From 2008 until 2015, Law and Human Rights Fellows at the University of Minnesota were hosted by the Human Rights Center at the Walter Mondale Law School.
Hubert H. Humphrey International Fellows
Ishfaq Ahmed: Pakistan
Mr. Ishfaq Ahmed has been with the Pakistani police service since 1999.He currently serves as commandant of the Punjab Police Department’s Rawalpindi Police Training School in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. There, he supervises training, administration, and the training curriculum development. He also lectures on topics ranging from legal to gender aspects of human rights. He received a Master of Science in human rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science. One of Mr. Ahmed’s concerns is how to restructure terrorist strategies adopted in the war on terror, which have led to the failure of the basic structure of human rights in Pakistan. During his fellowship year, Mr. Ahmed will focus on human rights mechanisms, due process and the rule of law, and judicial and criminal justice systems.
Sabha Al Dhafri: United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Ms. Sabha Al Dhafri has worked for the Union National Bank in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi for 13 years. Promoted to bank manager in 2006, she is the first UAE national female branch manager in the Union National Bank. She earned a bachelor’s degree in e-business management from the Higher Colleges of Technology in Al Ain, UAE. Ms. Al Dhafri is strongly committed to creating opportunities for UAE women to work in private-sector organizations, such as banks and financial institutions. Her focus is on the recruitment, motivation, development, evaluation, and retention.During her fellowship year, Ms. Al Dhafri will focus on human resources management and team leadership.
Sultan Al Shereiqi: Oman
Mr. Sultan Al Shereiqi began his career with Oman’s Ministry of Manpower in 1999,working his way from data entry to his current position as director of labor inspection. There, he implements Oman’s labor-rights agenda by monitoring law implementation pertaining to working conditions, working hours, wages, juvenile and female employment, health and safety, and other issues. His other responsibilities include preparing action plans for comprehensive labor inspections; advising business owners, workers, and stakeholders on labor law; conducting follow-up investigations; and preparing data and organizing the procedures for and development of labor inspection research. Through his work, Al Shereiqi has gained a particular interest in combating the tragedy of human trafficking. He received a Master of Information Systems Management from Bond University in Queensland, Australia. During his fellowship year, Mr. Al Shereiqi will concentrate on labor rights, human trafficking, and public - private partnerships.
Idirisu Chin: Cameroon
Over the past 17 years, Mr. Idirisu Chin has held many leadership positions within Islamic education in Cameroon, first as vice principal then principal of an Islamic high school, and now as chief of pedagogy and administration for the Organization of Islamic Educational Establishments in Kumbo, North West Region. The organization plays a vital role in promoting Western education in Muslim communities in Cameroon. He is in charge of personnel issues, including recruitment, training, promotion, salaries, separation, and retirement. Mr. Chin has served 15 years on the Cameroon Anglo-Saxon Examination Board, and serves as coordinator of the Fight Against Corruption through Schools (FACTS) Project for Islamic education for the North West and South West regions of Cameroon. He received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Yaounde, Cameroon. During his fellowship year, Mr. Chin will focus on human resources management, performance evaluation and career development, leadership, conflict management, nonprofit management, organizational culture, and public-sector ethics.
Mohammed El Qasemy: Morocco
Mr. Mohamed El-Qasemy’s background is in economics, public administration, and public finance. He has worked in Morocco’s Ministry of Economy and Finance for the last 10 years, currently serving as state controller in its Department of Public Enterprises and Privatization, responsible for oversight of contracts and performance of public establishments and state-owned companies. He has a keen interest in administrative reform, and the significance of performance-based budgeting.Before joining the Ministry, he taught economics, management, and law for five years in the Graduate School of Technology at the University of Fez. He received a two-year certificate of upper management from the Higher Institute of Business and Enterprise Management in Casablanca and a graduate degree in economics from the University of Fez. During his fellowship year, Mr. El-Qasemy will focus on public finance systems, the budget processes, public policy analysis, and program evaluation.
Jin Hyuk-her: South Korea
Mr. Jin Hyuk Her is an officer in the Korea National Police Force, currently serving as police patrol car dispatcher with the Gyeong Ju Police Station, where he counsels callers on legal matters and conflict resolution, and dispatches patrol cars when necessary. During his career, Her has worked with many different departments, including riot police, criminal investigation, patrol team, and public order. His main interest is in two areas: techniques to deal peacefully with mass crowd demonstrations, and social and immigrant policies that help promote harmony in an increasingly multi-cultural society. He received a Bachelor of Law from the Korea National Police University, a Bachelor of Economics from the Korea National Open University, and a Master of Translation and Consecutive Interpretation (Korean-Arabic) degree from the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. During his fellowship year, Mr. Her will be focusing on law enforcement, human rights, and social policies.
Min Htin: Burma (Myanmar)
Mr. Min Htin currently serves as executive committee member and board member for the YMCA in Mandalay, an organization that plays a vital role in developing a civil society through practical training and education for local youth. He has extensive responsibility for training and development and also gives lectures and conducts workshops on various management subjects to NGOs and for-profit organizations in the community. His main interest is in human resources management and of youth development as it relates to the future of his country. He received a Master of Business Administration.
Agnes Igoye: Uganda
Ms. Agnes Igoye has served 14 years in the Government of Uganda’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, currently as senior immigration officer/training coordinator for the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control in Kampala, Uganda.She is responsible for planning, designing, and conducting training activities on such topics as irregular migration and counter trafficking, passport/document fraud, organized crime, and effective boarder management. She supervises the passport office in Kampala and represents the Ministry in various national and intergovernmental committees involved with peace and security strategies. Ms. Igoye also has worked alongside the International Organization for Migration and the U.S. Department of Justice on raising awareness about and training law enforcement to counter human trafficking in Uganda. She received a Master of Arts in sociology from Makerere University and a post-graduate diploma in management from the Uganda Management Institute in Kampala.During her fellowship year, Ms. Igoye will focus on human trafficking prevention, trafficking victim and witness protection programs, and victim rehabilitation programs.
Min Shen: China
Ms. Min Shen currently serves as director of international business development at Horizon Research Consultancy Group, the largest local independent research company in China. Ms. Shen’s extensive research experience in public opinion and social studies enables her to serve as a bridge between the public and local government in China, as well as between the Chinese and others from around the world.She has been invited to lecture to domestic and foreign research institutes and think tanks, such as the National Committee on United States-Chinese Relations, the East-West Institute, and the National Library of China. She also has helped higher education institutions such, as Tsinghua University and Southwest Jiaotong University to create courses on social entrepreneurship. Ms. Shen earned a master’s degree in classical chinese literature from Zhejiang University. During her fellowship year, Ms. Shen will focus on public policy analysis, foundation and nonprofit operation, management and governance of nonprofits, and organizational effectiveness.
Kirti Thapa: Nepal
Ms. Kirti Thapa has more than 10 years of experience in gender equality and protection of children and women from violence, abuse, and exploitation, including trafficking. She currently serves as senior program coordinator - child rights governance with Save the Children in Kathmandu, where she is responsible for providing strategic direction and technical assistance to her organization and its partners to improve their capacity to develop and implement child rights program. She also is responsible for ensuring that all programs of Save the Children are in line with the UN Convention on Rights of Children and other international human rights treaties and standards. She received a Master of Sociology with a major in gender studies and project management, a post-graduate diploma in women’s studies, and a Master of Science in Botany from Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. During her fellowship year, Ms. Thapa will focus on human trafficking (prevention, protection, policy advocacy, victim support) and human rights.
Abdoul Aziz Traore: Mali
Mr. Abdoul Aziz Traore currently serves as director of human resources at Energie du Mali (EDM), the only electricity provider in Mali, where has worked since 1996. There, he acts as trainer and quality auditor. As head of the administrative staff responsible for all aspects of human resources, he is fully involved in EDM’s current restructuring progran. He provides advice to the Ministry overseeing this process on ways for EDM to provide additional public services to best meet the needs of the Malian people. Mr. Traore also is a member of the international nonprofit LEAD, a worldwide network of organizations and individuals committed to sustainable development. As a LEAD Fellow, he helped establish LEAD Mali to promote local-level sustainable development by increasing public awareness and conducting conferences, trainings, and projects. He received a degree in public administration from the National School of Administration in Bamako, Mali. During his fellowship year, Mr. Traore will focus on public policy, program evaluation, and leadership.
Nadezhda Trubova: Kazakhstan
Ms. Nadezhda Trubova has worked in Kazakhstan’s NGO sector for more than 10 years, particularly in support of orphans and underprivileged young people, helping them find their place in life and arming them with educational and professional tools to be active members of the society. She currently is training coordinator at the public foundation HELP in Kostanai, where she is responsible for preparing and conducting trainings for HELP projects. She also trains other NGO staff and volunteers on principles of nonprofit work, cooperation with governmental structures, and project design. She earned degrees in English teaching and English translation/interpretation from Kostanai State University in Kostanai, Kazakhstan. During her fellowship year, Ms. Trubova will focus on community needs assessment, project management, qualitative methods in social research, monitoring and evaluation, strategic planning, and financial and organizational management of NGOs.
Law School Alumni
Kathya Cibelle Abreu de Sousa: Brazil
Ms. Abreu de Sousa is a Public Defender at the Penitentiary of Marilia. She holds a Bachelor of Law degree and specialization in Criminal and Civil Law and Criminal and Civil Procedure, and a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology. In her current position, she provides legal aid to the inmate population at the penitentiary – writing petitions and appeals to the local and supreme courts in order to enable prisoners to exercise their right to challenge their detention. Due to her work with the inmate population, she wants to focus on both public agencies and NGOs, and she is interested in issues of crime, prison systems, rights of incarcerated populations, and international human rights development and protection. She also wishes to explore issues of women’s and children’s rights.
Marina Aristova: Russia
Ms. Aristova has been working as an Attorney at Law in the Chamber of Attorneys of the Samara Region in Russia. Some of Ms. Aristova’s duties include protecting human rights and legal interests by providing legal consultations, drawing up legal documents, representing and defending people’s rights in all stages of legal proceedings. She renders legal assistance to different organizations, representing them at the arbitration tribunal. During her Humphrey Fellowship year, Ms. Aristova would like to gain knowledge in the field of international trade law and international business transactions. She is interested in investigating developing countries’ integration process into world trade, the role of international trade organizations in the integration process and settling international disputes in the field of world trading activity.
Vipin Bhatt: India
Mr. Bhatt was a consultant for the Child Protection Team, UNICEF – India Country Office, in the Indian government’s Ministry of Women and Child Development. Previously he worked as a program staffer and attorney in children’s rights organizations. He brought child protection issues to public attention, worked in the juvenile justice system, and combatted child trafficking and child labor. He earned a B.A. degree with honors in Psychology and an M.A. degree in social work from Jamia Millia Islamia University, and a Bachelor in Law from the University of Delhi. He plans to study human trafficking with a focus on the trafficking of children and organized crime. He also hopes to increase his expertise and practical skills concerning child trafficking and to study the application of international law for the protection of victims of child trafficking.
Agnieszka Dabrowiecka: Poland
Ms. Dabrowiecka is the Director of the Human Rights Unit of the Polish Justice Department, which consists of five divisions that deal with human rights issues, including: cooperating with international monitoring mechanisms, e.g., the European Court of Human Rights, the UPR, UN treaty bodies; drafting state reports to the UN; providing support for crime victims; and, promoting Alternative Dispute Resolution. Ms. Dabrowiecka holds a degree in Law from the University of Gdansk and a certificate in Human Rights Law and Practice from the University of Birmingham. During her fellowship year, Ms. Dabrowiecka would like to gain knowledge of current international human rights standards, human rights advocacy and gender issues. She is also interested in the application of human rights treaties by US courts and in the U.S. experience with international monitoring bodies.
Almaz Salmoorbekovich Kasymbekov: Kyrgyzstan
Mr. Kasymbekov works in the agribusiness sector as a deputy CEO for the Kyrgyz Agricultural and Food Corporation. He coordinates design and implementation of development strategy, support for foreign economic activity, investment, business projects, and legislative developments in food processing. He has introduced bills concerning development of the agro-industrial complex of Kyrgyzstan, geographical expansion of partnerships, and imple-mentation of large business projects. He holds a degree in Law with honors from the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, and is a PhD candidate in Law. Previously he worked in criminal justice for the Ministry of Justice and for NGOs. As a Humphrey Fellow he intends to study marketing management and strategies, business communication, and international management. He hopes to identify marketing-based international business opportunities and implement international business projects and to strengthen his leadership and managerial skills.
Zhella Manrique: Philippines
Ms. Manrique is a prosecutor with the Department of Justice in the Philippines. She prosecutes criminal cases in family court involving minor victims of sexual abuse and women victims of domestic violence. She holds a Bachelor of Laws degree from San Beda College and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English studies from the University of the Philippines. As a Humphrey Fellow, she would like to study best practices for combating human trafficking with particular attention to the areas of law enforcement and prosecution. She hopes to affiliate with government agencies and NGOs involved in the prosecution and investigation of trafficking cases. She is also interested in increasing her knowledge of child sexual abuse and domestic violence.
Masango Matimura: Zimbabwe
Mr. Matimura is the Programs Manager at the Peace-building and Capacity Development Foundation (PACDEF) in Mutare, Zimbabwe. His responsibilities include supervising officers, writing project proposals for funding, monitoring and evaluating organizational activities, organizing and providing training to field officers, planning organization activities and programs, implementing organizational projects in the communities, and conducting performance appraisals. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Peace and International Relations and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Community Development. As a Humphrey Fellow, he plans to study human rights and conflict resolution, and to research how human rights abuses threaten national and international security. Mr. Matimura would like to focus much of his fellowship on building lasting relationships. He would like to develop a professional affiliation with an organization dealing with governance, human rights, development, and conflict resolution matters.
Rommel Miranda: Philippines
Mr. Miranda is a Police Superintendent of the Philippine National Police. He is the Chief, PIO and Spokesperson of the National Capital Region Police Office, supervising the provision of information to the public and the media. He implements initiatives that enhance police and community cooperation. He holds two bachelor degrees in law and in electrical engineering and has undertaken various police training and professional development courses. During his fellowship year, he intends to gain professional experience that would help him formulate better institutional policies, practices, and capability on the permissive use-of-force by the police. Mr. Miranda would like to develop a monitoring and investigating system, training program and equipment build-up for police use-of-force, to prevent violations of human rights and legal standards. He seeks professional affiliations with organizations that advocate human rights and with law enforcement agencies that specialize in use-of-force norms.
Pepita Jane Petralba: Philippines
Ms. Petralba is the Chief Provincial Prosecutor of Cebu with the Philippine Department of Justice, responsible for approving, filing, and prosecuting cases involving all crimes committed in the Province of Cebu as well as the management of the prosecutor’s office. She contributes to policy-making on women’s concerns as Commissioner of the Cebu Provincial Women’s Commission, and she is Vice-Chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force against Trafficking. Ms. Petralba holds a Bachelor of Law from Southwestern University in Cebu City, with a Certificate of Participation in International Human Rights Law from the International Institute of Human Rights. As a Humphrey Fellow, Ms. Petralba hopes to adopt a bottom-to-top approach to the prevention of human trafficking and violence against women and children, and to develop high-level policies on the prosecution of trafficking cases and witness protection.
Vineta Polatside: Latvia
Ms. Vineta Polatside is Head of Projects for the Inter-national Organization for Migration in Latvia and is the local contact point for victims of trafficking. She is responsible for the management of activities and projects related to human trafficking, asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. Ms. Polatside holds a Bachelor of Humanitarian Sciences from the University of Latvia and a Higher National Diploma of Law from the College of Law in Riga. She is the cofounder and a board member of the NGO shelter “Safe House,” the primary organization in Latvia working with issues of trafficking. During her Humphrey Fellowship year, she would like to engage in coursework that addresses trafficking, participate in field trips and specialized seminars, and complete an internship with an international organization or NGO working on human trafficking.
Jolanta Samuolyte: Lithuania
Ms. Samuolyte, as the Legal Director of the Human Rights Monitoring Institute (HRMI), is primarily responsible for monitoring the human rights situation, conducting research studies and strategic litigation, preparing shadow reports and developing educational programs. As an OSI Justice Initiative Fellow, Ms. Samuolyte obtained her LL.M. in Human Rights from Central European University in Budapest. She holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence in International and EU Law from Concordia International University of Estonia, Tallinn. As a Humphrey Fellow, Ms. Samuolyte is interested in deepening her knowledge of international human rights law with special focus on discrimination, enforcement of international standards, and the use of innovative human rights advocacy strategies. She also hopes to enhance her skills in public speaking and in use of the media for addressing human rights issues.
Laila Ziadeh: Palestinian National Authority (West Bank)
Ms. Ziadeh served as head manager of the Community Work Department at the Star Mountain Rehabilitation Center in Ramallah. She was responsible for: managing, planning, and evaluating; developing policies; representing the department in national and international forums; and, fundraising efforts. She also worked on advocacy for and empowerment of vulnerable women, and mainstreaming. Ms. Ziadeh has a master’s degree in Gender, Development and Law from Bir Zeit University. During her fellowship year she would like to focus on human rights law and advocacy, and the mechanisms of implementation of human rights on the national and the international level, in order to be able to be one of those who will contribute to progressive changes in legislation and administrative rules, to improve the crucial situation of the disadvantages faced by people such as women, children and persons with disabilities.
U.K Fulbright for Public Affairs Scholar
Ms. Zoe Leung-Hubbard is a direct tax specialist in the Large Business Service of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the United Kingdom’s fiscal authority, where she specializes in corporate tax. She received a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Bristol, completed the Inspector Development Programme (a four-year graduate program run by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs), and has begun a doctoral program in law. As part of her Ph.D. program, Ms. Leung-Hubbard is researching the effect of European tax law on the competitiveness of the U.K.’s corporate tax system. As a U.K. Fulbright Fellow, Ms Leung-Hubbard will spend four months at the University of Minnesota studying legislative and administrative approaches to tackling tax avoidance in the United States.
Edmund S. Muskie Fellow
The Edmund S. Muskie and Freedom Support Act Graduate Fellowship was established in 1992 by the United States government to promote international understanding and cooperation. The objective of the program is to provide leadership training to mid-career professionals from the former Soviet Union. The program focus is on former Soviet Union because of major economic and political transformations that are taking place in the region. During their two-year fellowship, fellows take academic courses and participate in professional internships.
Olga Reshetova: Ukraine
Ms. Olga Reshetova has worked as a secondary school English teacher, a Spanish teacher, and as quality assurance team manager and HR manager with the company Provina, Inc. Her work as a member of such international NGOs as Rotaract Club in Simferopol and The Club for Young Leaders at the Heidelberg Center has focused on environmental protection, inclusive education for physically challenged children, and humanitarian aid to homeless people. Within these organizations, Ms. Reshetova has coordinated projects to help orphans and children with leukemia. She also volunteers for Foundation for Freedom, working to develop trust, mutual understanding, and tolerance among different ethnic groups living in her home region of Crimea. She also has taken an active role in projects to reform the Ukrainian educational system and provide information about gender issues. She received a master’s degree with honors in English language and literature from Taurida National V.I. Vernadsky University in Ukraine. During her fellowship, Ms. Reshetova will pursue a Master of Public Policy degree.
Government of India MPA Fellows
The Indian government initiated this fellowship program to offer leadership development opportunities to top officers in public service positions with the government.
Ms. Madhvi Kataria currently serves as director of social security, women, and child development and as executive director of the backward classes, minorities finance, and development corporation for the Government of Punjab, India. She also has held positions in personnel and administration and human resource development in various departments of state government. A majority of her professional experience has been in the social sector, and she has been intimately involved in implementation of government policies and programs pertaining to vulnerable and marginal sections of society. Her recent focus has been on prevention of domestic violence and improvement of state-run correctional homes for juveniles and delinquent juveniles. Ms. Kataria earned a Master of Business Administration degree and currently is pursuing a Master of Social Work degree. During her fellowship year, Ms. Kataria will pursue a Master of Public Affairs degree with a focus on human rights, social policy, civic engagement, public–private partnerships, leadership, and change management.
Mr. Jitendra Kumar serves as the director of the rural connectivity division of the Ministry of Rural Development for the Government of India. This division hosts one of the government’s flagship programs, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (Prime Minister Village Road Scheme), which provides all-weather road connection in rural areas of the country. Mr. Kumar is responsible for approval for rural road projects, release of project funds, and monitoring of physical and financial progress of projects. Previously, he was deputy conservator of forests for the Indian Forest Service. He also has worked for the electricity department of Goa, India. Mr. Kumar holds a Master of Science degree in forestry from the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and a bachelor’s degree in technology from the India Institute of Technology in Kanpur. During his fellowship year, Mr. Kumar will pursue a Master of Public Affairs degree.
Mr. Gaigongdin Panmei serves as deputy chief executive of the National Cooperative Development Corporation, a statutory development finance institute under the Ministry of Agriculture, in New Delhi. There, he promotes post-harvest management in agriculture and allied sectors through cooperatives in India. Previous to this, he served as an India Revenue Service, working in the areas of customs, export promotion, anti-smuggling and drug enforcement, and excise and service tax. Mr. Panmei has extensive experience with drug enforcement in the northeastern region of India. He earned a master’s degree in history from the University of Delhi. During his fellowship year, Mr. Panmei will pursue a Master of Public Affairs degree.
Ms. Kalpana Rajsinghot is joint secretary at the Union Public Service Commission, a constitutional recruitment body for all senior and middle management positions in the Government of India and its Union Territories. She oversees recruitment, initiates policies and structural reforms, and manages the development and maintenance of a database of national experts. She is the project leader for the online recruitment application system, with responsibility for project conceptualization, planning, design, and implementation. Previous to serving in this role, Ms. Rajsinghot worked in various positions with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. She also was nominated by the UNDP and Government of India as one of the two-member Indian delegation to Afghanistan to study civil service administrative reforms being carried out there. She holds a master’s degree in science specializing in cytogenetics from Bangalore University and a master’s degree in economics from Indira Gandhi National Open University. During her fellowship year, Ms. Rajsinghot will pursue a Master of Public Affairs degree.
Mr. D.K. Singh works in the service of the Government of India’s Indian Railway Traffic Service. He currently serves as director of the Ministry of Social Justice, where he looks after the interests of those at the bottom of the socio-economic pyramid in India. His responsibilities involve policy formulation and implementation for social, economic, and educational development of the target group in partnership with provincial governments and non-government organizations. Prior to this, he worked for 16 years in various areas of rail transportation, such as operations, marketing, and policy making. He holds a Master of Business Administration degree. During his fellowship year, Mr. Singh will pursue a Master of Public Affairs Degree.