Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.
Founder, President and Legal Director
Stephanie Ortoleva is a highly recognized international human rights lawyer, policy and development consultant, author and researcher on issues of women's rights, disability rights and the rights of women and girls with disabilities. She is the Founder and President of Women Enabled International, which educates and advocates for the human rights of all women and girls, with a special focus on women and girls with disabilities, in collaboration with organizations of women and girls with disabilities worldwide. Her work with Women Enabled International focuses on human rights programming and training in developing, transition, and post-conflict countries, as well as consulting for governments, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.
As a woman with a disability herself she brings the development, academic and legal perspectives to her work as well as her personal experience as a woman with a disability. Stephanie has numerous scholarly publications and policy papers regarding women's rights, disability rights, sexual and reproductive rights, access to justice, violence against women, conflict and post-conflict situations, electoral and political reform, and rule of law. Her papers can be found on the Social Science Research Network at http://ssrn.com/author=1875099 and on WomenEnabled.org. Recently, she was named one of Women's E-News 21 Leaders of 2016.
She is the founding Co-Chair of the American Society of International Law's International Disability Rights Interest Group, serves on the American Bar Association's Commission on Disability Rights and serves on the Board of Directors of several women's rights and disability rights organizations. Previously Stephanie served as an attorney and human rights officer at the U.S. Department of State, where she served on U.S. Government Delegations at international multilateral venues regarding disability rights and women's rights, including at the negotiations of the UN Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities. For her outstanding work on human rights matters, she was given the prestigious U.S. Department of State Franklin Award in 2009 and was the featured Department employee for women's history month in 2009. Stephanie received her J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law with outstanding academic honors and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the courts of the State of New York.
Senior Legal Advisor
Suzannah Phillips is the Senior Legal Advisor for Women Enabled International. Her work focuses on legal advocacy with the United Nations and other international and regional forums to strengthen human rights standards on the rights of women and girls with disabilities.
Prior to joining WEI, Suzannah was the International Women's Human Rights Clinical Fellow at CUNY School of Law, where she led a project on the unjust criminalization of individuals who were trafficked into the sex trade and co-taught the clinic seminar on human rights doctrine and lawyering skills.
Previously, Suzannah was the Legal Adviser for International Advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), where she engaged in advocacy and strategic litigation to strengthen reproductive rights standards, and a Human Rights Fellow with VIVO POSITIVO in Santiago, Chile, where she investigated and litigated discrimination against and forced sterilization of women living with HIV.
Suzannah received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a teaching assistant for the Human Rights Clinic, the Editor-in-Chief of the Spanish Jailhouse Lawyer's Manual (a publication of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review), and a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar. She was awarded the Outstanding Clinical Student award and a Certificate in Comparative and International Law. Suzannah received her B.A. in Social Anthropology from Harvard University.
She is currently a member of the International Human Rights Committee at the New York City Bar Association.
Anastasia Holoboff is a Legal Advisor for Women Enabled International and responsible for the development of a Standards and Implementation Tool for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), in support of UNFPA's project on Youth and Disability: Ensuring Social Inclusion and Gender Equality to Address Discrimination and Gender-Based Violence. The Standards and Implementation Tool will provide guidance to key stakeholders engaged in developing and implementing service provision in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender-based and sexual violence for women and young people with disabilities.
Anastasia also serves part-time as a Staff Attorney in the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (PADD) program at Disability Rights New York (DRNY), New York State's Protection and Advocacy system. As a DRNY Staff Attorney, Anastasia investigates abuse and neglect complaints, monitors the rights and safety of people with developmental disabilities receiving services in New York, and represents and advocates for people with developmental disabilities relating to a variety of civil disability-related issues.
Anastasia joined DRNY immediately after graduating magna cum laude from Cardozo School of Law in 2014, where she was awarded the Telford Taylor Award for Outstanding Achievement in the fields of Constitutional Law and Human Rights. During law school, Anastasia interned at numerous civil and human rights organizations where her work focused primarily on the rights of women, people with disabilities, and refugee and asylum seekers. As a law student, Anastasia interned at Human Rights Watch in the Disability Rights Division; the American Civil Liberties Union at the Women's Rights Project; the Women's Legal Centre in South Africa; the Urban Justice Center at the Sex Workers Rights Project; the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in the U.S. Protection Unit, and at HIAS, in the immigration unit.
In addition, Anastasia was a clinical student at the Cardozo Law School Human Rights and Genocide Clinic and later served as the Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Program Fellow. Anastasia received her B.F.A. from New York University, where she double majored in Theater and Politics. She is currently a member of the New York City Bar Association.
Amanda McRae is a legal adviser at Women Enabled International. With WEI she has drafted numerous submissions to U.N. treaty bodies and other mechanisms on the rights of women and girls with disabilities and has drafted several such submissions jointly with WEI’s collaborating partner disabled women’s rights organizations in several other countries. Before joining WEI, Amanda was a Finberg Fellow and researcher at Human Rights Watch, where she focused on human rights issues in the Western Balkans and disability rights worldwide. She conducted one of the first research projects at HRW, or from any general human rights organization, to invoke the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Her documentation of the institutionalization of persons with intellectual and psychosocial disabilities in Croatia and advocacy with the Croatian government, the EU, and U.N. institutions helped shape the understanding of two of the most challenging and groundbreaking rights in the CRPD: the rights to legal capacity and to be free from arbitrary detention. She has extensive experience in documenting violations of the rights of women and girls with disabilities. She also served as a Global Advocacy Adviser at the Center for Reproductive Rights, advocating for the rights of women and girls at the United Nations in New York and Geneva.
Amanda holds a J.D. from Duke University School of Law and a B.A. from Carleton College.
Social Media Director
Ashley Pusey graduated from Ithaca College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International & Political Communications, along with a minor in Sociology. She was part of an Autism Awareness group in college, as well as an active participant in fundraising for Relay for Life.
Ashley maintains the social media and marketing for Women Enabled International, expanding WEI’s social media reach. #BeTheChange #WomenInspire
Program and Office Coordinator
Luci Prosapio is the Program and Office Coordinator for Women Enabled International. She helps support the implementation of WEI projects and grant activities and coordinates international meetings and special events for the organization.
Luci has a background in international economic development. She received her Master’s from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where she focused her research on socio-economic development initiatives for members of disadvantaged communities. She continues to work with international colleagues on implementing sustainable empowerment strategies and equitable socio-economic development. Luci is currently pursuing her Masters in International Policy and Practice (MIPP) at The George Washington University, focusing on international humanitarian law. She is concentrating on gender equality, sexual and reproductive rights, and enforcement tactics to combatting gender-based violence.
Si is a consultant bookkeeper and business manager with several small women-owned businesses and non-profit clients in Washington, D.C. Si is responsible for maintaining WEI’s financial records and preparing and tracking WEI’s project budgets, annual budgets and other financial statements. Si also assists with the preparation of WEI’s grant applications and reporting.
Si serves as a founding board member for City Blossoms - an educational non-profit that maintains community green spaces, builds school gardens and develops gardening, nutrition and art curriculum primarily for underserved communities in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and beyond. Through this organization she is a recipient of the Center For Nonprofit Advancement’s 2015 Board Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding excellence in nonprofit board Governance. Si has lived abroad and travelled extensively overland to over 50 countries.
Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.,
President and Founder
Women Enabled International, Inc.
1875 Connecticut Ave NW, 10th Floor
Washingon D.C. 20009
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