Meet the 2014-15 Humphrey Fellows
Legal scholars and professionals from around the world arrived in Washington, D.C. in August to participate in the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program coordinated by the International Legal Studies Program at American University Washington College of Law.
The program, sponsored by the State Department, provides these international fellows with non-degree academic study and professional experiences in the United States. Participants are selected based on their potential for leadership and commitment to public service.
Learn more about the 2014-15 Humphrey Fellows below.
Mohammed Abdulqader Alshuwaiter - Yemen
- Researcher at the Ministry of Justice in the Republic of Yemen; Ph.D. candidate for a degree in law from the University of Malaya in Malaysia.
- Hopes to gain theoretical and practical experiences to help him to introduce legal philosophy into Yemen’s legal institutions and initiate new legal projects.
"I'm excited to get a new perspective on philosphy of law and a new perspective on life," he said. "I'm lucky I'm in D.C. because my field is about legalization and executive laws. Since this is the capital, I can find all of the offices that are involved in drafting laws and applying the laws."
Hakan Arikan - Turkey
- Chief inspector to the Board of Inspection of the Ministry of Interior in Turkey.
- Hopes to examine the legal academic background of the law enforcement complaint mechanisms and other similar civilian oversight mechanisms including intelligencein the U.S., enabling him to assist and support his studies in preparing the secondary legislation in Turkey.
"I think the U.S. is the right place to be for me to see how civilian oversight mechinisms have developed and evolved," said Arikan.
Folly Gnavo Attivi - Togo
- Lawyer for the Etude Maitre Mawuvi A. Mouke law firm in Togo.
- Hopes to learn from American practices and experiences to help develop a process for more efficient law making, and establish a system of legal services providing individuals with the opportunity to defend their cases in the court of law.
"This is a big democracy," he said. "I've come here to D.C. to see how things work. To have a new point of view. Maybe when I get back to my hometown, I'll be somebody new!"
Srdjan Blagovcanin - Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Executive Director of Transparency International in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Hopes to gain broader knowledge on the workings of the U.S. political system, with particular focus on the decision-making process.
"Washington College of Law is a good school with a lot of useful courses," he said. "The professional affiliation aspect of the program will be a good opportunity to see how American organizations and institutions deal with governance issues."
A. E. M. Ismail Hossain - Bangladesh
- Joint district and sessions judge for the Bangladesh Judicial Service; Visiting lecturer at the Judicial Administration Training Institute (JATI).
- Would like to study the U.S. criminal justice system in-depth, focusing on the prosecution system, plea bargaining, sentencing practices, and case management.
"I think it is a unique opportunity for me to become a part of this group of leaders from all around the world," he said.
Jackline Mwende Mwanthi - Kenya
- Worked as a senior program coordinator for Kituo Cha Sheria (Centre for Legal Empowerment) in Kenya.
- Main interest is investigating the consequences of unfair criminal justice system to development and human rights.
"I think this is an opportunity I wouldn't get in my country," she said. "I've done a lot of substantial work, even in Africa, based here. I want to interact with the experts and learn from them, and also give a little of what I know to them."
Gulmira Shakiralieva - Kyrgzstan
- National Advocacy Adviser for the Public Fund “SOS Children’s Villages Kyrgyzstan.”
- Primary focus is the legal regulation and practice of child rights and international human rights mechanisms, particularly the social protection of families in difficult life situations and of children in need of care to prevent child abandonment.
"What I will study here, I will try to put into my work and to improve legislation in Kyrgyzstan," she said. "I'm also excited to be in D.C. because it is the capital city—I will see everything!"
Min-Hwan "Patrick" Shin - South Korea
- Lecturer of public security department for the Police Training Institute (PTI) in Republic of Korea
- Major area of concern as a police officer is to combat sex-related crimes within society; he believes that police investigators and policymakers should have a in-depth understanding of what constitutes a sex crime to deal with the matter effectively.
"This Humphrey Program has many diverse fellows from all over the world," he said. "I think that helps me to broaden my perspective about some problems, including my research interest of sex crime offenses."
Raul Silva Telles do Valle - Brazil
- Coordinator of the Public Policy and Law Program of Instituto Socioambiental (ISA).
- Interested in studying the relationship between law, economics, and environmental science, the link between environmental and agricultural policies, and how the U.S. and other countries balance the expansion of agriculture and the protection of the environment.
"D.C. is a great city," he said. "There are many networks here, many people here, and many NGOs. It is the best place to be if I want to learn about American environmental law."
Sharon Tatenda Wekwete - Zimbabwe
- Consultant, and recent director of government and legal affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister in the Republic of Zimbabwe.
- Hopes the fellowship will equip her to engage with policymakers on topical human rights issues in an effort to promote good governance, encourage respect for human rights, and address some of the problems affecting the people of Zimbabwe.
"I really look forward to meeting people from across the spectrum of life," she said. "This gives us an opportunity to work with people that I would never have met in a million years, and that's one of the huge advantages of the program. It takes us out of our comfort zones, you are forced to become more, and do more, and see more."
Haider Zaman - Pakistan
- Protection Officer of the Danish Refugee Council in Pakistan.
- Major area of interest is law and human rights and he works tirelessly to end the protracted situation of the Afghan refugees and the IDPs.
"There are a lot of organizations working in D.C.," he said. " I hope to have discussions with experts in the field, with professors, and with the NGOs."
Ann-Marie Elizabeth Williams - Belize
- Executive director for the National Women’s Commission in Belize.
- Main area of interest is trafficking in persons policy and prevention mechanisms, and feels that Belize needs to make significant strides to comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.
"This is an opportunity to be exposed to a great network of people," said Williams. "You do your individual networking, there is a portion of our study that will involve a professional affiliation. I’m hoping to get a chance to go somewhere where I could look at public trafficking and person’s policy cases, and see how I can apply them when I get back home."
Eka Khutsishvili - Georgia
- Criminal Law Analyst for the Georgian Young Lawyers Association.
- Hopes to gain in-depth theoretical knowledge of the U.S. criminal justice system and wishes to strengthen her leadership skills to successfully advocate and lobby proposed development plans by the human rights organizations and civil society as a whole.
"This fellowship will help me learn to instill my professional skills into my daily work in my country," she said. "To be in D.C. is very nice; I think that I will have lots of opportunities to get connected, and to familiarize with institutions and international organizations. It is going to be ten amazing months here."