Board of Directors

The ILF’s board consists of men and women from varied backgrounds and nationalities. They come from six countries in Europe, Africa, and North America and work around the globe. Collectively, the ILF board members have extensive practical and academic expertise in criminal defense and considerable field experience in post-conflict countries. Their diverse perspectives provide invaluable insight and guidance to the ILF programs worldwide.
Hon. Aileen Donnelly

Aileen Donnelly was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Ireland in 2014. For over 25 years she was a practicing barrister, ultimately becoming a Senior Counsel. Barristers (Junior and Senior Counsel) in Ireland are independent specialist legal advisors and courtroom advocates. Ms. Justice Donnelly specialised in criminal law and related constitutional matters. As independent counsel, she acted for either the defence or the prosecution on a case by case basis. For five years, she co-chaired the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL) and more recently was co-chair of an advisory committee for ICCL research on the Irish judiciary. A native of Ireland, she graduated from University College Dublin with a primary degree in law. She obtained the degree of Barrister-at-Law from King’s Inns, Dublin and subsequently attained a Master’s Degree in Equality Studies from the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin. She was an ILF International Fellow in Nepal in 2009 and 2010.

Ernest Duncan

Duncan is the chief financial officer for The Doe Fund. He has over 15 years of experience in advising nonprofit organizations on governance, fiscal infrastructure and human resources. He has worked with the Vera Institute of Justice, the Wildcat Service Corporation, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the Museum of African American History, and the Smithsonian Institution, helping them to streamline their operating procedures and function more effectively as nonprofits. Mr. Duncan is also a member of the New York State Society of CPAs and its Not-for-Profit Organizations Committee. He is a life member of the National Black MBA Association, and was previously the president of its Nashville chapter. He holds a BS in accounting from the Culverhouse of Accountancy at the University of Alabama, an MBA in strategic management and public policy from George Washington University, and a DBA in management and leadership from the University of Phoenix.

Rick Jones

Rick Jones is the Executive Director and a founding member of the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS). He is a distinguished trial lawyer with more than 25 years’ experience in complex multi-forum litigation. He is a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School and on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, GA. Rick is the Immediate Past President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). At NACDL he has served as co-chair of both the Special Task Force on Problem-Solving Courts and the Task Force on Restoration of Rights and Status After Conviction. Both of these efforts resulted in the publication of ground breaking reports and continuing reforms. Rick is a commissioner on the New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration. He is an inaugural member of the steering committee of the National Association for Public Defense, sits on the boards of the New York State Defenders Association and the Sirius Foundation and serves on the Editorial Board of the Amsterdam News. He was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of the National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices.

Maha Jweied

Maha Jweied directs a consultancy providing expertise to non-profit and multilateral organizations on access-to-justice leveraging insight gained after nearly twelve years in the U.S. Government’s Executive Branch.  Presently, she is a member of the Legal Services Corporation’s Opioid Task Force.  Until January 2018, she served as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice, the primary office in the Executive Branch focused on supporting indigent defense and civil legal aid for low-income and vulnerable communities.  In that role, she also served as the Executive Director of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable and represented the U.S. Government as its indigent defense and legal aid expert in international settings.  Before joining DOJ, she was a senior attorney-advisor at the US Commission on Civil Rights, a litigation associate at Arent Fox, and spent time at Mizan Law Group for Human Rights, a legal aid office in Amman, Jordan.

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt is the Finance Expert on the UN Panel of Experts established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1874 (2009). She is responsible for monitoring and analyzing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) global financial activities and providing recommendations to the Security Council to improve sanctions implementation. Previously, she served as Director of the Asia-Pacific Program at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington DC and was also based in Beijing, China for 6 years as Director of the Northeast Asia Program of the International Crisis Group. She served as an International Affairs Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and worked as a United Nations official for a decade, conducting numerous investigations. She was seconded by the U.S. Department of State to the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, investigated genocide and other human rights violations for the United Nations in Rwanda (1994-1995), and worked with the Legal Affairs Directorate of the Council of Europe. Her writings have appeared in Foreign Affairs, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune and Le Monde Diplomatique. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Hon. Dunstan Mlambo

Judge Dunstan Mlambo is Judge President of South Africa’s busiest court, the Gauteng Division of the High Court. He was appointed to the Court by President Jacob Zuma in 2012. He was previously a judge in the Supreme Court of Appeal and Judge President of the Labour Courts of South Africa. Judge Mlambo brings three decades of experience as a lawyer and judge in South Africa, and, as the chairperson of Legal Aid South Africa, extensive experience in establishing and managing a legal aid system. He has devoted his practice of law towards the upliftment and protection of people on the ground, as a public interest lawyer and trade union lawyer. After completing a law degree at the University of the North in 1984, he spent nine years in public and private practice. He then served three years as a Labour Court judge and five years in both the South Gauteng High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. Judge Mlambo is also a trustee of the Legal Resources Centre, a human rights organization with offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Grahamstown.

Sibylle Osten-Vaa

Sibylle Osten-Vaa is a German lawyer and has since 2008 served as a career diplomat at the German Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She currently leads the communications and culture department of the German Embassy in Denmark. From 2010 to 2014 she served at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN in New York as peacebuilding and human rights expert during Germany`s membership on the UN Security Council. In this capacity she also chaired the UN Security Council`s Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. In addition, she represented Germany in the Human Rights Committee of the UN General Assembly and later worked as sanctions and counter-terrorism expert. Previously, Ms. Osten-Vaa served as the head of the legal department of the German Embassy to Afghanistan in Kabul from 2009 to 2010, particularly focusing on national police and justice reform projects in Afghanistan. Before becoming a career diplomat, Ms. Osten-Vaa worked as litigation lawyer for the German Government on immigration law cases. Ms. Osten-Vaa has also worked for DCTP, a content development platform for television programs, and helped establish a new TV channel on science, history on culture in Berlin.”

Rob Quaintance

Rob Quaintance is a retired lawyer. He spent most of his career as a partner at the international law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, practicing in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, private equity, and securities. He handled a number of significant international M&A transactions and has extensive experience in debt and equity offerings. He has been recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and by The Legal 500 US. Before joining Debevoise, Mr. Quaintance taught at New York University School of Law and served as a law clerk to the Vermont Supreme Court. Mr. Quaintance is a past chairman of the board of Union Settlement Association, one of the oldest social services agencies in the United States and the largest provider of social services in the East Harlem section of New York City. Mr. Quaintance received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his law degree from New York University. Mr. Quaintance’s former firm provides legal services to the ILF.

Baroness Vivien Stern CBE

Vivien Stern has spent most of her life working in all regions of the world on criminal justice reform, rule of law, and human rights, and has advised inter-governmental organisations and governments. Since 1999 she has been an independent member of the House of Lords (the Upper House of the UK Parliament), and she was a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights from 2004 to 2008. She chairs the All Party Parliamentary Groups on the Abolition of the Death Penalty and on Tajikistan. Since 2011, Baroness Stern has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Essex. From 1997 to 2010 she was Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Prison Studies at Kings College, London. She is Honorary President of Penal Reform International (PRI), a non-governmental organization promoting penal reform throughout the world which she founded with others in 1989. She has Honorary degrees from Bristol, Oxford Brookes, Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow Universities and is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics.

Natalie Rea

Natalie Rea has been a staff attorney in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of The Legal Aid Society for 25 years, where she has argued hundreds of cases in New York’s state and federal courts.  For the past 20 years, she has also worked on rule of law development in post-conflict countries, focusing on access to quality criminal defense services for the poor.  Born in New York and raised in France, Natalie graduated from the Université d’Aix-Marseille and Fordham University School of Law. She founded Legal Aid Rwanda in 1996, and its successor organization, The International Legal Foundation, in 2001.  She was the executive director of The ILF until 2012 and now serves on its board of directors.  Natalie was a member of the World Economic Forum, Global Agenda Council on Rule of Law between 2011 and 2013. Before joining The Legal Aid Society, she clerked for the Honorable Thomas C. Platt in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and worked at the law firm of Sherman & Sterling in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles.

Former Board Members

Tigran Eldred

Konrad Huber

Rebecca Symington

Henry Gonzalez

Nicola Reindorp

Polly Mallinson

Sebastian von Einsiedel

Philipp Ackermann

James Cockayne

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