The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and IJDH’s Haiti-based affiliate, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) has been growing since 2009. This expansion, made possible by our generous donors, is fulfilling our dream of creating a corps of trained, motivated Haitian human rights lawyers and advocates.
IJDH & BAI Staff
IJDH: United States-Based Staff
- Steve Forester, Esq., IJDH Immigration Policy Coordinator
- Nicole Phillips, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney
- Beatrice Lindstrom, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney
- Betsey Chace, IJDH Development & Operations Manager
- Stanley Rodriguez, IJDH Administrative Assistant
- Legal Fellows
- Boston Office Interns
BAI: Haiti-Based Staf
Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., Director, co-managed the BAI in Haiti for eight years, from 1996-2004, and worked for the United Nations as a Human Rights Officer in 1995-1996. He founded IJDH, and has been the Leader since 2004. He helped prepare the prosecution of the Raboteau Massacre trial in 2000, one of the most significant human rights cases anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. He has represented Haitian political prisoners before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and represented the plaintiff in Yvon Neptune v. Haiti, the only Haiti case ever tried before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Mr. Concannon has received fellowships from Harvard Law School and Brandeis University and has trained international judges, U.S. asylum officers and law students across the U.S. He is a member of the Editorial Board of Health and Human Rights, An International Journal. He speaks and writes frequently about human rights in Haiti. He holds an undergraduate degree from Middlebury College and JD from Georgetown Law. He speaks English, Haitian Creole and French. Brian@ijdh.org
Mario Joseph, Av., Managing Attorney, has co-managed or managed the BAI since 1996, and has practiced human rights and criminal law since 1993. The New York Times called him Haiti’s most respected human rights lawyer. He spearheaded the prosecution of the Raboteau Massacre trial in 2000, one of the most significant human rights cases anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. He has represented dozens of jailed political prisoners, in Haitian courts and in complaints before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. In 2009, he received the Judith Lee Stronach Human Rights Award from the Center for Justice & Accountability and the Katherine and George Alexander Human Rights Prize from the University of Santa Clara Law School. He has testified as an expert on Haitian criminal procedure before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and in U.S. courts, and served on the Haitian government’s Law Reform Commission.
Mr. Joseph is also an educator, and a graduate of Haiti’s Teachers’ College. He has extensive experience teaching human rights and legal issues to grassroots advocacy organizations, human rights groups and victims’ organizations. He appears frequently on television and radio in Haiti to explain legal issues. He speaks Haitian Creole, French and English.
UNITED STATES-BASED STAFF (IJDH)
Steve Forester, Esq., IJDH Immigration Policy Coordinator, leads efforts to secure prompt parole into the U.S. of 55,000 beneficiaries of approved visa petitions to give parity with DHS’s ongoing Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program, created in 2007, and help Haiti recover by generating remittances to hundreds of thousands. Since the quake he has secured eleven editorials urging this relief in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Antonio Express-News, Star Ledger, Newsday, and Miami Herald, written a U.S. Conference of Mayors resolution passed June 14 and an op-ed published September 8, etc. He championed the six month TPS filing period extension announced July 12 and facilitates TPS coordination. Pre-quake, Forester led efforts to secure TPS due to four storms which devastated Haiti in Fall 2008, securing pro-TPS editorials in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Newsday, Orlando Sen tinel, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and Miami Herald; letters from seven U.S. senators and others; NYT and St. Petersburg Times articles; a National Bar Association resolution, etc. In late 2009 he met with officials re-granting Haitians work permits and the Miami Herald published his op-ed, “Let Haitians work in dignity;” his January 2009 outreach to a White House official secured the quiet halt of all non-criminal Haiti removals formalized a year later. A Haitian rights advocates since 1979, he has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and other bodies and in 1997 began and led the fight which secured the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA), under which 20,000 Haitians have become legal permanent residents of the U.S. IJDH has sponsored his work since February 2009. SteveForester@aol.com
Nicole Phillips, Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney, has always been passionate about international human rights and was so moved by the earthquake in Haiti that she left her career as a union labor lawyer to join IJDH in April 2010. Her practice included ten years with Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she served as general counsel to unions and employee benefit trust funds across the country, arbitrated collective bargaining disputes, and managed a caseload in federal and state courts involving labor, employment, health insurance, and environmental regulations. Ms. Phillips has served since 2000 as a Member of the Board of Directors of Human Rights Advocates, an NGO based in California with consultative status to the United Nations and has appeared before the UN Human Rights Committee, Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination and Commission on the Status of Women on various human rights issues. She first worked with IJDH in 2006 while directing the University of San Francisco, School of Law, Center for Law and Global Justice, Haiti and Dominican Republic human rights programs, which she continues to do. Ms. Phillips earner her B.A. from the University of California, San Diego in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations, and her JD from the University of San Francisco, School of law. She has lived and studied in France and Mexico and speaks French and Spanish (and is learning Kreyol). Nicole@ijdh.org
Beatrice Lindstrom., Esq., IJDH Staff Attorney, joined the team in September 2010 as a Lawyers’ Earthquake Response Network (LERN) Fellow at the BAI. While in Haiti, she managed grassroots participation in the Universal Periodic Review and contributed to the Health and Human Rights in Prisons Project and the Housing Rights Advocacy Project. As a Staff Attorney with IJDH, Beatrice works primarily on litigation seeking accountability from the U.N. for its role in causing Haiti’s cholera outbreak. Prior to joining BAI/IJDH, Beatrice worked on economic and social rights and the human rights obligations of the private sector in a variety of contexts. Her experiences include litigating human rights in U.S. courts and working on access-to-justice issues for the U.N. Special Representative on Business and Human Rights. Beatrice is a graduate of New York University School of Law, where she was a Root Tilden Kern public interest scholar, and she holds an undergraduate degree in political science and economics from Emory University. Beatrice speaks English, Swedish, Korean, French, and Haitian Creole. Beatrice@ijdh.org
Stanley Rodriguez, IJDH Administrative Assistant, has a BA in Economics from the University of Massachusetts. Stanley has years of experience in Accounts Payable and Information Technology, specifically in hardware. Stanley is also a part time MS Office instructor at a local technical school where he teaches basic computer concepts, to the Haitian population that computer technology has left behind to help them be more productive for themselves and others. Stanley is very excited to work as an Administrative Assistant where he processes donors’ donation and also help in the social media sector among other things. Since the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, Stanley felt that he had to do something, but wasn’t able to join an organization until he found IJDH last month through a website advertisement for this position. Stanley jumped at the opportunity to join IJDH and now is thrilled to share his experiences and knowledge with the team for the good cause of fighting injustice and human rights violations in Haiti. Stanley speaks English, French and Haitian Creole. Stanley@ijdh.org
Betsey Chace, Development & Operations Manager, first joined IJDH as a volunteer in 2011. She handled IJDH finance and operations through 2012 and took on fundraising responsibilities in April 2013, as well as communications. She has 20 years of social justice and social service experience, including finance work at Partners In Health, grants and financial management at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Division of Global Health Equity and program coordination at the Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants. Betsey holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA in East Asian Studies from Wesleyan University. She has lived and worked in China, Mozambique and Brazil. She is fluent in Portuguese, used to speak Mandarin and French and has learned some Kreyol. Betsey@ijdh.org
Thomas Thompson-Flores, Legal Fellow, earned an LL.M. from the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland. He also has J.D. from the University of Miami School of Law, cum laude, with a certificate of specialization in International Law. During law school he was the Vice-President of the International Law Society and participated in several moot court competitions as a member of the law school’s International Moot Court Board. Prior to attending law school he graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A in Political Science. Thomas has interned at several NGOs located in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and in the US, in which he worked on various aspects of international law (e.g. criminal law, human rights, and refugee law). He also has experience working for law firms in San Francisco, and interning at the International Court of Justice. However, it was his volunteer experience helping Haitians with immigration matters, both in Miami and in New York that spurred his passion for Haitian rights. Thomas speaks English, French, and Portuguese. firstname.lastname@example.org
Alok Pokharel, Legal Fellow, recently completed a Masters in Law (LLM) from Boston College Law School, where he concentrated on human rights and constitutional studies. He is licensed to practice law in Nepal (he obtained Bar membership from Nepal Bar Council in 2010). Before pursuing a masters degree in the US, he worked as a public interest lawyer in human rights cases, arguing before the Supreme Court of Nepal in some of them. The cases demanded justice for conflict victims and establishment of transitional justice mechanisms. His previous experiences, in NGOs and, in a project of the United Nation Development Program (UNDP), involved working on human rights issues, governance and democracy. Working on these issues has always inspired him. He wants to dedicate his time on similar issues affecting the life of people living in other developing countries such as Haiti. As he believes that human rights lawyers have a pertinent role in bridging the gaps between a victim and justice, his engagement at IJDH aims to guarantee justice & democracy for Haitians. email@example.com
Boston Office Interns: 2013
Amy Fealy, Volunteer Coordinator, is currently finishing up her undergraduate degree this year at Boston University as a psychology major. She has volunteered with the American Red Cross and various other organizations in the past. Her last internship was in Sydney, Australia blogging for ReachOut.com, a youth mental health website that helped young people through tough times. Once she graduates, she plans to pursue a masters in Public Health. She is passionate about human rights and equality, especially women experiencing injustice in economically disadvantaged countries. Amy@ijdh.org
Nadine ‘Dava ‘Mallebranche, Social Media Intern, is a first generation Haitian-American whose father’s political involvement in Haiti prompted the family’s exit, shortly after the Duvalier coupe. Dava has extensive experience in social services and direct care working primarily with at-risk youth as a counselor, programs administrator and outreach worker with Department of Children and Families affiliates throughout greater Boston. She is passionate about the rights of the marginalized and undeserved in economically blighted communities around the world; this commitment is the catalyst in Dava’s intention on pursuing a law degree, in the near future. Dava@ijdh.org
Amanda Mundt, Development and Communications Intern, is majoring in International Development and Social Change at Clark University in Worcester and will be graduating next year. Her interest for human rights began in her sophomore year of high school after taking a service trip to the Dominican Republic. Over the next years her interests developed and she began doing advocacy work for Restavek children in Haiti. She is honored to become part of the IJDH team to educate & advocate for human rights in Haiti. firstname.lastname@example.org
Livia Brown, Development and Communications Intern, is finishing her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications at Boston University. She has volunteered with DREAM mentoring, an organization in Boston that mentors youth in Roxbury, as well as working with Boston University’s Women’s Resource Center. Her previous internship experience includes working for a documentary on girl’s education in developing nations, where she found her passion for international human rights. After graduation she hopes to work on marketing campaigns for non-profits focused on women’s empowerment. email@example.com
Jin Yong Chung, Development and Communications Intern, is an undergraduate student at Sookmyung Women’s University in Korea. She is double majoring in political science and journalism. Currently she is participating in the WEST program, a government supported program for learning English and interning in America. In the past, she has had several experiences related to journalism on and outside of her university’s campus. Her professional goal is to become a journalist, especially in the political field. She believes that speaking out for those who don’t have a voice or the power to do it themselves is the critical role of journalist. Working at IJDH is her first time in an internship and she is honored to be a part of the team. firstname.lastname@example.org
Given our small office and high volume of work, we depend heavily on volunteers for whom we are eternally grateful.
Kathy Kelly, Development and Administration Volunteer, has experience in marketing communications and together with her family has been an IJDH supporter for several years. In November, 2010, Kathy began volunteering part-time and works with IJDH Development and Communications to research funding sources, assist with donor relations and with the coordination of volunteers. Kathy is an active volunteer in her local community, serves on the board of The Childrens’ Giving Tree Foundation and is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communications. Kathy@
Laura Dismore, Development Volunteer, graduated from Carleton College with a degree in Environmental Studies. While at Carleton, she worked extensively with the Haiti Justice Alliance of Northfield, which is how she learned of IJDH. After hearing Brian Concannon speak, Laura decided to pursue a career in international human rights law. She currently works at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and is applying to law school. Laura@ijdh.org
HAITI-BASED STAFF (BAI)
Rose Getchine Lima, BAI Grassroots Groups Coordinator, was born on March 15, 1978 in the southern department of Haiti. She studied Sociology and Anthropology at the Faculty of Ethnology at the State University of Haiti from 2004 to 2008. Her goal is to work with the most disadvantaged segments of society, especially women who suffer any form of exclusion and violence. In March 2010, she worked as an investigator with Oxfam. From March to June 2010, she volunteered as a psychosocial agent with SOFA (Solidarite Fanm Ayisyèn / Solidarity of Haitian Women) in order to educate and motivate Haitian women against all acts of violence.
Dyliet Jean-Baptist, BAI Staff Attorney is a Haitian trained attorney hired in March 2011 to fill the Health and Human Rights in Prison Project staff attorney position in Mirebalais, one of three pilot locations. Dyliet studied law at the Faculté de Droit des Gonaïves from 1993 – 1997 and began to practice law in 1997. He then did his legal Stage in 2006 in Croix des Bouquets and Port de Paiy, Haiti. Dyliet has held a number of professional positions including: Counsel to the City of Bombardopolis, Member to the Departmental Assembly of the Northwest, teacher at St. Ignatius High School, and member of the Me Zephirin Jean Louis and Associates firm.
Bazelais Thévenot, Av., BAI Staff Attorney, is a Haitian trained attorney based in Saint Marc in the Artibonite region. He joined the BAI in October 2009 to implement the Health and Human Rights in Prisons Project in Saint Marc, one of the three pilot locations. He obtained his legal education at the State University Haiti, Gonaives School of Law and Economic Sciences and received his license to practice law in 2003. He brings nearly a decade of experience working in the area of politics and human rights. Mr. Thévenot has held various positions as an election observer and reporter. Since 2007, he has worked as counsel for the City Council of Saint Marc. And, prior to joining the BAI, he worked with the Office of Legal Assistance in Saint Marc providing free legal services to disadvantaged prisoners and has advocated for reform of the criminal justice system in Haiti. He has attended various trainings including seminars on the Inter-American System of Human Rights and Human Rights and Criminal Proceedings. He speaks Haitian Creole and French.
- BAI Staff Attorney, RAPP 4
- BAI Staff Attorney, HRAP
- BAI Staff Attorney, finissants Supervisor
- BAI Staff Attorney, HHRPP 2
- Finissant 4
- Office Manager
- Office Receptionist
- Office Assistant
- Executive Assistant
Highlighted Volunteers: 2012
Kelly Geoghegan, Legal Fellow, graduated from New York University School of Law where she was a Thurgood Marshall scholar focusing on human rights, humanitarian law, and international criminal law. During law school she interned at the Bosnian War Crimes Tribunal, and led the Darfur Victims Project, in which law students assisted an NGO representing Darfuri victims before the International Criminal Court. She also interned at the United Nations for UNICEF. However, it was her experience in the Global Justice Clinic, working on a study of gender-based violence in Haiti’s displacement camps, which spurred her passion for Haitian rights. Prior to attending NYU, Kelly graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where she was a Robertson Scholar. She also earned an LL.M. in Human Rights and Criminal Justice (Cross-Border) through a joint program with the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway, Ireland, and Queen’s University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Kelly@ijdh.org
Shanae Chapman, Remote Web Design Volunteer, is a graduate student in the Information Technology program at Northeastern University and a freelance web designer/graphic designer. She assists IJDH with web design and web maintenance. She hopes to use her experience at IJDH in the future as a web designer/developer.
Kate Stephens, Head of Organizational Strategy (Website Development and Human Resources) Volunteer, graduated from Williams College with a degree in Biology and Art History. She also spent more than a year living in various countries abroad and thus also focused much of her academic career on International Studies. Currently an Associate at The Parthenon Group (a worldwide strategic advisory firm based in Boston), Kate first became familiar with IJDH during her summer internship there. She was thrilled when the opportunity to work with IJDH again arose this year. Kate@ijdh.org
Sonia Weiser, Remote Social Media Volunteer, is heading into her sophomore year at the Gallatin School of Independent Study at New York University. Having worked in the IJDH office during the summer as social media intern turned web design guru and resident graphic designer, Sonia plans on using the knowledge gained during her time at IJDH to construct a concentration in human rights, gender studies and art. Sonia@ijdh.org