working in the area of legal reform. Before becoming a litigator, she staffed a committee commissioned by the California Chief Justice to rewrite criminal jury instructions for use across the state. Givens graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a dual degree in Economics (B.S., Wharton) and History (B.A., College of Arts and Sciences). She was awarded her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley. Givens is a member of the California bar and is admitted to practice in the Central and Eastern districts in California. She makes her permanent home in Los Angeles. 

Vesna Kardalevska, Regional Coordinator, joined ABA ROLI in September 2016. Kardalevska has 15 years of experience in designing, planning and managing donor-funded international development projects and grants in Southeast European transition countries. She is a performance improvement professional and project manager with knowledge and experience in overall organizational performance assessment, root cause analysis, design and implementation of organizational performance improvement solutions, as well as in proposal writing and bidding procedures, and entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises development in transition countries, with specific focus on women and youth entrepreneurship. Kardalevska is excellent in personal and professional communications and has strong presentation, analytical and synthesizing skills. She is a coach for personal and professional development and her specific competences include: project cycle management, processes optimization and improvement, strategic planning, personnel professional development systems, performance management systems (balanced scorecard), volunteer management structure, team management and motivation, networking, client relationship management, coaching, facilitating and training. 

Katerina Nikolova, Field Financial Manager, joined ABA ROLI in 2014. Nikolova oversees grant compliance and all sub-grant financial compliance for several multi-year, multi-million ABA ROLI grants for the Macedonia office. She has 10 years of experience in the area of finance, procurement and administration, including managing sub-grants for U.S. government-funded regional multi-year, multi-state regional programs. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked for Tetra Tech DPK where she worked on U.S. Agency for International Development financial compliance for eight years. Nikolova graduated with a degree in economics, focused in financial management, from St. Cyril and Methodius University, in Skopje, Macedonia.


Mihaela Vidaicu, Deputy Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in 2008. She holds a Ph.D. in criminal law from Moldova State University. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she was selected by the Public Interest Law Institute (currently the Global Network for Public Interest Law) as local coordinator for a two-year project on Promoting Sustainable Reforms in Higher Legal Education at Moldova State University. She also coordinated the activity of the English Department within the Law Faculty and assisted American law professors on Fulbright program in Moldova. Vidaicu completed the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Fellowship Program implemented by the Curriculum Resource Canter of the Central European University (Budapest). She is a member of the Analytical Group on Criminal Justice System Reform, created and supported by Soros Foundation Moldova as the first criminal justice think tank in the country. Vidaicu assisted the International Commission of Jurists mission to assess the factors impeding the effective functioning of the judiciary, in particular disciplinary rules and mechanisms of enforcement for judicial misconduct, and was involved in the OSCE/ODIHR project on prosecution office reform. Since 2003, she has been teaching course on criminal law and European criminal law at Moldova State University. 

Olimpia Gribincea, Senior Legal Adviser, joined ABA ROLI in 2005. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms Gribincea worked for three years as a legal adviser to the Governmental Agent Department of the Moldovan Ministry of Justice. In that capacity, she was doing legislative research, analysis of the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECtHR’s) jurisprudence and collecting the necessary materials and evidence to draft the observations or other relevant submissions of the Government to the ECtHR. In 2010, within the framework of an OSCE/ODIHR project on prosecution office reform, Gribincea—jointly with a prosecutor from Canada and a law professor from Moldova—did the Assessment Report on Superior Council of Prosecutors. Ms Gribincea is also a member of the Criminal Justice Analytic Group created by Soros Foundation Moldova in 2009 that participated in carrying out the first Victimization and Public Confidence Survey in the country, producing a detailed report on arrests and Moldovan criminal procedure. Since 2010, Gribincea has been a member of the Human Rights Resource Group, an informal coalition of human rights activists who monitor, document and report human rights violations and undertake advocacy efforts. Ms Gribincea graduated from Moldova State University. 

Iuliana Marcinschi, Program Coordinator, joined ABA ROLI in April 2013 and is in charge of the National Partnership for Equal Rights Program. She previously worked for the United Nations Development Program as a human rights consultant in support of the Decentralization Reform in the Republic of Moldova. Her background involves coordinating the Non-Discrimination Coalition and promoting the adoption of Law on Ensuring Equality. She holds a degree in economics from the Academy of Economic Studies of the Republic of Moldova. 

Ion Miron, Office Manager/Field Financial Manager, joined ABA ROLI in February 2008. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, he worked as project assistant with several donor-funded projects implemented in the social/health and economic sectors of Moldova. He holds a bachelor’s degree in humanities from the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and an M.B.A. from the Technical University of Moldova in cooperation with Ghent University, Belgium. He is fluent in English, Finnish and Russian. 

Alina Secrieru, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in November 2012 as legal assistant. Since March 2013, she has been serving as the staff attorney, managing and coordinating the anti-corruption initiative within our Criminal Law Reform Program. She provides expertise in different areas of criminal law, anti-corruption and integrity of justice actors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international law from the State University of Moldova and an LL.M. degree in European law from the College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. Previously, she worked for three OSCE/ODIHR election missions to Moldova, as senior media analyst and media monitor. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. 


David Rubino, Regional Director, Tajikistan and Georgia , has worked with ABA ROLI in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Morocco as a country director and rule-of-law specialist. He has nearly 20 years of experience practicing law, primarily in complex litigation defending clients in malpractice, products liability and toxic tort cases. He was most recently the coordinating counsel for Demos’ Ideal Elections Team in New York. Rubino has a B.A. degree in arts and English from Tufts University and a J.D. degree from the Fordham University Law School. Rubino speaks English and Azerbaijani and has basic Italian-language skills.

Khisrav Kholov, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in October 2014. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Kholov worked on different programmatic positions in a number of international organizations in Tajikistan, including with UNHCR, UNDP, Swiss Cooperation Office in Tajikistan, Act Central Asia (Christian Aid) and the Danish Refugee Council. With a genuine interest in human rights, he got his law degree from Tajik State National University’s law faculty and did his postgraduate studies at the University of Essex in the U.K. from 2012–2013. Kholov’s previous experience was mostly in such areas as rule of law, continuing education of judges and lawyers, free legal aid, disaster risk reduction and climate change in both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. 

Djamshed Khudonazarov, Office Manager, began his career with ABA ROLI as a driver and assistant when the Dushanbe office first opened in 1997. In 2003, he was promoted to office manager, which requires him to be involved in a variety of administrative and programmatic activities. 

Bakhtiyor Mirzohayotov, Field Finance Manager, joined ABA ROLI in July 2007 and is responsible for financial operations of ABA ROLI’s office in Tajikistan. He graduated from the Tajik State University of Commerce, World Economy and Law Faculty in 2004. He began his career as an assistant accountant at a local private company. Later, he served as a loan officer for a Tajik project focused on micro and small loans, where he conducted financial marketing and analysis, and negotiated terms of a credit and management of repayment of loans. Mirzohayotov also worked for the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection’s Department of Environmental Policy as a senior staff analyst. He is currently a graduate student at Tajik State University of Commerce, where he is specializing in national economy management and is writing his thesis on economic risk management of entrepreneurial activities of trade enterprises. 

Larisa Petrosyan, Deputy Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in September 1997 and has worked in a variety of capacities, both administrative and programmatic. In 2011, Petrosyan was promoted to serve as deputy country director and is responsible for supervisory oversight of all programs and activities. She is also involved in financial oversight of programs and she contributes to program development, implementation and reporting for all ABA ROLI activities in Tajikistan. In her years with ABA ROLI, Petrosyan has lent her talent and skills to programs in a variety of fields, including criminal law reform, gender rights, anti-human trafficking, judicial reform, legal profession reform and legal education. She graduated from the Tajik State Pedagogical University’s Foreign Language Faculty in 1996, and obtained her law degree from the Tajik State University in 2007. 

Firuz Sattorov, Senior Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in June 2013. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Sattorov worked as a senior legal expert for various international and non-governmental organizations, including EWMI, UNODC, UNIFEM, EU, UNFPA, DRC, UNAIDS, ILO, IOM, WB, IFC, OSI and HRC. He is the author and co-author of several academic publications, books, manuals, instructions, brochures, drafts of laws, governmental action plans, national strategies, educational programs and many more different legal and social analyses. Sattorov graduated from the Law School of Tajik State University in 1999 and worked there as teacher for 10 years, gaining extensive teaching and research experience. Sattorov also studied at the University of Minnesota Law School as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow in 2008–2009. 

Malika Sohibnazarova, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in February 2009. She has since worked primarily on ABA ROLI’s gender rights programs. She has served as a trainer and published articles on gender rights issues in Tajikistan. She has a law degree from Tajik National State University’s International Law Department. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Sohibnazarova’s work focused on juvenile justice, including teaching on law, human rights and children’s rights to convicted youth detained at the Dushanbe Mentoring Colony. She has previously worked as a translator and is fluent in Russian and Tajik. 

Abdurahmon Tavalloev, Driver and Assistant Office Manager, has been a driver at ABA ROLI since August 2003. In 2011, Tavalloev was promoted to assistant office manager to reflect the variety of activities that he assists with.


Dmytro Filipenko, Deputy Director, joined ABA ROLI in December 2013 and is responsible for managing ABA ROLI’s office in Ukraine and coordinating cooperation with stakeholders and international donor community. Previously, Filipenko worked for three years as a legal and civic advocacy specialist for the USAID’s Fair, Accountable, Independent and Responsible (FAIR) Judiciary Project in Ukraine, managing grant activity programs implemented by civil society organizations to support judicial and constitutional reforms. While working on the FAIR project, Filipenko developed and implemented a variety of successful pilot projects including the first judiciary call center in Ukraine, a communications strategy for the judiciary and constitutional assembly, and the first distance learning course for Ukrainian court staff. He also developed and coordinated numerous trainings, including for judges and advocates. He graduated from the Institute of International Relations of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and is currently working on his Ph.D. thesis on international law. He speaks Ukrainian, English, French and Russian. 

Inga Meladze, Financial Controller and Operations Manager, joined ABA ROLI in July 2001 as an administrative assistant. Currently, Meladze is responsible for all financial and operational aspects of the ABA ROLI office in Ukraine. She graduated from the National University Kyiv Polytechnic Institute and is currently working on post graduate degree in finance. Meladze speaks Ukrainian, English French and Russian. 

Tetyana Omelchenko, Program Officer/Translator, joined ABA ROLI in April 2009. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked as translator at a project implemented by WorleyParsons Ukraine LL.C. in the field of resources and energy. Tetyana graduated from Kremenchug State Polytechnic University in 2007 and speaks Ukrainian, English German and Russian. She provides full-time assistance to program managers through logistical coordination/translation as well as oversees administrative operation of the office. 

Liliia Salimova, Program Coordinator, joined ABA ROLI in February 2015. Prior to that she has been working for EU funded projects as Project Officer in such areas as innovations, intellectual property rights, social benefits and quality infrastructure. She has gained managerial experience while working as Chief of Assessment Sector of Information and Analytical Department in state company. She graduated from Kyiv National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman and obtained master degree in International Economics. Salimova speaks Ukrainian, English, Spanish and Russian. Liliia serves as our point person for Criminal Defense Reform Program beneficiaries and provides overall day-to-day program management. 

Oleksiy Semenov, IT Specialist, joined ABA ROLI in July 2008, working as a part-time independent contractor for all office technology needs.

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