Meet the Women, Business and the Law team

Women, Business and the Law reports are researched and written by a team of experienced lawyers and experts. The current team is listed in alphabetical order below.

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Norman Loayza

Norman Loayza is Director of the Global Indicators Group at the World Bank. Previously, he was a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group and managed the Asia hub of the Research Group, based in Malaysia. He was director of the World Development Report 2014, Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development. His research has dealt with various areas of economic and social development, including macroeconomic management, economic growth, microeconomic flexibility, private and public saving, financial depth and stability, natural disasters, and crime and violence. His advisory experience at the World Bank has also ranged across different topics in various regions and countries. A few examples include business environment and economic performance in Latin America; informal and formal labor markets in the Middle East and Northern Africa; public infrastructure gaps in Pakistan and Egypt; savings for macroeconomic stability and growth in Sri Lanka, Georgia, and Egypt; and pro-poor growth in Indonesia and Peru. On external service from the World Bank, he was a Senior Economist at the Central Bank of Chile (1999-2000), where he advised on financial and monetary policy. Norman has edited 10 books and published dozens of papers in professional journals and edited volumes. A Peruvian national, he holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University (1994).

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Tea Trumbic

Tea Trumbic is the Program Manager of 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 and analysis on laws and regulations that impact women’s economic opportunities in 190 economies. 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. Before joining the World Bank, Tea 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.

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Nelsy Affoum

Nelsy Affoum joined the Women, 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.

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Nisha Arekapudi

Nisha Arekapudi leads research on access to justice for the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law project. Before joining the World Bank, 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.

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Julia Braunmiller

Julia Constanze Braunmiller is a Private Sector Development Specialist with the Women, Business and the Law project. She leads the project’s family law research and manages the corresponding topics on women’s legal capacity, mobility, and property rights. Her work also covers financial inclusion and the rights of women with disabilities. Before joining the team in 2015, she taught international human rights courses and 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.

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Mila Cantar

Mila Cantar joined the Women, Business, and the Law team in June 2021 and supports the Violence Against Women survey team. Before joining the team, she was a Fulbright Scholar, PEO Scholar, and DKG Scholar while working towards a Masters in Public Administration at Cornell University. She holds a MA in Human Rights from the National University of General San Martín and a degree in Law from the National University of the Center of Buenos Aires Province, both in Argentina. She has also worked in UNHCR in Costa Rica and Argentina as a protection intern and eligibility officer. Her areas of study are women's rights and refugee protection. She speaks Spanish.

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Alexis Cheney

Alexis Cheney is currently a second year MA (International Affairs) candidate at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. She is concentrating in human rights and humanitarian policy with a specialization in media. She is concurrently pursuing a MA (International Public Management) at Sciences Po in Paris, France. Alexis completed a Bachelor’s (English and French Literature, International Studies concentration) at Connecticut College. Originally from Massachusetts, Alexis worked in Paris between 2018 and 2020. She is interested in women’s economic empowerment in developed and developing countries alike. Alexis teaches English every week to a female entrepreneur living in Armenia. Alexis enjoys running on trails, singing, and baking. She speaks French and hopes to learn Spanish.

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Marie Dry

Marie Dry joined Women, Business and the Law in January 2020. She holds a Master in Law with a concentration on Global Governance Studies from Sciences Po Paris Law School. As part of her Masters, she studied human rights law and sex discrimination at Harvard Law School. She worked as an intern for a labor law firm and drafted, in collaboration with the Equality Lab, recommendations to improve gender equality in the 2019 French pension reform. She also holds an Advanced Certification in Gender Studies and a BA in Political Sciences from Sciences Po Paris. She is a native French speaker.

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Rebecca Ego

Rebecca is currently a Master of Laws (LLM) candidate in International and Comparative Law at The George Washington University Law School. She has previously completed her Bachelor of Law degree from La Sagesse University in Lebanon. Originally from Beirut, she is interested in advancing women’s economic and political participation in the MENA region. She served as a representative for George Washington’s Law, Justice and International Development Society, and conducted research on women’s participation in conflict resolution and mediation. Rebecca enjoys going on runs and trying new cuisines. She speaks English, Arabic and French.

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Marina Elefante

Marina Elefante joined the Women, Business and the Law project in 2015. Her current research focuses on childcare policies and indicator development. Previously, she drafted legal aid legislation for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and led 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. with distinction in International Legal Studies from Georgetown University Law Center.

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Mahmoud Elsaman

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 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.

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Emilia Galiano

Emilia Galiano joined the Women, Business and the Law team as a Private Sector Development Specialist in January 2021. She has a background in International Relations and International Political Economy, with a Master's Degree from John Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies. Prior to joining, she led a team of community engagement and facilitation professionals at the World Bank Group, working on mainstreaming and strengthening the more than 300 Communities of Practice across the organization, as a way to connect development practitioners with the practical and localized knowledge they need to be most effective. She is fluent in Italian, German, and Spanish.

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Aida Hammoud Watson

Aida Hammoud Watson joined Women, Business and the Law in 2018. She conducts research and analysis related to labor laws and reforms. She covers topics such as discrimination in employment, maternity and paternity leaves, and pension systems. She has also experience in violence against women and family laws topics as she is working in parallel on the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goal Indicator 5.1.1 which is co-custodied by the World Bank Group, the UN Women, and the OECD. Aida is a native Spanish speaker, and fluent in both English and French.

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Marie Hyland

Marie Hyland joined the Women, Business and the 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 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.

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Consuelo Jurado Tan

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.

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Viktoria Khaitina

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 an 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.

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Jungwon Kim

Jungwon Kim is currently an M.A. candidate in International Economic Policy at Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs. Her research interests lie in promoting financial inclusion in developing countries with a focus on women’s economic empowerment. Prior to joining the Women, Business and the Law team, she worked as a research intern at the Center for Transnational Migration and Social Inclusion in Seoul National University, where she investigated the impact of COVID-19 on childcare to provide policy analysis. Jungwon received her BA in Economics and Sociology from Sciences Po. She is a native Korean speaker, fluent in Japanese, and proficient in French.

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Claudia Lenny Corminales

Claudia Lenny 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.

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Jessica Maeda Jerí

Jessica Maeda Jerí joined the Women, Business, and the Law team in August 2021 and supports the Labor team. Prior to WBL, she was a Fulbright scholar while working towards her Master's in International Development Policy at Duke University. She holds an LL.M. with a specialization in Public International Law from Leiden University, The Netherlands, and a Law degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. She has worked as a Legal Advisor for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Peru, coordinating anti-discriminatory policies. Her areas of work are human rights, gender, and social policy. She is a native Spanish speaker.

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Pedro Magariño

Pedro Magariño joined the Women, Business and the Law team in 2021 and conducts reseach and analysis within the Labor team. With a passion for women empowerment and private sector development, Pedro also collaborates with the WB Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Global Practice. Originally from Spain, Pedro counts with several years of experience in regulatory bodies and international development institutions. He holds an LLM in International and European Law from Tilburg University, a law degree and an economics degree from Carlos III University and speaks Spanish and French.

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Natália Mazoni

Natália Mazoni is a Private Sector Specialist and leads the dissemination of Women, Business and the Law. She joined the World Bank Group in February 2016. Her current research focuses on women's access to justice, the implementation of laws, and indicator development. Before joining the World Bank Group, she 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. Originally from Brazil, she speaks Portuguese and Spanish and is conversant in French.

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Perrine Monnet

Perrine Monnet is currently a second year MPP (Master in Public Policy) candidate at Georgetown University. Perrine previously completed her BA in International Affairs with a regional focus in Latin America with a certificate in Peace, Conflict, and Security from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, she is interested in gender equality and social policy. She is an active member of the university’s Women in Public Policy Initiative and enjoys running, climbing and skiing. She speaks French and Spanish.

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Olena Mykhalchenko

Olena Mykhalchenko joined the Women, Business and the Law team in May 2020. She conducts research and analysis related to labor laws and reforms. 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 Portulans Institute, International Bar Association, International Law Commission, and United Nations Association of the National Capital Area. 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.

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Hannelore Niesten

Hannelore Niesten joined the Women, Business and the Law team in July 2021. Hannelore worked on legal and tax projects with several other World Bank units (Poverty and Equity, Governance, Digital Development and Subnational Doing Business). Before joining the WBL team, Hannelore practiced tax law at a Brussels based law firm for several years and was a Fulbright Scholar at Georgetown Law School and the University of Florida specializing in tax law. Hannelore holds a PhD in Law from Maastricht University, an LLM in Business and Finance law from George Washington University, Advanced Masters in Tax Law and Notary Law from the Catholic University of Louvain, and Masters in Globalization and Law and European Law from Maastricht University. Hannelore speaks Dutch, English, and French.

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Ankita Panda

Ankita Panda is currently a first-year Master’s in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University. Originally from New Jersey, she is interested in gender policy, with a focus on issues of women’s economic empowerment and gender-based violence. Ankita has helped lead and co-author several gender-focused research projects and studies across the Kennedy School, the Harvard Business School, and MIT D-Lab. She has also previously lived and worked in Mumbai, where she provided capacity building support to help small- to mid-sized social enterprises scale their organizations and interventions. Outside of school, Ankita is an avid baker and Francophile. She speaks English and Oriya and is conversational in French.

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Isabel Santagostino Recavarren

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.

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Alena Sakhonchik

Alena Sakhonchik joined Women, Business and the Law in 2014. She leads research on childcare policies and supports the project's overall data and indicator development strategies. She holds a M.A. in International Economic Affairs from American University. Alena is originally from Belarus and speaks Russian.

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Katrin Schulz

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.

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Liang Shen

Liang Shen joined Women, Business and the Law in 2020. She holds a M.S. in Economics and Management of Government and International Organizations from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. She also holds a M.P.A. in 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) and is learning Italian.

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Nayantara Vohra

Nayantara Vohra joined the Women, Business and the Law team in June 2021. She conducts research relating to violence against women laws and reforms. Nayantara holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Delhi, India. Before joining WBL, Nayantara practiced law in India for over four years. She also worked for the World Bank’s Data and Evidence for Judicial Reform (DE JURE) program. She speaks Hindi and Bengali.

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Lara Wanna

Lara Wanna joined the Women, Business and the Law team in January 2021 and supports the childcare indicator. Prior to WBL, she worked with the Subnational Doing Business project in the UAE and worked as an internal legal consultant in D.C. Lara is a Beirut Bar licensed attorney with over six years of experience working in corporate and civil law in the MENA region. She has advised and represented government and private sector stakeholders, worked on drafting legal policies and regulations for Expo Dubai 2020 and policy implementation for the UN Refugee Nations in Lebanon. Lara is a member of the New York State Bar. She holds a Master of Law Degree from The Lebanese University and an L.L.M Degree from The George Washington University specializing in business and finance Law. She is fluent in Arabic.

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Siyi Wang

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.

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Yasmin Zand

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.

Interns

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Teena Abraham

Teena Abraham is currently a second year M.A. International Development & Economics candidate at the Johns Hopkins University - Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Teena has previously completed her B.S Chemical Engineering from Manipal University in India. Though originally from India, she was raised in Saudi Arabia before migrating to the US to pursue a job opportunity at Dow Chemicals, Pennsylvania. She later moved on to work at ZS Associates, a management consulting firm where she worked with pharmaceutical clients such as AstraZeneca, to help drive business solutions by combining data and analytics. Teena’s long-term goal is to pursue a career at the intersection of private sector development and gender. During her time at SAIS, Teena has served as a consultant to the International Republic Institute, studying the political participation of women in Sri Lanka. Teena also serves as the Director of Events at the Global Women Leadership (GWL) club at SAIS. She speaks English, Hindi, Arabic (intermediate) and Malayalam.

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Luis Ernesto Martinez

Luis Ernesto Martinez is currently a second-year candidate for a Master’s Degree in International Development at the Paris School of International Affairs of Sciences Po (Paris, France). Luis Ernesto has previously completed a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Politics and Government and a Minor in International Trade & Finance at Sciences Po’s College, and further has completed an exchange year at the School of Global and Public Affairs of IE University in Madrid (Spain). Originally from San Salvador, El Salvador, he is interested in development economics, as well as labor-market and social policies for fighting poverty in all its dimensions. Before joining the Women, Business and the Law team, Luis Ernesto completed different internships at various purpose-driven structures, including IMPCT (an international social business awarded with the Hult Prize in 2015) and Fundación Pequeño Deseo (a Spanish NGO). Luis Ernesto has demonstrated experience working with associations engaged with child and youth development and social integration of at-risk youth. He also enjoys reading and travelling during his spare time. He speaks Spanish, French, English, Portuguese, and has started to learn Italian.

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Vera Jónsdóttir

Vera Jónsdóttir is currently a second year MPP (Government Procurement Law) candidate at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Vera Jónsdóttir has previously completed a BA (International Trade Law) at The American University of Paris in France. Originally from Reykjavík, Iceland, she is interested in finance law and in the development of emerging markets. Vera Jónsdóttir is also an active member of Harris’ Women in Public Policy Association and a writer for the Chicago Policy Review. She speaks Icelandic, French, and elementary Danish and German.

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Rebeca Ortiz Benitez

Rebeca Ortiz Benitez is a Master’s degree student in Economics and Finance at the University of Padova (Italy), and she is currently doing her second year at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (France). She has previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Economics at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Originally from Asunción, Paraguay, she is interested in sustainable and development economics. She speaks Spanish, English, French, Portuguese, Italian and Chinese.

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Maya Shen

Maya is currently a second-year master student studying Public Policy at the University of Chicago. With a certificate in Market & Regulation, Maya focuses on investigating policy impacts on the financial markets across various economics. For undergraduate education, Maya majored in Accounting, Finance, as well as Public Policy Analysis at Indiana University Bloomington, Kelley School of Business. Maya speaks English, Mandarin, and basic French. She also reads and translates Hieroglyphic Egyptian.

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Juliette Wander

Juliette is currently a second year JD candidate at the American University Washington College of Law (WCL). Juliette was previously completed an B.A. (Political Science) at California Polytechnic University. Originally from Death Valley, California, she is interested in finance law and business law. Juliette is also an active member of American’s Business Law Review and the Federalist Society. She enjoys Pilates and reading.