Group 1: Disabilities
Director, BlueLaw International Human Rights & Inclusive Development Practice
Allison deFranco is a Director in BlueLaw International’s Human Rights and Inclusive Development practice. She is an international disability rights lawyer and works with clients and donor organizations around the world to develop, implement, and enforce legal frameworks that are consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Her recent work includes: conducting an evaluation of Armenia’s inclusive education law and policy framework; meeting with various Government of Haiti officials to discuss compliance issues in their national laws; conducting an elections assessment in Indonesia where she worked with the Government of Indonesia and local disabled people’s organizations to develop recommendations for the new General Election Law; and training lawyers and persons with disabilities in Zambia about access to health and inclusive HIV/AIDS development programming. Allison has various publications on international and comparative disability law topics. Allison obtained a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and a M.S. from Syracuse University School of Education.
Policy Analyst for Government Affairs, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
Rhonda Neuhaus joined DREDF as our Policy Analyst for Government Affairs in January 2011. Ms. Neuhaus holds a JD from the University of Maryland School of Law, a MA in Sustainable Development from Brandeis University and a BA from Rollins College. Before joining DREDF, Ms. Neuhaus has focused on human rights, advocacy capacity-building and civil society strengthening in international development programming. She provided subject matter expertise to governments and NGOs on human rights law and policy, international disability standards, and strategies for ensuring the rights of disadvantaged groups in development programming.
From 2008 to 2011, she built and managed the Making it Work initiative, working towards implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) at Handicap International. She has been a consultant on disability and development issues for BlueLaw International, providing human rights education and advocacy services relating to the CRPD for the Shafallah Center for Children with Special Needs in Doha, Qatar. Prior to her legal education, she worked as an inclusive development specialist at Mobility International USA (MIUSA) from 1998—2000, where she designed and implemented international exchange and economic development programming worldwide. Her work included the design and implementation of training to promote disability inclusion in education and employment, as well as micro-credit schemes.
Group 2: Women and Adolescent Girls’ Health—Maternal Morbidity and Mortality
MS. LILIAN SEPULVEDA
Deputy Director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights
Lilian Sepúlveda is the Deputy Director of the International Legal Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights. Her work focuses on the protection and advancement of women’s reproductive rights around the world.
She previously served as Director of the Center’s Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) program, and has spearheaded litigation and law reform efforts in the region on cases such as K.L. v. Peru, Paulina Ramírez v. Mexico, and Alyne da Silva Pimentel v. Brazil. She is editor of Bodies on Trial: Reproductive Rights in Latin American Courts, a key regional publication of the International Legal Program, and coauthor of “What Role can International Litigation Play in the Promotion and Advancement of Reproductive Rights in Latin America?”.
Before joining the Center in 2002, she worked at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and at Rutgers University. She is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law, and a Term Member at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Group 3: Gender Identities
MS. PAULA URIBE
Senior Advisor, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, US State Department
Paula Uribe assumed the position of Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs in July 2010. Ms. Uribe is the bureau’s Senior Advisor on issues related to vulnerable populations focusing on women, youth, LGBT persons, people with disabilities and human rights in the Western Hemisphere.
Prior to joining the State Department, Ms. Uribe served as the Associate Director for Outreach and External Affairs at the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University where she managed a multimillion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education. She developed associations and partnerships with international organizations, Latin American embassies and schools in the Washington D.C. area as well as other Title VI National Resource Centers around the country, including Duke, Tulane, University of Florida, Yale, NYU, and Vanderbilt. She was instrumental in developing curriculum changes in several K-12 school systems to include more Latin American history.
Before Georgetown, Ms. Uribe worked at the 2nd International Congress on Victims of Terrorism as Chief of Protocol and International Advisor to the Director, and was a Protocol Officer at the Inter-American Defense Board in Washington, D.C.
Ms. Uribe was born in Colombia. She studied history at the “Pontificia Universidad Javeriana” in Bogotá, Colombia and Liberal Studies with a concentration in International Affairs at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She is married to Paulo Uribe, a NASA Engineer. They have two daughters, Daniela (11) and Mariana (9).
Group 4: Older Persons
DR. MARCOS ACLE
Legal Officer, Special Programs Department, Organization of American States
Born in Montevideo, Uruguay. Attorney and Doctor of Law and Social Sciences from the Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay, Mr. Acle has cursed post-graduate studies in International Law with the Inter-American Juridical Committee in Rio de Janeiro and the University of London, as well as in the area of Consumer Law at the Universidad Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.
After practicing law in private firms and the United Nations Development Programme in Uruguay, he joined the Organization of American States (OAS) where he coordinated the Program on Access to Justice for Vulnerable Groups in the Department Special Legal Programs. Currently, he is a Legal Officer at the Department of Social Development and Employment of the OAS, in charge of the Consumer Protection Program and the Technical Secretariat of the Working Group on Human Rights of Older Persons, which has the mandate to prepare a draft Inter-American Convention on the subject.
Group 5: Access to Medicines
DR. JORGE BERMUDEZ
Vice-President of Health Production and Innovation, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, (Fiocruz), Ministry of Health (Brazil)
Dr. Jorge Bermudez graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ) in 1971 and earned his master’s degree in infectious and parasitic diseases from the same university in 1976. He received a doctorate of science from the National School of Public Health (ENSP) that collaborates with Fiocruz, where he holds the position of researcher. Prior to returning to Fiocruz he served as Unitaid Director from 2007 to 2011.
Between 2004 and 2007, Dr. Bermudez was head of the Medicines, Vaccines and Health Technologies Unit of PAHO/WHO for the region of the Americas, after having served as director for ENSP/Fiocruz (2001 and 2004) and research coordinator (1997 to 1998).
Dr. Bermudez was president of the Institute Vital Brazil on two occasions (1999 to 2001 and 1987 to 1991), as well as president of the Association of Official Pharmaceutical Laboratories of Brazil (ALFOB). Additionally, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Health in 1993 and director of Farmanguinhos (Fiocruz) between 1985 and 1987. He has published articles, books and chapters on issues such as public health, pharmaceutical policies, access to medicines and intellectual property, while he also supervises students who undertake masters and doctoral degrees in these areas.
Group 6: Tobacco Control and Smoke Free Environments
DR. ROSA SANDOVAL
Advisor, Tobacco Control (PAHO)
Rosa Carolina Sandoval holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University (2000), where she was awarded scholarships from the Joan de Sardon-Glass Fund and the Donald Flaherty Fellowship. She also holds a degree in economics from the Pontificia Universidad Católica of Peru (1995), her home country. Ms. Sandoval is a technical officer in PAHO’s tobacco control and consumers’ health program. Prior to joining PAHO in 2003, Ms Sandoval worked in Peru’s Ministry of Labor as chief of monitoring and evaluation of the national public works program. She has also been an advisor to the Ministry of Social Development and the Promotion of Women and for the Ministry of the Presidency in the areas of public health, population, youth and social development. Ms. Sandoval has also worked as a social policy analyst for the non-profit sector in Peru and for international organizations. She has done research in poverty reduction, institutional development and governance, monitoring and evaluation systems in social programs, and infant policy
ROBIN APPLEBERRY, ESQ.
Director, Legal and Policy Analysis Office of Policy, Center for Tobacco Products U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Prior to joining the Center for Tobacco Products in 2011, Robin served for six years as Committee Counsel to U.S. Representative Henry A. Waxman, serving during his tenures as Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Most recently, she worked with the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health and its Subcommittee on Trade, Commerce and Consumer Protection, covering a range of environmental health and consumer protection issues, including tobacco control, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and chemical policy reform.
Before her time on Capitol Hill, Robin worked as a Supervising Attorney in the Federal Legislation Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center and for two years as Law Clerk to the Honorable Paul L. Friedman, United States District Judge for the District of Columbia. Prior to and during law school, Robin worked at the World Health Organization, the State Department, and the Family and Criminal Courts of Brooklyn, NY. Robin has a B.A. in Philosophy from Yale University, a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.