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New J4P Program Manager

Deborah Isser will join the World Bank’s Justice Reform Practice Group as Senior Counsel in January 2011, taking up the role of global Program Manager for J4P.

Since 2004, Deborah has been Senior Rule of Law Adviser at the United States Institute of Peace, where she directed projects on the role of non-state justice systems in post-conflict societies, legal pluralism, and on land, property and conflict. Her work has primarily involved research and policy facilitation in Liberia, Southern Sudan, Afghanistan and Iraq. 


Deborah is the co-author of Looking for Justice: Liberian experiences with and perceptions of local justice options (USIP, 2009) and Local Justice in Southern Sudan (USIP, 2010).  She is also the editor of the forthcoming volume Customary Justice and the Rule of Law in War-Torn Societies (USIP Press).  Deborah has taught practitioner courses on “Land, Property and Conflict” and on “Rule of Law Promotion” at USIP's Academy for Conflict Management and Peacebuilding, and has served as adjunct faculty at Georgetown and George Washington law schools.


Previously, Deborah was a senior policy adviser at the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she focused on economic reform and efforts to address serious crime and corruption. From 2000 to 2001, Deborah was a special adviser for the U.S. Mission to the U.N and received the Department of State’s Distinguished Honor Award for her work on U.N. peacekeeping reform in the context of the Brahimi Report.


From 1998 to 2000, Deborah practiced law with Morrison and Foerster in New York. During that period she co-founded the International Legal Assistance Network, which linked global human rights lawyers with U.S. law firms providing pro bono assistance. From 1996 to 1998, Deborah served as judicial clerk to Dalia Dorner, Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel (1993-2004). A recipient of several human rights fellowships, Deborah has worked at human rights organizations in Geneva, Cambodia and Washington, D.C and also taught English and American history at a university in Kunming, China.


Deborah received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, a master’s in law and diplomacy from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia University.

Last updated: 2010-12-03

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