Europe & Eurasia Staff

  • Staff by Location

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Washington, DC


Alexandra (Sasha) Belenkaya, Director, Europe and Eurasia Division, joined ABA ROLI in March 2012. Ms. Belenkaya comes with 12 years of experience managing multi-million dollar international projects and leading business development efforts. She served as a management consultant and financial analyst for Booz Allen Hamilton and as a business development director for Chemonics International. Ms. Belenkaya specializes in international public health, democracy and governance, private sector development and economic growth. She holds an M.A. degree in Slavic studies from Florida State University and a change management practitioner certificate from Georgetown University. Ms. Belenkaya is a native Russian speaker. You can reach Alexandra Belenkaya at alexandra.belenkaya@americanbar.org.


Andrea (Andi) Barton, Senior Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in August 2011. She previously worked in the Europe and Eurasia Division as an intern. She holds an M.A. degree in European and Eurasian studies from The George Washington University, where she concentrated on post-conflict state-building and helped found a regionally-focused student organization. Ms. Barton previously interned at the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the German Marshall Fund, and at the Woodrow Wilson Center. She holds a B.A. in international studies from the University of California, San Diego. You can contact Andrea Barton at andrea.barton@americanbar.org.


Sarah Bumbarger, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in March 2013. Prior to this, she worked at Blue Law International, where she managed justice sector reform and human rights projects. Before Blue Law, Ms. Bumbarger served as program officer at Eurasia Foundation, developing and managing civil society programs in Iran. She also held internships at Vital Voices Global Partnership’s Europe and Eurasia Division and at the New England Innocence Project. She holds a B.A. degree in political science and international relations from Bates College in Maine and studied in Athens, Greece, and St. Petersburg, Russia.


Ryder Cobean, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in July 2013 and supports programming in Azerbaijan and Moldova. 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, Mr. 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. Mr. 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. You can contact Ryder Cobean at ryder.cobean@americanbar.org.


Hana Hausnerova, Senior Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in October 2009 and supports programming in Russia. Prior to joining ABA ROLI full time, she served as an intern supporting programs in Central Asia. Ms. Hausnerova holds an LL.M. in international and comparative law from the George Washington University Law School, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and a B.S. in psychology, and culture and politics from Georgetown University. Ms. Hausnerova is a native of the Czech Republic and speaks fluent Czech and Slovak. You can contact Hana Hausnerova at hana.hausnerova@americanbar.org.


April Hewko, Program Associate, joined ABA ROLI in June 2012 and supports programming in Armenia, Georgia and Russia. She previously worked as the administrative assistant for the division. Ms. 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. Ms. Hewko is a graduate of Florida State University, where she majored in international affairs, with concentrated studies in political science, anthropology and human rights. You can reach April Hewko at april.hewko@americanbar.org.

 

Kristi Kontak, 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. Ms. 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. You can contact Kristi Kontak at kristi.kontak@americanbar.org.


Ashley Martin, Senior Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in November 2010 and manages the Europe and Eurasia Division’s Balkans, Ukraine 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. Ms. Martin came to ABA ROLI from a clerkship with Judge Kathryn A. Oberly at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. You can contact Ashley Martin at ashley.martin@americanbar.org.


Lila Miller, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI as a program associate for Central Asia in March 2012 and currently supports programming in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Serbia. Previously, Ms. Miller was an intern in the International Support Division and supported other portfolios within the Europe and Eurasia Division. Ms. Miller earned her B.A. degree in international relations from American University and spent time in the Balkans studying post-conflict transformation in the former Yugoslavia. She speaks Serbo-Croatian, French and some Russian. You can contact Lila Miller at lila.miller@americanbar.org.

Armenia


Ronald A. Wolfson, Regional Director for ArmeniaMoldova and Ukraine, has been with ABA ROLI since 2009, working in Georgia until August 2013 as a legal specialist and then as country director. Prior to that, he was a prosecutor for almost 25 years and retired as the Nevada County, California, assistant district attorney in 2007, after practicing law for more than 30 years in California. During part of the time he was a county prosecutor, he was cross designated as a special assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of California. Before joining the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Wolfson was a public defender for Nevada County for almost five years. From 1975–1978, he maintained a private practice that handled criminal law, family law, construction and real estate law. While in private practice, he was for a time the public defender of Sierra County, California. From 1967–1969, he served as a journalist in the U.S. Army. Mr. Wolfson graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (B.A.) and Southwestern University School of Law (J.D.).  You can contact Ron Wolfson at ronald.wolfson@abaroli.md.


Hasmik Hakobyan, Deputy Country Director for Armenia, has worked in a variety of capacities in Armenia since joining ABA ROLI in 2001. Ms. 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, Ms. 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. Ms. Hakobyan graduated from Yerevan State University Law Faculty and received her LL.M. from American University of Armenia. You can contact Ms. Hakobyan at hasmik@abaceeli.am.


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, Ms.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. You can contact Ms. Mkhitaryan at sofia@abaceeli.am.

Azerbaijan


Melissa Hooper, Regional Director, Azerbaijan and Russia, first joined ABA ROLI in 2004 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where she managed public defender centers, strategic litigation programs, a human rights law firm and helped connect targeted activists with defense lawyers in the aftermath of the Andijan events. When the Uzbekistan office was closed, she moved to the ABA ROLI office in Almaty, where she was the regional program manager for advocacy programs in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, working with lawyers in all three countries to share best practices and prepare for the first-ever jury trials in Kazakhstan. Ms. Hooper has also worked with the Azerbaijan office on human rights projects and has been the interim director of the Ukraine office. Most recently, Ms. Hooper worked in California supervising litigation teams investigating and litigating habeas petitions in death penalty cases in the United States and Mexico. She authored a practice guide on investigating state misconduct claims and co-organized an ongoing student training program and law clinic for up to 30 students each year. Ms. Hooper was a judicial law clerk for the United States Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas for two years. Prior to that, she was a Soros justice fellow. Ms. Hooper graduated from U.C. Berkeley Law School. While in law school, she co-drafted domestic violence legislation that was passed at the state level and signed into law. You can contact Melissa Hooper at mhooper@abamos.ru.


Lale Adilova, Field Finance and Office Manager, joined ABA ROLI in May 2011. She worked as finance and office manager for the Legal Advocacy Center from April 2006 to May 2011. Ms. Adilova received her Bachelor’s degree in planning engineering from the Azerbaijan branch of the San Marino Academy of International Sciences in 1997. Before joining ABA ROLI, Ms. Adilova worked for World Vision International on the United Nations Food Assistance Project as office/human resources manager, data manager and administrative assistant, and for the National Center for State Courts on the Azerbaijan Legal Database as office and finance manager. She is fluent in Azeri, Russian, English and Turkish. You can contact Lale Adilova at lale.adilova@aba-az.org.


Elkhan Ashurov, Administrative Manager, joined ABA ROLI in December 2007. Mr. Ashurov graduated from Azerbaijan State Economic University, majoring in legal regulation of the economy. From January 2004 to January 2005, he worked as a student volunteer at Anglo-American Business Services and at ATTAS PR Alliance. He speaks English, Azeri and Russian. You can contact Elkhan Ashurov at elkhan.ashurov@aba-az.org.


Agil Azimov, IT Manager, joined ABA ROLI in March 2005. Mr. Azimov has wide IT experience with humanitarian organizations. Before joining ABA ROLI, he served as a website content manager with the Open Society Institute and later as a webmaster at Project Harmony. He graduated from Baku State University in 1998. You can contact Agil Azimov at agil.azimov@aba.az.org.


Kenul Gassimova, Staff Attorney (BSU LL.M. Development Program), joined ABA ROLI in November 2011. She received her LL.B. and LL.M. with honors from Baku State University in 2004 and 2006, respectively. She also has an LL.M. in international legal studies from the Georgetown University Law Center (2010). Ms. Gassimova has work experience in diplomacy and government service and was in diplomatic service from 2005–2009, currently holding the diplomatic rank of third secretary. She is fluent in Azerbaijani, English, Russian and Turkish, and she has a basic knowledge of French. You can contact Kenul Gassimova at kenul.gassimova@aba-az.org.

Georgia


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. Mr. Rubino has a B.A. degree in arts and English from Tufts University and a J.D. degree from the Fordham University Law School. Mr. 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. Mrs. Chelidze graduated from Ilia Chavchavdze State University of Western Languages and Culture and holds a degree in business administration from the Caucasus Academic Centre. Mrs. Chelidze speaks Georgian, English, Russian and Spanish. You can contact Tea Chelidze at tea@abarol.ge.


Ana Loria, 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). Ms. Loria has worked as the executive director at the Centre for Protection of Constitutional Rights. Ms. 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. You can contact Ana Loria at anna@abarol.ge.


Mamuka Mamatsashvili, Deputy Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in 2002. Before joining the ABA ROLI, Mr. 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, Mr. 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. Mr. Mamatsashvili has an LL.M. degree from Tbilisi State University. You can contact Mamuka Mamatsashvili atmamuka@abarol.ge.


Medea Matiashvili, Senior Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in September 2005 as a street law intern and works on criminal law programs. Ms. 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, Ms. Matiashvili was the deputy chair of the Georgian Law Students’ Association. Ms. 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. Ms. 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.  Ms. Matiashvili was admitted to the Criminal Law Bar in 2007. You can contact Medea Matiashvili at medo@abarol.ge.


Irina Parshikova, Regional Operations Director joined ABA ROLI in October 2005 and manages the Europe and Eurasia Division’s programs in the Caucasus and Moldova. 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. in political science from the University of Oregon and a degree in jurisprudence from Syktyvkar State University in Russia. You can contact Irina Parhikova at  irina.parshikova@americanbar.org.

Kazakhstan


Sholpan Tashmukhambetova, Country Director for Kazakhstan, joined ABA ROLI’s office in Astana in June 2012. Ms. 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. Ms. 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, Ms. Tashmukhambetova was served as an expert in an EU project supporting judicial and legal reform in Kazakhstan. Ms. Tashmukhambetova speaks Russian and English. You can reach Sholpan Tashmukhambetova at shtashmukhambetova@aba.roli.kz.


Liana Kravets, Administrative/Program Assistant, 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. Ms. 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. Ms. Kravets speaks Russian and English. You may contact Liana Kravets at lkravets@aba.roli.kz.


Inna Kuznetsova, Field Finance Manager, joined ABA ROLI’s Astana office in June 2012. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms. 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. Ms. Kuznetsova holds a degree in English from the Eurasian National University’s Foreign Languages Department, and certificate in accounting. She speaks Russian and English. You can reach Inna Kuznetsova at ikuznetsova@aba.roli.kz.


Anastassiya Sokolova, Judicial Reform Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI’s Kazakhstan office in May 2010. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms. 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, Ms. Sokolova obtained a law degree from Saint-Petersburg University of Humanities and Social Sciences. She speaks Russian, English, French and basic Kazakh. You can contact Anastassiya Sokolova at asokolova@aba.roli.kz.

Kyrgyzstan


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. Mr. 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, Mr. Kerimbaev holds a law degree from Kyrgyz State University and a degree in international relations from Kyrgyz Diplomatic Academy. You can contact Azamat Kerimbaev at azamatk@elcat.kg.


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, Mr. 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. Mr. 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. Mr. 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, Mr. 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. You can contact Ulan Aralbaev at aralbaevu@elcat.kg.


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. Mrs. Dzhamankulova worked at Public Foundation’s advocates’ training and legal centers. She has been a licensed advocate in Kyrgyzstan since October 2009. You can reach Asel Dzhamankulova at adjamankulova@elcat.kg.


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. Ms. 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. You can contact Ms. Kozhontaeva at albinaosh@elcat.kg.


Madina Talatbekova, Deputy Field Finance Manager/Bishkek Office Manager, joined ABA ROLI in February 2005 and assists in the financial management and administration of day-to-day operations of the Bishkek office. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked as a finance officer for Every Child (UK) and Save the Children (UK), 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 banking from Kyrgyz State National University. You can contact Madina Talatbekova at madinat@elcat.kg

Macedonia


Elizabeth Givens, Program Manager, joined ABA ROLI in September 2011. Ms. 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. Ms. 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. Ms. 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. Ms. 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. You may contact Elizabeth Givens at beth.givens@abaceeli.am.

Moldova


Ronald A. Wolfson, Regional Director for Moldova, Armenia and Ukraine, has been with ABA ROLI since 2009, working in Georgia until August 2013 as a legal specialist and then as country director. Prior to that, he was a prosecutor for almost 25 years and retired as the Nevada County, California, assistant district attorney in 2007, after practicing law for more than 30 years in California. During part of the time he was a county prosecutor, he was cross designated as a special assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of California. Before joining the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Wolfson was a public defender for Nevada County for almost five years. From 1975–1978, he maintained a private practice that handled criminal law, family law, construction and real estate law. While in private practice, he was for a time the public defender of Sierra County, California. From 1967–1969, he served as a journalist in the U.S. Army. Mr. Wolfson graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (B.A.) and Southwestern University School of Law (J.D.).  You can contact Ron Wolfson at ronald.wolfson@abaroli.md.


Olimpia Iovu, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in 2005, first as a legal assistant and now as a staff attorney providing expertise on criminal law issues. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms. Iovu worked for 3 years as a legal adviser at the Governmental Agent Department of the Moldovan Ministry of Justice. She holds a diploma in international law from the State University of Moldova. She speaks Romanian, Russian, English and French. You can contact Olimpia Iovu at olimpia_iovu@abaroli.md.


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 Nondiscrimination 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. You can contact Iulia Marcinschi at iulia.marcinschi@abaroli.md.


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 a M.B.A. from the Technical University of Moldova in cooperation with Ghent University, Belgium. He is fluent in English, Finnish and Russian. You can contact Ion Miron at imiron@abaroli.md.


Mihaela Vidaicu, Staff Attorney
, joined ABA ROLI in June of 2008 and handles criminal law issues for the Moldova program. Ms. Vidaicu holds two degrees in law from the State University of Moldova and has taught criminal law at the university for the past three years. You can contact Mihaela Vidaicu at mvidaicu@abaroli.md.

Russia


Melissa Hooper, Regional Director, Russia and Azerbaijan, first joined ABA ROLI in 2004 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where she managed public defender centers, strategic litigation programs, a human rights law firm and helped connect targeted activists with defense lawyers in the aftermath of the Andijan events. When the Uzbekistan office was closed, she moved to the ABA ROLI office in Almaty, where she was the regional program manager for advocacy programs in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, working with lawyers in all three countries to share best practices and prepare for the first-ever jury trials in Kazakhstan. Ms. Hooper has also worked with the Azerbaijan office on human rights projects and has been the interim director of the Ukraine office. Most recently, Ms. Hooper worked in California supervising litigation teams investigating and litigating habeas petitions in death penalty cases in the United States and Mexico. She authored a practice guide on investigating state misconduct claims and co-organized an ongoing student training program and law clinic for up to 30 students each year. Ms. Hooper was a judicial law clerk for the United States Federal District Court in the Southern District of Texas for two years. Prior to that, she was a Soros justice fellow. Ms. Hooper graduated from U.C. Berkeley Law School. While in law school, she co-drafted domestic violence legislation that was passed at the state level and signed into law. You can contact Melissa Hooper at mhooper@abamos.ru.


Kirill Boychenko, Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in March 2013. Before that, he worked for the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM’s) mission in Moscow for five years. In his capacity as the IOM Moscow counter-trafficking focal point, Dr. Boychenko developed and implemented various international projects and educational programs and provided training to Russian police officers, judges, prosecutors and attorneys. Before joining IOM, he worked at a shelter for human trafficking survivors in Karelia, a region in northwest Russia, while studying law. He received a Ph.D. in countering human trafficking from the Peoples’ Friendship University. Dr. Boychenko was a Fulbright Humphrey law fellow in 2011–2012 and a fellow with the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy in the fall of 2012. During his fellowship year, he worked with the International Labor Rights Forum in Washington DC, researching forced labor and child labor practices in Central Asia. He also worked with Dorsey & Whitney LL.P. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and collaborated closely with the University of Minnesota’s Human Rights Center. He is currently working on ABA ROLI’s anti-corruption program.


Oxana Chornaya, Accountant, joined ABA ROLI in May 2008. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked for Charities Aid Foundation in Moscow as a leading accountant for six years. She is a finance & credit graduate of Moscow Banking Institute. You can contact Oxana Chornaya at ochornaya@abamos.ru.


Sergei Kurakov, Staff Attorney, studied international law at the Law and Economics Faculty of Moscow State Linguistics University. While there, he worked as an IT specialist at the Russian Union of Travel Industry, a non-profit association of travel companies, until his graduation in 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he worked as a corporate lawyer with various companies in telecommunications, retail and international tourism. He joined ABA ROLI in 2009 as the staff attorney for the professional development program.


Vera Romanova, Program Administrator, joined ABA ROLI in August 1996. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Ms. Romanova worked as a senior researcher at the Institute of U.S. and Canadian Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences. She is a graduate of Moscow State University. You can contact Vera Romanova at vromanova@abamos.ru.


Maria Voskobitova, Human Rights Director, joined the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in July 2006. From December 1998 until June 2006, she worked for the Russian NGO, the Center for Assistance to International Protection, where she advocated for applicants before the European Court of Human Rights. Three of her cases received ruling in favor of her clients, four were ruled admissible and several other applications were communicated. Through the last seven years, she arranged a number of two and three day sessions and three-week courses on European Human Rights Defense and International Human Rights Defense. Ms. Voskobitova has contributed to the writing and editing of several books and publications devoted to European and International Human Rights Defense and to the development of legal skills. She is a 2000 graduate of Moscow State Law Academy, with a prior degree in human rights law and Practice from Birmingham University. She has interned with INTERIGHTS, the international human rights non-governmental organization headquartered in London. You can contact Maria Voskobitova at mvoskobitova@abamos.ru.


Julia Yurkevich, Project Coordinator, joined ABA ROLI in January 2009. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked for Wolters Kluwer in Moscow as a senior conference manager for two years. She also previously worked as a project coordinator at the Institute for Law and Public Policy. She is a graduate of Moscow State University. You can contact Julia Yurkevich at jyurkevich@abamos.ru.

Tajikistan


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. Mr. Rubino has a B.A. degree in arts and English from Tufts University and a J.D. degree from the Fordham University Law School. Mr. Rubino speaks English and Azerbaijani and has basic Italian-language skills.


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. You can contact Djamshed Khudonazarov at jamshed.khudonazarov@abaroli-tajikistan.org.


Alisher Majitov, Staff Attorney, is a 2000 graduate of the Tax and Legal Institute, where he was invited to serve as a professor of criminal law and procedure. In addition, he provided legal services to commercial enterprises as an attorney for Contract, an international law firm. He is a member of the Republican Collegium of Advocates, also known as SIPAR, and has extensive experience in criminal defense and other human rights cases. Mr. Majitov joined ABA ROLI’s staff in September 2010 and has worked extensively on our criminal justice reform programs, including conducting training for defense advocates, prosecutors and law enforcement officers. He has participated in working groups on the development of the Advocatura in Tajikistan and is involved in analyzing the implementation of the new Criminal Procedure Code. You can reach Alisher Majitov at alisher.majitov@abaroli-tajikistan.org .


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. Mr. 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. You can contact Bakhtiyor Mirzohayotov at bakhtiyor.mirzohayotov@abaroli-tajikistan.org.


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, Ms. 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, Ms. 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. You can contact Larisa Petrosyan at larisa.petrosyan@abaroli-tajikistan.org.


Firuz Sattorov, Senior Staff Attorney, joined ABA ROLI in June 2013. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Mr. 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. Mr. 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. Mr. Sattorov also studied at the University of Minnesota Law School as a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow in 2008–2009. You can contact Firuz Sattorov at firuz.sattorov@abaroli.tajikistan.org.


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, Ms. 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. You can contact Malika Sohibnazarova at malika.sohibnazarova@abaroli-tajikistan.org.


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

Ukraine


Ronald A. Wolfson, Regional Director for Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova, has been with ABA ROLI since 2009, working in Georgia until August 2013 as a legal specialist and then as country director. Prior to that, he was a prosecutor for almost 25 years and retired as the Nevada County, California, assistant district attorney in 2007, after practicing law for more than 30 years in California. During part of the time he was a county prosecutor, he was cross designated as a special assistant United States attorney for the Eastern District of California. Before joining the District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Wolfson was a public defender for Nevada County for almost five years. From 1975–1978, he maintained a private practice that handled criminal law, family law, construction and real estate law. While in private practice, he was for a time the public defender of Sierra County, California. From 1967–1969, he served as a journalist in the U.S. Army. Mr. Wolfson graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (B.A.) and Southwestern University School of Law (J.D.).  You can contact Ron Wolfson at ronald.wolfson@abaroli.md.


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, Mr. 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, Mr. 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. You can contact Dmytro Filipenko at d.filipenko@abaroli.org.ua.


Inga Meladze, Financial Controller and Operations Manager, joined ABA ROLI in July 2001 as an administrative assistant. Currently, Ms. 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. Ms. Meladze speaks Russian, Ukrainian, English and French. You can contact Inga Meladze at ingam@abaroli.org.ua.


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 Russian, Ukrainian, English and German. She provides full-time assistance to program managers through logistical coordination/translation as well as oversees administrative operation of the office. You can contact Tanya Omelchenko at tomelchnko@abaroli.org.ua.


Serhiy Pikul, Assistant Office Manager/Driver, joined ABA ROLI in 1999. Before joining ABA ROLI, he was deputy head of the Keramzit gravel plant of Korchevaty Construction Materials Works. He has an engineering degree from the Energy Department of Kyiv University of Food Processing Technologies.


Oleksiy Semenov, IT Specialist, joined ABA ROLI in July 2008, working as a part-time independent contractor for all office technology needs. You can contact Oleksiy Semenov at Semenov@abaroli.org.ua.

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