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Meet the Women, Business and the Law Team

Warner G Santiago Acevedo

Warner G Santiago Acevedo joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. He conducts research and legal analysis of the regulatory framework affecting women’s ability to get jobs, with a focus on early education policies, childcare services, and tax and non-tax benefits for private sector. He previously worked for a multinational NGO were he developed legal workshops, campaigns and events aimed to increase public awareness of critical gender equity and mainstreaming issues. Warner holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico- Mayagüez, a Juris Doctor from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and an LL.M in International Legal Studies from the American University Washington College of Law. He is a native Spanish speaker.


Souad Adnane

Souad Adnane joined Women, Business and the Law in 2017. She conducts research on laws and regulations related to Gender Based, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked with several international and local NGOs. She focused on capacity building of local NGOs in the MENA, in terms of fundraising, project management, strategic planning, M&E, and gender inclusion. She was the MENA coordinator of the Family Strengthening Programs at SOS Children’s Villages, programs aimed, among other things, at the economic and social empowerment of vulnerable mothers. Souad is a Fulbright Alumna and holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Women’s Studies, from the George Washington University. She is fluent in Arabic and French and conversant in Spanish.


Maereg Tewoldebirhan Alemayehu

Maereg Tewoldebirhan Alemayehu joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She conducts research and analysis of the regulatory framework affecting women’s ability to get jobs and start business, with a focus on the Going to Court indicator. Her prior legal experience includes working as a Judge, Human Rights Expert, Legal aid Coordinator in Ethiopia and an internship at Legal Aid Society of the District of Colombia. Maereg holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from Georgetown University Law Center as a Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Fellow in the WLPP Fellowship Program. She also holds an MA in Peace and Security Studies from Addis Ababa University, Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) and an LLB from Unity University, Ethiopia. She speaks Amharic and Tigrigna.


Gharam Alkastalani Dexter

Gharam Alkastalani Dexter joined Women, Business and the Law in 2012. She conducts research on laws and regulations that impact women’s employment of countries worldwide, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. She currently leads the Providing Incentives to work indicator, which measures childcare services, tax and non-tax benefits for private sector. Gharam provides cross-support to other World Bank units in the form of legal analysis on tax, labor and corporate laws of the Middle East in addition to other laws that discriminate against women. She engages in operational and technical assistance projects on legal reform in order to strengthen women’s inclusion in the economy. Gharam holds a law degree from Damascus University Syria and a Master's degree (LL.M.) from American University Washington College of Law. She is a native Arabic speaker.


Nayda L. Almodovar-Reteguis

Nayda Almodovar-Reteguis joined The World Bank Group in 2010 to work on background research for the World Development Report 2012, particularly on issues related to women's entrepreneurship and the business environment with a focus on the evolution of labor and family law reforms. On that same year, she joined Women, Business and the Law project, where she has worked on all indicators conducting research on laws and regulations of countries worldwide. Nayda leads WBL's Using Property indicator since 2011 and is in charge of the overarching strategy for data collection and engagement with local legal experts from all countries covered in WBL. With a career in law, economic inclusion and public policy of over 15 years, her previous work experience includes serving as Deputy Advisor to the Governor of Puerto Rico, President and Chief Administrative Judge of Puerto Rico's Department of Family Affairs' Board of Appeals, and the practice of civil litigation and family law. She is also a civil Public Notary. Nayda holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico - Mayagüez, a Juris Doctor from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and an LL.M.from The George Washington University School of Law. She speaks English and Spanish.


Nisha Arekapudi

Nisha Arekapudi joined Women, Business and the Law in 2014 and currently leads the Going to court indicator. She previously served as a Senior Research Associate at the Public International Law & Policy Group. Nisha has also worked at the U.S. Department of State and with the United Nations Committee against Torture Project. She is a member of the New York State Bar and holds a JD/MA from American University Washington College of Law and School of International Service.


Shirin Batshon

Shirin Batshon joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She researches and analyzes data for the Using property indictor. Prior to joining the World Bank, Shirin was a Fulbright fellow (Hubert Humphrey Fellow) at American University Washington College of Law focusing mainly on gender equality issues. Shirin has wide experience in working both in the private and public sector as an attorney in family law issues, including Sharia and Christian laws. Shirin’s work and publications helped set important precedents and led public discussions concerning women’s rights in the domain of family law in the Middle East region. Shirin holds LL.B degree from Tel Aviv University and Double LL.M degree in public and international law from Tel Aviv University and Northwestern University in Chicago. She speaks English and Arabic.


Julia Constanze Braunmiller

Julia Constanze Braunmiller joined the Women, Business and the Law team in 2015. She leads the Accessing institutions indicator, including research on birth certificates, gender quotas and non-discrimination in access to finance. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Julia directed legal reform programs at the Johns Hopkins University on combating human trafficking in Egypt, enhancing the role of civil society in Kuwait and Jordan and promoting clinical legal education throughout the Middle East and North Africa. She has extensive experience in conducting international fact-finding missions and reporting on human rights frameworks. Julia holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Germany. She speaks German, Italian, French and Dutch.


Diana E. Chacon

Diana E. Chacon joined the Women Business and the Law team in 2016 and currently researches and analyses laws and regulations that constitute barriers to women’s access to property and land rights. Prior to joining the World Bank, Diana worked extensively as a bank regulator in charge of overseeing consumer protection laws at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She holds a law degree from the University of Cuenca, Ecuador and a Master’s degree in Regulation, Specialism in Government and Law from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences. She is a native Ecuadorian and Spanish speaker.


Claudia L. Corminales

Claudia L. Corminales joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She conducts research and analysis on laws and regulations for the Accessing Institutions indicator including research on gender quotas, non- discrimination access to finance, on birth registration, and women’s legal ability to interact with public authorities and the private sector in the same ways as men. She previously worked as staff member of the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the Organization of American States (OAS) and as a staff member of the Embassy of Costa Rica. Claudia holds an LL.M in International Legal Studies and Certificate in International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution from Georgetown University Law Center and a law degree from Universidad Católica Bolivia. She is a native Spanish speaker, fluent in English and proficient in Portuguese.


Marina Elefante

Marina Elefante joined Women, Business and the Law in 2015. She researches international human rights legislation and conducts legal analysis in areas related to gender and human rights. Prior to joining WBL, Marina worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on legal aid programs in Ethiopia; managed legal reform programs on combating human trafficking at Johns Hopkins University SAIS; and taught international human rights law courses at Yeditepe University Law School in Istanbul, Turkey.  Marina holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, a Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from Siena University, Italy and a Law Degree from University of Naples Law School Federico II, Italy.


Tazeen Hasan

Tazeen Hasan joined Women, Business and the Law in 2014. Prior to this, she was the legal specialist for the World Development Report 2012: Gender Equality and Development and the World Bank report Opening Doors: Gender Equality in the Middle East and North Africa. She is a coauthor of various World Bank publications, including Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa and Voice and Agency: Empowering Women and Girls for Shared Prosperity. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she practiced as a barrister in the UK specializing in civil and commercial law, and subsequently worked in Kenya as a legal adviser to NGOs. She obtained a Masters in International Law from the London School of Economics and a BA in Law from Pembroke College, University of Oxford. She is fluent in Urdu, Hindi and French.


Dimitra Christina Heliotis

Dimitra Christina Heliotis joined Women, Business and the Law team in 2017 and currently researches and analyzes data for the Using Property indicator. Before joining the team, she worked at Global Indicators of Regulatory Governance team as an intern. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Christina worked as a trainee lawyer at a Greek corporate law firm and in the Hellenic Parliament. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Democritus University of Thrace and a Masters of Laws (LL.M.) degree at Georgetown University Law Center, specializing in International Business and Economic Law and International Arbitration and Dispute resolution. She speaks Greek and French and she is conversant in Spanish.


Juliette Herault

Juliette Herault joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She currently researches and analyzes laws and regulations that impede women's employment and women’s ability to use property. She has previously worked as a research assistant for the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and her areas of expertise include legal research and analysis in bankruptcy law, commercial law, contract law, partnerships and consumer law. Trained in both English and French law, Juliette also holds a Master’s degree in International Public Management from SciencesPo Paris as well as an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University. She is a member of the New York State bar. Juliette is a French native speaker and is proficient in Spanish.


Sarah Iqbal

Sarah Iqbal is the Program Manager of the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law project. She joined the World Bank Group in 2008, where she first worked with Doing Business before moving to Women, Business and the Law. She also provides guidance on the interaction of the law and women’s economic activities in areas such as entrepreneurship, employment, and financial inclusion. Sarah is a member of the California Bar, and prior to joining the World Bank Group practiced civil litigation and criminal defense law. She holds a BA in English and History from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a JD concentrating in International Law from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She speaks Hindi and Urdu. 


Kavell Gianina Joseph

Kavell Joseph joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She currently analyses laws and regulations for the Accessing Institutions indicator, including research on birth certificates, gender quotas and non-discrimination in access to finance. She previously worked on laws for the Protecting Women from Violence indicator. Prior to joining the World Bank, Kavell worked as a Research Associate at the Public International Law & Policy Group, and an Immigration Legal Researcher for the National Immigrant Women’s Advocacy Project on policy reports related to violence against immigrant women in the United States. She has authored articles on Climate Change, Child Marriage, and Refugees. She also worked locally in Trinidad with non-profit organizations on gender policy and sustainable development. She holds a LL.M in International Legal Studies from American University Washington College of Law and a LL.B degree from the University of the West Indies. She is a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Bar Association.


Anna Kalashyan

Anna joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She conducts research and analysis of the legal and regulatory framework affecting women’s ability to get jobs and start businesses, with a focus on the providing incentives to work indicator. Anna also provides research support to other units in the Bank on childcare. She previously worked at Open Society Foundations and the UN Women. Anna holds a BA in Political Studies from Bard College, an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Political Science. She is a native Russian and Armenian speaker.


Konstantia Katsouli

Konstantia Katsouli joined Women, Business and the Law in 2017. She currently conducts legal research on pensions and social security systems. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked as an IP and business lawyer in Greece and Germany, interned for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also worked for the Policy and International Affairs Department of USCO, in Washington. Konstantia holds a Ph.D. in Copyright Law and a law degree from the National University of Athens, an LL.M in European Financial Law from the European Institute of Saarland, Germany and an LL.M in IP Law from the George Washington University, with concentration in Data Privacy Law. She is a member of the Athens Bar Association and of the Deutsch-Griechische Juristenvereinigung. She speaks Greek, English, German, Spanish and Italian.


Viktoria Khaitina

Viktoria Khaitina joined Women, Business and the Law in 2017. She researches and analyzes data for the Protecting Women from Violence indicator. Before joining the team, she worked with Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development team at the Legal Vice Presidency, where focused on several projects, including: child marriage, falsified and substandard medicines, human-centered business model and forced displacement. Prior to joining the World Bank, Viktoria worked at the international law firm, where she advised businesses and governments on investment, finance and trade matters. Viktoria holds degrees from the Belarusian State University (LL.B (Hons), LL.M (Hons) in International Business Law), Certificate in Public Administration from Swedish Institute of Public Administration and American University Washington College of Law (H.H. Fellowship Program). She is a native Belarusian and Russian speaker.


Gloria Kuoh

Gloria Kuoh joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She analyzes legislation worldwide, for several topics. Her prior experience includes assisting women involved in domestic violence and child custody cases, and conducting research on women’s rights issues in Africa. Previously, she worked for a healthcare law firm in Washington, DC. Gloria is the author of various scholarly commentaries published in the Oxford University Press (ILDC) database. She studied European and International Economic Law at Universität Augsburg in Germany. Gloria holds a B.A. in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School. She is a native French speaker.


Philippine de Maere

Philippine joined Women, Business and the Law in 2017. She researches and analyzes laws and regulations that impede women’s employment. Before joining the team, she worked for five years in Brussels as an attorney in an international law firm and as an in-house lawyer for a listed company on corporate law and project finance. Philippine holds a Master’s in Economic Law from the University of Louvain, Belgium and an LL.M in Law and Economics from the Universities of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Vienna. She speaks French, German, Dutch and Spanish.


Elizabeth Makumbi

Elizabeth Makumbi joinedWomen, Business and the Law in 2016. She researches and analyzes laws for the Accessing Institutions indicator. Before joining the team, she worked at Webber Wentzel Attorneys in South Africa in the litigation department. She interned at the Center for Human Rights in the gender unit and assisted with arranging a child marriage dialogue which took place in Nairobi, Kenya in 2015. Elizabeth has also worked at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law as a research assistant. Elizabeth holds a LL.B degree from the University of Pretoria and a LL.M degree from Georgetown University as a Leadership and Advocacy for Women in Africa Fellow in the Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program.


Marie Nezam

Marie Nezam joined Women, Business and the Law in 2017 and analyzes legal restrictions on women’s access to justice. Marie also provides cross-support to another World Bank Group unit on policy reforms in Afghanistan. Her prior work experience includes practicing as a French lawyer in global law firms for five years, specializing in public energy and infrastructure projects in France and Africa. She also worked for the Office of the Legal Counsel of the United Nations and the Conseil d’Etat (French Administrative Supreme Court). Marie holds a Master's degree in International Law from Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University and a Post-graduate degree from University College London. She is a native French speaker and proficient in Spanish.


Sushmitha Pidatala

Sushmitha Pidatala first joined the World Bank Group in 2006. She works primarily on dissemination and outreach for the Women, Business and the Law project to increase its exposure in policy circles around the world. She works to engage with civil society organizations and contributor networks to obtain relevant data for the report. Sushmitha previously worked as a Junior Professional Associate with the Doing Business and Enterprise Surveys teams. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked on policy advocacy as a Senior Manager at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Sushmitha also conducted research at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria. She holds a B.A. in Economics from New York University and an M.A. in International Relations, with distinction, from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).


Tanya Primiani

Tanya Primiani joined Women, Business and the Law in 2017. Prior to this, she coordinated other indicator projects including Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (with a focus on energy access, renewable energy and energy efficiency), and Investing Across Borders (with a focus on the regulation of Foreign Direct Investment). Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she worked for the United Nations in Italy, Siemens Management Consulting in New York and at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. She holds a law degree from the University of Montreal and an MA in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). She speaks Italian, French, and Spanish.


Isabel Santagostino Recavarren

Isabel Santagostino Recavarren joined Women, Business and the Law in 2015 and currently researches and analyzes laws and regulations on violence against women. She previously worked at the Inter-American Commission of Women and at the Office of the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. Isabel holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies in Gender and the Law and Human Rights from American University Washington College of Law and a law degree from Bocconi University, Italy. She is fluent in Italian, French and Spanish.


Alena Sakhonchik

Alena Sakhonchik joined Women, Business and the Law in 2014. She currently conducts research on labor laws, with an emphasis on legal restrictions imposed on female workers. Alena also provides statistical analysis support to the WBL team and assists with data development strategy. Her prior experience includes working with a number of non-governmental organizations and consulting companies. Alena holds a BA in International Studies and an MA in International Economic Affairs from American University School of International Service. She is fluent in Russian.


Camilla Schloss

Camilla Schloss joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. Working for the Using Property indicator, she engages in the comparative analysis of domestic laws affecting women’s property and land rights. She previously worked for the GIZ on land matters in Namibia. As a Research Assistant at the German Parliament and at Linklaters she focused on administrative law and constitutional issues. She studied law at Humboldt University Berlin and completed a clerkship at the Berlin Court of Appeals. In addition, Camilla holds a Master in International Development from SciencesPo Paris and an LL.M. from Georgetown University. She is a native German speaker and is fluent in French.


Katrin Schulz

Katrin Schulz joined Women, Business and the Law in 2013 and currently leads the Getting a Job indicator. She previously worked for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, a labor and employment law firm in Washington, DC and Legal Momentum. Katrin holds a JD from American University Washington College of Law and a Bachelor’s degree in Studies in Women and Gender from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the Co-Chair of the D.C. Regional Board of Directors of Indego Africa. She is fluent in Spanish.


Aarushi Sinha

Aarushi Sinha joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She researches and analyzes data for the Protecting Women from Violence indicator. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she independently designed and conducted comprehensive program evaluations for private sector entities to ensure compatibility between operations and social objectives. She focused on socioeconomic empowerment and gender inclusion in micro, small and medium enterprises within the handloom, crafts and organic agriculture sectors in India. She also worked with non-profit organizations to ensure the economic empowerment and financial security of marginalized groups, such as sex workers, and has conducted extensive research on domestic violence legislation in India. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy, with a specialization in development studies, from the National University of Singapore. She in a native Hindi speaker.


Paula Tavares

Paula Tavares joined Women, Business and the Law in 2010 and currently leads the Protecting Women from Violence indicator. She has over 10 years of experience working on development issues, with expertise in comparative legal analysis and the legal and the regulatory framework affecting women's economic inclusion, with a focus on gender based violence legislation. Her prior legal experience includes working with government multilateral trade agreements, private sector initiatives and non-governmental organizations. Paula is a Brazilian lawyer and holds an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center and a specialization in International Relations from the University of Brasilia, Brazil. She is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish and French.


Aliaksandra Tyhrytskaya

Aliaksandra Tyhrytskaya joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She analyzes legal and policy barriers affecting women’s labour rights. Her prior experience includes legal practice in the area of health care and education, refugee protection and human rights. Aliaksandra holds a law degree from Belarusian State University and a Master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. She is a native Belarusian and Russian speaker.