Jessie Tannenbaum

Legal Advisor

Jessie Tannenbaum is a legal advisor in the Research, Evaluation, and Learning Office and has also served as the director of ABA ROLl's International Justice Sector Education and Training (IJET) Program since 2015. Her expertise is in working with the formal justice sector, in particular on judicial and prosecutorial reform, combatting public corruption, penal reform, and defense bar development. Her experience includes program design, management, implementation, and evaluation; developing methodology for and implementing assessments of justice institutions; developing theory of change, logical frameworks, and monitoring and evaluation plans; and leading strategic planning and change management for justice sector reform projects.

As IJET director, Jessie leads a 16-country program that brings small groups of justice sector professionals to the U.S. for monthlong fellowship programs to empower them to effect sustainable change in their home country’s justice institutions and supports them in the implementation of strategic change upon their return home. Jessie has also been the principal or co-author of more than a dozen ABA ROLI evaluations of judiciaries, bar associations, prosecutorial services, and penal systems and has developed qualitative research methodologies to assess criminal detention procedure, the criminal defense bar, anti-human trafficking laws, and judicial training. From 2015-2017, she coordinated a multi-country research team and managed the program Identifying Trafficking Risk and Best Practices for Combating Risk in sub-Saharan Africa's Supply Chains, and in 2018 she led fieldwork for the evaluation of ABA ROLI's program to strengthen the justice sector's capacity to analyze and use forensic evidence in criminal cases in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Prior to joining ABA ROLI in 2008, Jessie was a legal fellow at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, where she analyzed requests for urgent assistance to avoid imminent human rights violations from throughout the Americas. Jessie has a B.A. in International Studies and French from the University of Denver, and a J.D. and LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame. A Chicago native, she is fluent in Spanish and French and proficient in Portuguese.