Alla Kos (Bealrus) | Nancy Gamal El-Din Okail (Egypt) | Mehmood Pracha (India) | Binziad Kadafi (Indonesia) | Inaam Hassan Alyasiry (Iraq) | Anthony Njoroge (Kenya) | Yulia Savchenko (Kyrgyzstan) | Patrick Rafolisy (Madagascar) | Janet Laura Banda (Malawi) | Renchinnyam Amarjargal (Mongolia) | Sylvester Odion Akhaine (Nigeria) | Miabiye Kuromeima (Nigeria) | Saadia Abbasi (Pakistan) | Sanaulah Baloch (Pakistan) | Mohammed Rumi (Palestine) | Jose Luis Gascon (Philippines) | Yuri Dzhibladze (Russia) | Tanya Lokshina (Russia) | Daria Miloslavskaya (Russia) | Telesphore Kagaba (Rwanda) | Adelino Pereira (Sao Tome and Principe) | Jovan Jovanovich (Serbia) | Gjylnaze Syla (Serbia) | Davidson Kuyateh (Sierra Leone) | Dmytro Potekhin (Ukraine) | Marina Nagai (Uzbekistan) | Lien Thi Bich Bui (Vietnam) | Rindai Chipfunde (Zimbabwe)
Alla Kos is a development professional and a lawyer, and currently serves as director of the NIS Regional Institution Building Program at the American Bar Association's Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI). Kos also advises NGOs on capacity building issues and is executive director at the RADA Institute, an international NGO which promotes self-reliance in the development of civil society by facilitating networking and advancing advocacy-based research in Eurasia.
Nancy Gamal El-Din Okail
Nancy Gamal El-Din Okail is the director of Freedom House’s Egypt program, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world. She is currently a visiting scholar at the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University.
Okail has over 12 years of experience in promoting democracy and development in the Middle East and North Africa region. She has worked with the Egyptian government as a senior evaluation officer of foreign aid and has managed programs for Egyptian pro-democracy organizations that challenged the Mubarak regime. She was sentenced to five years in prison in absentia on June 4, 2013 in a widely publicized case in Egypt.
Okail has a PhD in international development from the University of Sussex with a focus on the power relations of aid.
Mehmood Pracha heads the Organization for the Promotion of Legal Awareness, an India-wide NGO whose task it is to make citizens aware of their legal and constitutional rights and duties. Pracha is active in legal aid, civic education and peace promotion in Jammu and Kashmir and is the only Muslim to have been president of the students’ union at Delhi Law School.
Binziad Kadafi is a researcher at the Center for Indonesian Law & Policy Studies (PSHK), the leading NGO behind the effort to reform Indonesia's legal institutions and legislative process. His accomplishments include developing blueprints for the reform of the Supreme Court and lower level courts, conducting a study on the Judicial Commission, and contributing to the establishment and reform of special courts, particularly the Anti-Corruption Court. Kadafi is interested in learning more about judicial training programs and their relation to judicial reform. After obtaining his law degree from the University of Washington School of Law, Kadafi is now involved with the National Legal Reform Program, an agency that benefits Indonesian legal institutions and civil society.
Inaam Hassan Alyasiry
Inaam Hassan Alyasiry is the regional women issues coordinator at the American Development Foundation in Iraq, working in the south-central region to establish and support groups of professional women, facilitate the participation of poor and marginalized groups in civil society, and promote gender equity.
Anthony Njoroge is a senior human rights officer at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and a personal assistant to the chairman of the commission. Prior to this he served as a lawyer and coordinator of the Africa Democracy Forum, a large coalition of pro-democracy, human rights, and good governance NGOs in Africa. Njoroge has significant experience as a practicing lawyer and human rights activist, representing victims of the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, interning with an Italian human rights group (which campaigned for the International Criminal Court), and working as a legal consultant in the campaign to eradicate Female Genital Mutilation.
Yulia Savchenko is an international journalist and broadcaster currently serving at the Russian service of the Voice of America (International Broadcasting Bureau) in Washington, DC. At Voice of America she covers congressional and political affairs as well as anchors a
breakthrough TV show “SHARE.”
Savchenko started her journalistic career in Kyrgyzstan at the age of 17. She has achieved public recognition for her talk show NO EDITS on Pyramid TV in Kyrgyzstan, which featured perspectives and debates on issues of political and social interest. In 2004, Savchenko received a United Nations Development Fund Award as a best journalist and anchor. She also holds two awards from the International Broadcasting Bureau.
She is a graduate of the Fletcher Summer Institute for the Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict at Tufts University as well as graduate of the OSCE Academy of the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution. She holds masters’ degrees from the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University and Central European University in Budapest.
Patrick Rafolisy is head of Integrity Africa at Tiri-Making Integrity Work (Tiri) based in Nairobi, Kenya. Tiri works to empower citizens to act with and demand integrity, actively taking part in building institutions to promote a state that is open, accountable and responsive to their needs and expectations. Rafolisy led the drafting and adoption of the Accra Principles for Electoral Justice, a set of electoral justice principles that were drawn together by a group of chief justices and senior electoral and political leaders from Africa and other continents, which are currently being piloted.
Rafolisy specialized in private law and criminal sciences, environmental law and international and European law of economics relations. He has been active in the field of judicial procedures, anti-corruption strategies and integrity reform, electoral integrity and access to justice in various African countries.
Prior to joining Tiri, Rafolisy’s work experience includes serving as judge and investigating magistrate in the Judiciary of Madagascar, leading the Permanent Secretariat of the ‘Conseil Supérieur de Lutte Contre la Corruption’, which designed and launched the anti-corruption program of Madagascar. He actively participated in setting-up of the Bureau Independent Anti-Corruption (BIANCO). Rafolisy headed the Permanent Secretariat of the governmental ‘Comité pour la Sauvegarde de l’Intégrité’ (CSI) responsible for the integrity component of the national good governance program of Madagascar. He has actively participated in the process of modernization of the Magistrate’s Superior Council as its first General Secretary. Rafolisy also lectured on anti-corruption law and judicial ethics and deontology at the National School of the Judiciary of Madagascar.
Janet Laura Banda
Janet Laura Banda is the chief law reform officer at the Law Reform Commission, which promotes and advises the Malawi Cabinet and Parliament on legal reform, constitutionalism, and good governance. She has been with the Commission since 1998. Prior to her work as the chief law reform officer, Banda was a legal practitioner with Clifford & Brendan, a private law firm. She was also a principal state advocate for Malawi’s Ministry of Justice.
Banda has served in various other capacities including at the Malawi’s Women Lawyer’s Association as vice president, commissioner for the Justice and Peace Commission, secretary to the task force on Legal and Judicial Reforms, chairperson on the technical committee at the Forum for Constitutional Bodies and the Government of Malawi/European Union Task Force on Civic Education.
Banda has a bachelor degree with honors from the University of Malawi, a masters in law from the University of Georgia and a doctorate from the University of London.
Renchinnyam Amarjargalis the former Prime Minister of Mongolia, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, an economist, a professor, and a current Member of Parliament. In addition to contributing to developments and reforms in Mongolian politics, economy, and academia, he also founded the Amarjargal Foundation, an active NGO committed to civic engagement, democratization, and research on economic development.
Sylvester Odion Akhaine
Sylvester Odion Akhaineis a Nigerian democratic activist who also recently obtained a political science Ph.D. in England. He was one of the leading organizers of the decade-long campaign in the 1990s to end military rule in Nigeria. Akhaineheld several top leadership positions of pro-democracy civil society organizations in the 1990s, and then initiated the Centre for Constitutionalism and Democracy, which promotes both democratic, civil-military relations and the culture and institutions of constitutional democracy.
Miabiye Kuromiema is the executive director and co-founder of Makrocom Integrated Services, a sustainable waste, environmental and engineering service company. He works on the strategic business vision and develops networks for the organization.
Previously he worked as the executive director of Southernfield Development Partners, a stakeholder and development ideas management company. While there he worked on partner development and conflict management. Before that he was an associate director at Our Niger Delta, a conflict management, peace building non-government organization where he designed and managed programs in sustainable development.
Kuromiema graduated from Rivers State University of Science and Technology with a bachelor of technology and a master's of philosophy.
Saadia Abbasi is a Pakistani senator with a background in issues of human rights and poverty alleviation, and a barrister at law who is qualified in the UK as well as Pakistan. Abbasi worked as an attorney before the Pakistani High Court for several years before she was elected senator in the opposition Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), serving as an advocate of political, economic, and social reforms through the Parliament.
Sanaulah Balochis a member of the Senate of Pakistan, and a member of Standing Committee on Local Government and Problems of Less Developed areas. He is also central information secretary of Balochistan National Party, and editor of “Jood” (Movement), a political organ of Balochistan National party. In the last 15 years Balochhas been involved in mass political movements. He has also published many articles and a book, Oppressed Balochistan (2001), on the denial of basic democratic and political rights to the people of Balochistan. Baloch’s professional expertise is in the field of democracy, federalism and ethnic minorities in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. His public life has been devoted to the struggle for the democratic rights of Balochistan.
Mohammed Rumi is a legal advisor to the Prime Minister’s office and the Council of Ministries, and was recently appointed to lead a newly created department at the Council of Ministers on issues of good governance, rule of law, and standardization of government quality performance. Rumi worked on the electoral commission from 2000 to 2004. His responsibilities as an advisor include composing proposed legislation and presenting bills to committees.
Jose Luis Gascon
Jose Luis Gascon is a democracy advocate who is currently the undersecretary in the Department of Education in the Philippines. His main tasks include reviewing and reforming the administrative processes of the large school system, ensuring its responsiveness and fighting corruption within the agency. Gascon pioneered the Politics and GovernmentProgram of Ateneo University’s Center for Social Policy and Public Affairs and later became the executive director of the National Institute for Policy Studies. Gascon has since served as the director-general of the Liberal Party of the Philippines and is currently serving as the Undersecretary for Political Affairs in the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Yuri Dzhibladze is a political scientist, human rights specialist, former cardiologist, and the founder and president of the Center for the Development of Democracy in Human Rights. The Center is an advocacy NGO developing mechanisms of civic influence on policymaking and sustainable mechanisms of human rights protection. Dzhibladze has a long career of public activism in Russia even prior to the Soviet collapse, and is a specialist in human rights, civil society, democratic transition, and international affairs.
Tanya Lokshina is the Russia program director and a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch and is based in Moscow. Having joined Human Rights Watch in January 2008, Lokshina authored several reports on egregious abuses in Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus region and co-authored a report on violations of international humanitarian law during the 2008 armed conflict in Georgia.
Her recent publications include a range of materials on Russia’s vicious crackdown on critics of the government and on violations of international humanitarian law during the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Lokshina is a recipient of the 2006 Andrei Sakharov Award, “Journalism as an Act of Conscience.” Her articles on human rights issues have been featured in prominent Russian and foreign media outlets, including CNN, the Guardian, Le Monde, the Moscow Times, Novaya Gazeta, and the Washington Post. Lokshina’s books include Chechnya Inside Out and Imposition of a Fake Political Settlement in the Northern Caucasus. In 2014, her article on the abusive virtue campaign against women in Chechnya was published in Chechnya at War and Beyond (Routledge Contemporary Russia and Eastern Europe Series).
Daria Miloslavskaya is a lawyer and linguist working for an advisory center that she co-founded to help journalists in Russia cope with multiple legal challenges. Miloslavskaya has also founded the Human Rights Hotline, a free 24-hour cell phone network of lawyers who advise people from around Russia on legal rights issues.
Telesphore Kagaba is a former diplomat, journalist, human rights activist, and a survivor of the genocide. He now works as a political analyst at the US Embassy working to build US-Rwanda relations, including advising American officials on political developments and trends, human rights issues, and refugee policy.
SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
Adelino Pereira is the Attorney General of Sao Tome and Principe. As Attorney General, he heads the Office of the General Public Prosecutor, which is responsible for defending the legality of democracy, representing the state in courts, ensuring that the state abides by the laws of the country, preventing and prosecuting crimes and corruption, and protecting the rights of children. The office is currently in the process of prosecuting politicians who used their immunity to avoid prosecution.
Jovan Jovanovichis a foreign policy advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia, responsible for democratic and market reforms in the EU accession process. In his advisory capacity, Jovanovich organizes briefings and foreign visits, prepares policy memos, and assists other office members on foreign policy issues.
Gjylnaze Syla is a Member of Parliament in Kosovo and is caucus leader of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, the third-largest liberal-democratic ethnic Albanian party. An up and coming Kosovar leader, Syla has extensive experience in politics, legislative reform, and women’s issues. Previously, she was moderator of a radio program and a physician in the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Davidson A. Kuyateh
Davidson Kuyateh is the secretary-general of Sierra Leone’s Teacher’s Union. He is a former teacher and a leader of the pro-democracy movement. He is also national coordinator of a prominent advocacy organization for universal education. His work and experiences bridge the themes of democracy and development. Kuyateh and the union have been at the forefront of the movement for democracy and civilian rule in Sierra Leone.
Dmytro Potekhin is a Ukrainian expert and trainer in nonviolent resistance.He workswith human rights and democracy campaigners to teach them methods of campaigning in post-Soviet countries and other regions.
In 2004, Potekhin coordinated a major nonpartisan voter mobilization and education campaign for the Ukrainian presidential election. The campaign introduced several offline and online communication innovations to foster a pro-democracy coalition and reach out to citizens across the nationand regional, political, cultural, gender and age boundaries. Potekhin has experience of working asa staff policy analyst in the embassy of Japan, Ukraine and Moldova.
He completed his MA in international relations from the Kyiv Institute of Humanities.
Marina Nagai works as a senior staff attorney for the American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, managing the Legal Education Reform project’s wide-ranged, intensive programming that focuses on law curriculum reform, public legal education and developing student associations in Uzbekistan. Nagai is concerned with the rampant corruption and lack of professional ethics among, most notably, judges and prosecutors in Uzbekistan, and is interested in researching professional ethics issues as well as human rights law.
Lien Thi Bich Bui
Lien Thi Bich Buiis a law and governance program officer at the Asia Foundation, Vietnam. Prior to that, she was a senior associate at the Vietnam International Law Firm, which works extensively on legal and institutional reform with NGOs, the World Bank, USAID, and the Asia Foundation. Buialso assists Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice in reviewing draft commercial laws and regulations before they are submitted to the National Assembly and the government for promulgation. Bui was honored in 2010 with an Australian Prime Minister’s Award, a scholarship that will allow her to pursue a Ph.D.
Rindai Chipfunde Vava is the national director of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), a leading pro-democracy organization in Zimbabwe that consists of a network of 30 local non-governmental organizations that specialize in governance and democracy issues. As one of the founders of ZESN, under Vava’s leadership the network has grown and established itself to be the leading independent network focusing on electoral issues in Zimbabwe. Vava has also been on a number of international election observer missions.
Vava holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in politics and administration from the University of Zimbabwe and a masters in policy studies jointly accredited by the University of Fort Hare and the University of Zimbabwe.
Updated September 2012