Research & Assessments
Simon Conté, Director of Research and Assessments, has contributed to ABA ROLI's research activities on rule of law issues for more than 10 years, particularly in the areas of legislative analysis and assessment tool methodologies. He serves as co-coordinator for both the judicial reform focal area and the Prosecutorial Reform Index. Mr. Conté holds a B.A. from Binghamton University, and an M.A. in political science and a J.D. from the University at Buffalo. He also has an LL.M. in international and comparative law from Georgetown University. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Conté joined ABA ROLI in 1995.
Mary Greer, Senior Criminal Law Advisor, provides substantive program direction, support and expertise to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) criminal justice programs around the world. She assists with the design and implementation of technical assistance programs for prosecutors, judges, defense advocates, law enforcement officials and representatives of government ministries, addressing such global issues as corruption, human trafficking, women’s rights, and financial and organized crimes. She conducts comparative models and best practices research in domestic and international criminal law, and designs and implements sector and country assessments to discern compliance with international standards. She also conducts trainings in interactive teaching methodology, adult communication and trial advocacy. Ms. Greer first served as ABA ROLI’s criminal law liaison in Bosnia from 1998–2000. She was then posted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with the Coalition for International Justice before rejoining the ABA ROLI in March 2002. Ms. Greer practiced law for 15 years at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, including five years as public defender and eight years as the elected prosecutor, before being posted in Sarajevo. Ms. Greer has a B.A. in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, and a J.D. from St. Louis University.
Olga Ruda, Deputy Director, Research and Assessments, has been providing research support to ABA ROLI’s judicial reform programs worldwide since June 2004. Her primary duties include overseeing implementation of the Judicial Reform Index assessments, which analyze the compliance of national judiciaries with fundamental international standards on judicial independence. Her past experience includes research on human trafficking at Johns Hopkins University, a judicial internship at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and work with Harvard University's macroeconomic reform program in Ukraine. Ms. Ruda holds a law degree from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University and an LL.M. degree in international legal studies from Washington College of Law, American University.
Paulina Rudnicka, Senior Legal Analyst, joined ABA ROLI in September 2005 after completing a Frankel Fellowship at Human Rights First. Ms. Rudnicka has also worked with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, the Jagiellonian University Human Rights Clinic and the Halina Niec Human Rights Association. Ms. Rudnicka was a Thomas Burgenthal Scholar at the George Washington University Law School, where she earned her LL.M. degree. Before studying at George Washington University Law School, she earned a master’s of law degree from Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
Mridula Shrestha, Senior Legal Analyst, was previously an associate at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Washington, DC, where she worked on energy and infrastructure project finance. While studying law, she was a clinical student at Stanford’s International Human Rights Clinic in California and Namibia, as well as a research assistant. Ms. Shrestha has also worked as a senior consultant at Ernst & Young and co-founded a non-profit organization that serves an underprivileged community in Nepal. She has an AB degree in economics from Bryn Mawr College, a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School and an M.A. degree in applied economics from the Johns Hopkins University. She speaks Nepali and English and understands Hindi, Spanish and Thai.
Jessie Tannenbaum, Advisor, conducts research and analysis and manages justice sector reform and governance programs. She is director of the International Justice Sector Education and Training Program, serves as co-chair of the Legal Profession Reform Practice Group, and coordinates multi-country research for and manages the program Identifying Trafficking Risk and Best Practices for Combating Risk in sub-Saharan Africa Supply Chains: An Interdisciplinary Approach. She has been the principal or co-author of more than a dozen ABA ROLI assessments of the judiciary, defense bar, prosecutorial services, and penal system and has led the development of qualitative research methodologies to assess criminal detention procedure, criminal defense advocacy, trafficking in persons risk, and judicial training. She has given numerous presentations and trainings on human rights and justice reform, including anti-corruption, the rights of persons deprived of liberty, the US death penalty, prison reform, and the rights of LGBT persons. Prior to joining ABA ROLI in 2008, Ms. Tannenbaum was a legal fellow at the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She holds an LL.M. in international human rights law, summa cum laude, and a J.D., cum laude, from Notre Dame Law School, and a B.A. in French and International Studies, cum laude, from the University of Denver. A Chicago native, she is fluent in Spanish and French and has a working knowledge of Russian, Hebrew, Italian, and Portuguese.
Jennifer Tsai, Senior Access to Justice Advisor, manages programs and research projects related to access to justice and legal empowerment, human rights, atrocity prevention and transitional justice. Ms. Tsai has worked on the design and implementation of assessment methodologies in these areas, including the Access to Justice Assessment Tool. She has also participated in or co-led several human rights documentation projects related to conflicts in South Sudan, Sudan and Syria. She is coordinator of ABA ROLI’s access to justice and human rights thematic area practice group. Previously, she worked at domestic and international organizations on criminal justice and human rights, including the Vera Institute of Justice and the Beijing office of International Bridges to Justice. She practiced law in New York for 11 years, including six years as a public defender. Ms. Tsai holds a J.D. degree from Cornell Law School and a B.A. degree from Columbia University.
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