Julieta Catalina Herrero has been a political communications specialist in Argentina for more than 15 years. At present, Herrero works for the government of Argentina as the director of speechwriting for President Mauricio Macri, with a special focus on the value of communications and the influence that words have in strengthening democracy. Herrero served as the head of speechwriting for the Argentine presidential campaign spending almost four years helping party leaders and representatives of Parliament across the country to deliver accessible speeches, which are useful tools for reaching consensus, stimulating public debate and improving communications with the public. In 2010, after finishing a Master’s degree in Communications, Herrero was awarded an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship (EU Commission) to study Human Development and Wellbeing at the University of Bath, UK.
Haykuhi Harutyunyan is the president of the Protection of Rights Without Borders, a human rights NGO in Armenia. In this capacity, she develops and manages the implementation of the organization’s strategic programs on the judiciary, rule of law and human rights in the country. She has over 13 years of professional experience in human rights protection in local and international civil society organizations. As a practicing human rights lawyer, she is a member of the Chamber of Advocates in the Republic of Armenia, where she handles strategic litigation and cases on political prisoners. Over the past three years and most recently during Armenia’s “Velvet Revolution,” Harutyunyan successfully established and managed the group of lawyers working on the mass violation of human rights during the peaceful assemblies in the country, and submitted 45 cases to the European Court of Human Rights. Since 2016 Harutyunyan is a member of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society forum that is a policy initiative which aims to bring the six Eastern neighbors – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine – closer to the European Union. Harutyunyan is a Fulbright Scholar-Hubert Humphrey Fellow and studied at Minnesota Law School where she received her master’s degree with a concentration in leadership, human rights and rule of law.
Carolina de Mattos Ricardo is a Brazilian lawyer and social scientist who has been dedicated to public security reform since 2001. At present, she serves as a senior advisor at Sou da Paz Institute, an NGO working to reduce levels of violence in Brazil by putting into practice public policies for public safety and violence prevention that are guided by the values of democracy and social justice. Ricardo’s professional career has involved working with governments to develop local policies on crime prevention, training police officers and conducting applied research on violent dynamics and the use of force. She holds a Master´s degree in Law from the University of São Paulo.
Audrey Jiajia Li is a freelance columnist and independent filmmaker from Guangzhou, China. Her opinion columns - written in both Chinese and English - focus on Chinese politics, human rights, social justice and freedom of speech. During a time of increased censorship in China, Li strives to provide objective coverage to her audience. Over the years, Li has contributed to the South China Morning Post, Lianhe Zaobao, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Initium, among other publications. For over a decade, Li worked as a TV journalist producing and hosting her own award-winning and nationally-televised program where she interviewed guests about Chinese current affairs, which included social justice, judicial reforms and human rights issues. Recently, she completed her studies at the MIT Center for International Studies. Li has also worked for both the Boston Globe and the New York Times as the 2017-2018 Elizabeth Neuffer Fellow.
Samir Elhawary is an Egyptian-British national and an expert on conflict, humanitarian action and war-to-peace transitions, with a particular focus on the Middle East and Latin American regions. At present, Elhawary is working as the Deputy Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Damascus, Syria. Elhawary has held several positions within OCHA which include managing field coordination and humanitarian access in Yemen, and overseeing the emergency response and partnership portfolio of the OCHA regional office for the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to joining OCHA, Samir was a research fellow at the Humanitarian Policy Group of the Overseas Development Institute, an independent think tank focusing on research and policy advice. His main area of research focused on humanitarian response in conflict-affected settings. Elhawary received his MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Nino Esakia is a public policy and administration professional with 15 years of experience in the private and public sector. At present, Esakia leads the government and public sector practice at Ernst & Young Georgia where she supports organizations in executing complex policy and program initiatives in different public policy areas. In previous years, she acted as the executive director of Georgia’s Health and Social Projects’ Implementation Center and as head of the Reform Office at the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia. Under her leadership, the Ministry designed and implemented an ambitious healthcare sector reform. Esakia holds an MA in Public Administration from Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, and an MA in Business Administration from Caucasus University.
works at the intersection of news, politics, governance, online organizing and disaster response. Currently, Khursheed heads news partnerships for Twitter in India and South East Asia. Khursheed has led the conception, development and roll-out of award-winning civic tech products—Twitter Seva, Twitter Samvad, SmartFeed—that democratize information, help governments do their jobs with accountability and transparency, and enable meaningful citizen engagement. Khursheed’s innovative product and partnerships work—from Twitter SMS alerts to live data on national television— has dramatically altered how elections and politics are narrated in India. A cross-platform journalist and storyteller, Khursheed has worked in, written, produced, field produced and broken stories for outlets such as Vice, PBS, ProPublica, BBC-PRI and a host of publications across the world. Khursheed is a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at Harvard, a 2017 Maurice R Greenberg Yale World Fellow at Yale and a member of the 2017 class of Asia 21, the Asia-Pacific’s foremost network of young leaders.
Vineel Ravella is a career civil servant in the Indian Administrative Service. At present, Ravella holds many roles within the state government of Odisha, India where he serves as the chief executive officer of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited, managing director of the Odisha Mining Corporation and director of sports and youth services. In previous years, Ravella worked as a district magistrate in charge of law and order, as a district election officer and also as an election observer across India. He was the youngest private secretary to the Union Cabinet Minister, traveling across the country to contribute key policy interventions to support rural development and combat extremism in tribal areas. Ravella holds a degree in civil engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India. He also received the Chevening Gurukul Scholarship at the London School of Economics.
serves as the executive director of The Habibie Center, one of Indonesia’s leading think tanks for democracy and human rights. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of The Habibie Center, she advocates for peace policy and the strengthening of democracy in Indonesia, and works to enhance relations between Indonesia and other countries. In 2017, Abdulrahim co-created the Community Empowerment for Raising Inclusivity and Trust through Technology Application, a project using the art of storytelling to fight discrimination, promote inclusivity and build trust. The pilot phase worked with 150 young influencers in five Indonesian cities, training them to act as facilitators and storytellers in their own communities. Abdulrahim is a 2017 University of Hong Kong Asia Global Fellow, a 2015 Yale World Fellow, a 2010 MIT IDEAS Indonesia Fellow and a 2001 Asia Foundation APSA Congressional Fellow. She holds a Bachelors of Human Science in Political Science and Islamic Revealed Knowledge & Heritage from the International Islamic University Malaysia, and an M.A. in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS), University of London.
Dolphina Atieno Alego
has been an advocate of the High Court of Kenya for over 19 years. At present, she is the senior principal magistrate in Nandi County, in the North Rift region of Kenya which was the location of much of the post-election violence in 2007. She holds a specialization in matters of gender and conflict resolution, human rights, and women and children’s rights. Alego is also a certified trainer on matters of election observation. From 2011 to 2015, she was elected as both the treasurer and secretary general of the East African Magistrates and Judges Association, which derives its membership from the six East African Countries. In previous years, Alego participated in a fellowship at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana on peace and conflict resolution. She holds a Master’s degree in conflict resolution and a Bachelor’s degree in law.
Salim Mohamed is a Kenyan social entrepreneur dedicated to the advancement of human rights, governance, climate change and large-scale poverty alleviation. Mohamed is the founder of Wasihi Trust, a Kenyan organization, which focuses on addressing youth-led violent extremism solutions in the coastal region. Prior to founding Wasihi Trust, Mohamed also co-founded Carolina for Kibera (CFK), a grassroots poverty eradication organization that pioneered the participatory development methodology through its emphasis on cultivating local leadership and locally-owned solutions. CFK was named a Time magazine and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “Hero of Global Health,” for its use of sports and public health initiatives to prevent ethnic and gender violence and to fight inter-generational poverty. CFK's innovative community-owned model is taught in graduate schools around the world, and is recognized for its contributions towards ending ethnic violence and building leaders within Kibera, one of Kenya's most impoverished informal settlements. Mohamed is an Eisenhower Fellow and holds an MSc degree in Development Studies from the University of Manchester (UK).
is a journalist with over 12 years of experience in various community development activities, particularly citizen engagement and youth participation programs. At present he serves as the country director of the Accountability Lab Mali, which advances sustainable development through programs promoting youth leadership, good governance and honesty and integrity in public service, and internships in journalism. Their “Integrity Idol” competition uses reality TV to discourage corruption and celebrate honest public servants. Previously, Moussa worked as project manager for the Accountability Lab in Liberia before opening the Accountability Lab office in Mali, which he is now working to expand to the rest of Francophone Africa. Moussa was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative and had the opportunity to study business and entrepreneurship at Dartmouth College. Moussa obtained his master’s degree from The University of Bamako.
is the president of the Institutum Virtutes Civilis (Civil Virtues Institute) a think tank active in the development of the rule of law and participative democracy in Moldova. She is a former Member of Parliament, and from 2010 to 2017 served as the deputy speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. She was a member of the Standing Committee for National Security, Defense and Public Order and served as the head of the national delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and vice president of the PACE. In her role as a legislator, Palihovici advocated for issues of women, child and human rights. She co-founded the Women’s Caucus in the Moldovan Parliament and the Women’s Democracy Network branch in Moldova. Palihovici holds a master’s degree in Law and a degree in International Relations.
is a political and civil society activist dedicated to democracy reform, youth participation and women's rights in Morocco. At present, Bouddane is the first vice president of the elected Provincial Council of the city of Fez, Morocco in charge of education projects and international cooperation. She also works for INJAZ AL Maghrib, an NGO that aims to promote social entrepreneurship in public schools and universities through its partnership with the Ministry of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research. In previous years, Bouddane has worked with the United States Agency for International Development’s local governance program aimed at enhancing youth engagement in public affairs. She is an alumna of the Leaders for Democracy Fellowship at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, USA.
Motunrayo Adunni Alaka
is a communications strategist motivated by issues of media development, social entrepreneurship, inclusive governance, gender mainstreaming and value-driven leadership. At present, Alaka leads the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism, a pioneering organization promoting investigative reporting in Nigeria. Over the last 10 years, she has facilitated the training of over 700 reporters and the publication of about 170 reports across the Nigerian media on issues of women and girls, education, oil and gas, and electricity. Alaka also developed the Report Women Program that has triggered discourse around gender issues in newsrooms and beyond. She holds a degree in political science from the University of Ado-Ekiti and a master’s degree in diplomacy and strategic studies from the University of Lagos.
Rafiah Al Talei
is an Omani journalist and researcher specializing in civil rights, women’s issues and political developments in the Gulf region. She is a senior producer at the Al Jazeera Center for Public Liberties and Human Rights, an affiliation of the Al Jazeera Media Network, which is the largest media network in the Middle East. In this role, Al Talei focuses mainly on the status of people’s rights and freedoms in the region and highlights the impact of ongoing conflicts. In 2003, she ran unsuccessfully for Oman’s Parliament. Al Talei was the first Omani woman offered the Reagan-Fascell Fellowship at the National Endowment for Democracy in 2006, and the first Omani participant in the MEPI fellowship, Leaders for Democracy at Maxwell School at Syracuse University in 2007. At present, she is a Ph.D. candidate in the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University with a focus on women’s political participation in Oman. Al Talei obtained a master’s degree in Arabic Literature and a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism.
is a senior police officer of Pakistan who works for the maintenance of peace and security in the West Zone of Karachi. He is dedicated to implementing rights-based policing with special focus on the rights of marginalized sections of society such as women, children and minorities. At present, he works as a deputy inspector general of police in the Sindh Police, which provides service to the community in prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of law and order based on the principles of justice, equality, integrity, fairness and respect for human rights. Larik has established dedicated complaint centers for women and a children’s rights desk providing access to justice for the victims of domestic violence and child abuse. He has also introduced a minority communities’ security initiative for joint preventive measures against incidents of terrorism. Larik is a Fulbright Scholar with an MA degree in Human Rights from the University of Denver in the United States and an MBA from Sindh University, Jamshoro, Pakistan.
José Luis Chicoma
is the executive director of Ethos Public Policy Lab, a Mexican think tank recognized as one of the most innovative and relevant in Latin America. Over the last six years he has spearheaded a wide range of projects including public policy proposals, hack-a-thons and storytelling through comics. Through this work, Chicoma has promoted innovation, sustainability, new instruments for public-private collaboration and government transparency. Previously, he held various high-level positions in the Peruvian public sector such as vice minister of Small and Medium Enterprises and Industries, director of Export Promotion and advisor to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism. In addition to serving as a 2017 Yale World Fellow, Chicoma was named by the prestigious Semana Economica magazine as one of the 25 people under 45 who will change the Peruvian economy. He has lectured in various universities and contributed to Latin American magazines and newspapers such as Letras Libres, PODER, América Economía and Animal Político. Chicoma holds a master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University and a BA in Economics from Universidad del Pacífico in Peru.
is a human rights campaigner based in Moscow, Russia. She works as an independent legal and political consultant, and a blogger with a specific focus on harassment and torture of political activists by Russian law enforcement. Over the last three years, Baronova headed the human rights division of the Open Russia movement where she provided legal support to political prisoners, helped to secure their earlier release from prison and secured successful rounds of crowdfunding. In 2013, Baronova established a network of lawyers while she was a defendant in the Bolotnaya case, which is an investigation launched against participants in the 2012 mass protests against Putin. This case is recognized as politically motivated both internationally and in Russia. In 2016, Baronova ran for the State Duma- the lower house of the Russian parliament - gaining fourth place out of 13 candidates. She ran as the only real independent candidate with strict opposition views and managed to collect the required signatures to get registered for the ballot. Originally Baronova is a chemistry professional having obtained her degree from Moscow State University and is currently studying criminal law.
is a Russian political activist who is originally a finance and power sector professional. At present, he works as a project manager at the Alexey Navalny Anti-Corruption Foundation which seeks to fight grand corruption in Russia and to promote political activism based on investigative journalism, public campaigns and fighting corruption. In 2014, Torchinskiy conducted an investigation into the funding of the Sochi Olympics, which proved that the games cost Russian taxpayers seven times more than claimed by Russian leadership. As a project manager, he organized a public campaign to protect pension savings from confiscation by the state. Torchinskiy holds an MSC in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and a master’s in finance from the New Economic School.
Dr. Joseph Ryarasa Nkurunziza
is a medical doctor, public health practitioner and a social justice activist with over 10 years of experience in the civil society sector. Nkurunziza is the executive director of Never Again Rwanda, a peacebuilding and social justice organization that arose following the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He is the president of the African Democracy Forum, a regional network for civil society organizations and individuals dedicated to democracy for peace, human rights and development in Africa. Nkurunziza also serves as the co-founder and board director of the Health Development Initiative Rwanda, an organization committed to improving the health of disadvantaged populations across Rwanda. He has promoted discussions on the causes and consequences of genocide and conflicts at the national and international level. In his work, he focuses on peacebuilding and social justice that will give young people the guidance, encouragement and knowledge they need to be active citizens. Nkurunziza graduated from the National University of Rwanda as a medical doctor and received a post-graduate certificate in Public Health from the University of Roehampton.
Ibrahima Amadou Niang
is the head of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa’s Guinea country office and a creative activist, researcher and published author. He has spent the last 11 years working on social justice issues across Africa as an NGO activist, a democracy and electoral assistance provider, a grant maker and a political scientist. He is actively involved in the promotion of civic engagement and inclusive participation, human rights, institutional reform, social accountability, democratic governance and creative activism. In 2017, he was invited to perform at two major literary festivals: Festival Voix Vives de Méditerranée en Méditerranée
(Sètes, France) and Festival Paroles Indigo
(Arles, France). Niang completed a PhD in political science from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. He also holds a BA in international relations and economics from the University of Reading in England.
TAIWAN (Republic of China)
is a legislator and member of Congress from Taiwan (Republic of China). A member of the Judiciary and Organic law committee, Hsu currently serves as co-chair of the Cross-Party Human Rights Caucus in the legislature. As a technology-entrepreneur- turned-legislator, Hsu focuses on bringing innovation to the public sector. Among the progressive legislation bills that Hsu has introduced and passed include the Self-Driving Management Act, Cybersecurity Management Act, Financial Technology Innovation and Experimentation Act, Immigration Reform Act and the Same Sex Marriage Act. Hsu is a leading figure in advocating for blockchain technology to improve public sector efficiency, transparency and direct democracy. He is founding chairman of Asia Blockchain Alliance. Hsu co-founded TEDxTaipei in 2009 and served as senior ambassador to TEDx in Asia from 2011-2015. He is a graduate of Singularity University’s executive program.
is a Tunisian activist and academic that founded the watchdog organization I WATCH
after the Tunisian Revolution in 2011. I WATCH is known for unearthing a number of corruption scandals among government officials, businessmen and media tycoons. The organization has led campaigns against impunity in Tunisia and has won over 25 cases against grand corruption. Their efforts as corruption fighters were recognized by Transparency International when they won the 2017 AMALIA Award. Aouadi and his fellow activists have faced significant defamation and intimidation for their work against corruption, but continue to support civil society and human rights in Tunisia including absentia prison sentences. Aouadi holds two master's degrees in Cross-Cultural Studies from the University of Tunis and International Relations from the University of Birmingham, UK.
is a Ukrainian journalist specializing in conflict reporting and foreign affairs. She is head of independent TV-channels Hromadske
, a Ukrainian public broadcasting platform, and Hromadske International
, which reaches both an English and Russian-speaking audience. Gumenyuk has reported from the field during the Euromaidan Revolution of 2013-14, the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine (Donbas). As an independent, international correspondent, she has covered major political and social events in nearly 50 countries. In 2017, she was selected by Res Publica, the Warsaw-based journal; Google; Visegrad Fund; and the Financial Times as one of New Europe’s 100 Top Leaders, an annual list of Central and Eastern Europe’s brightest citizens changing their region.
Igor Rozkladai is a Ukrainian media lawyer with a focus on information and media law development and implementation. Rozkladai is a co-founder and lawyer of the Media Law Institute, which is now the Center for Democracy and Rule of Law, a think tank dedicated to the development of independent media, civic platforms and movements, and legal reform in Ukraine. He specializes in legislative implementation of public service broadcasting reform and public access to information, which includes gaining access to Soviet archives. Rozkladai is also the leading expert of the media reform group and national memory policy group of the Reanimation Package of Reforms, which is the largest coalition of leading Ukrainian non-governmental organizations. Rozkladai completed his MS in Law at National University of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
is a lawyer and a civil society activist. She is the first woman to be elected as President of the Law Association of Zambia in the history of the Bar Association in Zambia. Through her role as president of the Law Association of Zambia, Kasonde became the chairperson of the Oasis Forum, a coalition advancing the cause of human rights, good governance and social justice in Zambia. In 2014, she became the first female partner of the internationally recognized law firm of Mulenga Mundashi Kasonde Legal Practitioners. Kasonde is an officer of the Africa Regional Forum of the International Bar Association (IBA) and is formerly a member of the Bar Issues Commission of the IBA. Kasonde is a recipient of several awards and distinctions to recognize her path-breaking role as a female leader and her contributions to the advancement of public service excellence in Zambia. Kasonde is an alumna of Harvard University’s Leadership in the 21st Century Executive Program 2013. She is also an alumna of the prestigious 2014 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Kasonde obtained an LLB Law Degree from the University of Leicester in England in 2000 and an LLM Law Degree from the University of Cape Town in 2007.