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Program Staff: Rule of Law Program

Victoria Ayer, J.D.
Director, Rule of Law Program

With over two decades of international development experience, Victoria Ayer has led anticorruption consortia, incubated innovative approaches, and supported reformers working to improve accountability in countries in conflict and in transition in the Balkans, Southeast Asia, and Africa.

For nearly a decade, Ayer was one of two senior anticorruption advisors at the U.S. Agency for International Development. In this role, she represented the U.S. government in global governance initiatives including the Open Government Partnership and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Through facilitation and training, Ayer has increased the capability of over 120 local partners to advocate, strategically plan, and hold government accountable. As co-creator of Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development, Ayer designed and directed a $45 million multi-donor grant program that supported more than 170 innovations to advance government accountability and citizen engagement.

In addition to serving at USAID, Ayer was the team lead for Mobilising Data for Anti-Corruption, a multi-country program that built partnerships with governments, tech entrepreneurs, academics, and civic activists to create tailored data tools and platforms to solve thorny corruption challenges. As team lead for the U.S.-Albania Transparency Academy project, Ayer managed a four-partner consortium that applied research on social norms and behavioral insights to develop evidence-based interventions to expand accountability to prevent corruption in the public and private sectors. Continue reading »

Laura Neuman, J.D.
Senior Advisor

Laura Neuman is the senior advisor to the Rule of Law Program. She advises the implementation of the Center’s programming regarding transparency, good governance, and access to justice, including projects in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Neuman developed the innovative access to information legislation Implementation Assessment Tool and the Women and the Right of Access to Information programming. In 2018, she convened the Inform Women, Transform Lives Conference, which culminated with the Atlanta Declaration for the Advancement of Women’s Right of Access to Information and the development of the Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign, for which she leads the implementation in 24 global cities.

Neuman has written articles, book chapters and guidebooks on the right of access to information, fostering transparency, and preventing corruption, and has presented at numerous international seminars and conferences. She has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, among others.

Prior to joining The Carter Center in August 1999, she was staff attorney at Legal Action of Wisconsin and is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School..

Hillary Forden, J.D.
Senior Associate Director

Hillary Forden is a lawyer and development practitioner with more than 15 years of experience in rule of law development, post-conflict justice, and criminal law, including over 10 years of experience managing multimillion-dollar programs for the U.S. government, public international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations.

Prior to joining The Carter Center, Forden consulted on Department of State and USAID-funded anti-corruption and legal education projects, including for the Friends of the Public Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan. As a senior technical advisor for the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI) Asia and the Pacific Division from 2018 to 2021, Forden managed projects to counter money laundering and terrorism financing; prevent and respond to child sexual abuse; and advance business and human rights in South Asia. Between 2014 and 2018, Forden worked for the Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the INL Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan in Washington, D.C., where she managed and advised on projects to increase access to justice for survivors and those at risk of experiencing gender-based violence and trafficking in persons in Afghanistan. She has previously managed rule of law development projects for the International Development Law Organization in South Sudan and the United Nations Development Program in Sudan. Before focusing on rule of law development, Forden held legal positions with international and domestic courts and tribunals.

Forden holds a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a member of the State Bar of California.

Randolph Kent, M.S.
Associate Director

Randolph Kent joined The Carter Center in February 2023. As an associate director, he manages the Rule of Law Program’s U.S. elections program and supports the Bangladesh team’s business development efforts. Prior to joining the Center, Kent worked at the International Republican Institute in its Europe Division, establishing and managing the Albania and Montenegro portfolios and strengthening political party and local government capacity. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania, working as an English language teacher. Kent holds a Master of Science in foreign service from Georgetown University and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University at Buffalo, SUNY.

Kari Mackey, M.A.
Associate Director

Kari Mackey is associate director of the Rule of Law Program. She helps manage the program's various projects that aim to advance transparency, accountability, and access to information, particularly in Liberia. During her tenure at the Center, Mackey has assisted with the coordination of four large international conferences on the right of access to information. She also curated and organized "Exhibition in the Archives: A Walk through Liberia’s Documented History from Pre-Colonization to Present Day;" a public exhibition at Liberia’s National Archives in Monrovia that highlights the value of freedom of information. Mackey received her master's degree in political science with a concentration in international relations and comparative politics at Georgia State University, where she also graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Her research has focused on the use of information communication technologies for the advancement of women. Previously, Mackey served on the board of directors for Sagal Radio, a community-based nonprofit organization that broadcasts weekly radio programs in the native languages of Atlanta’s largest refugee and immigrant populations, and worked for four years as an assistant project manager in the private sector.

Faizat Badmus-Busari, S.J.D., LL.M.
Senior Program Associate

Faizat Badmus-Busari is a lawyer and international development practitioner working on the Access to Justice Initiative. She completed her doctoral degree in international human rights at Emory University School of Law, focusing on religious, women’s, and children’s rights. Badmus-Busari started at The Carter Center as a graduate assistant in 2016 and has since worked in various roles with the Human Rights and Democracy programs. She previously worked at UNICEF, UN Women, and the World Trade Center of New Orleans, helping to formulate and refine policies and guide the design and implementation of programs related to social inclusion, access to justice, democracy, and violence against women and children.

Nick Rodgers
Senior Program Associate

Nick Rodgers is a program associate for the Rule of Law Program. He provides support to the program’s various international projects, with a primary focus on those in Liberia. He first joined The Carter Center in 2017 as in intern in the Conflict Resolution Program and became a program assistant with the Rule of Law Program in 2018, before being promoted to program associate in 2021. Prior to joining the Center full time, Rodgers was involved with various nonprofits, interning with the Wild Dolphin Foundation and volunteering with the International Rescue Committee as an adult ESL teacher. He received his bachelor’s degree in international affairs, with a concentration in international security, from the University of Georgia.

Charitra Shreya Pabbaraju, MPhil
Program Associate

Charitra Shreya Pabbaraju supports several international projects for the Rule of Law team, with a focus on Bangladesh and Liberia. Pabbaraju is completing her Master of Philosophy in development studies at the University of Oxford and earned her B.A. in political science and creative writing from Emory University as a Woodruff Dean’s Achievement Scholar. Pabbaraju began her journey at the Carter Center as a volunteer for the Development office in 2018 and interned with the Human Rights Program in 2020. Previously, she served as a project manager and data analyst for an evaluation of Northern Ireland and India’s rule of law at Emory’s Oppression-Resistance Lab. Pabbaraju has also interned with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Humanitarian Geoanalytics team, USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, and Emory’s Institute for Developing Nations.

Lehn Ellingson
Program Assistant

Lehn Ellingson is a program assistant with the Rule of Law Program. He provides support to the program’s various international projects, with a primary focus on those in Bangladesh and Guatemala, and the Inform Women, Transform Lives campaign. He first joined The Carter Center in 2020 as an intern with the Rule of Law Program before becoming a program assistant in 2021. Prior to joining the Center full time, Ellingson studied at Emory University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in international studies in 2020.

Erica Phillips
Program Assistant

Erica Phillips supports the Rule of Law program’s various international projects, with a primary focus on those in Liberia. She joined The Carter Center in May 2022. Prior to joining the Center, Phillips was a United States Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon and worked with USAID-funded research in Southeast Asia. She studied at Iowa State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in political science and international studies in 2019.

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