International Bridges to Justice is led by a group of over 65 employees, interns and volunteers throughout the world. Browse through the staff working at our headquarters office in Geneva and our seven regional offices situated in Asia and Africa.
Read More about the Cambodian team
The office in Geneva serves as the global headquarters of IBJ.
Karen Tse – Founder and CEO
Karen founded International Bridges of Justice in 2000 to promote systemic global change in the administration of criminal justice. A former public defender, Karen first developed her interest in the cross section of criminal law and human rights as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow in 1986, after observing Southeast Asian refugees detained in a local prison without trial; thousands of prisoners of all ages being held without trial, often having been tortured into making so called confessions. In 1994, she moved to Cambodia to train the country’s first core group of public defenders and subsequently served as a United Nations Judicial Mentor. Under the auspices of the U.N., she trained judges and prosecutors, and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia.
In the initial stages, she negotiated groundbreaking measures in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. Under her leadership, IBJ has expanded its programming to include Rwanda, Burundi, Zimbabwe and India. In addition to the Defenders Resource Centers in those countries, IBJ also sponsors independent Justice Makers in 25 countries. IBJ has created a Global Defense Support Program to bring IBJ assistance to public defenders worldwide. In 2010, IBJ launched the Justice Training Center in Singapore. A graduate of UCLA Law School and Harvard Divinity School, Karen was named by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders in 2007. She has been recognized by the Skoll Foundation, Ashoka and Echoing Green as a leading social entrepreneur. Karen was the recipient of the 2008 Harvard Divinity School’s First Decade Award, and the 2008 American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Award. She also received the 2009 Gleitsman International Award at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.More on Karen
Sanjeewa Liyanage – International Program Director
Sanjeewa oversees IBJ's international portfolio of programs and is working to develop new initiatives that bring IBJ methodologies to defenders worldwide. Originally from Sri Lanka, Sanjeewa assumed the role of IBJ's International Program Director in October 2006 after over 12 years of experience in project management in Asia. He began his career as the Asian Coordinator for International Young Christian Students (IYCS) in 1988, where he conducted social awareness and leadership training programs for students in 14 Asian countries. In 1995, he joined the Asian Legal Resource Center (ALRC), a regional human rights NGOs based in Hong Kong, where he assisted human rights related legal training programs for different groups including civic group leaders, lawyers and judges from the Asia-Pacific region. He represented ALRC at numerous UN forums including the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Human Rights Committee in Geneva, preparatory meetings leading to the World Conference against Racism in Warsaw and Bangkok and the Committee against Torture. Sanjeewa was the East Asian focal point for the NGO Coalition for International Criminal Court (CICC). He has undergone human rights training at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in the Hague and Danish Institute (formerly Danish Centre) for Human Rights (DIHR) in Copenhagen. He obtained his Masters of Law (LLM) (Human Rights) at the University of Hong Kong in 2004.
Donna Reitano – Development Director
Donna has served the international non-profit community for 15 years through her work in NGOs, trade associations and intergovernmental organizations. Her experience extends to general management, project management, conference organization, advocacy, and partnership building. She has lived in Europe continuously since graduating from the University of Delaware where she obtained her BA in French language and literature. Donna served as CEO of the International Federation of Wines and Spirits for 11 years, a global trade association based in Paris, where she took the organization from a European focus to an international advocacy role. During a sabbatical leave, Donna raised her young son at home and took her LLB and LLM in international business law at the University of London. She is a member of the UK Institute of Fundraising.
Donna has been Development Director at IBJ since September 2011. She had previously volunteered at IBJ as a consultant on development and strategy when she ran her own consultancy, Re-CreativeNonProfits. As part of the management team, she is responsible for creating and overseeing an approach to strategic development, planning and fundraising. In addition, Donna is looking to develop opportunities for partnerships and ways in which IBJ can connect its stakeholders across the globe. She will focus during her first year on expanding IBJ's funding base, heightening its profile and establishing the first-ever global World Defender Forum as a community of practice around specific issues as well as an online community.
Brian Rohan – Special Projects Director
Brian coordinates special outreach and strategic initiatives at IBJ. Prior to relocating to Geneva in 2010, Brian lived in Cambodia for seven years, working as Land and Livelihoods Advisor for the American Bar Association. In this position he oversaw legal advocacy efforts focusing particularly on land and environmental rights and assisted Cambodian NGOs to conduct high profile legal advocacy. Complementing his work with IBJ, Brian remains active in Cambodia, working with lawyers who have launched the country's first public interest law firm. Prior to his work in Cambodia, Brian worked with the ABA's Rule of Law Initiative in Washington, D.C. first serving as Country Director for Moldova and Ukraine, and as Director of the Environmental Law Programs; later on, he worked as Associate Director of the Asia Law Initiative, in which position he oversaw the launch of ABA's environmental governance programming in China.
In addition to these positions, he has lived and worked on rule of law and environmental governance projects in East Africa and the former Soviet Union. He began his legal career at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's office in Boston, Massachusetts, after graduating from New York University School of Law in 1990. He is admitted to practice law in the U.S. and is fluent in Khmer.
Ekaterina Dimitrova – Chief Financial Officer
Ekaterina has over 15 years of experience in monitoring, evaluation, management and coordination of programmes and projects in the public and private sector including 6 years as senior expert in the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Organizations Directorate of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also worked for a number of international projects with UNDP, USAID, World Bank and EU and she has expertise in reporting, budgeting, compliance, knowledge management, research and analysis.
Tawana Zavazava – Intern
Tawana joined IBJ as a project management and fundraising intern in early October 2012. Mid 2012 she completed her undergraduate at Carleton University with a Human Rights Honors degree with an emphasis on child rights. She is originally from Zimbabwe but has been living in Geneva for over 15 years and in Ottawa for 4 years. Tawana is passionate about impacting the lives of youth and kids so they can reach a new potential in talent, personal growth, leadership, and education. She does this by helping in all possible ways such as leadership, mentorship, writing, social innovation, teaching and the creation of programs. She is also currently a youth leader at the Evangelical Baptist Church of Geneva. Her passion continues to grow at IBJ as she aspires to grow in program management and to use her desire to impact youth by involving them in the programs she designs.
Bryn Overend - Intern
Bryn joins IBJ as a graduate lawyer from Melbourne, Australia. He graduated in mid-2012 with a double degree of Law and Arts majoring in International Relations from Monash University. Bryn is passionate about social justice and is committed to representing those who are marginalised or disadvantaged on an international scale. Following a year of studying abroad in both Malaysia and the United Kingdom Bryn commenced work with asylum seekers applying for refugee status. For the past 2 years he has volunteered in the Human Rights Legal Team at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne whilst completing his undergraduate studies. Bryn also recently completed a 6 month placement at Victoria Legal Aid as part of his Practical Legal Training, working closely with Senior Public Defenders in a wide range of criminal matters. After signing the role in December 2012, Bryn decided to commence a year of overseas work and travel. At IBJ Bryn is excited to work with a passionate and committed team of interns and employees with a shared philosophy and mission to uphold the legal rights of those most in need within criminal justice systems around the world.
Christelle Mercier - Intern
Christelle is a French student at the University of Aix en Provence, specialised in transitional justice issues and law of state building in post conflict situations. After an undergraduate degree in law and political sciences in Lyon, she followed international human rights law courses at the University of Melbourne. She also interned for the Ieng Thirith’s defence team at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Phnom Penh and does some temporary work for the NGO Destination Justice. She will finalize her law degree with a three months internship in the Geneva Office of IBJ.
Amelia Pak-Harvey - Intern
Amelia, a Boston University undergraduate student double majoring in political science and journalism, joined IBJ in March of 2013 as a social media intern. She has previously worked as a public relations and marketing intern for the NPR show From the Top, and also worked as a special projects intern for Boston’s NBC affiliate channel this past summer. As a news editor for BU’s independent student newspaper, Amelia has gained extensive experience in print journalism. At IBJ, she will be working on extending social media outreach and hopes to spread awareness of IBJ’s successes across the world.
Josh Dutton - Intern
Josh is currently a junior at Boston College. He is studying Political Science with a minor in American Studies. His hometown is San Diego, California and he interned at the Attorney General’s office in San Diego this past summer.
Josh became interested in human rights after working with Peace Corps volunteers in Peru the summer after his sophomore year of high school. While there, Josh and a group of 13 other students lived in rural Peruvian towns and experienced the disadvantages placed on the citizens of developing countries first hand. He is interested in learning about the legal rights available to these individuals and what can be done to make sure that each person recognizes their rights.
Bobby Patrovic - Intern
Bobby is a Boston University student majoring in International Relations with a minor in Business Administration currently studying in Geneva, Switzerland until May. He joined IBJ as a Development & Marketing intern in March 2013. Bobby’s previous experience includes working as an intern this past summer with the Royal Bank of Scotland and as an international development intern the summer before with the Foreign Trade Zone Authority. These positions have given Bobby a more defined stance on the business and development side of international relations and he hopes to apply these skills over the next couple of months at IBJ.
At IBJ, he will be working to fundraise by researching and putting together grants proposals, as well as marketing and spreading awareness about IBJ’s work to the international human rights arena through social media and fundraising.
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Tel: +41(0) 22.731.2441
The powerful story of a #detainee freed after 8 years, thanks to IBJ#JusticeMakers: http://youtu.be/aMPhaJUfLCA