The SJAC Board of Directors establishes organisational policies and guides institutional strategy. Members include:
Jill Miller is an international development professional with 18 years of progressive experience in democracy and governance, education, gender and youth. In her current capacity leading the Center for Applied Learning and Impact at the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), Jill heads a team that develops cutting-edge new program approaches, fosters learning across the IREX portfolio and beyond, and assesses IREX’s impact. Jill received her master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with a concentration in Social Change and Development and her bachelor’s degree from Seattle University in Political Science and Economics.
Erica Razook sits on SJAC’s Board of Directors and is a Syrian-Lebanese American anti-corruption lawyer and certified fraud examiner living in New York. She participated in the 2014 Arab Forum on Asset Recovery and supported civil society efforts to repatriate stolen assets to Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, and Ukraine in her former role at the Open Society Foundations, including coordination of the civil society-led event on the topic at the 2015 UN Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa. Erica is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors of SJAC.
Daniel is a Professor of the Practice of Conflict Management, director of the Conflict Management Program and a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Serwer is also a research scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington D.C. Serwer served as a minister-counselor with the U.S. Department of State. He was deputy chief of mission and charge’ d’affaires at US Embassy Rome from 1990 to 1993 and from 1994 to 1996, special envoy and coordinator for the Bosnian Federation. During this posting, Serwer mediated between the Croats and Muslims and was the negotiator who brokered the first agreement reached at the Dayton peace talks. Serwer is the author of Righting the Balance: How You Can Help Protect America (Potomac, 2013). Serwer holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from Princeton University, an M.S. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Haverford College.
Mark Smith is the Director for Government Affairs at the International, Glad and BRITA for the Clorox Company. He leads the company’s government affairs strategy in the over 110 markets outside of the U.S. where Clorox does business as well as the global business for the Glad and BRITA brands. Prior to joining Clorox, Mark was President and Founder of Claren Power, a waste-to-energy developer focused on maximizing the electrical energy output of sugar mills in Brazil. Before embarking on this entrepreneurial venture, Mark served for 11 years as the Managing Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he led successful industry coalitions that helped pass the CAFTA, Chile and Peru-U.S. Free Trade Agreements. At the Chamber, Mark also served as the Executive Vice President of the Brazil-U.S. Business Council, an organization representing the largest Fortune 500 investors in Brazil. Prior to his stint at the Chamber, Mark worked as a trade analyst at the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, focusing on promoting Brazilian software and manufactured goods exports to the U.S. He holds a BA in Government from the College of William & Mary and a MBA from Georgetown.
Williamson also serves as Senior Director for Global Rule of Law, Governance and National Security at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU. From 2011-2014, he served as Lead Prosecutor for the European Union Special Investigative Task Force. Prior to that role, Williamson was the third United States Ambassador for War Crimes Issues, serving from 2006 to 2009. Before the ambassadorship, from 1994-2001, he worked as a Trial Attorney at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where he supervised investigations and field operations in the Balkans, compiled indictments, and prosecuted cases at trial.
Michael holds a BA in Middle Eastern Studies with an Arabic minor from the University of Utah. Before joining the SJAC team, he worked as a Communications Officer at the Embassy of the State of Qatar and Student Programs Coordinator for the National Council on U.S. Arab Relations.
Mohammad Al Abdallah is a Syrian human rights and democracy researcher and activist. He received a Bachelor of Law from the Lebanese University in 2007, and a Master of Public Policy from George Mason University in 2014. He previously worked as a research assistant for Human Rights Watch in Beirut from where he covered Syria. Al Abdallah is a former political prisoner who was imprisoned in Syria on two separate occasions for his work defending human rights and lobbying for political reform.
Jomana is an activist in the field of gender-based violence related to the Syrian conflict, and she earned her master’s degree in sociology from Damascus University. Currently, Jomana is serving as a project manager for SJAC’s Justice for Missing Persons Project in northeast Syria.
Before joining SJAC, Jomana worked for three years with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Iraq as a case manager of the gender-based violence project.
Nessma Bashi is an international lawyer. Prior to joining SJAC, Nessma served as a Visiting Professional in the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court and provided legal aid to asylum-seekers in Greece. She holds a BA and Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan, and is admitted to the New York Bar.
Hannah Grigg holds a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University and an MA in Conflict Resolution in Deeply Divided Societies from King’s College, London. Prior to joining SJAC she worked with the Middle East Institute’s Cultural and Professional Exchange Program and with the AVSI Foundation in Amman, Jordan.
Merlina Herbach holds a BA in Political Science from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and an LLM in International Law from the University of Edinburgh. Prior to joining SJAC, she worked as Project Assistant at the International Nuremberg Principles Academy and interned at the Office of the Co-Prosecutors in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.
Roger Lu Phillips oversees teams documenting and analysing evidence of atrocity crimes in Syria. He leads SJAC’s partnerships with various UN investigative entities and special war crimes units prosecuting Syrian war crimes under the principle of universal jurisdiction. Previously, Roger served as a UN legal officer for ten years at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. He has published widely on the subjects of war crimes, international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity. He is adjunct lecturer of international criminal law at the Catholic University of America and has been quoted by various international media outlets.
Leigh Wynveen holds an MA in International Affairs from the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs and a BA in Political Science and International Studies from Hope College.
Gabriel Young is a Ph.D. candidate in History and Middle Eastern Studies at New York University, where his research focuses on the political economy of the contemporary Persian Gulf. In addition to his doctoral work, he also translates for the online magazine 7iber and previously worked with Syrian refugee communities in Amman through the International Refugee Assistance Project.