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Three Selected for 2009-2010 James E. Tolan Fellowship in International Human Rights

The Tolan Fellowship is a post-graduate Fellowship that funds Fordham Law School graduates to work for an international human rights organization for one year. The Fellowship is awarded on an annual or bi-annual basis.

The Fellowship is named in honor of James Tolan, a long-time supporter of the Crowley Program. Mr. Tolan is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law (LL.B., 1962), where he was the Case-Notes Editor of the Fordham Law Review. He is a member of Board of Fordham Law Alumni Association, a past President and recipient of its Medal of Achievement, as well as recipient of the Dean’s Medal of Recognition. Mr. Tolan is currently Senior Counsel at Dechert LLP and a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Sarah Braasch will work with Ni Putes, Ni Soumises (NPNS) in Paris, France. The primary goal of NPNS is to combat gender discrimination and violence. NPNS promotes the aims of gender desegregation, equality, and secularism, in order to advance human rights, democracy, and rule of law. Sarah will contribute to the work of NPNS by helping them create a sexual and reproductive rights project, which will focus on women residing in the insular Muslim immigrant communities in the ghettoized suburbs of Paris. Sarah previously worked in Rabat, Morocco at the Moroccan Organization for Human Rights (Organisation Marocaine des Droits Humains – OMDH) with the support of a Leitner Fellowship. Sarah also interned at the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin and the United Nations Development Programme in New York. She was a student in the Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic during the spring semester of 2008. She received her undergraduate degrees in aerospace engineering and mechanics and mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1997.

Aya Fujimura-Fanselow will be based in Kathmandu, Nepal with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ). The ICTJ established a full-time presence in Nepal in August 2007. The ICTJ works with countries that are pursuing accountabilities for past atrocities and human rights abuses by participating in the development of integrated, comprehensive, and localized approaches to transitional. Aya will work with the ICTJ and their partner organizations, including Advocacy Forum, to disseminate a forthcoming report on the impact of the recent 10-year long “people’s war” on women. She will assist the ICTJ, Advocacy Forum and other local partners as they advocate for increased participation by women in the transitional justice process. Aya will also be involved in capacity-building efforts with the goal of ensuring that NGOs have the information and tools to document gender-based violence. Finally, working closely with the National Women’s Commission, Aya will monitor transitional justice initiatives and provide analyses to ensure that gender is integrated into this process. She has previously worked with Amnesty International in Tokyo, the Fourth World Movement in New York, the Center for Reproductive Rights’ International Legal Program in New York, and most recently the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York. Immediately following her graduation from law school, she was a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow based at Bread for the City in Washington, D.C.

A third Tolan Fellow will work with Human Rights Watch (HRW) in its Middle East and North Africa (MENA) division on topics related to child rights, women’s rights and due process in the region. Human Rights Watch is one of the world’s leading independent organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. By focusing international attention to where human rights are violated, HRW gives voice to the oppressed and holds oppressors accountable for their crimes. The Middle East and North Africa division is one of six regional divisions. The identity of the Fellow is being withheld for security reasons.


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Leitner Center for International Law and Justice
Fordham University School of Law
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