SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS:
Extensive international experience in management good governance; capacity building, including training; political analysis; elections (legal & technical advisory roles); rule of law; human rights monitoring and investigations, in conflict, post-conflict and developing countries.
Professional experience includes the United Nations (Department of Peace Keeping, and High Commissioner for Refugees); the Italian Foreign Ministry; the Council of Europe-Venice Commission; OSCE, IFES/USAID, Creative International/USAID, and the Graduate Institute of International Studies-Geneva/CH (Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). Exceptional analytical, negotiation and organizational skills; strategic thinker, solutions oriented.
Fluent in English, French and Italian; working knowledge of Spanish. Basic knowledge of Arabic.
November 2014, Teacher. European Inter University for Human Rights and Democratization, Venice Italy
Lecturing to 28 post graduate students on Electoral Dispute Resolutions related subject. Emphasizing the right to vote and to challenging electoral violations of voters at large, as well as of vulnerable groups such as: Internally Displaced Persons, Refugees, Minorities.
August 2014 September 2014. International Electoral Audit Observer-Creative International/USAID, Kabul/Afghanistan. Responsible to observe the audit of the 2014 Afghanistan Presidential election. Observe and monitor Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) auditors’ teams in their evaluation of election documents (ballots, results sheets, electoral lists, polling station journals), while assessing the documents’ conformity to IEC regulation, Afghan election law, and international standards. Identify and report any irregularities associated with these documents, on a daily basis, prepare a summary report of observations of the accuracy of the work of the IEC auditors. Contributed to drafting related reports, including a Key Recommendations document meant to improve, technical and procedural aspects of the Afghan electoral process.
July 2013 to January 2014. Senior Expert - United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Representation-Dakar/Senegal. The job had a regional dimension, covering Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. Advised on legal and technical aspects of refugees' right to vote (Presidential Elections in Mali July 2013). Conducted a study on the "Civilian and Humanitarian Character of the Asylum". Input to the report was conducted through field visits, a review of literature and interviews with a wide array of interlocutors contributing to the development of practical measures to maintain the highest standards of both refugee protection and security.
July 2011 to February 2012. Senior Programme Manager, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva/Switzerland Recruited, mentored, managed and supervised, a network of governmental officials, political parties representatives, diplomats and non-governmental experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Program capacity grew 250 percent, with representation from 30 government ministries. Facilitated networking, collaboration and discussion of common issues, thus mitigating regional tension. Conducted field missions to assess administrative and institutional capacity building and good governance practices and recommended protocols to strengthen compliance with international standards and best practices. Fostered policy dialogue at regional, national and international levels on electoral related issues, conflict resolution and media freedom through: trainings, seminars, workshops, conferences and civic events. Created advocacy programs for political parties, minorities & women’s rights. Prepared work-plan; reported, monitored and evaluated programs’ objectives and outcomes. Responsible for programs’ fundraising, administrative oversight and financial reporting. Project funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).
May 2010 to July 2011. Legal Adviser, Sudan, IFES/USAID.
Juba, South Sudan (March to July 2011): Analysed, and drafted comparative studies of constitutional and electoral laws, including an examination of newly-created states (Kosovo and East Timor), statehood obtained through a referendum (Montenegro), revolutionary struggle (South Africa) and neighbouring states (Kenya). Identified constitutional shortcomings and gaps vis-à-vis international standards and recommended options to address these.. Developed strategies, with a coalition of interested stakeholders, to abolish male inheritance rights and to include rights for marginalised groups (opposition parties, women, and minorities). Conducted training for political parties, civil society and officials to improve their knowledge of constitutional drafting and advocacy processes.
Khartoum, May 2010- Mar 2011. Advised the Referendum Commission (RC) on the legal aspects of the process. With the United Nations and the European Union, co-chaired coordination meetings. Liaised with interested international and local stakeholders. Researched and analysed legal texts, (Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Sudanese constitutions, electoral and referendum laws), and drafted recommendations for the inclusion of vulnerable groups, i.e. IDPs, refugees, women rights in accordance with international standards. Drafted relevant training manuals for voters registration, polling and ballot counting, trained polling officers, and political parties representatives. Briefed local officials and diplomatic missions, designed activities to build the expertise of local officials, and civil society; analyzed and reported on the political process, monitored the press, drafted regular reports, conducted field missions.
June 2005 to May 2010. Project Coordinator, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Similar responsibilities as noted above with an emphasis on growing the number of participants in the network. Evaluated administrative and institutional capacity of network members and designed recommendations and training protocols to strengthen effectiveness. Initiated series of trainings, seminars and workshops to foster regional collaboration and knowledge of international standards of electoral processes, human rights and media freedom. Identified and coordinated with national and international partners to develop and implement the project.
2008 to 2011. International Legal Adviser, Council of Europe/Venice Commission. Contributed ad-hoc analytical legal expertise as follows: Co-authored the Joint Opinion of the Electoral Code of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Co-authored the Joint Opinion of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Armenia. Expert Representative to the Electoral Code Working Group, Skopje, FYRoMacedonia. Expert Representative to the Electoral Code Working Group, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. Advised and assisted the Central Election Commission of Moldova on legal issues related to the Parliamentary Elections of April 2009. Delivered briefings on international election standards to the State Election Commission of FYRoMacedonia, and political parties. Prepared documents on election-related disputes resolutions and international legal standards to be publicly delivered to the Central Election Commission of Moldova and “Transinistria.” Conducted field mission to Transinistria as a member of the Council of Europe, Conflict Resolution Mission. Co-authored the Joint Opinion of the Electoral Code of the Republic of Georgia. Advised and assisted the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Georgia on legal issues related to the Parliamentary Elections of May 2008.
2006 to 2008. International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Expert
Witness. Collaborated with the ICTY on an ad-hoc basis to prepare and review evidence that led to the indictment and prosecution of senior officials of the former Yugoslavia for the alleged commission of war crimes.
February to July 2004. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Human Rights Expert,
Basra, Iraq. Seconded to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Regional Political Directorate. Assisted in the development of emerging civil society organizations and local government structures, including the Ministries of Justice, Planning, Development and Youth. Liaised and coordinated activities with national and international human rights and civil society groups and assessed training needs with a focus on protection-related issues. Drafted legislation for the legal registration of NGOs. Disseminated information on the CPA’S role and activities and international human rights standards and best practices through thematic seminars, workshops and training programs. Established coordination mechanisms to address critical human rights issues, including freedom of movement, speech and security. Investigated human rights violations, liaised with militaries on detention-related issues. Drafted regular and ad-hoc reports, briefed international counterparts and missions. Served as focal point for the UN electoral and humanitarian teams (which at that stage were not allowed to work in country). Accounted for disbursement of funds earmarked for different projects.
January 1996 to May 2003. United Nations Department of Peacekeeping
Operations, Political Officer, United Nations Liaison Office, Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro. Directly involved in a broad spectrum of activities to help the former Yugoslavia break with its authoritarian past and embrace democratic values. Coordinated activities with UN agencies, international organizations, the EU, civil society, emerging political parties and other interested stakeholders. Researched, analysed and presented recommendations on socio-political rights, and security issues throughout the Balkan region. Strengthened the capacity of emerging civil society, and political parties and devised mechanisms to improve dialogue among them and along ethnic lines. Liaised with local government, civil society and international stakeholders to protect the rights of vulnerable groups and promote fundamental human rights, including freedom of assembly and speech. Analysed the conditions of internally displaced persons and refugees and established coordination mechanisms with national and international organizations to advocate for their freedom of movement and rights to proper documentation, vote, return and property restitution. Liaised with authorities and the ICRC on POW-related issues. Investigated, assessed and reported on the human rights situation in Kosovo, which served as a catalyst for expanded international involvement. Assisted the UN Environment Programme in assessing the environmental impact of NATO’s military campaign, worked on conflict prevention, and decentralization, particularly in southern Serbia (Presevo, Bujanovac and Medevedja). Researched good governance in Serbia and Montenegro, within the UN Millennium Declaration. Monitored and analysed the press.
November 1993 to December 1995. United Nations Protection Forces, Humanitarian
Officer, Croatia. Coordinated protection and humanitarian activities in two of the UN’s protected areas during the war with Yugoslavia. Investigated, assessed and reported on the status and needs of vulnerable groups, including IDPs, refugees, minorities, women and prisoners. In collaboration with other international organizations, instituted regular monitoring patrols, provided assistance to those in need, and brought issues of concern to the attention of relevant authorities. Provided guidance to civil society to build their operational capacity, negotiated with local and international civilian and military officials on a wide array of issues, including safe passage of persons and humanitarian aid. Following a major military operation, was appointed Human Rights Action Team Leader tasked with coordinating actions among various stakeholders and identifying, gathering, analysing, investigating and reporting information on human rights violations. Submitted a detailed dossier of human rights violations to the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, which was subsequently used by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), for prosecutions against senior government officials on charges of war crimes.
June 1992 to July 1993. United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia,
Electoral District Supervisor. Established a UN district electoral office, recruited and trained electoral officers, organized and supervised voter registration. Establish contacts with political parties and local authorities, conducted public information/education campaigns on voting rights. Promoted the inclusion of vulnerable groups, such as women and refugees, in the electoral process. Managed 180 UN electoral staff and administered their financial records. Observed the election in which more than 90 percent voted, monitored the press.
1991. European Union, International Environmental Legislation Instructor, Marsala, Italy. Taught international environmental legislation to 30 graduate students. The course aimed at expanding regional environmental knowledge and building legal and technical expertise.
ELECTORAL RELATED OBSERVATION MISSIONS:
Afghanistan/Kabul: International Observer Presidential Elections (July 2014) Audit, 2014
Italy: Independent Monitor, Regional Elections, 2012
Sudan: IFES/USAID, Referendum on Self-Determination, January 2011
Moldova: Council of Europe/Venice Commission - PACE Delegation, Parliamentary elections, April 2009
Georgia: OSCE/ODHIR, Parliamentary elections, May 2008
Georgia: OSCE/ODIHR, Short-Term Observer, Extraordinary Presidential elections, January 2008
Azerbaijan: OSCE/ODIHR, Parliamentary elections, November 2005
Montenegro, OSCE/ODIHR, Montenegro, Presidential and Parliamentary elections, 2002
Yugoslavia, Parliamentary elections, 1997
Serbia and Montenegro: Presidential and Parliamentary elections, 2003
Kosovo: Parliamentary elections, 2003
Croatia: Parliamentary elections, 1997
Cambodia: Un-Organised elections, 1992
EDUCATION AND TRAINING:
Masters Phil, International Relations/International Law
Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva/Switzerland.
Post Graduate Study, International Relations
Italian Society for International Organizations, Rome, Italy.
Honors Degree in Political Science
University degli Studi, Palermo, Italy.
European Union- Human Rights/Legal Expert Training, Brussels-Belgium
Fellowship in Peace Making and Preventive Diplomacy, UNITAR and the International Peace Academy, Holmenkollen-Norway.
Conflict Prevention and Resolution Training, United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Yugoslavia.
UN Reforms and Team Building, UN Staff College, Turin, Italy.
Workshop Skills for Dialogue and Integration, US Institute of Peace, Serbia & Montenegro.
Human Rights Monitoring and Investigation. United Nations, Zagreb, Croatia.
LANGUAGES: Italian (mother tongue); English, French (fluent); Spanish (working knowledge); German, Serbo-Croatian and Arabic (basic).
International Institute of Sociology
International Women`s Club
Civil Voluntary Group
European Movement of Serbia
Pax Christi Netherlands- European Centre for Conflict Prevention
“Serbia a new beginning taking place”. Searching for peace in Europe and Eurasia (an overview of Conflict Prevention and Peace-building activities- Lynne-Rienner, publishers 2003).
“Guide to UN Agencies, International Organizations and NGOs working in the FRY”.
‘Kosovo” (UN document).
*Electoral Codes: CoE/VC-ODHIR Joint Opinion on Armenia, FYROMacedonia and Georgia
Residence in Foreign Countries
AFGHANISTAN August/September 2014; SENEGAL (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger) July to December 2013; SUDAN May 2010- July 2011 ISRAEL March 2009 to Jan. 2010; AZERBAIJAN (Armenia, Georgia) Nov. 2006 –March 2009; SWITZERLAND Oct. 2004 – Oct. 2006; IRAQ 2004; SERBIA &
MONTENEGRO (including Kosovo) 1996-2003; CROATIA Nov. 1993-1995; CAMBODIA
1992-93; AUSTRALIA 1991; INDIA 1990/1.9/23/2014