About Us: Our Team

Please note: This organization ceased operation in December 2010.
This website remains live as an archive of the work of the organization during its eight years of operation.

Mary Robinson
President

Mary Robinson served as President of Realizing Rights from 2002 to 2010, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997 to 2002 and as President of Ireland from 1990 to 1997. Before her election as President, Mrs. Robinson served as Senator, holding that office for 20 years. In 1969 she became Reid Professor of Constitutional Law at Trinity College, Dublin. She was called to the bar in 1967, becoming a Senior Counsel in 1980, and a member of the English Bar (Middle Temple) in 1973. Educated at Trinity College, Mrs. Robinson also holds law degrees from the King's Inns in Dublin and from Harvard University.

The recipient of numerous honours and awards throughout the world including the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, Mary Robinson is a member of the Elders, former Chair of the Council of Women World Leaders and a member of the Club of Madrid. She is chair of the GAVI Alliance Board and President of the International Commission of Jurists.

She serves on several boards including the Global Compact, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and is a member of the Royal Irish Academy and the American Philosophical Society.

Since the planned end of Realizing Rights in December 2010, Mary Robinson has returned to live in Ireland and currently serves as President of the Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice

Heather Grady
Managing Director

During her nearly six years at Realizing Rights, Heather Grady played a key role in leading efforts to better integrate human rights principles and approaches into global development policies and practice. As Managing Director, Heather coordinated collaborations with governments, foundations, business, civil society and the United Nations and managed the operations of Realizing Rights.

Heather brought her expertise to a wide range of Realizing Rights program areas and was instrumental in building up the strong partnerships that were the hallmark of our efforts. She provided strong policy and strategic leadership across programs including promoting equitable trade and expanding decent work opportunities, amplifying the perspectives and voices of workers and farmers who have been excluded from policy debates and centers of influence, and leading our activities on climate justice and the Millennium Development Goals.

During her career Heather spent almost two decades managing long-term development and humanitarian programs in East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Realizing Rights she worked with Oxfam Great Britain, serving as the Global Lead on Rights and Institutional Accountability, as Regional Director for East Asia based in Thailand, and before that as Oxfam's Country Representative in Viet Nam, where she resided from 1993 to 2000.

Heather has written extensively on international development and human rights, and co-authored one of the first books on participatory appraisal methodology published in more than a dozen languages. Her most recent publication is
Fostering Equitable and Sustainable Development: The Role of the Private Sector and Trade in Times of Economic Turmoil published by the Swedish International Development Agency. Heather is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and teaches on Climate Change, Rights and Development. She speaks Vietnamese, Chinese and some Arabic. Heather holds degrees from Smith College and Harvard University. She is on the Board of Trustees of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, and is on the Advisory Boards of Human Rights Ahead and Trickle Up.

Peggy Clark
Director of Health Programs / Executive Director of Innovations in Global Health and Poverty

Peggy Clark was previously the Executive Vice President for Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C. From 1991-2000, she founded and was the Executive Director of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute and received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Microenterprise Development from President Bill Clinton.

At the Ford Foundation, she was Co-Chair of the Women's Program Forum, and Program Officer for Women's and Employment Grants in the Rural Poverty division. From 1985-1888, she directed the Small Scale Enterprise at Save the Children Federation. Peggy graduated with Honors from Colgate University with a B.A. in Anthropology and Fine Arts, and she earned her Masters from Johns Hopkins University School of International Studies in International Economics and Latin American Economic Development. She is a board member of the Calvert Foundation, and the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute in the South Bronx.

Mary Baylis
Executive Assistant

Mary Baylis worked previously with Marakon Associates in New York City. She has also held positions at the Irish Life Assurance Company, the Sunday Telegraph Magazine and Encyclopedia Britannica. Mary now serves as Senior Executive Officer for The Mary Robinson Foundation - Climate Justice

Irina Bazarya
Program Officer

Before joining Realizing Rights, Irina worked at the UN Headquarters in New York, the UN Office for Drugs and Crime, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Mission in Belgrade as a Research Assistant. Irina is a Taft Research Center Fellow and a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Cincinnati. She worked on numerous research projects in the field of human rights and submitted an article for publication about female suicide terrorism in Chechnya. She holds a Master of Advanced International Studies degree from the Vienna Diplomatic Academy and a Master of History degree from the Donetsk State University (Ukraine).

Michelle Bologna
Associate Director, Women Leaders Intercultural Forum (WLIF)

In addition to her role as the Associate Director of WLIF, a program of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, Michelle also coordinated and - with Mary Robinson - co-instructed Columbia University's graduate-level seminar on human rights and ethical globalization.

In addition to her work at Realizing Rights, Michelle has served as a consultant to Africa-based organizations providing education, health and psychosocial services to children rendered vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. She also authored the American analysis of Panos London's global study on the mainstream print media's coverage of the epidemic.

Michelle worked previously in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Office of the Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, and the United States Mission to the United Nations.

Michelle is a Board Member of the Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, which aims to improve financial literacy and access to tools that translate income into assets among immigrant communities in upper Manhattan. She is currently completing her Masters degree in Business Administration at Columbia Business School, and previously earned her Masters degree in International Affairs at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Michelle graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies.

Lucy Crawford
Program Associate

Lucy holds a BA in Sociology and Critical Social Studies from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In 2004, she spent 4 months in Hanoi, Vietnam studying Vietnamese language and culture. Following this, she lived in London and interned for an MP in the House of Commons.

Ibadat Singh Dhillon
Senior Health Policy Analyst

Prior to joining Realizing Rights, Ibadat spent three years working as a Health Scientist with the Office on Smoking and Health, Epidemiology Branch, at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While with the CDC, his work included global health surveillance projects related to tobacco control, measles and polio eradication, and improving maternal and perinatal health care. Ibadat worked for a year with the Carter Center's Global 2000 program in the effort to reduce the impact of Lymphatic Filariasis and Schistosomiasis in Nigeria. He has also worked on furthering access to HIV drugs through the use of law.

Ibadat received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Environmental Sciences; a Masters of Science in Public Health from Emory University; a Juris Doctorate degree from Washington University in St. Louis; and a Masters of Law degree in Global Health Law from Georgetown University.

Celeste Fichter
Administrative Assistant

Gwen Hopkins
Administrative Assistant

Gwen earned a BA in English Literature from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, with minors in French and Women, Gender & Sexuality. She spent a semester abroad in Dakar, Senegal, where she had the opportunity to intern with Women's Rights NGO Siggil Jiggeen (which translates from Wolof as "to raise the heads of women") and observe rural advocacy organization APROFES (Association pour la promotion de la femme s?n?galaise) on the ground, as well as practice French and Wolof with her host mother.

Gwen also concentrated on creative nonfiction and the personal essay as an undergrad and wrote her senior thesis on travel writing. After graduating, she worked on Teach For America's Recruitment Team before joining Realizing Rights.

Scott Jerbi
Senior Advisor

Scott Jerbi previously worked for six years in the Executive Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, where he was a speechwriter for the High Commissioner and the focal point for the development of the Office's activities relating to the private sector. Before joining the United Nations, Scott was a Program Coordinator with the Amherst Wilder Foundation, a non-profit health and human services organization serving low-income individuals and families in the central neighborhoods and communities in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Scott received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, USA; his graduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami, USA; a Masters in International Relations from the University of Cambridge, UK; and a post-graduate certificate from the International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France.

Scott Jerbi now serves as Director of Communications at the Institute for Human Rights and Business

Bob Kapp
Senior Advisor

Bob Kapp is Of Counsel to the Washington, D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson L.L.P. where his practice is primarily in the not-for-profit sector. He is also Co-Founder and Co-President of the International Senior Lawyers' Project (an international pro bono legal service organization). He has served in the Tax Division, United States Department of Justice.

Mr. Kapp has served as Chair of each of the following individual rights organizations: Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs; American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capitol Area; and Global Rights (formerly the International Human Rights Law Group). Mr. Kapp participated in international election observer missions in Namibia and South Africa.

Ita Lynch
Health Advisor

Ita Lynch is a medical doctor with a specialty in family medicine. Before joining Realizing Rights, she practiced as a family doctor in Cork, Ireland and served as a medical consultant for Pfizer New York and in several Asian countries. Ita is a graduate of University College, Cork Medical School.

Jennifer Magalong
Program Associate

Jennifer graduated from Brown University with an AB in International Relations (Global Security) and History. In Spring 2007, Jennifer studied History and Political Science at l'Universit? Paris-I Sorbonne-Pantheon. During her time at Brown, she took part in a number of research projects with faculty from the History Department and the Watson Institute for International Studies, including serving as a Research Assistant on a project entitled, 'Internationalization of Sports: Questions of International Development and Human Rights.' Jennifer also served as a Diversity Ambassador at Brown University. She is now pursuing a Masters degree in Conflict Resolution at Georgetown University.

Jennifer McCarthy
Director, Women Leaders Intercultural Forum

Prior to joining WLIF in March 2007, Jennifer was a consultant to non-profit organizations and foundations on strategic planning, program development, and fundraising. She served as Director of Special Projects at the Nathan Cummings Foundation, where she managed the foundation's grantmaking programs on democratic values, freedom of expression and civil liberties; and development of the non-profit sector. At the Institute of International Education (IIE), an educational exchange and development organization, she directed the organization's program development initiatives and coordinated a consortium of U.S. University, business and non-governmental leaders on South African education.

She managed an innovative mid-career training program for black South African community leaders during the apartheid era and the Fulbright Program for graduate students from Asia, Africa, and Central America. Jennifer has worked for the United Nations Development Programme in Malaysia, and the International Labour Organization in Geneva on women's issues. She earned her Master's degree from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs in economic and political development and her Bachelor's degree in anthropology from Barnard College.

Lisa Oldring
Special Advisor

As a member of the GAVI Alliance Secretariat, Lisa Oldring provides support to Mary Robinson in her roles as Vice-Chair of the GAVI Fund Board, Chair of the Fund Executive Committee and co-Chair of the Joint Governance Committee. In previous years, Lisa worked with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Rwanda and later served in Geneva as Assistant to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health and, most recently, as Adviser on Human Rights and Security within the Rule of Law Unit.

Lisa holds an undergraduate degree in Criminology and a bachelor of laws degree from the University of Alberta, Canada, and has been a member of the Alberta Bar since 1997. She received her Diplome d'Etudes Superieures (DES) in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva.

Naoko Otani
Director, Program Development & Operations

Prior to joining Realizing Rights, Naoko Otani worked for Save the Children Federation, Inc. in Washington, DC in several capacities. From 2004 - 2006, as the Program Development Manager, she managed business development processes contributing to approximately $60 million of new programs in Africa and Asia in the areas of education, HIV/AIDS, and child protection. In response to both the Earthquake in October 2005 and the Tsunami in December 2004, she was deployed to Pakistan and Indonesia respectively to provide management support to Save the Children's overall emergency response.

From 1999 - 2005, Naoko provided technical and managerial support to the HIV/AIDS global portfolio, which included programs in Malawi, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Uganda, Georgia and Nepal as well as provided technical assistance and support to anti-trafficking programs in Nepal and Indonesia and children in crisis (children affected by war and displacement) programs in Ethiopia, Somaliland, Guinea, Malawi, Nepal, Indonesia, Pakistan/Afghanistan, and West Bank/Gaza. Naoko holds a B.A. in Political Science from McGill University and a Master's degree in International Development from American University.

Rory Sturdy
Webmaster

Rory is founder and Managing Director of Ethical Sector Communications, which works with non-profit organizations and not-just-for-profit businesses to help them connect effectively with target audiences. Rory previously held positions with several Irish aid agencies including Concern Worldwide. His private sector experience includes roles with Right Management Consultants in Dublin, Mindset Consultants in Stockholm, and Intel Corporation. Rory has also taught in England, Kenya and South Korea and worked as a web designer in Sydney, Australia.

Rory holds a European Master of International Humanitarian Action (NOHA) awarded jointly by Uppsala Universitet, Sweden; Ruhr-Universit?t, Germany; and Universidad de Deusto, Spain. He received a Bachelor Degree in Business Studies from Dublin City University and is a graduate of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Francoise Torchiana
Associate, Business and Human Rights

Francoise Torchiana, based in Paris, is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where she received a Master of Laws in International Legal Studies in 2003, of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she received a Master of Laws in Corporate Law in 1984, and of the University of Paris Law School, where she received a Maitrise in Business Law in 1983. Francoise also received a business degree from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales in 1982.

Prior to working with Realizing Rights, Francoise was a Trustee and Officer of the French American School of New York for eight years. Previously, she was an associate in the New York office of the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. She is a member of the New York bar and has qualified for the Paris bar.

Stephanie Weber
MLI Program Officer

Stephanie Weber is an international public health professional with experience working in a diverse range of humanitarian and development settings. Over the last four years, Stephanie has worked for the American Refugee Committee, a US-based humanitarian organization. During this time, Stephanie provided technical support to a wide-range of reproductive health programs in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and worked in Southern Sudan directly implementing comprehensive HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence programs. Prior to her work with the American Refugee Committee, Stephanie spent time in West Africa as a Public Health Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea and conducting research on orphans and vulnerable children in northern Togo. She has an MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Rosann Wisman
Director of the Ministerial Leadership Initiative

Rosann posseses a strong leadership background in the health sector with a long standing commitment to reproductive health. Prior to joining Realizing Rights, Rosann was the Executive Director of Accordia Global Health Foundation, a US based foundation focused on infectious diseases in Africa. Previous posts also include Senior Vice President at the Centre for Population and Development Activities (CEDPA) and President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, Washington DC . While living in Japan, she served as Senior Advocacy Advisor for Population Action International. Rosann holds an M.S. in Public Health, awarded by the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Columbia, Missouri.