Research, Evaluation & Learning
Linda Bishai, Director of Research, Evaluation and Learning,
joined ABA ROLI in March 2017. In addition to research on rule of law issues, she has focused on peacebuilding education and training, electoral violence prevention, countering violent extremism and security sector/community dialogue. In her previous position at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), Bishai was responsible for a series of programs on electoral violence prevention in Sudan prior to the general elections and the South Sudan referendum and co-taught the Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa course at USIP. She has also worked on police/community dialogue programming and developing violence prevention programming for upcoming elections in Africa. Before USIP, Bishai was an assistant professor of political science at Towson University, teaching courses in international relations, international law, the use of force and human rights. She currently teaches international law and the use of force as an adjunct professor at The George Washington University. She has also taught at Brunel University, the London School of Economics, the University of Stockholm and Georgetown University. Her research interests include identity politics, sovereignty and states of emergency, and the international use of force. During 2003-04, Bishai served as a Supreme Court Fellow at the Federal Judicial Center, where she worked on an introduction to international human rights law for the federal judiciary. Bishai holds a B.A. in history and literature from Harvard University, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics.
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. 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. 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. Greer has a B.A. in political science from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS, and a J.D. from St. Louis University.
Catherine Lena Kelly is an Advisor in the Research, Evaluation and Learning Division. Kelly has also been a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, the West Africa course coordinator at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and a consultant for organizations including Freedom House, the International Budget Partnership and the University of Cape Town’s African Legislatures Project. An expert on democracy, rule of law and governance issues, Kelly is fluent in French and has research and evaluation experience in various West, Central and North African countries. She has co-authored ABA ROLI’s issue paper on rule of law approaches to countering violent extremism, and her other written work has appeared in venues including the Journal of Democracy, Comparative Politics and The Washington Post Monkey Cage blog. Kelly has a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, where she designed and conducted 18 months of field research on political parties and elections in Senegal. She also has a post-graduate certificate in international politics from Free University of Brussels and a B.A. in political science from Washington University in St. Louis.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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, 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.
Jeanette Asencio Tocol, M&E Senior Program Officer. Tocol joined ABA ROLI’s Philippines office in July 2012 as M&E Manager, and moved to ABA ROLI’s D.C. office in December 2014 to provide monitoring and evaluation support to ABA ROLI projects under the Asia Division and then after, moved to the M&E Division on September 2015. She has more than 14 years of development management, quality assurance and monitoring and evaluation experience in the justice sector (law enforcement, prosecution, courts, alternative dispute resolution), human rights sector, urban and local development sector, and in governance and public administration reforms in the Philippines and in the Southeast Asian region. She has worked as consultant for M&E systems design and implementation, project design, public sector organizational performance reviews, court systems reviews, institutional capacity assessments and/or business process reengineering for various donor institutions including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the UNDP, European Commission, UN HABITAT, GTZ and USAID. Before joining ABA ROLI, she was vice president of CPRM Consultants, Inc., a Philippines-based consultancy firm with extensive experience in judicial and governance reforms.
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. 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. Tsai holds a J.D. degree from Cornell Law School and a B.A. degree from Columbia University.
Salome Tsereteli-Stephens, M&E Manager. Tsereteli-Stephens joined the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative in 2013, after more than 13 years of experience in international aid and development work, mostly focused on design, monitoring and evaluation. She previously worked as a monitoring and evaluation senior specialist at Save the Children US, headed up design, monitoring and evaluation efforts at World Vision International in Georgia and set up a multi-country monitoring and evaluation system for the German International Cooperation (GIZ) South Caucasus Rule of Law program. Tsereteli-Stephens has experience managing, monitoring, and evaluating programs across multiple countries and cultures, with a range of donors and audiences. She has developed tools, training materials, e-learning and distance learning courses for development practitioners, and has authored research. Her interests include mixed methods approaches for measuring democracy, governance, and the Rule of Law, evaluation of policy and advocacy, and use of evaluation. Originally from Georgia, Tsereteli-Stephens holds an M.A. Degree in Law from Tbilisi State University and is a member of American Evaluation Association since 2012.
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