Middle East & North Africa Staff

  • Staff by Location


Washington, D.C.

Angela Conway, Director of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Division, has 18 years of experience in international development and has worked on rule of law programming in 27 countries. Conway has led assessments and authored reports on legal system development throughout the Middle East,  North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe. The MENA Division currently implements programs in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, and has previously supported programs in Algeria, Iraq, Oman, Syria and Yemen. Prior to helping to establish the MENA Division in 2003, Conway worked with the ABA Central and Eastern Europe Law Initiative, an ABA ROLI predecessor organization, serving as the program director for Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia, and as director of research. She holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Kansas, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and of the Kansas Bar.

Maha Shomali, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Division, joined ABA ROLI in 2004 and served as the country director in Jordan starting in 2007, leading programs focusing on legal education reform, trafficking in persons, human rights and gender equality. Most recently, she has been managing a project supporting consensus building for national dialogue and constitution drafting in Libya. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked as a prosecutor for the Office of the State’s Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland, and taught legal English at the Judicial Institution of Jordan in Amman. Shomali holds a B.A. in international relations from the Notre Dame of Maryland University and a J.D. from the University of Maryland. She is fluent in French and Arabic.

Vasilia Anayiotos, Administrative Assistant.  Most recently Anayiotos worked at the American-Hellenic Institute as a research intern. She previously lived in Cairo, Egypt for a year to study Arabic and complete a traineeship with the European Union Delegation. Anayiotos received a B.A in International Studies from Dickinson College in 2014.

Elizabeth Barnes, Program Associate, Operations. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Barnes worked at the Urban Institute, where she provided operational support for international programs in the Center for International Development and Governance. She previously interned in the MENA division of Vital Voices Global Partnerships, and has spent time living in Egypt and the West Bank. Elizabeth received a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in May 2013. 

Michelle Brady, Senior Advisor, is an experienced lawyer and development practitioner with over 13 years of experience in the practice of law, management of human rights, rule of law technical assistance and capacity building programs overseas. Brady currently manages programming in Egypt and Morocco. Prior to joining ABA ROLI’s Washington, D.C. office, she served as deputy chief of the Rule of Law Unit at the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)/Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) in Warsaw, Poland. She has also served as an international training advisor with the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) in Afghanistan and as program director for ABA ROLI in Azerbaijan. Prior to her development experience, Brady served as an assistant defender with the Defender Association of Philadelphia. She holds a B.A. in international affairs from The George Washington University, a J.D. cum laude from the University of Baltimore School of Law and a LL.M. in international and comparative law with first degree honors from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. She is a member of the Pennsylvania, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Bar Associations.

Niki Dasarathy, Senior Advisor, joined ABA ROLI in October 2012. Dasarathy currently manages programming in Jordan, Turkey and the Gulf region. Dasarathy was most recently an associate attorney representing labor unions in New York City on labor and employment-related matters. She has also served as a United Nations Development Program researcher in democratic governance and as an international human rights fellow for the Center for Constitutional Rights. Dasarathy’s international law experience includes working in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and as an extern in the Office of the Co-Prosecutor at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She holds a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and a B.A. degree in journalism from the George Washington University. 

Susan Goldman, Senior Advisor, has previously worked for ABA ROLI including as deputy country director for Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and as a country director for Vietnam. She was recently the disaster preparedness coordinator for the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, where she lived from August 2012 to May 2015. Goldman holds graduate degrees in Russian and East European studies, from Stanford University, and in political science, from the University of California–Berkeley. She holds an undergraduate degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado–Boulder. 

John Miller, Program Associate. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Miller worked at the Iraq Foundation, where he coordinated business development for international programs in Iraq. He previously interned at the Hollings Center for Middle East – Western Dialogue, and has spent time living in Jordan. Miller received a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and an additional B.A. in Arabic Language and Literature from the University of Oklahoma in May 2014.

Rachel Myers, Program Associate. Myers was most recently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at Udmurt State University in Russia during the 2014-2015 academic year. She previously spent a semester studying Russian at Moscow State University. Myers has held various positions related to political science research, university-level teaching and advising, and office administration. She earned a B.A. in political science from The College of Wooster. 

Andrew Smith, Program Officer, joined ABA ROLI in August 2014. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Smith worked on a variety of complex civil and criminal matters as a paralegal. He previously taught English and history in Amman, Jordan, and was an intern at the Hudson Institute and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He earned a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Mary Washington. 

Corinne Smith, Special Advisor, has worked with ABA ROLI in a variety of roles since 2004. In addition to Egypt, she has held leadership positions in Morocco, China, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan, and was ABA ROLI’s Europe & Eurasia Division Director, overseeing programs in 16 countries.  Other international development experience includes serving as in-house counsel for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and as a Foreign Service officer in South Africa, Namibia and Washington, D.C, and program design and proposal drafting for USAID contractors.  She was also a transactional lawyer for more than 15 years. She holds a law degree from Boston College Law School and an undergraduate degree from Smith College.  

Olivera Stojanovic, Operations Manager, joined ABA ROLI in 2014 after a number of years in development, most recently with University Research, LLC—a global company engaged in programs related to improving the quality of health care, social services and education—in Bethesda, MD. Stojanovic’s areas of expertise are program effectiveness, administration, performance monitoring, and financial and resource management. During her career, she has successfully managed several multi-million dollar programs supported by U.S. government and other donors in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, supporting implementation through management of sub-grants to local partner organizations, assisting with capacity building efforts, identifying compliance and operational risks as well as opportunities for improvement. Her previous experience includes working as a senior manager in global consulting, where she supervised, developed and mentored staff engaged in complex projects for Fortune 500 companies, developing quality assurance systems for monitoring and measuring success, as well as setting up organizational processes and systems for effective management. Stojanovic has a master of public policy and management degree from the University of Pittsburgh.


Raymond Paul Micklewright, Country Director, joined ABA ROLI in July 2016. He has led several other international development programs focused on judicial development. Micklewright has more than 30 years’ experience in trial practice. He has significant experience trying both commercial and criminal cases as well as helping clients understand and work within foreign legal systems. He has evaluated college education programs in the U.S. as well as legal and judicial education institutes internationally. He has focused over the last 10 years on improving the quality of institutionalized legal and judicial education in the Middle East & North Africa. Micklewright is a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law. He has a master's degree in agency counseling psychology from the University of Colorado and has served in senior management positions in numerous multi-million dollar organizations in developing-economy settings.

Terence L. Blackburn, Special Advisor, After receiving his J.D. degree from Columbia University, Blackburn worked as an assistant attorney general for the state of Ohio, as a law clerk for a United States federal court judge and as a corporate law associate for two law firms in New York. He later worked as a principal, vice president and general counsel of a real estate development and syndication firm. He then became a professor of corporate and international business law at Seton Hall University School of Law, and also served for two years as the founding and acting dean of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University. During his tenure at Seton Hall, he was awarded a Fulbright professorship to teach at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. He left Seton Hall in 2000 to become dean and professor of law at Michigan State University College of Law. In 2007, he joined ABA ROLI and he has served as a legal education reform consultant in Amman, Jordan, and as the country director for both Morocco and Egypt. Between 2010 and 2012, he served first as founding dean and professor of law at the KIMEP University School of Law in Almaty, Kazakhstan, and then as vice president of academic affairs of that university. In 2012, he returned to Egypt as ABA ROLI’s country director.

The Honorable Denise R. Johnson, Program Director, Egypt, was the first woman to be appointed a justice of the Vermont Supreme Court where she served for 21 years, retiring in 2011. She participated in historic decisions regarding public school funding, civil rights, the right to privacy in one’s home, as well as numerous decisions reviewing criminal trials and procedure. She was a leader in improving access to justice for women, minority groups, foreign language speakers and low-income litigants, and was active in the field of continuing judicial education for appellate judges nationwide. Justice Johnson also lectured on criminal procedure at the Universita di Trento, Trento, Italy, and on property rights and employment at-will at the Universita degli Studi di Udine in Italy. From 2012-2014, she was a legal specialist for ABA ROLI’s Judicial Reform Program in Armenia, and its Criminal Defense Capacity Programs in Serbia and Macedonia. She serves as an advisory member of the ABA CEELI Council. Justice Johnson received her LL.M. from the University of Virginia School of Law and her J.D. cum laude from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Awsam Essam Mitwally, Program Associate, has been with ABA ROLI’s Egypt office since 2011. Mitwally was raised between Egypt and the United States, and later attended Kaisar University, Daytona State College and University of Central Florida, where he earned a B.A. For eight years, he worked with the Darden Corporation for eight years.

Marco M. Soliman, Legal Consultant, Egypt, joined ABA ROLI in September 2013. Soliman previously served as an associate with an Egyptian law firm, as a legal advisor with a Kuwaiti law firm and as a legal assistant at the International Development Law Organization’s regional office in Cairo. He has also worked as a training coordinator in justice and police reform project in Yemen, participated in monitoring Egyptian parliamentary and presidential elections and assisted in drafting a training manual on monitoring presidential elections. He is a graduate of Cairo University Faculty of Law (English section) and has an LL.M. degree in international and comparative law from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law, and an LL.M. degree in rule of law for development from Loyola University of Chicago’s School of Law.

Ghada Samir Sorial, Office and Financial Manager, has been with ABA ROLI since since January 2009. Prior, she worked as a training specialist for two USAID-funded projects. She also worked for USAID-Egypt and the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the latter for seven years. She holds a B.A. from the American University in Cairo.

Roger Nassif, Legal Consultant, Egypt, joined ABA ROLI in June 2016 to assist the Strengthening Egyptian Prosecutors to Investigate and Prosecute Crime project. Previously, he worked as a legal consultant at the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crimes where he was handling case files on sexual and gender based violence. Nassif gained experience working at “Collectif pour l'accueil des solliciteurs d'asile de Strasbourg” (CASAS) Refugee Center, helping asylum seekers applying for refugee status in France and interning at the Council of Europe in the Committee of Ministers while obtaining his LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from Strasbourg University in France. He is a graduate of Cairo University Faculty of Law in partnership with Paris One Pantheon-Sorbonne University. He speaks Arabic, English and French.


Omar Badawi, Country Director, Libya, is an experienced development practitioner and lawyer with over 10 years of international development and legal experience. Before leading the Libya and Tunisia programs, Badawi served as country director in ABA ROLI’s Morocco office, where he managed a team of expatriate and local staff implementing programs in justice sector development, anti-corruption, human rights promotion, legal profession reform, access to justice, gender equality, public legal education and civil society capacity building. He also served as ABA ROLI senior advisor and program manager in Washington, D.C. Badawi holds a J.D. from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, an M.A. in political science from McGill University and a B.S. in biology from Concordia University. Before joining ABA ROLI, Badawi practiced law representing clients in labor and employment matters before administrative agencies, and in state and federal courts. Badawi is fluent in French and has basic Arabic proficiency.

Kathryn Monahan Ainsworth, Deputy Country Director, Libya, has worked with ABA ROLI in a variety of roles since 2004, including leadership positions in Egypt, Jordan, Philippines and China. Her initial service was with ABA’s predecessor organization (CEELI) as a legal specialist in Latvia from 1994-95. In addition to her international work, she practiced law for 15 years, served as senior policy advisor for a former Governor of Maine and was a partner at a mediation, facilitation and arbitration firm. She also taught alternative dispute resolution at the University of Maine School of Law. Ainsworth holds a J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law and a B.A. from the University of Iowa.


Elizabeth Givens, Country Director, Morocco joined ABA ROLI in September 2011. 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. 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. 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. 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. 


Sonja Horgen, Senior Technical Advisor, joined ABA ROLI in March 2017 and manages the Syria program in Turkey. Sonja was most recently an attorney advisor to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs-funded Justice Sector Support Program in Afghanistan. Prior to obtaining her law degree, Horgen worked as a project manager for the International Organization for Migration and consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Sonja has worked on international development projects in Yemen, Egypt, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Australia.  She holds an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Melbourne in Australia, an undergraduate degree in Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies from the University of Virginia and is a member of the State Bar of California.


Lisa Tilney, Program Director, prior to joining ABA ROLI, Tilney managed the Rule of Law Program for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Skopje and served as a legal advisor to the Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina. From 2009-2013, she developed and led legal reform projects in the Republic of Macedonia focused on human rights, criminal justice reform, judicial independence, anti-discrimination and lawmaking. Over the last decade, Tilney has also advised international organizations and committees about natural resource management and environmental security issues in the former Yugoslavia. Tilney’s first overseas post was as a legal specialist for ABA CEELI (a predecessor organization to ABA ROLI) in Sarajevo, BiH in 2002. In the United States, her practice focus has been environmental law. She holds a J.D. degree from The George Washington University Law School.

Sonja Horgen, Senior Technical Advisor, joined ABA ROLI in March 2017 and manages the Syria program in Turkey. Sonja was most recently an attorney advisor to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs-funded Justice Sector Support Program in Afghanistan. Prior to obtaining her law degree, Horgen worked as a project manager for the International Organization for Migration and consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Sonja has worked on international development projects in Yemen, Egypt, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Australia.  She holds an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Melbourne in Australia, an undergraduate degree in Foreign Affairs and Middle East Studies from the University of Virginia and is a member of the State Bar of California.

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