Karen founded International Bridges to 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. 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.
International Program Director
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 NGO 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 the 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.
Andrew Ozanian was called to the U.K. bar at Middle Temple, having completed both undergraduate and masters law degrees at the University of Manchester. His desire to pursue a career protecting Human Rights has led him to the city of Geneva where he is continuing to specialise in the prevention of investigative torture. Previously, Andrew has worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) where he assisted the prosecution of those accused of war crimes during the Yugoslav conflicts. Andrew has also spent time in Georgia U.S.A where he worked for Georgia Capital Defenders, assisting the preparation of capital trials and defending prisoners’ rights on death row. At IBJ, Andrew is part of the technical development team of the IBJ JusticeHub platform, a digital system that will scale IBJs activities between 2020-2030.
Director of Finance and Administration
Vedat has joined IBJ as of July 1, 2022. He has extensive leadership experience in finance at global companies in international markets (EMEA, Latin America, Canada, Middle East, Central Asia). As part of his roles, he worked at Board level and with international business partners and regulatory authorities. Vedat also has in depth experience in international business transformation, M&A and business growth initiatives. He has external audit experience in big 4 and in IFRS/GAAP, business compliance and governance. Prior to joining IBJ, Vedat was the Founder and Managing Director of Swiss Business Institute in Geneva where he has consulted and trained senior managers and leaders in finance and leadership in Europe, Middle East and Eastern Europe. His customers included NGOs, multi-national companies, government and educational institutions. He was the EMEA Finance Director at Logitech prior to this where he has co-managed the Logitech EMEA business and managed finance, credit and collections, accounting back office, supply chain finance, IT and Facilities functions in EMEA to manage the business risks and provide business support services. Vedat has worked at HP prior to Logitech for 19 years in various country, regional and global finance leadership positions in Switzerland, Ireland, UK, Russia and Turkey. During his time at HP, Vedat has managed the set-up of a Bank in Ireland, the HP subsidiaries in Russia and Turkey as well as numerous worldwide transformation projects. He has started his professional career at PwC as Senior Auditor where he worked 3 years and conducted external audits of local and international clients in line with GAAP, IFRS and local legal accounting and reporting standards. Vedat has a BA, in Business Administration with a major in Accounting and Finance from Bogazici University in Istanbul and he has also attended General Management Program at INSEAD Paris. He has Swiss & Turkish nationalities and currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland.
Karen S. Hirschfeld
Karen Hirschfeld is a seasoned management consultant and trainer with over 30 years of experience in enhancing organizational efficiency in her dealings with both corporate and non profit clients. Karen has volunteered part-time at IBJ for several years now, where her work involves collaborating with management, associates, and interns on projects ranging from strategic goal setting to document preparation. Her approach is characterized by a focus on time and results-driven activities. Karen has been a sounding board for new ideas, contributing significantly to organizational advancement and strategic planning. Raised in Canada and Switzerland, she brings a unique multicultural perspective to her work and is fluent in both English and French. Her current projects include enhancing platforms like JusticeHub, where her expertise in communications and organizational strategy is invaluable.
UN Liaison & Advocacy Officer
Tafadzwa Christmas is a PhD candidate at the Law Faculty, University of Geneva. The scope of his research focuses on international human rights law. He assists IBJ as its UN Liaison and Advocacy Officer; as such, he represents IBJ in key UN, civil society, academic meetings and seminars. He renders support in fundraising and project formulation for interventions in the African region, and he also provides specialized legal research services which include relevant contributions to IBJ’s e-learning platform for criminal defence lawyers, its Criminal Defence Wiki, and country-specific legislative research to support training programs for criminal defence lawyers. He previously served as a Senior Projects Lawyer with the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum and has worked for close to a decade in the field of human rights in Africa with specific focus on public interest litigation, research, as well as lobby and advocacy. Tafadzwa holds a MAS in Transitional Justice, Human Rights and the Rule of Law from the Geneva Academy (Summa Cum Laude) and an LLB (Honours) from the University of Zimbabwe.
India Program Associate
Siddharth Kaushik is an Indian qualified lawyer enrolled with the Bar Council of Delhi, India since 2013. With over six years post-qualification experience in cross-border dispute resolution, international law and domestic litigation, Siddharth manages and coordinates all aspects of IBJ’s India program. He assists with the design and management of IBJ India’s online and offline training materials and resources. He also supports the work of the IBJ India team in their advocacy, training and capacity building activities concerning legal aid and access to justice services in India. Previously, Siddharth worked at the Supreme Court of India where he gained significant experience in dispute resolution and domestic litigation. He moved to Geneva in 2017 and obtained his Master of Advanced Studies (LL.M.) in International Dispute Settlement from the Geneva Centre for International Dispute Settlement (CIDS). He then worked with the South Centre and the World Trade Organization in Geneva, before joining IBJ in 2021.
Program and Development Associate
Originally from The Netherlands, Elizabeth Visser is a published author and works as a Program and Development Associate. Before coming to IBJ, Elizabeth’s desire to pursue an international career protecting minorities led her to studying International Relations and Organizations with a specialization in Criminal Law in Groningen.
At IBJ, Elizabeth manages and coordinates the Youth programme and the Cambodia program. She worked in Cambodia in 2022, supporting the IBJ Cambodia team there to advance legal aid and access to justice for all.