2017 marks the 6th year of the AHDA fellowship program. To date we have had over 59 fellows in the program representing over 30 countries. Below find information regarding the professional interests and accomplishments of select fellows and alumni.
While at Columbia, fellows design individual projects that address some aspect of a history of gross human rights violations in their society, country, and/or region. Click here to read more about the fellows' projects.
Click here to read about more about the work of our Fellows.
Lydia Mugambe is a lawyer from Uganda who was appointed in July 2013 as a Judge of the High Court in Uganda. Prior to this appointment, Lydia worked from 2005 to 2013 at the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR), first as a Legal Officer in Chambers and later as an Appeals Counsel under the Appeals Division in the Office of the Prosecutor. In addition, Mugambe was a participant in the Global Raphael Lemkin Seminar for Genocide Prevention, hosted by the Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation As an AHDA fellow, Mugambe will develop a project around women in northern Uganda who have suffered severe human rights abuses, including rape, during the over 10-year civil war affecting their community.
Lydia is an Auschwitz Institute for Peace and Reconciliation (AIPR) Fellow.
Miraji Magai Juma Maira is a Programme Officer at the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, the Foundation founded and named after the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Maira also serves as Secretary of the National Committee for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities of the United Republic of Tanzania. Prior to this, he served as Regional Coordinator of the Regional Civil Society Forum Provisional Secretariat of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) in its establishment phase. His work at the Foundation and the National Committee seeks to contribute to conflict resolution and reconciliation, peace building, and promoting human development by developing and implementing pertinent programs and projects. As an AHDA fellow, Maira will develop a project called “Prevention of land conflicts in Tanzania: A case study of the land conflict between farmers and pastoralists in Kiteto”, which seeks to address this more than 10-year conflict through historical dialogue processes.
Elena Monicelli has been a Coordinator at the Peace School Foundation of Monte Sole, in Bologna, Italy, since 2009, having joined the School as a Senior Officer in 2004. As Coordinator, Monicelli develops educational workshops and conducts historical research on the link between memory and citizenship education, memory and post-conflict reconciliation, and memory and public political discourses. She also coordinates the School’s finances, fundraising, research projects, and other activities. In addition, Monicelli is a founding member of the “International Coalition of Sites of Conscience – Europe”. As an AHDA fellow, Monicelli will develop a project on the dehumanization of migrants and victims of torture by analyzing which kinds of political, social, and anthropological discourses delete the adjective ‘human’ from a being in order to let some behaviors and attitudes apply to him or her without perceiving it as an injustice, a violation, or a crime.
Bosch Stiftung Fellow
Lynn Maalouf is a Beirut-based writer, activist and trainer whose work focuses on the issue of the missing and disappeared persons in Lebanon. She is the co-founder and senior researcher at Act for the Disappeared, Lebanese human rights NGO. Prior to that, she headed the country program of the International Center for Transitional Justice for five years, during which time she co-authored a handbook on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, conducted a process that led to the development of the Draft Law for the Missing and Disappeared Persons in Lebanon, and conceived and implemented an oral history project, Badna Naaraf (We want to Know), with high school and university students, about citizens’ daily life during the Lebanese conflict. She is the main author of “Lebanon’s Legacy of Political Violence, a mapping of serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Lebanon 1975-2008,” released in 2013. She is a member of scientific committee of “Beit Beirut” and a board member of R-Shief, and a regular contributor to the International Justice Tribune.
In Lebanon, where the consequences of impunity coupled with memory erasure are both severe and multi-faceted, Lynn has focused on collecting facts about the conflict, developing platforms to share narratives of the conflict, and developing tools to increase knowledge and strengthen stakeholders’ advocacy efforts. As an AHDA fellow, Lynn plans to develop a project related to memorialization of the missing that raises the profile of the victims and their families—a project that is complicated by the fact that it will take place in a society still in the grips of forgetfulness.
Institute for the Study of Human Rights (ISHR) Fellow
Kelen Meregali currently works at the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). Her organization seeks to help societies in transition to address legacies of human rights violations and build civic trust in state institutions through transitional justice mechanisms. Kelen joined ICTJ three years ago as an Associate for the Truth and Memory Program, assisting with the support and advice for truth seeking initiatives processes in a variety of countries to advance the right to truth and to enhance society’s discussion about the past, and now also as a Program Office Manager assisting with the overseeing of programmatic work for the organization. Prior to moving to New York, she has worked at the Amnesty Commission of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice since 2007 and as a consultant for UNDP since 2009. During this time she was part of a team that helped to strengthen and reorganize the commission, as well as design and implement the Commission’s innovative “Amnesty Caravan” outreach program throughout Brazil, relating to the national reparations program and public policies on education and memorialization.
As a fellow in the AHDA Program, Kelen seeks to explore the devastating legacy of forced assimilation in Indian Residential Schools in Canada stemming from the 1870s, when children were ripped from their families and forced to learn new languages and religions. She will focus on a project featuring a multimedia web-based platform encouraging active engagement, especially by young people, with the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The project aims to show the multi-faceted, inter-generational nature of harm and its impacts, to foster trust by breaking down the stereotypes that beget discrimination, while also encouraging dialogue among citizens about future policymaking options for addressing the past. Kelen sees this as a pilot project that could serve as a model for other truth-seeking bodies, including those in Guatemala, Peru, and soon Brazil and Tunisia. Kelen received her law degree from the Pontific Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (2007) and holds a post-graduate degree on International Law from the Superior School for Federal Prosecutors (2010).
Robert Bosch Stiftung Fellow
Munini Mutuku works at the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in Kenya. This body was established in 2008 after the 2007/’08 post-election violence in Kenya. It is one of the Government agencies recommended in the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commissions Report of 2013 as key to spearheading dialogue and reconciliation initiatives in the Country. Among other programs, the Commission works to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation initiatives around the country. As a Senior Program Officer in the Reconciliation and Integration Department, Munini works on the promotion of reconciliation dialogue initiatives in conflict affected communities, project development, mentorship programs and project supervision.
Previously, Munini worked at the Centre for Minority Rights and Development working on projects advocating for the rights of minority and indigenous peoples in Kenya and other African Countries. Munini is a social scientist by training, with extensive work experience in peacebuilding, human rights, and social justice. She holds a Master’s Degree in Intercultural Conflict Management from Alice-Salomon University of Applied Sciences (Berlin) and a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democracy from the European Inter-University Center (Italy) and University of Vienna (Austria).
Munini’s proposed project for the AHDA Fellowship seeks to engage young people in historical dialogue processes. In particular, her project will focus on the Turbi massacre, which occurred in July 2005 in the Marsabit District of Northern Kenya. This massacre, which involved communities with a history of antagonism and conflict, continues to evade redress and reconciliation efforts, and Munini’s project thus seeks to support community dialogue initiatives in an attempt to promote reconciliation and healing between this two communities.
Darija Marić is a sociologist who has been working at Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past since 2009. Her responsibilities at Documenta include coordinating field research for the project “Unveiling Personal Memories on War and Detention from 1941 until today.” The project includes the creation of a collection of 400 video-recorded testimonies on a wide range of war experiences in Croatia with the use of oral history as a method to collect and open up individual memories on past traumatic events from a wide range of perspectives, including those of minorities, victims, women, war veterans, etc. Prior to this work, Ms. Marić worked as a coordinator for the initiative for the establishment of RECOM, the Regional Commission Tasked with Establishing the Facts about All Victims of War Crimes and Other Serious Human Rights Violations Committed on the Territory of the Former Yugoslavia from 1991-2001, in Croatia. As an AHDA fellow, Ms. Marić will focus on refugee issues during and after the war in Croatia. The aim of her project is to try to increase awareness, empathy and a deeper understanding of suffering and losses experienced by different ethnic groups during and after the war in Croatia.
Click here to learn more about Darija
Mario Mažić has been the director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Croatia since late 2008, and he has worked with human rights organizations since 2006. As the director of the Youth Initiative for Human Rights—Croatia, Mr. Mažić’s role is to coordinate the work of the organization and to overlook the implementation of its programs and projects, as well as to monitor research on wartime human rights violations. Mr. Mažić is currently enrolled at Zagreb University, where he is studying in the Faculty of Political Science and expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2013. In addition, Mr. Mažić studied International Politics and Contemporary problems in Government at the International Summer School, University in Oslo in 2008, and in 2010, he studied the Rise and Fall of Yugoslavia and Contemporary Literature at a Summer Study-Abroad Program in Croatia organized by Northwestern University. Mr. Mažić’s project as an AHDA fellow focuses on young Croatians who have grown up in Croatian towns without any contact with peers from other ethnic groups. He seeks to connect these groups of youth with those who fled the same towns in the early 1990s, and to create an interactive seminar that explores the nationalist politics of the 1990s and early 2000s that have continued to leave a deep mark on both Croatian and Serbian communities.
Click here to learn more about Mario