Research, Evaluation & Learning
Linda Bishai, Director, Research, Evaluation and Learning Office, joined ABA ROLI in March 2017. In addition to research on rule of law issues, Bishai has focused on peace-building education and conflict resolution training, electoral violence prevention, countering violent extremism, security sector reform, and police/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 and co-taught the Preventing Electoral Violence in Africa course at USIP. She has also worked on training a network of community peace builders in Pakistan, support for human rights education in Iraq, and a women preventing extremist violence program in Nigeria. In Africa and the Maghreb, her work focused on police/community dialogue, security sector reform, and border security. Before USIP, Bishai was an assistant professor of political science at Towson University in Maryland, teaching courses on international relations, international law, the use of force, and human rights. She currently teaches international law and the use of force as a professorial lecturer 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 the politics of identity and secession, the effect of states of emergency on the rule of law, and detention practices in a counter violent extremism context. 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 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 global issues such as corruption, counter-terrorism, transnational organized crimes, sexual and gender based violence, and financial and organized crimes, as well as procedural novelties such as plea bargaining and alternative sentencing. Greer conducts research in comparative models and best practices in domestic and international criminal law. She has helped design and has implemented criminal justice assessments to discern best practices and compliance with international standards and due process mandates, including the “Prosecutorial Reform Index” and the “Detention Procedures Assessment Tool.” Greer also designs and conducts trainings in a variety of substantive criminal justice topics as well as technical skills, including interactive teaching methodology, adult communication and trial advocacy. She was an adjunct professor for the University of Virginia School of Law Human Rights Clinic. Greer first served as ABA ROLI’s criminal law liaison in Bosnia. She was then posted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia with the Coalition for International Justice before rejoining 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 prosecuting attorney, before being posted in Sarajevo. Greer has a B.A. in from Benedictine College, and a J.D. from St. Louis University.
Catherine Lena Kelly, Advisor, is an expert with over ten years of experience on democracy, rule of law, and governance issues. 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. 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 “Rule of Law Approaches to Countering Violent Extremism,” and also works on research, monitoring, and evaluation related to security and justice, post-conflict reconstruction of the justice sector, women’s rights, anti-corruption, judicial training, and political economy approaches to rule of law reform. 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.
Paulina (Paula) Rudnicka, Advisor, and a co-chair of ABA ROLI’s Gender Practice Group, has over 12 years of experience in the international legal development and human rights fields, with a focus on the rights of women and marginalized populations (particularly people living with HIV and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people), gender integration and inclusive programming, global health, and countering gender-based violence and trafficking in persons. Rudnicka has led research teams and been the principal or co-author of a number of ABA ROLI publications, including “Status of Women Assessment Tool,” “HIV/AIDS Legal Assessment Tool,” technical guide “Integrating Rule of Law and Global Development: Climate Change, Food Security, and Public Health,” “Human Trafficking Assessment Tool” reports for Nepal and Mexico, legal research methodology for the program “Identifying Trafficking Risk and Best Practices for Combating Risk in Sub-Saharan Africa Supply Chains: An Interdisciplinary Approach,” “Handbook on International Women’s Rights Law for Tunisian Stakeholders,” and “Study on Access to Justice through Constitutional Adjudication in Jordan.” Rudnicka joined ABA ROLI in September 2005 after completing a fellowship at Human Rights First. She also worked with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, and the Jagiellonian University Human Rights Clinic, and she co-founded the Halina Niec Human Rights Association (currently Legal Aid Centre) in Poland. Rudnicka was a Thomas Buergenthal Scholar at the George Washington University Law School, where she earned her LL.M. in international and comparative law. In addition, she holds a Master’s of Law degree from the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Rudnicka uses pronouns she/her.
Olga Ruda, Advisor, has extensive experience in conducting comparative and best practices research and analysis and managing research projects in the areas of justice sector, criminal justice, and commercial law reforms. She currently serves as a substantive expert for ABA ROLI’s International Justice Sector Education and Training Program and the Criminal Justice Collaboration and Partnership Program. Ruda has led research teams and served as the principal or co-author of nearly two dozen of ABA ROLI “Judicial Reform Index Assessments,” as well as assessments of the legal education systems and the bar. She has also developed and overseen pilot implementations of ABA ROLI’s framework for conducting judicial training needs assessments and methodology for assessing the status of commercial law and practice. In addition, she was one of the primary contributors to the “Resource Guide on Strengthening Judicial Integrity and Capacity,” published by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime. Prior to joining ABA ROLI as a legal analyst in 2004, Ruda worked for the Honorable Bohdan A. Futey of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims , and for Harvard Institute for International Development Macroeconomic Policy Reform Program in Ukraine. She holds an LL.M. in international legal studies from American University’s Washington College of Law, as well as Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in law, summa cum laude, from Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University in Ukraine. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Ukrainian American Bar Association.
JohnGates Sharp, Program Associate, joined ABA ROLI in July 2017, initially providing administrative support to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Division. Prior to joining the ABA, Sharp held internship and temporary positions at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, Georgetown University, and Mack Sumner Communications, LLC (now Delivery Strategies). Sharp is fluent in Spanish and is a 2016 graduate from the University of Virginia, where he earned a B.A. in both Foreign Affairs and Spanish.
Mridula Shrestha, Senior Legal Analyst, conducts analyses of laws, policies, and programs on a variety of topics, including human trafficking, women’s rights, domestic violence, and corruption. Shrestha is co-Chair of ABA ROLI’s Trafficking in Person practice group, and works on justice sector reform programs in different countries as the program lead for ABA ROLI’s multi-sectoral Criminal Justice Collaboration and Partnership program and as an advisor to the International Justice Sector Education and Training program. Shrestha was previously an attorney in the energy and infrastructure project finance practice of the global law firm Skadden Arps, and worked as a senior consultant in the Quantitative Economics and Statistics group at Ernst & Young in Washington, D.C. Shrestha has extensive experience analyzing and negotiating complex issues and developing effective strategies for clients across various sectors, and has training in quantitative research methods. Shrestha also co-founded a nonprofit organization called Badi ko Sathi, benefiting Dalit children in Nepal in 2006, and served on the board of the Asian/Pacific Islander Domestic Violence Resource Project, which assists survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Shrestha holds an A.B. in economics from Bryn Mawr College, an M.A. in applied economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Jessie Tannenbaum, Advisor, conducts research and evaluations and manages justice sector reform and governance programs. She has served as director of ABA ROLI’s International Justice Sector Education and Training Program, which brings foreign justice-sector professionals to the U.S. for month-long fellowships that prepare them to effect sustainable change in their home country’s justice systems, since its inception in 2015. She is also co-chair of ABA ROLI’s Legal Profession Reform Practice Group. Tannenbaum has been the principal or co-author of more than a dozen ABA ROLI assessments of judiciaries, bar associations, prosecutorial services, and penal systems and has led the development of qualitative research methodologies to assess criminal detention procedure, the criminal defense bar, anti-human trafficking, and judicial training. Her main areas of expertise include justice system strengthening, judicial reform, penal reform, and legal profession development. She has global rule of law development experience, having led assessment teams and supported programs in Latin America, the Balkans, Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and southeast Asia. Prior to joining ABA ROLI in 2008, Tannenbaum was a legal fellow at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an autonomous, quasi-judicial body of the Organization of American States. 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. She is fluent in French and Spanish.
Jeanette Asencio Tocol, Senior Program Officer, provides monitoring and evaluation (M&E) support and guidance, and conducts research, evaluation, and assessments for various ABA ROLI programs that focus on judicial reform, human rights, and governance. She provides program design advice, M&E training, M&E systems development, data quality assessments, evaluability assessments, and risk assessments as well for ABA ROLI program teams and their partners. Tocol joined ABA ROLI’s Philippines office in July 2012 as an M&E manager, and moved to the Washington, D.C. office in December 2014. Prior to ABA ROLI, she worked for 11 years as a consultant on development management, quality assurance, and monitoring and evaluation in the justice sector (law enforcement, prosecution, courts, and alternative dispute resolution), human rights sector, and in governance and public administration reforms in the Philippines and in the Southeast Asian region. As a consultant and as vice president of Center for Public Resource Management (CPRM) Consultants, Inc., a Philippines-based consultancy firm, Tocol worked for various donor institutions including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the U.N. Development Program, European Commission, U.N. Human Settlements Program, German International Cooperation Agency, and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Salome Tsereteli-Stephens, Deputy Director, Research, Evaluation and Learning, joined ABA ROLI in 2013. Her experience in international aid and development work started in 2001 and has mostly focused on planning, monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Tsereteli-Stephens has managed, monitored, and evaluated development programs across multiple countries and cultures, with a range of donors and partners. She previously worked on child protection and HIV and AIDS portfolio M&E at Save the Children U.S., led the design, monitoring, and evaluation office at World Vision International in Georgia and set up a multi-country monitoring and evaluation system for the German International Cooperation South Caucasus Rule of Law program. Tsereteli-Stephens has developed tools, training materials, e-learning and distance learning courses for development practitioners and trained a variety of development professionals on monitoring and evaluation. Her interests include mixed methods approaches for measuring democracy, governance, the rule of law, evaluation of policy and advocacy, and use of evaluation. Over the course of time she has written and presented on these issues in the U.S. and abroad. Originally from Georgia, Tsereteli-Stephens holds an M.A. law from Tbilisi State University and is fluent in several languages. Tsereteli-Stephens has been a member of American Evaluation Association (AEA) since 2012 and co-chaired the AEA’s Democracy and Governance Topical Interest Group in 2015-17.