Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Legal Staff


Alexandra “Sasha” Filippova, Senior Staff Attorney (New York), has focused her legal practice on human rights, international dispute resolution, and public international law. Prior to joining IJDH, Sasha was an international arbitration and litigation associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP, where she served as a lead counsel in a successful lawsuit against the Syrian government for its extrajudicial killing of war correspondent Marie Colvin. Sasha’s other matters included litigating complex transnational disputes; co-authoring an amicus brief highlighting the importance of the command responsibility doctrine to the Eleventh Circuit; representing asylum seekers; conducting internal investigations in multiple countries; and advising clients on a variety of legal and policy matters.  Sasha also recently served as a Senior Legal Fellow with the Center for Justice and Accountability, where she developed evidentiary and analytical support for a crimes against humanity claim, and as a Legal Advisor and Fellow with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, where she focused on confronting gender-based violence and promoting women’s empowerment around the globe.

Sasha holds graduate degrees from Georgetown University’s Law Center and Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she focused her studies on human rights and transitional justice, including field work in Liberia and Cambodia.  She is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and the State of New York. Contact: sasha@ijdh.org


steve face betterSteve Forester, Immigration Policy Coordinator (Miami), leads efforts to win creation of a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (FRPP) to speed entry into the U.S. of 110,000 beneficiaries of approved visa petitions, to give parity with DHS’s Cuban FRPP and help Haiti recover by generating additional remittances.  He has won support for this from about 100 congresspersons, 10 editorial boards in 17 editorials, the Miami-Dade County Commission, NY and Philadelphia city councils, the US Conference of Mayors, ABA, NAACP, Congressional Black Caucus, MA Gov. Patrick and others.  Pre-quake, he secured pro-TPS editorials in major papers and political, legal and media support after devastating 2008 storms.  He meets officials and pens op-eds; his January 2009 work won a quiet halt of all non-criminal Haiti deportations formalized by TPS after the quake. A Haiti rights advocate since 1979, he has testified in the Senate, House and other bodies and led the fight to enact the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act of 1998 (HRIFA), under which 20,000 Haitians became U.S. permanent residents. IJDH has sponsored his work since February 2009. Contact: steveforester@aol.com


Sandra Wisner, Senior Staff Attorney (Montreal), is a Canadian human rights attorney working to hold international human rights violators accountable for their actions in Haiti. Prior to joining IJDH, Sandra worked as a UN legal consultant assisting with prosecutions of the Khmer Rouge at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. She has litigated plaintiff-side discrimination and tort cases in Toronto, Canada, and spent a year in South Africa assisting the Legal Resources Centre in their representation of victims at the Marikana Commission of Inquiry. Sandra holds Canadian J.D. and Honours Bachelor of Arts degrees as well as an Advanced LL.M. in Public International Law from Leiden University, specializing in business and human rights. Contact: sandra@ijdh.org


Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti

Legal Volunteers/Interns


Tamara Valcin, Legal Intern, is a second-year J.D. Candidate at Brooklyn Law School. She is interested in public interest litigation and international criminal law. She graduated cum laude from Iona College where she earned her B.A. in Political Science and International Studies. Prior to attending law school, she worked at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (DANY) as a Paralegal in the Investigations Division. At DANY, she was exposed to the demands of complex litigation by compiling evidence, assembling witness preparation materials, and responding to the needs of trial counsel working on criminal proceedings. This fueled her interest in becoming a public interest attorney who could create safe spaces for victims and defendants, ensuring that they find equitable solutions through the justice system. At Brooklyn Law, she is pursuing a curriculum that strengthens her oral advocacy and legal research skills. This past summer, she completed a Legal and Compliance Internship at Cerberus Capital Management L.P. While at Cerberus, she worked on projects related to private equity transactions, performed legal due diligence research, and assisted the Compliance Officer with internal investigations. As a Haitian American, Tamara feels personally connected to IJDH’s mission of building stability and prosperity in Haiti through justice and accountability. She hopes to use her knowledge of Haitian-Creole to contribute to the grassroots movement.


Meredith Gusky, Legal Intern, is a 2L at the George Washington University Law School. She is passionate about public international law, human rights, and transitional justice. Meredith is a member of the International Law in Domestic Courts Journal and enjoys researching and writing articles for the International Law and Policy Brief. Meredith is excited to be working with IJDH because of the organization’s commitment to client-centered advocacy and work with a broad range of stakeholders.

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Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
867 Boylston Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (857)-201-0991
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org