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Elizabeth Donkervoort

Program Director for East Asia

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Elizabeth Donkervoort has more than a decade of experience working in the democracy and human rights sector. Her work focuses on enhancing the resilience, strategic direction, and security of grassroots organizations and activists within some of the most restrictive global environments; combatting digital authoritarianism globally; and promoting human rights in the development and deployment of technology.

Currently, Elizabeth is Program Director, Center for Global Programs for the American Bar Association (ABA), where she oversees programs to promote and protect access to justice and rule of law in East Asia, including technology & the law, and business and human rights; Internet Freedom with a particular focus on digital privacy rights; and Malign Influence Operations globally. Elizabeth leads the development of Center strategies in these areas and co-heads the Center’s “Rule of Law in the Digital Era” working group. In addition to her work with ABA, Elizabeth serves on the board of CSRI, a global think tank in London UK and is a member of the ABA’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force and the Global Task Force to Counter Digital Authoritarianism based at Concordia University in Montreal Canada.

Prior to joining the ABA, Elizabeth was based in Hong Kong managing the International Republican Institute (IRI)’s civil society capacity building programs in the People’s Republic of China (2014-2019) and Laos People’s Democratic Republic (2015-2016). At IRI she developed the Institute’s largest collection of training curriculum and resources for activists, organizations, and citizen movements and advised on numerous closed and closing space programs. Before IRI, Elizabeth worked at Freedom House as part of Lifeline, a global initiative to provide financial support human rights defenders and civil society organizations under threat.

Elizabeth is admitted to the bar in both Alberta, Canada and New York, USA. She worked with Brownlee LLP as a member of their Municipal Law Practice, providing legal advice and assistance to local governments in Alberta and representing clients before all levels of court up to the Court of Appeal, as well as administrative tribunals. Elizabeth received her JD and Master of Asia Pacific Policy Studies from the University of British Colombia and an Honours Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto.