The ABA Rule of Law Initiative recently welcomed its new deputy director, Jeffrey Borns. We asked Jeff a few questions to allow him to introduce himself to our friends and supporters. Here are excerpts from our conversation.
Jeff Borns, ABA ROLI deputy director
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been happily married to my wife Jamie for almost 29 years. We have a daughter (Ariel) and a son (Jared), both in their 20s. Recently I had the great joy of officiating over the wedding of my son in Big Sur, California.
Congratulations, Jeff! Where does your interest in rule of law/international development work come from?
I was a Foreign Service Officer with USAID for 26 years before retiring in September 2013. Beginning as a legal advisor, I served in a variety of positions in Washington, Kenya, Ecuador, Peru and Guatemala, while concluding my service as Mission Director in South Africa. I particularly enjoyed my time overseas, learning about and working in different cultures. In two of the countries – Peru and Guatemala – I served as the director of the democracy office. It was there that I experienced the challenges and learned the importance of the rule of law in the context of promoting human dignity and economic opportunity.
You are joining us as we celebrate our 25th anniversary. What does it mean to you?
It is a great time to join the team at ABA ROLI, with a rich tradition to build upon. While I was generally familiar with the type of work ABA ROLI was doing, I didn’t appreciate the full scope and depth and the cutting-edge nature of many of its efforts. After only a short time here, I am impressed with the programs we are implementing.
Any other message you’d like to send to our colleagues in DC and in the field, to our alumni, partners and supporters?
I am very excited to be part of the ABA ROLI team, surrounded by such dedicated colleagues. They come here with incredible experience and are so very passionate about their work. It is clear to me that I have found a home. I very much look forward to visiting our colleagues in the field to better understand their successes and challenges.
Thank you, and welcome to the ABA ROLI family!