Meet the Team
Women, Business and the Law is researched and written by a team of experienced lawyers and experts. The current team is listed in alphabetical order below.
Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out
Women, Business and the Law is researched and written by a team of experienced lawyers and experts. The current team is listed in alphabetical order below.
Nelsy Affoum joined the Woman, Business and the Law team in May 2020 and supports the Violence Against Women survey team. Prior to WBL, she worked as a Project Associate at MSI, where she managed and coordinated USAID projects in Mali and the DRC. She also worked for the UNESCO Senegal office where she developed Gender Equity Capacity Statements summarizing causes of gender disparities in SMT classes. She holds a M.A. in International Economic Policy with a focus on Development Economics from the George Washington University and a B.A. in International Relations/Pre-Law from Queens University of Charlotte. She is a native French speaker from Côte d'Ivoire.
Nayda Almodóvar-Reteguis is a Private Sector Development Specialist for The World Bank’s Development Economic Unit, working on the Women, Business and the Law project since 2010. Her work focuses on the design of indicators to measure legal barriers for women’s economic inclusion. She has also done historical legal research focused on the evolution of labor and family law reforms, to understand how legal frameworks affect economic development and competitiveness, particularly through the inclusion of human capital. Nayda oversees the interactions with governments as part of the stakeholders engagement component of Women, Business and the Law. With a 16-years career in law, policy and international development, her previous experience spans the public and private sector and includes serving as Deputy Advisor for the Governor of Puerto Rico on public policy and economic development. Nayda holds a Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez, a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and a Masters of Law (LL.M.) from The George Washington University School of Law. She speaks Spanish and is conversant in French.
Nisha Arekapudi leads research on family law for the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law project. Before joining the World Bank in 2014, Nisha worked as a Senior Research Associate for the Public International Law & Policy Group, and as a law clerk at the US Departments of State and Justice. Nisha is a member of the New York State Bar and graduated cum laude with a JD/MA from American University’s Washington College of Law and School of International Service. She speaks Spanish.
Julia Constanze Braunmiller joined the Women, Business and the Law project in 2015. She leads the project’s family law survey and manages the corresponding topics on women’s legal capacity, mobility and access to finance. Previously, she directed legal reform programs at the Johns Hopkins University on combating human trafficking and promoting clinical legal education throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Julia holds an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and a law degree from Germany. She speaks German, Italian, French, and Dutch.
Claudia L. Corminales joined Women, Business and the Law in 2016. She conducts research and analysis on laws and regulations constraining women’s legal capacity, freedom of movement and access to finance. 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 and French.
Sheng Cui joined the Women, Business and the Law team in April 2019, and his current research focuses on labor and employment issues and data analysis of reforms. Previously, he gained experience in development policy research and reform advisory work in social and energy related fields, with multiple international organizations and government agencies, including UNDP Eswatini, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, China’s National Development and Reform Commission, etc. He holds an MPA degree in international development from New York University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in international political economy at Peking University. He speaks Chinese.
Marie Dry joined Women, Business and the Law in January 2020. She is a graduate law student from Sciences Po Paris Law School, focusing on gender equality issues. As part of her Master in Economic Law, she studied human rights law and sex discrimination at Harvard Law School. She worked as an intern for a labor law firm drafting recommendations to improve gender equality in the 2019 French pension reform. She holds a BA in Political Sciences from Sciences Po Paris. She is a native French speaker.
Marina Elefante joined the Women, Business and the Law project in 2015. Her current research covers women's legal capacity, access to identification, women’s financial inclusion, and childcare. Previously, she drafted legal aid legislation for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and human trafficking legal reform programs at The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. She graduated cum laude from the University of Naples Law School and holds an M.A. in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action from the University of Siena, Italy and an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from Georgetown University Law Center.
Mahmoud Elsaman joined the Women, Business and the Law team in October 2020. Previously, he worked for the Egyptian judiciary, the International Development Law Organization ‘IDLO’ in Italy, and Ibrachy and Dermarkar Law Firm in Egypt. Mahmoud holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (with honors degree) from Cairo University Faculty of Law in Egypt. He holds an LL.M degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in International and Comparative Law, and an LL.M degree in Rule of Law for Development from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Currently, Mahmoud is pursuing his SJD (Ph.D.) degree at Central European University in Austria. He is a native Arabic speaker.
Nadine Elshokeiry joined the Women, Business and the Law team in May 2020 supporting the Family Law survey team. Previously, she was the Head of Mission Assistant at the Doctors Without Borders mission in Cairo, Egypt. She also worked as a program assistant at the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid operations in the EU Delegation in Egypt. Before that, she was a Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Nadine holds an MPA degree from the American University in Cairo and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cairo University. She speaks Arabic and French.
Marie joined the Women, Business and Law team as an economist in October 2019. She joined the World Bank in 2016. Marie holds a PhD in economics from Trinity College Dublin; as part of her PhD studies Marie also spent time at the University of Maryland as a Fulbright scholar. As a member of the Women, Business and the Law team, Marie’s work focuses on the economic impacts of legal gender reform.
Viktoria Khaitina joined Women, Business and the Law in January 2017. She researches and analyzes data related to property laws and laws protecting women from violence. She previously worked with the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development team at the Legal Vice Presidency. Before joining the World Bank, Viktoria worked at a international law firm, where she advised businesses 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 the Swedish Institute of Public Administration and American University Washington College of Law (H.H. Fellowship Program). She is a native Belarusian and Russian speaker.
Kook Hee Lee joined the Women, Business and the Law team in August 2019, and her current research focuses on the dynamics between childcare policy and female employment. Previously, she has worked for the Customs and Taxation Bureau and the Economic Structure Reform Bureau of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of South Korea, the Human Capital Development Research Department of the Korea Women’s Development Institute and the Vice Commissioner’s Office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She holds an LLB from Seoul National University, an LLM and SJD from Georgetown University Law Center. Her doctoral thesis focuses on the comparative analysis of the maternity and parental leave system. She is a member of the New York State and speaks Korean.
Natália Mazoni joined the World Bank Group in February 2016. She leads research on pension for Women, Business and the Law and her work focuses on the design of indicators to measure legal barriers for women’s economic inclusion. Previously she worked on assessing bureaucratic complexity in citizen-government interactions in the Living Life project. Before joining the World Bank Group she conducted legal research, tax advisory and developed business strategies at EY Brazil and practiced at a law firm in Belo Horizonte. She holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in International Legal Studies from American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, and a law degree from Faculdades Milton Campos in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She is a member of the Brazilian Bar. She speaks Portuguese and Spanish and is conversant in French.
Olena Mykhalchenko joined the Women, Business and the Law team in May 2020. She has done extensive work in the field of labor law, gender equality and non-discrimination in new technologies, and has more than eight years of experience in nonprofit, public, and private sectors. Her prior experiences include working with the International Bar Association, International Law Commission, and United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, where she served as a graduate fellow. She earned her B.A. and LL.M in Law at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine), and an LL.M at the George Washington University Law School as a Fulbright and Thomas Buergenthal scholarships awardee. She speaks English, Ukrainian, and Russian.
Rita Ramalho is the Senior Manager for the Global Indicators Group which houses Doing Business, Subnational Doing Business, Enterprise Surveys, Women Business and the Law, Enabling the Business of Agriculture, as well as other pilot indicator projects. Previously Rita Ramalho was the Manager of the joint World Bank-IFC Doing Business Report which provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational level. She was the program manager of World Bank-IFC Enterprise Surveys and Women, Business and the Law project. Enterprise Surveys provide the world's most comprehensive company-level data for emerging markets and developing economies. Enterprise Surveys data are available on more than 131,000 firms in over 139 countries. She holds a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on the impact of regulation on economic variables such as growth, where she found that better business regulations can lead to more growth; the impact of regulations on female labor force participation, tax policy and entrepreneurship, labor regulations, and the size of the informal sector. She speaks Portuguese and is conversant in Spanish.
Isabel Santagostino is a Private Sector Development Specialist with the Women, Business and the Law project. She currently leads research on violence against women and the indicators on domestic violence and sexual harassment. Before joining the World Bank Group, she worked at the Inter-American Commission of Women and at the Office of the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. Ms. Santagostino is a member of the New York State Bar, holds an LL.M. in International Legal Studies from American University Washington College of Law and a law degree from Bocconi University, Italy. Isabel is fluent in Italian, French and Spanish.
Katrin Schulz joined the Women, Business and the Law team in January 2013 and leads research on labor and employment law. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she conducted legal analysis for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, a labor law firm and several nonprofit organizations focused on human rights and gender equality. She graduated from American University Washington College of Law and from the University of Virginia’s Studies in Women and Gender program. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. She is fluent in Spanish.
Friederike Strub joined the Women, Business and the Law team in June 2020 and supports the Family Law and Violence Against Women survey teams. She has a background in strategy, research, policy, and advocacy on women's economic empowerment. As a Research Associate with MarketShare Associates (MSA), she worked on women's economic empowerment and market systems development. Her previous experience also includes work with the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative, UN Women Nepal, Oxfam America, and local women's rights organizations. Friederike is a trained political scientist with a Master in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in Politics and Public Administration from the University of Konstanz. She speaks German and Spanish.
Consuelo J. Tan is a World Bank retiree and has been a part of the Women, Business and the Law team since October 2019. She supports the team with administrative as well as budget matters. She also provides logistical support to the entire team. She was formerly an Executive Assistant at the IFC, supporting the office of the EVP and Managing Director from 1999-2005. She also worked as a Program Analyst for the IFC’s Access to Finance unit from 2005-2010.
Tea Trumbic is the Program Manager for the Women, Business and the Law project in the World Bank’s Development Economics vice-presidency, where she leads a dynamic team to produce data that measure how the law impacts women’s economic opportunities in 190 economies. She has 17 years of experience working with governments and the private sector to reform laws and regulations to create jobs and contribute to inclusive economic growth. She joined the World Bank in 2006, working on the Doing Business project on business taxation and credit information regulations. She has also developed indicators focusing on agribusiness regulations where her work focused on access to markets and how regulations affect rural women. Her work has focused on regulatory framework analysis of the business environment in several countries globally, including extensive work on Eastern European and Central Asian countries. Tea also worked at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia and the International Monetary Fund. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Stanford University and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics.
Siyi Wang joined the Women, Business and the Law team in June 2019. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked for the Financial Institutions Group of the International Finance Corporation and worked on China’s financial inclusion program. Siyi holds a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, and another Master in Simultaneous Interpretation from Beijing Foreign Studies University’s Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation. She speaks Chinese.
Yasmin Zand is the Contributor Manager for the Global Indicators Group, which includes Women Business and the Law and Doing Business. She joined the World Bank Group in 2009, first working on media and communications for the Doing Business report and subsequently researching credit information. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, she was the Deputy Field Director at The Mellman Group, a research-based strategy firm in Washington DC. She also worked on the 2004 United States presidential political campaign. She holds bachelor's degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. from INSEAD. She speaks Farsi and is conversant in French.
Dania is currently a second-year master’s Public Policy candidate at the University of Denver, Josef Korbel School of International Relations. Dania has previously completed a master’s degree in International Relations at Saint Joseph University of Beirut and further holds a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the American University of Science and Technology. Originally from Lebanon, she is interested in economic development and gender equality in least developed countries. Dania is also an active member of the International Association for Political Science Students, and the American Political Science Association (APSS) and enjoys exercising and reading. She speaks French, English, and Arabic.
Catalina is currently a third-year JD student at Northeastern University School of Law with a concentration in International Law and Human Rights. Catalina holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lynn University. Originally from Cali, Colombia, she is interested in international law and gender equality. Previously, she was a Judicial Law Clerk at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica and worked as a legal intern at the Center for Justice and International Law in Washington, D.C. She is an active member of her university’s Latino Law Students Association and served as Co-Chair during the Summer and Winter of 2019-2020 and was awarded the Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy in the Fall of 2019. She aspires to work in the international legal field and enjoys reading Isabel Allende’s novels, as well as traveling. She speaks Spanish.
Liang is currently an M.S. (Economics and Management of Government and International Organizations) candidate at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. She has recently completed an M.P.A. (Women and Public Policy and Global Affairs) and a Fellowship on Women and Public Policy at Rockefeller College, University at Albany (SUNY). Originally from Xuzhou, China, Liang has experience in finance and management in China and Australia and is passionate about addressing gender disparity issues at the workplace and other socioeconomic problems facing women and the marginalized. Before joining the Women, Business and the Law team, Liang has conducted economic research and policy analysis at the Office of the New York State Comptroller and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. She speaks Chinese (Mandarin), English, and is learning Italian.
Wendy is a second year JD candidate at Columbia Law School originally from Shanghai, China. She graduated from Rice University, with a degree in Political Science, Public Policy, and French Literature. She also received the Certificate of Studies in Social Sciences and Humanities from Sciences Po Paris. Previously, she interned as a junior researcher at the Global Governance Institute in Brussels and worked as a paralegal at Arnold & Porter in DC. At Columbia, she serves as a Student Senator, Admission Student Ambassador, and President of the Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. She is a staff editor for the American Review of International Arbitration as well. She aspires to work in the field of transnational litigation. In her free time, Wendy enjoys playing tennis, running while listening to audiobooks, and going to art museums and Broadway shows. She speaks English, French, Mandarin, and Spanish.
Bize is currently a second-year master student at Cornell Institute of Public Affairs with a concentration on economics and public policy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian Language from Beijing Foreign Studies University, and she specialized in Norwegian. Growing her interest in gender equality during her study at the University of Oslo, she has researched paid paternity leave in the Scandinavian countries. She speaks Chinese and Norwegian.