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Event | Wednesday, February 14, 2024 | 8:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET | Virtual & In-Person (Washington, DC)

Speaker Information

Climate Change Resilience in Island Nations: A Rights-Based Approach

In Order of Appearance

Jessie Tannenbaum

Program Director, Asia and the Pacific Division, ABA ROLI

Jessie Tannenbaum is a program director and technical expert with 18 years of experience in international human rights and rule of law. She currently manages ABA ROLI’s portfolio of programs in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia as well as regional human rights initiatives throughout Asia and the Pacific. A lawyer by training, she is a subject-matter expert on human rights and justice system strengthening, with particular focus on freedom of religion and belief and on legal profession development. Her professional experience includes designing, managing, implementing, and evaluating donor-funded human rights and rule of law development programs; developing methodology for and implementing evaluations of justice institutions and programs; and leading strategic planning, change management, and capacity development for civil society and justice sector institutions. 

 

Before joining the Asia and the Pacific Division, Jessie spent nearly 12 years in ABA ROLI's Research, Evaluation, and Learning Division, including as the Director of ABA ROLI’s International Justice Sector Education and Training Program from 2015-2020. Jessie has led numerous projects in Asia, Latin America, Europe and Eurasia, and the Middle East focused on judicial reform, combatting public corruption, criminal justice reform, and legal profession development. She was the principal or co-author of more than a dozen ABA ROLI evaluations of judiciaries, bar associations, prosecutorial services, and penal systems and developed qualitative research methodologies to assess criminal detention procedure, the criminal defense bar, anti-human trafficking laws, and judicial training. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, Jessie was a legal fellow at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. She has a B.A. in French and International Studies from the University of Denver and a J.D. and LL.M. in International Human Rights Law from the University of Notre Dame Law School, and is fluent in English, Spanish, and French.

Shinta Permata Sari (moderator)

Country Coordinator and Senior Program Officer, ABA ROLI (Indonesia)

Shinta Permata Sari is a development practitioner with expertise in stakeholder and project management. She has successfully assisted in the management of USG grants with ABA ROLI, adeptly navigating complex and politically sensitive programming. She joined ABA ROLI in June 2022 as a Program Officer for the Right to Resilience Program in Indonesia. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, she worked with the ASEAN Secretariat as the Education, Youth and Sports Officer, supporting the secretariat and ASEAN member states on the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, as well as reporting of various regional projects and activities across the three sectors. Shinta obtained her Master of Arts in International Relations, with a particular focus on International Security, from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from Universitas Padjadjaran, Indonesia. 

Ms. Shahudha Mohamed

(Maldives)

Shahudha Mohamed is a journalist based in the Maldives, focusing on social and environmental issues pertaining to Maldives. Shahudha started her journalism career at The Edition in 2019 and is currently writing for Dhauru News. She was awarded the Maldives Media Council’s Best Journalist award in the Social and Sustainable Development category in 2022. 

Chantal Eco

Multimedia Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker (Philippines)

Chantal Eco is a Filipino multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker. She produces stories and documentary films on the environment, agriculture, and the struggles of Filipino workers, peasants, and indigenous peoples.

 

She was selected as one of the Asian Young Curators in 2016 at the 4th Arkipel Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival for her curation titled "Land, Life, and Struggle." This collection of films portrays the struggles of indigenous peoples in the Philippines. In 2022, one of the documentaries she directed was a finalist in the documentary category for the 34th Gawad CCP Para sa Alternatibong Pelikula at Video (Alternative Film and Video). She is one of the cohorts of Thibi and the Earth Journalism Network's Environmental Data Journalism Academy in the Philippines. This intensive program focuses on working with data and uncovering new insights to produce data-driven and visually appealing climate and environmental stories. After working with the Philippine community and alternative media for 15 years, she currently freelances for various international media organizations.

Fira Abdurachman

Secretary General of the Society of Indonesian Environmental Journalists (SIEJ – Indonesia)

Chris Spencer (moderator)

Program Officer, Asia and the Pacific Division, ABA ROLI

Chris Spencer joined ABA ROLI’s Asia Division in May 2022 as a Program Associate supporting the Maldives and Indonesia portfolios. In June 2023, he became a Program Officer with ABA ROLI's Global Programs Division. Prior to joining ABA ROLI, he previously worked as a business development intern with the humanitarian aid non-profit Africare and as a legislative intern the United States House of Representatives. Chris holds an M.A. in International Affairs from George Washington University with concentrations in U.S. foreign policy and international security studies in addition to a B.A. in History from North Carolina State University.

Jade Marquez

Program Director of Right to Resilience Program, ABA ROLI (Philippines)

Jadelee Marquez, has been in development and promotion of rule of law work for 10 years, and currently the Program Director of ROLI's Right to Resilience Program that is being implemented in the Philippines, Indonesia, Fiji, and Samoa, aimed at empowering communities to participate in political and decision-making processes and influence governments to take action to mitigate the impact of climate change on human rights in island communities in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Previously, she also served as Program Manager for ROLI in projects supported by the USAID and the US Department of Labor focused on bolstering access to justice, strengthening support for the rule of law, protection of children against exploitation, and promoting human rights. As a former Electronic Court Administration and Training Supervisor, Ms. Marquez is experienced in conducting lectures on case data management for Philippine Judges and court personnel, deployment of the 1st eCourt System in the Philippines, and case data analysis as a Case Data Analysis Specialist for the QC Hall of Justice. Ms. Marquez was one of the contributors to the World Bank Group Report titled Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform.  

 

She received her Bachelor of Law degree from San Beda University – Manila in 2012 and was conferred with Juris Doctor Degree in 2023. She passed the Philippine Bar Examinations held in 2013 and the Philippine Career Executive Written Examination in 2022. She graduated with a degree in Foreign Service major in Diplomacy from Lyceum of the Philippines University and is currently taking up Master of Arts in Public Administration specializing on Dispute Resolution from the same university.

Dr. Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson

Editor, Pacific Environment Weekly

Dr. Lagipoiva Cherelle Jackson is a Pacific islander with a passion for viewing international environmental law and policy from a Small Island Developing State perspective. She is co-founder of Women in Climate Change in Samoa. As a Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford she wrote “Staying Afloat in Paradise” a study of climate change coverage in the UK and Pacific islands. She is an award-winning environmental journalist and has been recognized by the US State Department for her work in empowering women through the media. 

 

Dr. Jackson has reported on Samoa and the Pacific islands for over 20 years covering climate change, human rights, and gender issues. She started her career as a journalist for Samoa Observer and later became the youngest Editor of a national newspaper at the age of 25 with Newsline Samoa Newspaper. She has since contributed to Al Jazeera, CNN, AFP, Huffington Post, Radio Australia and the New Zealand Herald.

Adi (Ala) Alanieta Velulu

Program Advisor, Right to Resilience Program, ABA ROLI (Fiji)

Ms. Alanieta Velulu, (Ala as she is commonly known) is a lawyer by profession and women’s rights activist. Ala joined ABA ROLI as a Program Advisor for the Right to Resilience Program in March 2023. She is a Law graduate from the University of the South Pacific in 2011 followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and she was admitted to the Bar the same year. She practiced as a legal officer before joining the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM). FWRM is a feminists NGO working women’s empowerments and legislative lobbying as a Human Rights Trainer and Legal researcher for 6 years before joining the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific as a Gender Program Manager from 2019-2022. During COVID-19, she became a part-time National Legal Consultant for the International Commission of Jurists, a position she held from August 2020 to 2023.

Adi (Ala) Alanieta Velulu

Program Advisor, Right to Resilience Program, ABA ROLI (Fiji)

Ms. Alanieta Velulu, (Ala as she is commonly known) is a lawyer by profession and women’s rights activist. Ala joined ABA ROLI as a Program Advisor for the Right to Resilience Program in March 2023. She is a Law graduate from the University of the South Pacific in 2011 followed by Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and she was admitted to the Bar the same year. She practiced as a legal officer before joining the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM). FWRM is a feminists NGO working women’s empowerments and legislative lobbying as a Human Rights Trainer and Legal researcher for 6 years before joining the Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific as a Gender Program Manager from 2019-2022. During COVID-19, she became a part-time National Legal Consultant for the International Commission of Jurists, a position she held from August 2020 to 2023.

Christine J. Cuomo

Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies at the University of Georgia

Chris J. Cuomo is Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, and an affiliate faculty member of the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program, the Institute for African-American Studies, the Institute for Native American Studies, and the UGA Initiative for Climate and Society. 

 

Prior to her current appointment at the University of Georgia, Cuomo held appointments at the University of Cincinnati (where she was the Obed J. Wilson Professor of Ethics,) as well as at Cornell University, Amherst College and Murdoch University. Besides her academic appointments, Cuomo has also received research grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Council for Research on Women, and Idea for Creative Exploration

 

Cuomo's work has covered a wide area, but her primary focuses have included attempts to articulate feminist philosophy on its own terms and interdisciplinary efforts to bridge the gap between theory and practice, especially in ways which join social and environmental concerns. She has also brought feminist approaches into a wide variety of other theoretical fields, including environmental ethics, environmental justice, climate justice, and various forms of activism. Much of Cuomo's current research focuses on climate justice and how indigenous knowledge might inform us about the effects of climate change on particular landscapes.

Scott Carlson

Associate Executive Director, Center for Global Programs, American Bar Association

Scott’s legal career spans over 30 years and includes over 20 years in the international development and rule of law fields. He began his work in rule of law in the early 1990s, as a pro bono Rule of Law Liaison for the ABA. In the years since, he has worked in both field-based and headquarters settings. Currently, he is Associate Executive Director of the ABA's Center of Global Programs, previously the Senior Director for Programs and Strategic Initiatives at ABA ROLI. In this capacity, he oversees the design, management, and evaluation of ABA ROLI’s complex international legal assistance programs. He brings experience working with a variety of donors and international organizations, including USAID, UN, European Union, ILAC, African Union, U.S. Department of State, The Hague Institute for Global Justice, and International IDEA.

 

Over the course of his career, Scott has worked on both the donor and implementer sides of international development. On the donor side, he has served as Senior Rule of Law Advisor for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) and Senior Rule of Law Advisor at the Rule of Law Center for Innovation at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). As an implementer, he has worked with various companies and organizations, including the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), New-Rule LLC, ABA, and Chemonics International.

 

When not doing international development, Scott practiced as a lawyer in the public and private sectors. In the public sector, he worked with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in the Honors Program, drafting regulations and rulings, as well as litigation at Tax Court. He also served in the Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP); he was a U.S. Supreme Court Fellow; and he worked as an Assistant General Counsel for the United States Sentencing Commission. In the private sector, he worked for a large international law firm in their European offices. Each of these engagements in the practice of law shaped and informed his understanding of rule of law.

 

Before recently rejoining ABA, Scott served in ABA’s Washington Offices, as the Director for Central and Eastern Europe and Judicial Reform from 1999-2003. He designed and managed multiple international legal reform programs and supervised over 80 employees in offices across Eastern Europe. He also led the implementation of ABA ROLI’s first assessment tool, the Judicial Reform Index. Scott has published regularly on rule of law, human rights, anti-corruption, and other legal fields.

 

Scott holds a B.A. degree in English from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a J.D. from the University of Georgia, and a Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University. He speaks Albanian and French.

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