Draper Hills Fellows 2021 bios

colorful globe on desk

Meet the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Class of 2021

Fellows were selected from among thousands of applicants for their ground-breaking work to defend democracy

These 34 leaders drawn from 30 countries around the world are pioneering new approaches and models to advance social and political change in some of the most challenging global contexts. Representing business, government, and the nonprofit sector, our fellows are working on the frontlines of democratic change to combat the global rise of authoritarianism and populism. In countries moving towards democracy, our fellows are working to institutionalize new systems and practices to support democratic transitions.

Fellows will participate in a three-week training program led by an interdisciplinary team of faculty to study new theories and approaches to democratic development. Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, this will be the first-ever virtual iteration of the Program. These leaders will join a network of over 350 alumni from over 82 countries who have participated in the Draper Hills Summer Fellows Program since its launch in 2005. The program is generously funded by Bill and Phyllis Draper and Ingrid von Mangoldt Hills.


Etiene Martins

Etiene Martins is a lifetime federal judge in Brazil. Prior to his judicial appointment, he was a police officer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for 16 years. Judge Martins has presided over civil and criminal cases including free speech, civil rights, and political corruption. He has promoted criminal justice reform while training judges and court staff on sentencing topics at the Judicial College and advancing restorative justice programs in Brazilian federal courts. Martins has introduced conflict resolution strategies in the Police Academy curriculum in Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police Department. In this capacity, he has helped police officers act as peacebuilders and bridge the gap between police and communities.

Martins holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School. He is a judicial fellow at the U.S. Federal Judicial Center (Washington, D.C.) and a senior fellow at the Weinstein International Foundation (San Francisco, CA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting conflict resolution worldwide. The belief in a just, democratic and peaceful Brazil is the foundation of Martins’ work in the judiciary and police.



Jean-Claude Barakamfitiye

Jean-Claude Barakamfitiye is a Burundi human rights lawyer and defender, co-founder, and the acting Program Director of Burundi Bridges to Justice, a Burundi nonprofit affiliated with the Geneva, Switzerland-based nonprofit organization International Bridges to Justice that fosters access to justice for all and prevents investigative torture. He is a pioneer in human rights advocacy for the prevention of torture and other abuses in Burundi, through the use of systematic monitoring of police cells and early access to counsel for detainees, a program that he initiated in 2017.

Barakamfitiye oversees the Burundi Bridges to Justice Defender Resource Center which serves as a workspace for criminal lawyers who have so far provided thousands of vulnerable accused with free legal aid and millions of Burundians with basic rights awareness. He also organizes criminal defense training and mentoring for lawyers and facilitates criminal justice capacity-building, judiciary roundtables, and events across Burundi.

Barakamfitiye attended the Conflict Transformation Across Culture in 2015, a program organized by the School for International Training based in Vermont (USA).



Ndayizeye Egide

Ndayizeye Egide is a Burundian United Nations Volunteer who works for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Burundi (UNHCR) in the Resettlement and Protection department. He works to resettle in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and Belgium thousands of Congolese, Ugandan and Rwandan refugees who fled their countries decades ago as a result of war, civil violence, torture, and ethnic discrimination.

For more than 10 years, Egide has been working in the humanitarian sector alongside government officials from the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and Belgium to effectuate the resettlement process for the above-mentioned population. He is also the founder and the managing director of Burundi Light of Life Action (BLLA), a local nonprofit committed to achieving social transformation and transformational leadership in the poorest communities of Burundi, himself originating from one of them.



Abdouramane DialloAbdouramane Diallo is Deputy Head of Policy and Partnerships at the trade specialized institution of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB). He supports the development and implementation of the resource mobilization, public and private sector partnerships strategy. Currently, he is leading the IsDB’s African Continental Free Trade Area Initiative, helping 27 African countries operationalize their entry in the world's largest free-trade zone. Between 2014 and 2018, he was Manager for private sector development programs and spearheaded award-winning approaches that successfully mobilized private capital for SMEs and created jobs in fragile countries in the Middle East and Africa. Prior to IsDB, he worked at Natixis, ABN AMRO, and the United Nations.

Diallo is also an entrepreneur. He co-founded and advises Agrobiotech and PayGas, active start-ups operating respectively in the biotech and sustainable energy fields, addressing energy poverty, economic inclusion, agriculture development, and climate change in Africa. Diallo holds an MS in Finance from SKEMA Business School and an MIA from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.



Diego A. Tituaña

Diego A. Tituaña, a Kichwa Otavalo from Ecuador, is a diplomat of the Ecuadorian Foreign Service. He has multilateral experience in human rights, disarmament, and migration issues. Diego currently works at a territorial level as head of a technical office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ecuador. The Ministry is the governing entity of foreign policy, human mobility, and international cooperation.

In 2014, Diego became the first indigenous career diplomat that was appointed at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations. From 2014 to 2019, he was the facilitator of the United Nations Resolution on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Under his leadership, the United Nations started two important actions for the indigenous peoples: the process of enhancing their participation at the United Nations and the Proclamation of 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Diego is a 2019 World Fellow at Yale University. He holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy from Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales, and a BA in International Relations from Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.



Batu KuteliaAmbassador Batu Kutelia is the Vice President of the Atlantic Council of Georgia and the Next Generation Leader fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership. During his 17 years of public service (1996-2013) he served in numerous key foreign policy and national security positions, including the Deputy Secretary of the National Security Council of Georgia, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Georgia to the United States of America, Canada and Mexico, First Deputy Minister of Defense and the Head of the Intelligence Service of Georgia. His primary focus was Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, security, and defense sector reform and US-Georgia strategic partnership.

Ambassador Kutelia’s current activities include supporting Georgia’s path to the Euro Atlantic family of secure and prosperous democracies. He is also actively engaged in developing a modern political movement to promote democratic values, political professionalism, and ethics in Georgia.

Before turning into his diplomatic and political career Ambassador Kutelia studied physics and holds a Ph.D. in physics. He also holds a Master's degree in Public Administration. Ambassador Kutelia is fluent in English, Russian, and Georgian.



Raksha Kumar

Raksha Kumar is an award-winning journalist, with a focus on land and forest rights. Her work highlights human rights abuses by the State, thereby holding the powerful to account. Since 2011, she has reported from twelve countries across the world and a hundred districts in India for The New York Times, BBC, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, among others. Additionally, Kumar studied media freedoms in India in great detail and wrote reports for the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, and PEN International.

Kumar tracks media freedoms across the Global South for the Reuters Institute at Oxford University. She is currently working on a transnational report which identifies 'successful' resistance actions to authoritarian leadership in seven countries, and her weekly newsletter helps explain the complexities of contemporary India with the help of short fiction based on true events.

Kumar graduated from the Journalism School, Columbia University, and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Rights Law. She is also a documentary filmmaker and a Chevening Fellow and has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for Leadership Development.



Raihana MaqboolRaihana Maqbool is an independent journalist based in Indian Administered Kashmir and has been covering Kashmir and India for the last seven years. Raihana has been covering under-reported issues from Kashmir on women, health, environment, education, gender, human rights, climate, politics, and conflict for various international news organizations. She mostly works on stories related to women especially living in rural areas of Kashmir and giving a voice to them through her reporting.

Previously Raihana worked with Global Press Journal, an international news organization based in the United States for a period of five years, covering Kashmir. She currently works as a freelancer, writing stories from Indian-Administered Kashmir for various international news organizations.



Agon Maliqi

Agon Maliqi is a policy analyst and civil society activist from Kosovo with a track record of working on topics related to democratization, development, and ethnic reconciliation in his home country and the broader Western Balkans. He is the co-founder and Program Director of Sbunker, an NGO based in Prishtina that advocates for democratic values and reforms by engaging in the ideas space – namely, through its blog, policy analysis unit, and critical thinking program for young activists.

Most recently Maliqi worked on an assessment of the state of democracy in the Western Balkans and explored pathways for the regions’ exit from its “illiberal equilibrium.” Maliqi recently served as a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Washington D.C, where he explored ideas on how to expand the constituency of supporters for liberal democratic reforms in the Western Balkans. Maliqi holds an MA degree in International Development from Duke University (USA) and a BA in Political Science from the American University in Bulgaria.



Linda Kassem

Linda Kassem is a Policy and Legal Advisor at the Ministry of Economy and Trade in Lebanon specializing in trade policy and economic development. Her work applies a human rights lens to policymaking and legislation with regard to access to information and the protection of privacy. Recently, Kassem led the drafting of Lebanon’s national strategies on cybersecurity and digital transformation.

With over 17 years of experience supporting the United Nations Development Programme, Kassem has also defined public policies, drafted laws, and advised successive cabinets on international trade, public-private partnership, and information technology. Kassem has created and managed the Trade Remedies Unit, which is responsible for protecting domestic industries from unfair trade practices and promoting competitiveness. She has also led the process of Lebanon’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

Kassem holds a Ph.D. in Law from Beirut Arab University in Lebanon and a Project Management Degree from the American University of Beirut. She is a board member of ISOC, a nonprofit that promotes the open development of the Internet throughout the world.



Filip Nelkovski

Filip Nelkovski is a Macedonian international with extensive experience in managing complex development projects while holding senior positions for UNDP, British Council, Cardno Int, and GIZ. His primary interest is good governance and local economic development through the implementation of sustainable corporate governance practices, while his specialization is infrastructure development and access-to-finance for least developed regions, through systematic policy advocacy. He continues the promotion of innovation programs and related initiatives that helps engage the best of community talents in the ecosystems across the Balkans area.

Currently, Nelkovski works as Regional Advisor at GIZ on issues of supporting start-ups and SMEs to grow and to create a local living economy. Through the promotion of best practices, his main job is to work towards increasing local economic activity and competitiveness in the weakest developed region in the country, by improving access of start-ups and SMEs to financing and high value-added services. Filip completed his MBA at I. Vienna University and is an alumnus of the Stanford 2019 Leadership Academy for Development in Montenegro.



Bojana ReinerBojana Reiner is Senior Governance Counsellor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), based in London. EBRD helps develop market economies in 38 economies across three continents. She currently leads EBRD’s governance programs in North Africa and the Middle East region, including the development of the Suez Canal Economic zone, reform of state-owned enterprises, digitalization/e-governance, and support for Investment Councils. She fundraises and manages multi-million program budgets and supervises multicultural teams.

In her previous roles at EBRD, she designed and implemented EBRD’s flagship state capacity building program, the Ukraine Reforms Architecture (URA), which received an Emerging Europe Leaders' award in 2019. She joined the EBRD in 2006 from Kroll, where she was responsible for investigations of political connections and corporate relationships. Prior to Kroll, she worked as News Editor and Presenter at the BBC and as Legislative Adviser at the US Congress.

Born in Macedonia, raised in many countries, Reiner holds a First class Masters degree in International Law, and a BA in International Relations and Economics from the University of Reading, and she is proficient in six languages.



Mamadiarra Diop

Mamadiarra Diop is a journalist and producer at the United Nations mission radio (Mikado FM) in Mali, where she has coordinated staff since 2016. With more than 15 years of experience, she collaborated with international media like RFI, Afrik.com, and Africa International. She became Chief Editor of the online news daily JournalduMali.com from 2010 to 2016.

Diop graduated with a degree in modern literature from the University Paris IV-Sorbonne and holds a master's in alternation, specialized in media management from Lille School of Journalism (ESJ). In 2014, she was selected to cover the United States-Africa Summit that brought together nearly fifty African heads of state around President Obama in Washington. In 2015, she was a fellow of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) on the theme Broadcast Journalism in the US.

Committed to the cause of the press and women's leadership in the media, Diop was president of the Online Media Publishers and Professionals Association (APPEL MALI), which supports and builds journalists' capacity in Democracy and good practices. Diop is an author of short novels and has interests in politics, international relations, and diplomacy.



Toyin AkinniyiToyin Akinniyi is an international development professional with vast experience working on social justice and good governance issues across Africa. Toyin is currently an Investment Associate at Luminate, a philanthropic organization that supports the emergence of just and fair societies. Toyin works to advance Luminate’s strategy in Africa and primarily in Nigeria; sourcing, evaluating, and managing grants and investments and supporting organizations working around themes of Civic Empowerment, Data & Digital Rights, Financial Transparency, and Independent Media.

Toyin has more than 12 years of experience in media development, advocacy and civic engagement, monitoring, evaluation, and learning. She authored one of sixty essays in the book "Remaking Nigeria: Sixty Years, Sixty Voices" in commemoration of Nigeria's 60th independence in 2020, and also authored a chapter in "African Muckraking: 75 Years of Investigative Journalism from Africa", among other pieces of writing. Toyin holds an MA in Peace and Conflict Studies and a BA in English, both from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.



Aisha Yesufu

Aisha Yesufu is an active Nigerian citizen who demands good governance, accountability, and transparency, and is unapologetic about her stance in fighting for justice and equity. She is a businesswoman who teaches financial literacy to empower people to be financially independent and also have a voice to demand good governance.

Yesufu is a member of the #BringBackOurGirls movement that has been advocating for the rescue of girls that were abducted from their school in 2014. She is the immediate past Chairperson of the strategic team of the movement. Aisha Yesufu also participated in the #EndSars protests that took place in Nigeria which were aimed at putting an end to police brutality. She was dubbed the “Statue of Liberty” for her courageous stance in defying the attacks on citizens by the police during the protest. She was also named one of BBC 100 Women 2020 a list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2020.



Rumaitha Al Busaidi

Rumaitha Al Busaidi is an Omani marine scientist, public speaker, and advocate of women empowerment as a solution to the climate crisis. Al Busaidi currently leads projects and environmental affairs for Oman’s fisheries investment arm, Fisheries Development Oman. She is also the founder of WomeX, a platform teaching negotiation skills to Arab women in order to nurture a new wave of female entrepreneurs in the region.

An award-winning sportswoman, Al Busaidi is considered to be the first female soccer analyst in the Arab World. In her efforts to encourage more women into sports, Rumaitha became the youngest Omani woman in history to step foot on the South Pole. She continues to be a trailblazer setting an example for Arab women by swimming in the five oceans and seven seas of the world while visiting over 70 countries solo.

Among other leadership positions, Al Busaidi is a TED fellow, an Atlantic Council Fellow, and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. She is also the recipient of Harvard’s prestigious Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award. Al Busaidi holds an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School.



Abdul Khalique Shaikh

Abdul Khalique Shaikh serves as Additional Inspector General of Police and contributes to the strategic management of the Pakistan Police. Police in Pakistan have been working in a challenging environment for the protection of the life, liberty, and civil rights of citizens. He has been credited with the establishment of Sindh Police’s Centralized Human Rights Cell, Research & Study Center, and reorganization of the Legal Branch. He has served in the UN Peace Mission and has headed projects in collaboration with the UNDP on the Prevention of Violence Against Women. He has pioneered the Curriculum Development Program for police officers.

Shaikh holds LLB Hons from the University of London, a postgraduate degree in Law from Oxford Brookes University, and a Bar Vocational Course from the College of Law London. He has written four books and 12 articles covering human rights and policing issues and has assisted legislative proposals on witness protection and law reform initiatives for improving policing practices and protection of human rights.



Camelia Bogdan

Camelia Bogdan is a judge on the Bucharest Court of Appeals and is an expert on asset recovery, countering money laundering, and combating transnational corruption and other financial crimes. She has twice been expelled from the Romanian judiciary on politically motivated charges, as a result of her battle against the corruption of political and economic elites.

An accomplished scholar with a doctorate in criminal law from the University of Bucharest, she has authored two monographs on asset recovery and money laundering, several practical guides to asset recovery for practitioners at the national and EU level, and over 130 judicial studies in law journals. She is an associate researcher with the Centre Régional Francophone de Recherches Avancées en Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Bucarest (CEREFREA–Villa Noël) and contributes regularly to the University of Cambridge’s International Symposium on Financial Crimes.

In 2018, Bogdan was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. In recognition of her work, she received the 2019 Ion Ratiu Democracy Award from the Woodrow Wilson Center. During her fellowship, she plans to draw upon her own experience as a judge in Romania in developing a set of policy recommendations for addressing corruption and money laundering through the national and international legal system.



Roman DobrokhotovRoman Dobrokhotov is a civil activist and co-founder of the Solidarnost movement and organizer of many protest activities from 2005-2012. In 2013 he founded an online internet magazine, The Insider, focused on investigation and debunking fake news.

Dobrokhotov graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations and holds a Ph.D. in political science.






Sanja Mešanović

Sanja Mešanović began her career in state administration in 2006, working on EU integration affairs and regional and international cooperation activities in the Office for European Integration. Other state administration bodies Ms. Mešanović has worked for include the Ministry of Defense, Cabinet of Deputy Prime Minister responsible for EU integrations, the team for negotiations on the accession of the Republic of Serbia to the EU, and the Ministry of Finance.

In November 2017, Ms. Mešanović was appointed Acting Assistant Director of the Public Policy Secretariat of the Government of Serbia, and since August 2018 she has occupied the position of Acting Deputy Director. She has rich experience working in the civic sector prior to her engagement in state administration. The Public Policy Secretariat provides expert support to the Government and public administration in public policy planning, development, implementation monitoring and coordination, and the implementation of regulatory reform. Its role is to ensure that public policies are well planned, mutually aligned, efficient, and aiming at citizens' needs.



Dr. Hassanatu Mansaray

Dr. Hassanatu Mansaray, a native of Sierra Leone, is a Principal Strategy and Policy Specialist at the African Development Bank (AfDB) based in Côte d’Ivoire. Dr. Mansaray is actively involved in the preparation of the AfDB’s operational policies, strategies, and development initiatives, with a particular focus on infrastructure and private sector development in Africa.

Driven by her long-standing dedication to the continent’s sustainable economic development and social progress, she previously held the role of Senior Investment and Business Development Officer within the AfDB’s Private Sector Development Department, tasked with forging strategic business partnerships, identifying new lending opportunities as well as structuring and executing private sector operations across Africa.

Before joining the AfDB, Dr. Mansaray was a Research Scientist involved in various cutting-edge research and chemical development within academia, governments, and the pharmaceutical and petroleum industries. In addition to her professional role, Dr. Mansaray is a passionate advocate for the progress of women and youth. As the Co-Founder of Women in Science, Technology and Innovation (WoSTI) Foundation, she consistently mentors and provides support to girls and young women to succeed academically and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Dr. Mansaray is an Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow and Obama Foundation Leaders Africa participant. She holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Oxford University and Executive Education Certificates in Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School and INSEAD.



Fundi Skweyiya-GushuFundi Skweyiya-Gushu is a South African researcher, Political Communication expert, and board member at the South African Armaments Corporation of South Africa (Armscor). She has also advised and contributed research on the scarcely studied rural land tenure to the Presidential Panel on Land, which was included on the final land redistribution strategy.

As a social entrepreneur, she focuses on social activism, where she writes and researches in order to challenge the infringements of rights of the marginalized in society. Her research interests are; challenges of rural women, ethnic politics and politics of hate, land reform, effects of political messages, and electioneering studies. Skweyiya-Gushu holds a Master's Degree in International Political Communication from Bournemouth University, UK.



Jacob Bul Bior Bul

Jacob Bul Bior Bul is a South Sudanese social activist. He is a Co-founder and Media Coordinator at Anataban Arts Initiative (translated, ‘I am tired'), a youth-driven initiative that uses art as a medium to speak up on national issues. He is a member of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum that represented the civil society during the 2017 South Sudan peace talks in Ethiopia.

In 2010, Bul helped establish Woyee Film and Theatre Industry to promote social cohesion and dissemination of information on the election, and subsequently the referendum that birthed Independent South Sudan. He is committed to social change and active citizenry and hopes for a changed South Sudan, a country in peace, and respect for the rule of law.

He is a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship Fellow at Indiana University on the Civic Leadership track and successively did Professional Development experience at the United States Institute of Peace. Bul is a 2019 Obama Foundation Scholar at the University of Chicago, Harris School of Public Policy in the United States where he completed a Masters of Arts in International Development and Policy.



Timothy ChenTimothy Chen is responsible for VIA worldwide business development and strategic partnerships for VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator of PC silicon and platform technologies. In addition to presiding over VIA’s Global Sales & Marketing, he serves as the CEO of VIA China. With VIA since 1996, Chen began his career in its Taiwan headquarters, where he managed the sales and marketing offices of Japan and Korea.

Chen holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from the University of California Berkeley. Chen is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and an Aspen China Fellow. He is also a GP at KQ Capital, a semiconductor PE fund, and a GP of Premier Ventures, a semiconductor VC fund. Chen also holds board and advisory positions at a number of technology companies. Chen is involved in social ventures, social media, premium content providers, hardware companies at the semiconductor & system level, and angel investing.



Gulnora Gafurova

Gulnora Gafurova is the Executive Director of the Khujand, Tajikistan-based public organization TajRupt. It was founded in 2017 and more than 500 school and university students have graduated from its programs. As a part of a partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy and Open Society Policy Center, TajRupt operates in the field of education aiming for the development of critical thinking among Tajikistan youth through its Civic Education curriculum. Moreover, TajRupt is partnering with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund to provide online and offline education as a part of extracurricular activities for students in rural area districts in the northern part of Tajikistan.

Gafurova holds a Masters of Science degree (summa cum laude) in education from St. John’s University (United States), Master of Science degree in economics from Khujand State University (Tajikistan), and Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Tajik State University of Law, Business and Politics (Tajikistan).



Selemani Kinyunu

Selemani Kinyunu is a Tanzanian lawyer who specializes in human rights protection and governance strengthening in Africa. He currently works as a Senior Policy Officer for Political and Legal Matters at the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption, the specialized agency of the African Union mandated with overseeing anti-corruption measures in Africa. In this position, he leads anti-corruption and governance assessments in 44 countries and supports governments in formulating and implementing strategies to enhance ethical and governance standards.

Kinyunu is also passionate about the use of litigation at international and regional courts to effect change and structural transformation in societies. In 2010 he helped file the first substantive case before Africa’s regional human rights court challenging Tanzania’s restriction on independent political candidates. The case was supported by a groundswell of citizen support and rapidly became a rallying point for constitutional reform which resulted in the development of a popular draft constitution.

Kinyunu holds a bachelor’s degree in law from Tumaini University and a master’s specializing in transnational justice from the University of the Western Cape.



Santanee DitsayabutSantanee Ditsayabut has served as a public prosecutor for over 20 years and is a dedicated advocate for ending violence against women and children in Thailand. After years of being a Chief Prosecutor in the provinces, Ditsayabut is currently a Director of the Secretariat Office of Nitivajra Institute, a legal institution under the Office of the Attorney General, of which one of the key strategic mandates is to eliminate violence against women and children with a focus on cases of domestic violence in Thailand. Ditsayabut played a key role, as a chairperson in an informal consultation and a representative of Thailand, during the negotiation process to develop the United Nations Model Strategies and Practical Measures on the Elimination of Violence against Children in the field of Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice until it was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2014.

Ditsayabut graduated from Chulalongkorn University with First Class Honors and achieved the first rank in the Thai Bar examination. She earned two Master's Degrees in law from both the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wisconsin.



Ipek Bozkurt

Ipek Bozkurt is a Turkish women’s rights lawyer with her own law practice in Istanbul. She is Advocacy Coordinator of We Will Stop Femicides Platform, a feminist non-governmental organization founded to protect women’s right to life and to prevent gender-based women homicides in Turkey. On behalf of the Platform, she attends criminal cases and provides legal support to women who are subject to domestic violence and also to bereaved families.

Bozkurt’s LLM (masters degree in law) thesis, “Legal Advocacy As A Feminist Activism Strategy,” received a research grant from the Raul Wallenberg Institute, an international human rights NGO based in Sweden. Her thesis that reviews Turkish feminist NGOs and lawyers that use legal advocacy as a feminist activism instrument will be published in 2021. In 2020, Bozkurt and her co-author won 3rd place at an article competition with their article, “Defending Ethics: Feminist Criticism of Defense Statements in Violence Against Women Cases.” Bozkurt is featured in a documentary film, “Dying to Divorce,” which portrays the surviving women who were subject to violence by their spouses with coverage of recent political turmoil in Turkey. The documentary has been endorsed by Hot Docs, the largest international documentary festival in North America.



Robert Kirunda

Robert Kirunda is a Ugandan lawyer who works on human rights issues with a current specific focus on the intersection between Law and Emerging Technologies. Kirunda lectures law at the Makerere University School of Law, where he is also the Convener of the Center for Law and Emerging Technologies. The Center seeks to promote critical thought leadership on the legal questions relating to the responsible adoption of emerging technologies in Uganda and the wider African context.

Kirunda is also a member of the National Task Force on the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is writing Uganda’s national strategy for the responsible adoption of emerging technologies. He is a founding partner at Kirunda & Wasige Advocates. At this firm, Kirunda litigates socially conscious human rights-oriented cases. In 2016, Kirunda represented 9 Law Dons from Makerere University School of Law in a groundbreaking Amicus Curiae intervention at the Ugandan Supreme Court. This was the first time Amicus were admitted in a Presidential Petition in Uganda. The decision is the leading precedent on amicus intervention in Ugandan law.



Yulia MarushevskaYulia Marushevska is a Ukrainian activist and a former public servant, an independent expert on competitiveness, reform, and anti-corruption policies. Currently working in the development, corporate governance, and export strategy for the Ukrainian film industry and agricultural sector, she was previously engaged in anti-corruption activities in the field of defense as a member of the National Anticorruption Committee.

Marushevska is an internationally known speaker and lecturer on Ukraine, governance, and democracy. She is active in involving women in politics and business. Marushevska became well known internationally after starring in the viral YouTube video “I am a Ukrainian,” filmed during the height of the Euromaidan protests in early 2014. In 2015 she was appointed a Deputy Governor of the Odesa Regional Administration. Later she became the Head of the Customs Office of Odesa, responsible for developing a model for a national wide customs reform. In 2016 she resigned, as there was no high-level political will in support of the necessary reforms.

Marushevska was previously a research scholar in the fields of state-building and political development at CDDRL at Stanford University in 2015. She also studied public administration at the Global Executive MPA program at New York University and University College London.



Nikita MakarenkoNikita Makarenko is a journalist, blogger, activist, and teacher from Uzbekistan. He covers issues of justice, corruption, country development, and the environment. Nikita defends freedom of speech and expression. At present, Nikita works at the «UzReport» informational TV channel running his own show and writes for “Makarenko’s Effect,” the most popular blog in Russian language in Uzbekistan.

Nikita is a professor at Webster University in Tashkent, where he teaches media. In 2017, during the wave of liberalization in Uzbekistan, Nikita became well known for his investigative stories and columns, many of which led to significant changes in Uzbek society. For example, one of his high-profile stories concerned a ban on certain types of addictive drugs and another was on a national tree-saving moratorium.

Nikita Makarenko has a BA in journalism from the National University of Uzbekistan. He was a visiting lecturer at Oberlin College (OH) in 2019. Nikita has received an “Excellent Rule and Law Promoter” National Honor Sign in 2020.



Betilde Muñoz-PogossiannBetilde Muñoz-Pogossiann is Director of the Department of Social Inclusion of the Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity at the Organization of American States (OAS), where she directs work on equity, social inclusion, and human rights in the region. She has edited, published, and co-authored several articles and volumes on issues of Latin American reality and is a regular columnist for the Venezuelan daily El Nacional, and for the Web portal Caracas Chronicles, as well as a guest columnist in various regional media. She is a founding member and coordinator of the Network of Latin American Female Political Scientists #NoSinMujeres,” a project that seeks to promote the work of women dedicated to Political Science in Latin America.

In 2008, 2016, and again in 2019, she won the Outstanding Performance Award granted by the OAS Secretary General in recognition of her extraordinary work and contribution to the organization. Muñoz-Pogossian has a Master's degree in International Relations from the University of South Florida and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Florida International University.



Maurice K. NyambeMaurice Nyambe is a Zambian social development practitioner with 16 years experience of working in civil society in the areas of strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation, advocacy, governance, social accountability, and community philanthropy, among others.

Based in Lusaka, Nyambe currently works as Executive Director for the Zambian Chapter of Transparency International, a global movement dedicated to the fight against corruption and the promotion of good governance. Transparency International Zambia (TI-Z) advocates for the enhancement of transparency, accountability, and integrity at all levels of Zambia’s governance system. In fulfilling that mandate, Under Nyambe’s leadership, TI-Z has cultivated effective collaboration with state agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Judiciary among others, culminating among other things into the development and rollout of the first-ever public service charters for the latter.

Maurice holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Development Studies from the University of Reading (UK), a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Zambia, and a Certificate in Fundamentals of Social Accountability Monitoring from Rhodes University (South Africa).



McDonald LewanikaMcDonald Lewanika is a Zimbabwean democracy, rights, and governance expert. He has led several Zimbabwean civil society organisations, coalitions, and social movements since 2000. Lewanika is currently with Accountability Lab as its founding Country Director for Zimbabwe where he is also Chief of Party for Accountability Lab’s New Narratives on Accountability in Zimbabwe (NNAZ) Project. Accountability Lab is a global trans-local network that makes governance work for people by supporting active citizens, responsible leaders, and accountable institutions. It seeks wise and accountable use of resources and governance decisions that fairly benefit everyone.

Lewanika is an International Students Peace Prize winner at the Zimbabwe National Students Union (2001). In 2012, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded him the Personnalité D’avenir (Promising Personality) award. Also in 2012, while leading the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, it was awarded the Human Rights Organization of the year award by the National Association of NGOs.

Lewanika holds a Doctorate in Political Science from the London School of Economics (LSE) and a Masters in International Development from the University of Manchester (UK).