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.
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.
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).
Tea Trumbic is the 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, and has worked on production of indicators related to business taxation, credit information, agribusiness, trade and gender. 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.
Carolina Azcuña joined Women, Business and the Law in January of 2022. Prior to joining the World Bank, she earned her Master's in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. She also worked as a research assistant, investigating international gender responsive budgeting initiatives as well as immigrant women’s educational opportunities and perspectives in the United States. Carolina comes from a Colombian and Bolivian family and is a native Spanish speaker. She is also conversational in French and spent a semester studying at La Sorbonne in Paris, France. Carolina loves all things art, language development, and constantly learning.
Daniela Behr joined the Women, Business and the Law as an Economist in July 2022. She leads the team’s research on women’s legal capacity regarding freedom of movement, property rights, and entrepreneurship. Daniela has worked in various capacities at the World Bank Group since 2018 co-leading a research project on affordable housing, conducting impact assessments of IFC’s investments in financial institutions, and working on indicator development related to agribusiness regulations. Prior to joining the World Bank Group, Daniela was a research fellow at University of Konstanz and George Washington University and a human rights and gender specialist with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Daniela studied in Konstanz, Madrid, and Toronto and holds a PhD in political economy from the University of Konstanz.
Julia Constanze Braunmiller is a Private Sector Development Specialist with the Women, Business and the Law project. She leads the project’s family law topic and manages the corresponding indicators on women’s mobility, property rights, and entrepreneurship. Her expertise 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.
Eduardo Calderón is a human rights and development specialist. He has experience at the Pan-American Health Organization, where he worked on issues concerning the right to health and other related human rights and the World Bank Group, where he focused on non-discrimination, equality, and economic inclusion of minorities. He is from Guatemala, where he taught international law and human rights. He speaks Spanish and English and is conversational in Portuguese. Eduardo obtained an LLM in International and Comparative Law from The George Washington University Law School and a Master of International Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, where he specialized on Latin American Studies and International Development.
Alexis Cheney joined Women, Business and the Law in June 2021. As an Analyst, she supports the dissemination team and labor topic team. In 2022, she graduated summa cum laude from a dual Master’s degree program in International Affairs between Columbia University and Sciences Po. She concentrated in economic development. Prior to joining the team, Alexis worked as a paralegal at the U.S. Department of Justice and as a Project Manager in Paris, France. Alexis enjoys running on trails and playing guitar. She speaks French and hopes to learn Spanish.
Claudia Lenny Corminales joined the Women, Business and the Law project in 2016. Currently, she conducts research and analysis for the Measuring the Legal Environment in Practice pilot project seeking to understand the barriers to gender equality and policy instruments that support the law's implementation and effectiveness in practice. Her expertise also includes indicators of women's legal capacity, freedom of movement, property rights, and entrepreneurship. She previously worked as a 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.
Rebecca Ego joined Women, Business and the Law in November 2021. She holds a Master of Laws in International Law from the George Washington University Law School, where she drafted a paper on the right of of women's participation in peacebuilding and conflict resolution under international law. She also holds a Bachelor of Laws from Beirut, Lebanon. She works as a legal expert for Expertise France - Groupe AFD, and worked for the IMF's legal department in Summer 2021. She is interested in advancing women's economic and political participation in the Middle East and North Africa region. She is fluent in Arabic, French and English.
Marina Elefante is a Private Sector Development Specialist with the Women, Business and the Law project. She leads research on childcare policies and the project's engagement with stakeholders. Before joining the World Bank, Marina drafted legal aid legislation for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), taught international human rights law at Yeditepe University in Istanbul 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.
Mahmoud Elsaman is a legal consultant with the Women, Business and the Law project. His current research focuses on entrepreneurship and financial inclusion. Previously, he worked for the Egyptian judiciary, the International Development Law Organization in Italy, and a leading corporate law firm in Egypt. Mahmoud holds a Bachelor of Laws degree (with honors) 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.
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. As a member of the Women, Business and the Law team, she leads the activities around data quality and integrity. She co-leads, together with Marie Hyland, the development of a new area of research to measure the effective implementation of laws benchmarked by the project. 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.
Mariam Anaïs Gnakra is a graduate from the George Washington University Law School with a Master of Laws (LL.M) in International Human Rights. She holds her first law degree in European and Comparative Law from the University of Montpellier. Before joining the Women, Business, and the Law Team, Mariam supported the Legal Vice Presidency of the World Bank in preparing a report documenting legal experiences related to Covid-19. She focused her contribution on the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on vulnerable groups, essentially women and people of African descent. Originally from Cote d'Ivoire, Mariam is interested in women's economic empowerment and gender-based violence. She aspires to contribute to the existing literature on accountability conflicts related sexual violence and advocate for women and girls bearing the unequal burden of war. Mariam is a gifted and self-taught hairstylist specializing in wigs and extensions. She speaks French, English, and Spanish.
Héloïse Groussard is currently a second-year Master of International Administration at Panthéon-Assas University. She is interested in economic development and especially in the impact of women's rights in the economy. Héloïse was an intern at a shelter for women experiencing abuse in São Paulo during her student exchange in Brazil at the Faculty of Law of the University of São Paulo (USP). Next, she joined the law firm MG Gestões (PGMBM), which was created to give legal assistance to the victims of major environmental disasters in Brazil. During this time, she worked mostly with a gynecological violence case. She just finished an internship at the Pan American Health Organization in the Office for Equity, Gender, and Cultural Diversity. Out of work Héloïse has been dancing since her childhood, a discipline that enables her to discover other cultures. She speaks French, English, Portuguese, and has working knowledge of Spanish.
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.
Viktoria Khaitina joined Women, Business and the Law in January 2017. She has worked across the three main Women, Business and the Law topics (family law, labor law and violence against women), and currently conducts research and analysis related to the new conceptual framework around childcare policies. Viktoria leads the team’s contributor management relations and co-leads dissemination efforts. She previously worked with the Global Forum on Law, Justice and Development team at the WBG 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.
Jungwon Kim joined Women, Business and the Law in June 2021. She holds a M.A. 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 also holds a BA in Economics and Sociology from Sciences Po. She is a native Korean speaker, fluent in Japanese, and proficient in French.
Shantel Marekera graduated with a degree in Jurisprudence/Law from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. She holds an undergraduate and a master’s degree in Justice Studies from Barrett the Honors College at Arizona State University. Prior to joining WBL, she served as a member of UN Women’s Beijing+25 Youth Task Force and Action Coalition Working Group. She was recognized by UN Women as a leader for Generation Equality and a National Gender Youth Activist. She is an avid social justice advocate who has closely worked with a number of civil society organizations including Just Associates (JASS), MenEngage and Restless Development. Shantel was awarded the 4th Annual Youth Activist Changemaker Award by Gucci and Chime for Change for her advocacy work with the United Nations and Little Dreamers Foundation.
Natália Mazoni is a Private Sector Specialist with the Women, Business and the Law project. She leads the project’s labor law research and manages the corresponding topics on workplace, pay, parenthood and pension. She joined the World Bank Group in February 2016. 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.
Olena Mykhalchenko joined the Women, Business and the Law team in May 2020. She conducts research and analysis related to labor laws and co-leads dissemination. She has done extensive work in the field of labor law, gender equality and non-discrimination in new technologies, and has more than ten 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.
Hannelore Niesten is a tax and legal consultant and provides consultancy services for Women, Business, and the Law as well other World Bank teams (Digital Development and Governance). She also works on tax and legal projects for the International Center for Tax and Development and Asian Development Bank. 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.
Caroline is currently a third-year PhD student at the University of Strasbourg under the supervision of Prof. Laurent Weill. Her research interests focus on the effects of gendered laws on female financial inclusion. Originally from France, she worked as a junior economist in Ivory Coast in 2018. She is an active member of the French think tank BSI Economics and enjoys running and horse-riding. She speaks French and English and is learning 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.
Luiza Ferraz di Ricco is an analyst of the Women, Business and the Law project. Her current responsibilities include regulatory and policy research around availability, affordability and quality of childcare services in Latin America. Luiza joined the team in May 2022. Before that, she provided integrity due diligence services for the IFC and developed business strategies for Deloitte Brazil. She holds a Master of Science in International Relations and Business from American University. She speaks Portuguese, English, Spanish and is conversational in French.
Alena Sakhonchik is a Private Sector Specialist at the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law project, where her current research focuses on regulatory and policy gaps around availability, affordability and quality of childcare services. Alena’s work also covers overall data and indicator development strategies. Prior to joining the World Bank Group in 2014, Alena worked at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Hudson Institute and the PBN Company – one of the leading international strategic communications firms specializing in Russia, Ukraine, and broader post-Soviet space. She has published in peer-reviewed journals, including Applied Economics Letters and Women’s Studies International Forum. Alena holds a M.A. in International Economic Relations from American University.
Camelia Saranciuc is currently a graduate student at HEC Lausanne (Switzerland), pursuing a Master of Science in Management with an orientation in Business Analytics. She was born and raised in Chisinau, Moldova, and has an extensive international background. Previously she has earned a Bachelor in Economics and Management from the University of Strasbourg (France). During her undergraduate years, Camelia has also lived in Sydney, and worked as an intern at the Australian Shareholders’ Association, having helped to initiate a campaign for promoting gender equality in the financial industry. Camelia has strong humanistic convictions and is highly concerned about global problems such as underdevelopment, poverty, social inequality and climate change. She speaks English, French, Romanian and Russian and is conversational in German.
Liang Shen joined the Women, Business and the Law team in 2020. Her research interests include family policies, equal pay, workplace discrimination and financial inclusion. Before joining the World Bank Group, Liang conducted analysis on tax policies and economic trends in the New York State government. She holds a Master of Science in Economics from Bocconi University and a Master of Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany. She speaks Mandarin Chinese and is learning 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.
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.
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.
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.