Our Team

Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq., Founder, President and Legal Director

Suzannah Phillips, Senior Legal Advisor

Anastasia Holoboff, Legal Advisor

Amanda McRae, Legal Advisor

Patrice A. Heinz, Development Director

Carla Villarreal Lopez, Legal Fellow

Juan Jaime Pardo, Legal Fellow

Adeline Joshua, Social Media Intern

Hilary Martin, Social Media Intern

Luci Prosapio, Program and Office Coordinator

Si Kailian, Bookkeeper

 

A black and white photo of Stephanie Ortoleva at the United Nations during a treaty negotiations session. Photo by Tom Olin.

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.

 


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Suzannah Phillips
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.

 


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Anastasia Holoboff
Legal Advisor

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.

 


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Amanda McRae
Legal Advisor

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.

Amanda 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.

 


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Patrice A. Heinz
Development Director

Patrice A. Heinz (Pat) is the Director of Development for Women Enabled International (WEI) where she leads WEI’s fund raising and development planning and also assists WEI with strategic planning. Her work encompasses the full cycle of grant solicitation and management including foundation research; program conceptualization and budget development; grant proposal writing and reporting; and tracking grant performance against funder agreements. She is the past Director of Resource Development for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, a position she served in from 2007 to 2016. She is the proprietor and principal consultant of Heinz Consultants, a business she founded in 1984. Through that, she has worked with more than 200 organizations in the child welfare, family services, health care, cooperative, education, association and legal fields, and in the public sector. Her areas of expertise included strategic planning, organizational analysis and management, program development and evaluation, board and leadership development, and grant writing.

She is the author of numerous articles, white papers and publications, including: Scenario Planning Regional Results – A Briefing Report (2006); Scanning the Horizon-Trends, Developments and Innovations Impacting the Future of Child and Family Services (2005); Emerging Technologies and Human Services: Moving Agencies Toward Capacity (2004); and Responding to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 – The Financial Reporting Practices of Nonprofits (2003); She is also the contributing editor of two publications: The New Frontier: Neuroscience Advancements & Their Impact on Nonprofit Behavioral Health Care Providers (2006) and The Impact of Neuroscience Advances on Nonprofit Behavioral Health Care: Financial Modeling of Neuroimaging Utilization (2007). To share her expertise in grant writing, in 2004 Pat authored “Developing Successful Grant Proposals,” the sixth curriculum in the Resource Development series published by the Alliance for Children and Families; that module was updated and re-published in 2011 and 2013.

She is currently a member of the Surgical Family Care Committee of Children’s National Health Systems in Washington DC, and is the past Chair of the PTO of St. Coletta’s Charter School of Greater Washington, a school for special needs children. Prior to relocating to the Washington D.C. area, Pat was active in numerous community and civic affairs in her home state of Wisconsin where she served on the Wisconsin Public Health Priorities Committee of the Governor’s Health Policy Council; the Patient Compensation Panel of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin; and the State Task Force/Negotiating Team to convert the Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind from a state agency to private nonprofit status. Pat was a founding member of the Women’s Fund of the Milwaukee Foundation and an honorary director and past treasurer and chairman of Wiscraft, Inc. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee where she obtained an interdisciplinary B.A. in Public and Employee Relations from the schools of Communications, Mass Communications and English.

 


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Carla Villarreal Lopez
Legal Fellow

Carla Villarreal Lopez is a Legal Fellow with Women Enabled International from summer 2017 through spring 2018.

Carla Villarreal is a Master of Laws (LL.M.) graduate from Syracuse University College of Law and a fellow of the Disability Rights Scholarship Program of the Open Society Foundations. She also received the University’s Robert B. Menschel Public Service Fellowship Award for her work with Women Enabled International. Additionally, she holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and a Law Degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP), both with Summa cum laude distinction. She received a grant from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to attend a seminar on the rights of women and persons with disabilities. Previously, she was a fellow at the Public University of Navarra, where she conducted independent research.

Carla Villarreal is a lawyer, researcher, and advocate, with a decade of experience working on human rights. She was a commissioner in the Women’s Rights Department in the Peruvian Ombudsman’s Office, where she monitored public policies on sexual and reproductive rights, gender-based violence, and equal opportunities. Furthermore, she was a consultant for SODIS NGO, where she presented proposals for reforming the Peruvian Civil Code regarding legal capacity, and she was the academic coordinator of a training program for prosecutors and judges on this topic. Moreover, she was a professor at the PUCP’s College of Law, an assistant professor of the “Legal Clinic for Disability Rights Law”, and she is a member of two research groups focusing on disability, gender, and sexuality. Previously, Villarreal was a researcher in the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, where she supervised a project about the implementation of the right to equal recognition before the law for all people with disabilities in Peru.


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Juan Sebastian Jaime Pardo
Legal Fellow

Juan Sebastián is a Legal Fellow with Women Enabled International from summer 2017 through spring 2018. He will bring his extensive experience on women’s rights and disability rights as well as his experience working in the Inter-American Human Rights Legal system and the United Nations human rights Legal systems.

Juan Sebastián worked as a Clinical Lecturer and Senior Staff Attorney at the Gender and Disability Rights Legal Clinic (Action Program for Social Equality and Inclusion -PAIIS-) of Los Andes University. His main area of expertise is gender studies and disability rights, where he has done most of his work. He has been a Graduate Research Assistant and S.J.D. Program Coordinator, member of the Gender and the Law Research Group and adjunct professor for the classes of Legal Interpretation and Bioethics, Disability and the Law at Universidad de los Andes. He is a Disability Rights Scholar from Open Society Foundations, a board member of Sentiido, a Colombian journalism site on gender and LGBTI issues, and member of the Colombian Coalition for the Implementation of the CRPD.

In the past, Juan Sebastián coordinated and participated in projects related to supported decision-making of victims with disabilities of the Colombian armed conflict, sexual and reproductive rights of women with disabilities, and rights to identity and health care access for transgender persons, amongst others. As a Staff Attorney, he submitted several amici curiae and represented persons with disabilities before the Colombian Constitutional Court in landmark disability rights decisions.

Juan Sebastián holds a Law Degree from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and is a LL.M. in International Legal Studies candidate from American University, Washington College of Law, with specializations in Human Rights and Gender.

 

 


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Adeline Joshua
Social Media Intern

Adeline Joshua is the Social Media Intern for Women Enabled International. She is responsible for managing WEI’s social media platforms and monitoring user engagement.

She also serves as a Civil Service Government Information Specialist for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Information Programs and Services (IPS). Her duties include routinely liaising between the public, departmental bureaus, and external federal agencies to close FOIA and Privacy Act Cases.

Apart from work, Adeline is currently a graduate student working toward a M.A. in International Development Studies at the George Washington University, concentrating on democracy and governance and disability inclusion. She graduated in 2013 with a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. She majored in International Affairs, with a focus on culture and politics, and earned a Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies.

Adeline has held several social media positions in the past. She was a communications volunteer for the D.C. Stop Modern Slavery organization’s annual WalkFest fundraiser, and the communications chair for the Council for Career Entry Professionals (CCEP) affinity group at the State Department.

 

 


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Hilary Martin
Social Media Intern

Hilary Martin is currently pursuing her Masters in Critical Disability Studies at York University in Canada. She is studying how the presence of disability and impairment impacts transnational adoptees. Hilary enjoys volunteering and supporting organizations, like Best Buddies Canada that support inclusion and equity for people living with disabilities. Additionally, she is a supporter of the AODA Alliance, a non-partisan coalition that fights for a barrier-free Ontario.

 

 


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Luci Prosapio
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 Kailian at the Women's March

Si Kailian
Bookkeeper

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.

 

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Contact WEI:
Stephanie Ortoleva, Esq.,

President and Founder

Women Enabled International, Inc.
1875 Connecticut Ave NW, 10th Floor
Washingon D.C. 20009

+1.202.630.3818



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