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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 senior advisor for the Rule of Law Program at The Carter Center and supports 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 project. In February 2018, she convened the conference “Inform Women, Transform Lives,” which culminated with the Atlanta Declaration for the Advancement of Women’s Right of Access to Information.

Neuman has written a number of articles and book chapters on the right of access to information, has edited six widely distributed guidebooks on fostering transparency and preventing corruption, and has presented at numerous international seminars on access to information legislation, implementation, enforcement, and use. She has served as a consultant to the U.S. State Department, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank, among others. Neuman also has led and participated in international election monitoring missions throughout the Western Hemisphere. Prior to joining The Carter Center in August 1999, she was staff attorney for Senior Law at Legal Action of Wisconsin and is a 1993 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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.

Sandra Urquiza, M.A.
Senior Program Associate

Sandra Urquiza started with The Carter Center as a long-term election observer in Kenya in 2017 and became a program associate in the Democracy Program in 2018. She joined the Rule of Law Program in 2021. She is passionate about citizen engagement and empowerment. Urquiza’s professional career and education have taken her to work and to live in Cambodia, Kosovo, Australia, Zimbabwe, Paraguay, and Peru, among other countries. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her master’s degree at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University; she also studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Urquiza was born in Peru and lived there for the first 20 years of her life. She has visited 42 countries and hopes to expand that number.

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
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.

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.

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